Kullu: Nestled in the Himalayas, Kullu is a valley gifted with nature’s charm and scenic beauty. Splashing rivers, water streams and lofty mountains with finest of slopes make it a place perfect for tourists. It has numerous temples and is therefore, called the “Valley of Gods”. Celebration of Dussehra is in itself a prime attraction of the valley attracting many tourists every year.
Gayatri Temple: Located at Jagatsukh, around 7 km away from Manali is the Gayatri temple. It houses a marble image of Goddess Gayatri. The intricate woodwork of this ancient temple is worth admiring. Some other ancient temples are also located near this exquisite monument. One of them is the shikara style Shiva temple, which is worth a visit.
Hadimba Temple: Also known as the Dhundri temple is a temple made out of wood and stone. Constructed in 1553, the Hadimba Temple was built in honour of Goddess Hadimba, the wife of Bhim from the Mahabharata. The walls of the temple are covered with woodcarvings and on the month of May each year, animal sacrifices are carried out here for the three day Dhungri Mela.
Hanogi Mata Temple: Located on the Mandi-Manali National Highway, Hanogi Mata Temple is a popular temple attraction. Dedicated to Hango Mata, this Hindu temple is visited by devotees all the year round. Located atop a small peak, green mountains serve as a backdrop for the temple and a gleaming stream flowing below makes this temple a stunning attraction.
Jagannathi Devi Temple or Bekhli Temple: The sacred abode of Jagannathi devi, this temple is believed to have been constructed 1500 years ago. The deity in the temple is also known as Bhuweneshawari, who is considered as the sister of Lord Vishnu. The walls of the temple are carved with the images of Durga and the temple as such reflects the local architecture. The temple is perched at an altitude of 1800 meter and the 90 minutes ascend to the top is rewarded with the panoramic views of the surroundings and the holy darshan of the gorgeous deity. The idols in the shrine show Rajasthani and Gaddi tribal influences. Buddhist Monasteries: Since a lot of Tibetans live in Manali there are many beautiful Buddhist monasteries here. A few of the popular ones are the Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa Monastery, which is famous for medium size statue of Lord Buddha and multi coloured wall paintings. The other popular monastery is the Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa, which is popular for a large statue of Buddha with a golden face.
Rohtang Pass: Situated at an altitude of 13,050 feet above sea level, Rohtang Pass is the highest point on the Manali-Keylong road connecting Kullu Manali with Spiti and Lahaul. The pass is only open from May to November, since snowfall during the winters blocks this pass. This pass is a popular picnic spot in summer. All tourists going to Manali long to visit this imposing site since one can sense and tap the snow even in the hottest season of the year. The pass presents a striking sight of glaciers, mountains and the landscape. A gateway to the adjoining tourist destinations, this scenic spot provides excellent opportunities for trekking. It is also the ‘Highest Jeepable Road in the World’ and offers spectacular views of the Himalayas.
Solang Valley: Situated 13 km northwest of Manali, between Beas Kund and Solang village is the gorgeous Solang valley, particularly a pictorial spot presenting awesome scenery of snow-clad mountains and glaciers. Also known as Snow Point is famous for its 300 m ski lift. The valley is reachable by taxi or trekking is another option. The place is also well known for adventurous sports whether summer sports or winter sports. Parachuting, skating/skiing, zorbing and paragliding are some of the famous sports played here. To enjoy to the maximum, it is best to visit Solang Valley during the months of January and February, when this spot becomes busy with activities. This fabulous place is also the centre of the annual winter skiing festival. Besides, the valley also holds a shrine of Lord Shiva on the top of a hill.
Old Manali: Located 2.5 km above the Mall, Old Manali still maintains that feel of a mountain village and has many old wood and stone homes. Apart from that, there is also the Manu Maharishi Temple which is dedicated to Manu, the founder of Manali.
Nehru Kund: Located on the Manali-Keylong road, the Nehru Kund is a fresh water spring. Named after India’s first Prime Minister, Jawahalal Nehru, it is believed that he used to drink from this stream whenever he visited Manali.
Katrain: Located at an altitude of 1463 meters above sea level and around 20 km from the city of Kullu, Katrain is the centre of the Kullu valley and is known for its apple orchards and trout hatcheries.
Naggar: Located on the banks of the River Beas, this former capital of Kullu is famous for a large number of temples, most of them dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Tripura Sundari and Lord Krishna. Naggar is also famous for the Roerich Art Gallery, which houses the paintings of Nicholas Roerich as well as his sculptures.
Kasol: Located at an altitude of 1640 meters above sea level, Kasol is known for its scenic beauty. With wide open clearings which slope down to wide expanses of clear white sands at the Parvati River.
Manikaran: Located at a distance of 45 km from Kullu, Manikaran is famous for its hot springs and is also an important religious destination for Hindus and Sikhs. The hot water springs here are so hot that the heat from the water is used to cook food.
Vashisht Baths: Located 3 km north of Manali, Vashisht is a satellite town of Manali and is very popular among tourists, locals and foreigners alike. While Indian tourists usually come here to bathe in the hot springs and visit the temples, foreign tourists come here for the relaxed atmosphere and cheaper accommodation. Over here you will find many stone and wooden houses with beautiful carvings.
Beas Kund (Chandratal Lake): A historic place, where it is believed that Sage Vyas had performed his daily bath, Beas Kund is regarded as sacred by the Hindus. The originating point of the Majestic River Beas, Beas Kund is sheltered by an igloo like stone formation. A typical rocky terrain, this place is devoid of vegetation and is only reachable through trekking. Apart from its religious importance, Beas Kund offers tremendous defying activities like trekking and camping for adventurous enthusiasts. The region has one of the most alluring treks in the Kullu region, which can be tried by anyone. While in Beas Kund it is very easy to climb the nearby located Shitidhar, Friendship, Ladakhi and Hanuman Tibba peaks.
Chandrakhani Pass: Chandrakhani Pass is located in the Parbati valley that joins Malana Valley to Kullu Valley. An ideal base for trekking, the pass is known for its scenic beauty. Chandrakhani is 3600m above sea level and offers scenic trekking trails. Just below the Chandrakhani pass, trekkers can stop over at the small village of Malana which is a cluster of stone roof houses.
Pandoh Dam: Around 10 kms from Manali lies this vast expanse of man-made beauty. Pandoh dam is a power generator hydro-electric dam, built on river Beas. The lake is the reservoir of the dam and has five bays that regulate the water. At a height of 76 m, the dam is earth cum rock filled and is part of the Bhakra Beas Management Board. This dam is en-route to Manali from Kullu and tourists can stop over here to capture a few glimpses of this magnanimous beauty in their cameras. Great Himalayan National Park: Also known as Jawahar Lal Nehru Great Himalayan National Park, is an ideal place for wildlife buffs. Located amidst the spectacular natural vista, the park is home to some of the most elusive and endangered species of animals. Sprawling on an area of 50 sq km, there are around 180 species of bird and mammals that tourists can sight here. Some of the most popular animals, tourist can look forward to sights include musk deer, brown bears, Himalayan Tahr, Ibex, black bears and rare species of snow leopard. The best way to explore the park is by taking up a five-day trek that is organized by the park authorities. Park rangers accompany the tourists. Hence safety is not a concern. The arrangements can be made at the Sai Ropa Tourist Center, located 5 Kms before Gushaini.