Manali with its unspoilt scenic grandeur is extremely popular with the tourists, for a lavish display of natural scenery. It is one of the principal show places of the Kullu region. To its North, South and West are an ostentation of pinnacles and ridges which, in fine weather, stand out in bold relief against skyline. At the lower elevation and in every direction there are vivid green patches of grassland and evergreen valleys ascending in irregular formation present probably the best view in the country. Manali is situated at an altitude of 1,926 meters and spreads in 12.5 square km. It is the real starting point of an ancient trade route. The original name of this particular area was ‘Dana’. Later it became ‘Duff-Dunbar’ named, presumably, after one of the original European residents of Manali. This part of the Manali is entirely separate from the original village of that name which is located beyond the Manalsu river, higher up the valley and the inhabitants of which prefer to retain their secluded identity.
According to legend, the place where Manali is situated, the great Hindu Lawgiver ‘Manu’, after the great deluge, first stepped on to earth from the celestial boat at a place in this land. The particular spot where he established his abode was the present Manali which is regarded as the changed name of ‘Manu-Alaya’, the home of Manu. It is believed that it was here that the human race came into being after the deluge. A small temple dedicated to Manu still exists in Manali village.
The nearest airport to Manali is Bhunter at 50 km. distance. Indian Airlines kingfisher and other airlines operate flights, on the Delhi-Chandigarh-Kullu and Delhi-Shimla-Kullu sectors. The convenient railway links to Manali is broad gauge upto Chandigarh, Una and Pathankot and narrow gauge at Kalka-Shimla and Jogindernagar. Manali is connected with direct bus services from all cities of Himachal, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The distance from Manali to Shimla is 280 km., Chandigarh 312 km., Delhi 358 km., Pathankot 326 km., Dharamshala 253 km., Udaipur (in Lahaul-Spiti) 166 km., Keylong 104 km. and Kaza 244 km.
Places of Interest