Manali literally means the 'Home of Manu'. Manu is the mythological character who is supposed to have survived when the world was drowned in Flood. He then came to Manali and recreated human life. Thus, the area of Manali is sacred and Hindus treat the temples over here as pilgrimage.
The valley of gods, as the Kullu valley has come to be known, is perhaps the most delightful region in the western Himalayas. The ancient Hindus regarded it as the furthest limit of human habitation - Kulantapitha, and its original name finds mention in the epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata as well as Vishnu Purana.
Like a slender delicate-hued fern glistening in the morning dew, the valley spreads out its charm on either side of the upper reaches of the river Beas. Running north to south, the main river valley is only 80 km long and 2 km at its broadest, yet a fairly wide area is open to the visitors to enjoy the spectacle of variegated mountain scenery.
In the spring Kullu is at its most colorful with pink blossoms and white flowers while the higher slopes are aglow with gorgeous rhododendrons. With autumn, clear blue skies return and fields and forests alike show wonderful tints of crimson and ochre. By December, there is no greenery except the majestic pines and cedars in the forests. In winter the hillsides are flanked in white.
Situated on the banks of the Beas, Kullu, the headquarters of the district, serves as a nerve centre of the valley and is the starting place for a number of treks. The deodar-fringed grassy maidan, Dhalpur, is a stage for many colorful fairs.
Places to see in Manali
Two km from Kothi. Here the river Beas hurtles down from a height of about 50 meters. Charming spot for picnics.
Lush green alpine pastures and glaciers lie beyond Galiani Thatch. Musk deer, monal and brown bear are often spotted. For those who venture still further into the glacier zone in summer, there are herds of ibex.
Hadimba or Dhungiri temple in Manali is one of the most important temples in the region. This four-story wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar.
Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa
The old Manali area is located some 3-km from the present day Manali. The old Manali is covered with guesthouses, which look ancient now, and orchards where the livestock move at will.
Temple of Manu
Slippery stones paths lead through the old village houses up to the temple of Manu. Manali is named after the sage Manu who meditated when he came in this area.
Tibetans have a base in Manali too. There is a large modern Tibetan temple to the South of the bus stand and also a small handicrafts center.
On the left bank of the Beas, 5-km from Manali near the village of Prini, is the 'Arjun Gufa' or the cave of Arjuna. In here Arjuna practiced austerities to get Pashupata Ashtra or weapon from Lord Indra.
The Beas river rises near the crest of Rohtang from a block of Mica-Schist. The pass normally opens for traffic after mid-June and officially closes in November. To its left, 200 metres higher, is the little lake of Sarkund (Dashair) visited by a number of people, the general belief being that a bath in these waters effects a cure of all bodily ailments-real or imaginary. 10 km before Rohtang is the barren-landscape of Marhi which hums with activity during summer and autumn months because almost everyone stops here for refreshments.
Triloknath and Udeypur