Last Updated: February 13, 2020 Pallavi Sinha
Kullu and Manali have always been one of the favorite hill stations for tourists. Located in the heart of Kullu valley, Manali is at the altitude of 1950 m. Whether it’s for honeymoon or for any holiday trip, these spellbinding cities of Himachal Pradesh have given great pleasure to visitors till now. The places are very popular due to its exciting attractions and adventure activities. People from all across the globe come to see the snow-capped mountains and natural beauty of the city. Visiting here is like being in the lap of nature. In every trip, it gives a new feeling and joy. Elegant flora and fauna surrounded by pine and cedar trees simply add glisters to landscape beauty. Kullu and Manali are beautiful places that have several tourist spots to discover and explore.
Major Tourist Attractions in Kullu
Kullu is the most striking & charming city, widely popular for its hot springs, snowy hills and scenic beauties. It’s a magical hill station known as ‘the valley of gods’. Right from newly married couples to adventure or nature lovers, all can explore the city and experience romantic & adventurous moments, enjoying amidst snow-clad valleys and mountains.
There are some popular destinations in Kullu, which are must-see for tourists during their holiday trip. These include:
Great Himalayan National Park
This National Park gives unparallel ecological views of the western Himalaya headed to the formation of the Great Himalayan National Park in the district Kullu of Himachal Pradesh. This park is popular due to its wildlife species of Western Himalaya like Brown bear, Musk deer, Thar, Leopard, Goral, Bharal, Serow, Monal, Snow leopard, Kalij, Koklas, Tragopan, Cheer, etc. Tourists love to trek Rakti-Sar and for some camping in alpine pastures is memorable. Apart from these, there are many kinds of small mammals that include Giant Indian Flying Squirrel, Porcupine, Himalayan Weasel, Indian Pika and Yellow Throated Marten. The park remains open all throughout the year but huge rush is found from April- June and September-November.
Bijli Mahadev, one of the famous sacred temples of Himachal Pradesh, is situated at the top of Kullu Valley (2,460 m). Many people from all across the world visit here to worship Lord Shiva. The main specialty of this temple is that the devotees or priests draw the divine blessing in the way of lightning. It is truly believed that the priest has to furbish up the Shiva Linga positioned inside the temple with the help of sattoo and butter after every lightning because it bursts into pieces with lightning flash. There are two statues of the bull, that is Nandi (Lord Shiva’s vehicle), which truly adorns the temple doors. The 60 feet high staff of this temple always sparkles in the sun like a silver needle. Undoubtedly, it is one of the favorite spots for tourists and the local populace too.
Popular as ‘Pool of the Gods’, Bhrigu Lake is the pleasing water body that attracts several visitors every year. Positioned at 4240 m altitude above sea level, this lake is amongst snow-capped mountains, where many legends and beliefs are associated. Nehru Kund adds extra beauty to this lake, which is fed by the Bhrigu Lake’s water. It is one of the striking lakes of Kullu Regions, extremely loved by nature lovers. One can get the best shots during sunrise while morning sun rays make a glary effect on the waters.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Rama, which is located at an altitude of 2,050 m above sea level. There are many religious activities like Dusshera that brings huge crowds of tourists and pilgrims. During festivals, the temple is decorated with lights, which gives a different appeal. This temple is very old and popular in Himachal. Developed in a blend of Pahari and Pyramidal style, this temple is truly believed to be the safeguard of the entire valley. Many tourists visit here to enjoy the Dusshera festival and capture some unforgettable moments with them.
Sultanpur Palace, also popular as Rupi Palace, is situated nearby Ragunath Temple. Its architecture is a perfect blend of Pahari and colonial styles. It was rebuilt in the surrounding area of the old palace that was destroyed in earthquake. The entrance has wonderful look with large gates of wooden logs and overseeing the Lord Ganesha presence. The interior design is excellent and there are some wall paintings that always look fresh. The palace is especially popular for its miniature paintings, made on themes without any human figures.
Basheshwar Mahadev Temple
Just 15 kms away from Kullu, there is Basheshwar Mahadev Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is of pyramidal shape and houses a huge ‘Yoni-Lingam’ idol that highlights Lord Shiva and his wife Goddess Parvati. It’s a scenic religious place, extremely popular all across northern India for its flat shikhara.
This bazaar is one of the famous market and shopping areas of this valley. This market remains open all throughout the year and people from all across the globe come here to shop various collections of gudmas, puhlas, shawls, etc.
Camping Site Raison
Just 16 Kms away from Kulu, Camping Site Raison is one of the perfect spot to spend holidays for youths. Large numbers of orchards are found in this valley.
Just 42 kms away from Kullu, Kasol is situated in the bank of Paravati River. It makes a good holiday destination for tourists. It is the main hang out spot for visitors. The place is quite popular for trout fishing. Huge numbers of internet cafes and travel agents are also available there for tourist’s assistance. Its scenic valley, snowy mountains and great climate enthrall trekkers, backpackers and nature enthusiasts.
Here comes the central and the most extensive part of the valley ‘Katrain’, which is only 20 Kms away from Kullu. This tourist spot is quite popular for bee keeping and Government Trout Farm at Patilkulh. The scenic view of the Beas River is striking and it can’t be compared with any other place. Though, the area is not cold like Manali, so it remains open for tourists all throughout the year. Being there, one can also view the Baragarh Peak from the Katrain valley.
Located in the south side of Kullu (34 Kms), Larji is a small village where tourists can enjoy trout fishing. The PWD rent house is positioned between the foaming torrents of Sainj and Tirthan rivers, before they conjoin the Beas. Anglers are mostly found at this place.
Another exciting destination that is always loved by tourists is Manikaran. It’s only 5 Kms away from Kullu and is associated with Lord Shiva & Parbati. It is believed that she lost and found her ear rings at this place. The place is very much highlighted for hot water springs. There are large number tourists who come here to dip in its hot water.
Naggar is widely popular for its castle and the museum of Nicholas Roerich. 25 kms away from Kullu and 300 metres above the river Beas, this place is well situated on the wooden slope and overlooks the North-West of the valley and broad view of nature. Above all, there are many temples in and around the spot. Tourists come here to enjoy the beauty of the place and capture it in their memories.
Undoubtedly, there are several places of interest in Kullu that brings lots of fun and enjoyment in trip. Whether it’s about sightseeing to adventure, this place has lot for nature lovers. Because of its natural beauty, the place is extremely known as the Himachal’s cherished tourist destination. A certain glance of this paradise is simply a large visual treat. That’s why travelers count it as one of the ideal holiday destinations in India.
What to See in Manali?
Just 40 Kms away from Kullu to the north, Manali is positioned near the end of the valley on the National Highway directing to Leh. Its landscape is quite breathtaking and due to its pleasant environs, the place is known as one of the best honeymoon destinations in Himachal Pradesh. There are many hill stations and exciting spots to visit in Manali. Every spot has its own specialty and importance. The evergreen beauties of nature, snowy mountains, waterfalls, adventure & sports, pleasant snowfall, blossoming gardens, etc., have made the city completely blessed from everything. Due to this, many visitors are attracted towards this hill station. The city not only offers the best places for sightseeing tour, but also offers top pilgrimage attractions.
Above all, some of the best tourist places in Manali include:
Hadimba Devi Temple
Apart from those striking views of hills and nature, there is a religious place ‘Hadimba Devi Temple’ that is considered as one of the best destinations for family vacations. It is the main centre of interest for tourists, which is dedicated to goddess Hadimba. She was the wife of Bhima, one amongst the five pandava brothers of the Mahabharata. This temple is situated in the midst of the forest known as Dhungiri Van Vihar. It has wooden carvings that draw fabulous roles and themes of animals & cosmic dancers. Large number of visitors attend the festival organized here in the month of May.
One of the breathtaking spot in Manali is Solang Valley, which is 13 kms away from Manali. This beautiful valley is surrounded by glaciers and snowy mountains and peaks. The place is very popular for adventure activities like paragliding, motorbike riding, skiing, etc. Tourists can enjoy the winter skiing festival, especially organized in this valley. One can easily go by bus or jeep to reach this snow point.
Beas Kund is located at higher and upper valley of Solang that is the core of summer and winter games in Manali. It’s one of the perfect spot for trekking. Many tourists visit this place to climb nearby peaks like Friendship, Shitidhar and Ladakhi. The west side of the kund is superb peak of Hanman Tibba (5990 m) in Dhauladhar Range. Trekkers can also come across Makerbeh and Shikhar Beh, which is located above 6000 m. The north side of kund is Lahual Valley that is next to the great wall of these mountains. Visiting this place gives a nice camping experience with friends and family members.
One of the most famous and turning on spots is Rohtang Valley. This place is 3,978 mt. above sea level and very popular for trekking activities. Manali is the main gateway to Rohtang Pass where twin valley of Spiti and Lahaul lies beyond it. This valley remains open from April to October every year. Due to heavy snowfall, it is entry is restricted after the month of October and the permission for trekking is only given by Indian army, after the snow is fully cleared. The same road connects to Ladakh from Manali. During early morning in summer and late autumn after 11:00 AM or mid-day, the top of the Rohtang pass is at times open to break snowstorms.
Besides, there is lot to enjoy in this spot. For adventure lovers, there are some adventure activities like paragliding, trekking, skiing, etc., that are usually enjoyed by them. The Rohtang Pass is a pleasant destination that is always cherished by visitors.
Manali is considered as Mini Switzerland and it is well said because the natural splendor in Manali has no end. The Rahala Waterfalls is another everlasting destination of the Himalayan ecstasy. Burbling down from an altitude of 2,501 meters, the scenic beauty of this waterfall has made it one of the main spots for tourists. It lies on the way to the Rotang Pass and only 16 kilometers away from Manali. The surrounding areas of this waterfall are extremely marvelous and the location also leaves a picturesque view.
Manu Temple is 3 Kms away from the Mall Road of Manali, which is devoted to the Indian Sage Manu, who is believed to be the creator of the world and the writer of Manusmriti. Built up beautifully on the bank side of river Beas, it simply grabs the attention of tourists. It is one of the top pilgrimage attractions and many tourists come here to worship Rishi Manu. On the top of it, this ancient temple has a distinctive historical backdrop that is quite appealing to most of the people who visit this place.
Pin Valley National Park
Pin Valley is the only national park in Himachal Pradesh that lies in the valley of the Pin River, from where it derives its name. It swathes a huge area of the Lahul Spiti region in the northern part of Himachal Pradesh. This place is little bit dry with lesser growth of foliage. Different kinds of Himalayan birds like Himalayan Snowcock, Snow Partridge, Chukor, Tibet Snow Finch, etc., are found in this park. Though, in winters it remains rugged and dry, but in summers the area is fully covered with colorful flowers. Due to the striking views of nature and animals, the place is considered as one of the thrilling destinations for tourists. Huge rush of tourists are found from July to October.
One of the most beautiful destinations is Manali Sanctuary that is only 2 Kms away from Manali. It is spread on hills after the town making a scenic background. Lush greenery, birds and other rich wildlife are the main attractions of the place. Also, the place is famous for its striking activities and trekking routes. Undoubtedly, it’s a wonderful place for all ages and many tourists visit this spot for sightsee activities like bird watching. It’s an abode of Tree Creepers, Snow Pigeon, Monal, Chakor, Kingfisher, Kokla, etc.
Another exhilarating tourist destination is Nehra Kund that is 6 kms away from Manali. Positioned on the National Highway and on the way to Leh, the spot is must-see for tourists in Manali. The tranquility of this place gives great relaxation to human’s mind. Those bubbling sound of water amongst the serene silence of the place feel like it is playing music to your ears. Other spots like Arjun Gufa, Jagatsukh, Vashist hot water springs & temples, Club House, and Manu Temple are well connected from the kund. It’s a natural spring of cold water that was named after the Pt. Jwahar Lal Nehru, who always drank water from this spring during his stay.
Sited at the northern end of the Kullu Valley, Jagatsukh is very close to the snow line of the Indian Himalayas. It’s a very small village located in the south side of Manali. The place is very popular for trekking and old temples. Temples are built in Shikhara style and it is considered as one of the main attractions. The best time to visit this spot is from May to October and there is lot to explore here. Tourists visit every year to enjoy Chacholi Jatra festival organized in this temple.
Manali, the queen of hills is popular due to its interesting destinations like Arjun Gufa. This Gufa is located on the left bank of river Beas, around 5 kms away from the heart of Manali. It is linked with Arjuna, one of the Pandava brothers from Mahabharata, who meditated or performed his penance to acquire the Pashupata Ashtra or the weapon from the Lord Indra. That’s why the spot is named as Arjun Gufa and considered as one of the most interesting tourist spots in the whole of Manali.
Vashist Hot Water Spring
This place is around 6 kms away from Manali and it gives a pleasant view of the river Beas. It is famous for hot water springs, which come out of the granitic deposits and cover a huge part of the Himalayas. Huge number of people visit these hot springs every year to take a dip. One tank is also reserved over there especially for women of the locality. However, Vashist Hot Water Spring is a main source of water for several tourist destinations in and around Manali.
Due to huge population of Tibetan people settled in Kullu region, Tibetan Monasteries have been built up in Manali. The monasteries are very rich in maintaining the Tibetan’s culture. The literature and handicrafts of the Tibetans are kept in the monasteries. Also, the Lord Buddha statue is kept in the monastery. It is run by the locals who gather funds by donations. The main feature of this spot is Tibetans handicraft’s items and the carpets that are woven and sold in the monastery. So, this spot is known as one of the most famous Manali tourist attraction for tourists.
This is a very old village, also known as Koshtampi. It is eclipsed by the Kinner Kailash peak. Due to the gracious willows green fields, fascinating temple, fruit trees, make this village a lovely landscape for tourists. Many tourists visit here to worship Goddess Shuwang Chandika in the temple that is located over here.
So, if you are also thinking to take a long break from the drudgery of your daily life, just head towards Kullu & Manali & enjoy the gauzy natural beauty, fresh air, pleasant environment, beautiful lush greenery, and healthy climate that are waiting for keen travel explorers like you.
Published: 24 Jul, 2014