Owning an Indian passport is not a novelty. There are only about 60 countries you can travel without a visa or visa on arrival. It is frustrating because India is the second-most popular market for Instagram, and when everyone around the world is posting beautiful travel pictures on Instagram, we think India being such a large market is lagging.
But there is a place in India which seems to be a country on its own.
Surely the gods live here, this is no place for men, were the words described by the famous English journalist and author, Sir Rudyard Kipling.
Not as if we know what heaven feels like, but it must surely be like this. You don’t attain salvation after the seventh realm, you attain Manali. Yes, Manali it is. Nestled at an altitude of somewhere about 2000 meters in the state of Himachal Pradesh amidst lush green Deodar trees, it is a hidden gem. The snow-capped mountains and the lush green trees remain silent but observe each tourist of their desires and purpose of the visit, therefore, conveying the message to the omnipotent presence. Hence, the on-arrival Visa is granted, but the visitors are not aware of it.
A magical location in the Indian Himalayas exuding freshness and a vibe of divinity, after all, it is situated near Kullu valley, the valley which is often referred to as the ‘Valley of Gods’.
Instead of a destination, Manali has become a notion interpreted in many ways, some of which are – The drugs and hippie capital of India, a major holiday and drive destination of North India, some strongly boast about the breathtaking natural beauty being the hallmark of this valley, the part of high Himalayan mountains which hold the last snow ranges of the region, a place with thick forests amidst beautiful foliage and flowers and the gastronomical capital of Himachal Pradesh.
The things you can do in Manali:
Adventure Sports- Mountaineering, trekking, rock- climbing, mountain biking, river rafting, bouldering, camping. People from around the world come to Manali for such sporting activities.
Food- Manali is well known for its variegated cuisine, it is the gastronomical capital of Himachal Pradesh. From cozy cafes to themed restaurants, the local food freshly cooked in the guest homes and Israeli shacks with Hebrew written on its entry, you can find the most exotic dishes to savor.
The secret parties- only if you are lucky enough, you would manage to uncover groups that host wicked parties in the mountainous region. And, once you are invited, you will remember the party forever.
Hindu Temples- there are significant temples, each holding its importance and they are sure not to be missed out on. Some of them are, Hidimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple, and Vashisth Temple.
Manali is a hidden gem in India which you can’t afford to miss. For queries related to travelling or different adventures in and around Manali, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jayant Jayneel is a wanderer by soul and a writer by heart. He had read Robinson Crusoe when he was ten in 1999, and did his first trek in 2000, Sitlakhet/Ranikhet circuit. Since then he has been on foot, mostly in the Indian Himalayas looking for stories. A Bachelor of Arts graduate in Tourism & Hospitality management from Raffles College, Singapore. He has completed 24 treks and has been to 12 countries, and has also dived in the middle of Atlantic Ocean, just for the thrill. He has worked with the best adventure travel company of India – Snow Leopard Adventures and Himalayan Caravan Adventure in Old Manali leading groups and promoting outdoor education. He has worked in the field of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality building and motivating dynamic teams focused on accurately administering company programs through writing content, copy and conceptualizing ideas. Jayant has also worked with Decathlon Sports India in their mountain sports brand – Quechua