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MANALI- a town in Himalayas that never disappoints anyone.

I’d prefer Old Manali to New Manali any day, it has its own charm. It has something or the other for everyone, from modern bustling shopping centers at Mall Road to calming blissful cafes with breathtaking lush green views of Old Manali, it just doesn’t disappoint anyone. Be it hikes in nature or a hot plate of Maggi, whatever you’re looking for, this town in the Himalayas covered it all. The River Manalsu runs through the town, where water makes a bubbling sound, as it hits big rocks and branches making every walk you take here pleasing to your ears as well.

On 16th August, I left Delhi on an overnight bus to Manali from Majnu Ka Tila, and I reached the Manali bus stop the next early morning, following which I took a taxi to my hostel Alt Life in Old Manali. The Alt Life Stay is a great option if you want to stay away from the noise of tourists of Manali, it’s located next to the Manalsu river, and is surrounded by apple orchards, you could actually pluck some fresh apples from the trees and satisfy your appetite and tastebuds. They have affordable dorm rooms, and private rooms as well, every room has a mesmerizing view of the river and clouds.

On 18th August, the rains lashed out the beautiful state of Himachal, and more than 500+ roads were damaged due to floods, and I knew I got stuck in Manali for the next one week. To be honest, I would say I was happily stranded there because now I could enjoy and observe more cloud patterns merging into each other and making new ones, it was sheer heaven for me, well hills have their own charm of monsoon right? A bit risky but heavenly. I remember I was buying some apple cider from a local shop and that shopkeeper told me how there has been a cloud burst, only 8 km away from Manali in Palchan, I got really scared as I could see how the flow of the river that was just behind my back has changed from calm to horrific.

I have shortlisted some things you must do in Manali.

  • Visit Hadimba Temple: Be a little touristy and do visit the Hadimba temple, locally known as Dhungri temple, dedicated to Hadimba Devi, a figure from Indian mythology Epic Mahābhārata. It’s surrounded by. Cedar, deodar, and pine trees, and the forest is also known as Dhungiri Van Vihar. You can stroll for around 2 km from Old Manali and reach here. I saw some locals holding fluffy cute rabbits, offering tourists to take pictures with them at very nominal prices.

  • Stay, Walk and experience Old Manali: Famous among Indian and Foreign backpackers, streets are surrounded by shops selling funky jewellery and hippie clothes. I find this banana-shaped lane super interesting as there are several artisan shops, selling and teaching macrame, wood carving, and other crafts. It’s also a great option if you want to just to relax, read a book or have a cup of coffee taking all the fresh breeze in.

  • Have a cup of Coffee and Chocolate filled cookies at the Dylans cafe. This cafe is famous and highly recommended as it serves one of the best coffee in the town. The cafe has quirky decor with Bob Dylan’s album art and posters hanging around on the walls, the whole vibe of the cafe will take you to the 70s.

• Have Banana Bread at the German cafe, which is located right on the riverside. Trust me that banana bread was the best thing I have ever had. The Maggi there was so great, they added broccoli and some other veggies into it, but I know how cliche does it sound. I always think what makes Maggi so special in hills? Is it the water from the hills or just the view of hills?

  • Get some funky hairstyles done: there are these small barber or hairstylist shops near the bridge that connects Old Manali to New Manali, where you can get cornrows or funky braids get done. You can even get dreadlocks or get your hair colored if you want to go a little extreme. Remember that you can’t undo your dreads, you’ll have to chop them off, do think twice if you want to get dreads, but it’s always fun to try new stuff right?

  • Go for walks and hikes in the forest and look out for tiny creatures and unseen mushrooms. I love this town for its nature and beauty, you can go on several, very random and unplanned walks and hike around the town and enjoy the huge pine and deodar trees. I personally spent a lot of time trail to Dungri temple, and the Van Vihar, where I found these amazing and unique red-colored tiny mushrooms growing on the ground beside the trees. Another hike recommended here would be to the famous Jogini falls, and if you want to go for a long trek, you can go for a 4-night long trek to Hampta pass or Prashar lake.

  • Visit Manu Devi Temple, Experience the village, talk to people and observe its old architecture on the way. I personally love to explore the culture and the way locals live, so I went for a walk uphill towards Manu temple when the sun came out after 6 days of pouring and found the village where locals and natives live, I met some women doing their regular house chores, men reading a newspaper in open under the sun and kids playing around. I also noticed some locals pet sheep’s there, how interesting right?


I hope this article motivates you to plan a trip to Manali. Thank you for reading and please feel free to contact me or comment below.

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