Day 1: Local Sightseeing with a dash of Adventure
There are a lot of tourist places in Manali and frankly what to fit in during a 2-day itinerary is a big deal. Don’t worry I got you covered here. Check my short itinerary below. I didn’t include Rohtang Pass in the itinerary since it was closed in February.
I was pretty exhausted with my overnight travel. Although the travel wasn’t uncomfortable I just didn’t get enough sleep. I knew a hot water shower and some good coffee could do the trick for me.
After a quick breakfast consisting of pahadi parantha – chole and coffee I made my way out to explore Manali. Here’s a transcript:
Day 1: Short Itinerary
|Attraction||How To Reach||Cost|
|Hidimba Devi Temple||Auto, Walking, bike ride to Old Manali||INR 10-30|
|Solang Valley||Take a shared cab from Manali Bus Stand. Buses are also there.
Keep away from taking a personal vehicle since the drive could be dangerous. Distance: 14km
|INR 200 per head|
|Vasisht Temple||Again a shared cab or private transport can be used||INR 100 – 200|
|Jogini Falls||You can trek to Jogini Falls from Vashisht Temple||NA|
Day 1: Detailed Itinerary
Hidimba Devi Temple: A taste of ancient architecture
I started my day by giving a visit to this architectural marvel, built in 1553 on a single rock, believed to have been found deep down from the Earth’s core. It doesn’t get much better than visiting an ancient cave temple surrounded by oaks, cedars, and apple trees. A very good place to do some bird photography or just sit back and soak yourself in the calmness.
The early morning walk in Van Vihar under the dense canopy is what I will cherish forever. You can easily spend an hour here and not feel time pass. The early you go the better the chance to avoid the crowd to have a peaceful time. The temple opens by 8 AM and closes at 6 PM.
Solang Valley: For the thrill seeker and nature lover in you
If you love snow and you are in Manali there’s no better place to enjoy it than Solang Valley. Contrary to the popular belief that it is only a place for adventure seekers it’s also a quiet place for nature lovers to find a vantage spot and see the entire valley below.
I had heard a lot of negative reviews about Solang valley aimed at its commercial nature. However, I thought I would visit this on my own and judge it. So after coming back from the temple I made my way to Manali Bus Stand and took a shared cab to Solang valley which cost me INR 200. The ride was 1 hour long.
Adventure Sports at Solang Valley
True to what I heard I found a lot of garbage. However once I took the rope way to the top the experience changed. There was enough snow this time around and adventure sports of all sorts – paragliding, skiing, ATV rides, skating, zorbing, to name a few were available. The thrill seeker in you can be thoroughly satisfied here.
The view up here was spellbinding too. The peaks of Himalayan ranges all staggered together as clouds float around them. You can sit here and soak in this peaceful embrace of the universe. Just make sure that you have warm clothes and come down by the last ropeway ride at 6 PM. The best time to visit Solang Valley for adventure sports is between November to February when the snow is at its best.
You can either take lunch back in Old Manali or have it on the other side of the ropeway where a lot of restaurants have opened up. A meal can cost you around INR 200-300. A good way to save money here is to carry some bread with Nutella and satisfy yourself with a quick snack.
Vashisht: India’s oldest natural hot water bath
Hot water springs are not common in Himalayas. And it just so happens that one of these is quickly accessible from Manali. The entire area has rich Sulfur deposits that is possible for this geographical phenomenon. The benefits of taking baths are immense, if done regularly.
After returning from Solang Valley I made my way to this well known tourist hotspot. The afternoon sun had begun to dip by the time I reached here. A therapeutic hot water bath was definitely on my list. Don’t expect a lot of cleanliness since the same bath is used by a lot of people. The water can be hot to begin with but your body gets used once inside. Proper changing rooms with clean cold running water is also available at the bath.
Jogini Waterfalls: Enchanting Pine forests that remind you of Narnia
A small 2 km trek starts off right from Vashisht that takes you through rich Pine forests to Jogini Waterfalls. A quick 20 minute walk will get you there. The trek is very easy and can be done with a good pair of shoes. The trail is well marked.
At the start of the trek you will cross few huts inhabited by locals. A perfect village backdrop where people can be seen managing their stock and grains. As you proceed further the views change as you find yourself in a thick Pine forest. Nature lovers are perfectly at home. Photography/ videography enthusiasts as well as artists can be seen perfecting their skills here.
As you reach the waterfall you can not stop but amaze at the size of it as the water emerges between rock faces and gushes down into nothingness. Take photos and spend some peaceful time here but start before evening as you can lose the path, once it gets dark.
Dinner at Cafe Nirvana
By now I was tired and dined at Cafe Nirvana on Manu temple Road in Old Manali. Since I had saved money from my lunch I decided to have a good sumptuous meal with burgers, fries and coke. The cafe was budget friendly as I spent just around 200 INR on it.
Time to go back to the hosteller and crash for the night.
So here’s the important information in a glance, that I used for my stay:
|Stay Options||The Hosteller.|
|Average Cost||INR 300 – 1500 per day per bed|
|Website Links||The Hosteller Manali|
|Important Tip||Keep your valuables locked in the locker available at the hostel.
Socialise with other hostellers and plan trips.
Drop a comment below with your queries and I will get back to you.
Click on below links to read my complete itinerary to Manali (from Delhi) under INR 4k.
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