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5 must-visits, must-eats and must-dos in Manali

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Manali, a beautiful hill retreat in Himachal Pradesh is a backpacker’s paradise and a popular honeymoon destination in India. Situated amidst the wilderness of the Pir Panjal and Dauladhar range of Himalayas, it is also an ultimate place to experience adventure sports and enjoy yummilicious food. Here is a comprehensive guide which will take you through Manali’s top 5 must visits, must eats and must dos.

Manali sees a convergence of tourists young and old alike, who come here to experience beauty, calmness and solitude. Keeping that in mind, we’ll take you through some of the must-visit places in Manali.


  1. Solang Valley: Fondly known as the snow point, Solang Valley is a well-known tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh. It is the epitome of adventure enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities such as zorbing, paragliding, skiing, etc.

  2. Rohtang Pass: It is a pass connecting the valleys of Kullu to the mountains of Lahaul and Spiti. An ideal place for trek lovers, Rohtang Pass captures the rawness of natural beauty with breathtaking views and magnificent mountain peaks.

  3. Hadimba Temple: Hadimba Temple is located amidst the serenity of nature. The temple is constructed to honour Hadimba, the wife of Bhima, one of the five Pandavas from the great epic of Mahabharata. It is also known as the Dhoongri Temple for being located inside the Dhoongri forest. The main attraction is the three day Hadimba Devi festival, which is said to attract devotees and tourists from all over the world.

  4. Vashist Hot Water Springs: This places lies 4 to 5 kilometers from Manali across the river Beas. The village of Vashist is famous for its sulphurous hot water springs which are said to possess medicinal properties and can cure various skin infections. You can also wander around the area which houses many other ancient temples.

  5. Old Manali: Old Manali is a must visit for all kinds of tourists. The exotic ambience exudes an old-world charm and hippie vibe. The idyllic village setting will make you feel as if you have walked into the sets of happy & hippie 1960’s. The mighty mountains and quaint eateries are amongst the many attractions here.

After all that adventure and exploration, you are sure to end up feeling hungry. It’s time to gratify your taste buds with some mouthwatering food offered at these top 5 eateries.

the-lazy-dogImage Credits:

  1. The Lazy Dog: This is undoubtedly one of the best places to enjoy some delightful food. Situated along the river, with a scenic view of mountains, it offers a refreshing range of mocktails and cocktails. You can order yourself a cocktail along with Trout fish in butter garlic sauce and enjoy the live performance on weekends.

  1. Johnson’s Cafe: Johnson’s Cafe serves 10 preparations of Himalayan river Trout. The best amongst them is the Trout curry served with steamed spinach and Himachali red sauce. They also have a terraced garden where you can enjoy delectable warm food during cold nights alongside live musical acts. Oh! And don’t forget the margaritas.

  1. La Plage: La Plage has captivating Himalayan views and delectable French food. The sparse décor and breezy outdoor seating is attractive and inviting. La Plage is known to serve some delicious non-vegetarian delicacies made by their expert chef. You can tantalise your palate with Trout Carpaccio or French Onion before proceeding with chicken with morel sauce.

  1. Rose Garden: As the name suggests, the restaurant has that musky and refreshing fragrance. The seating outside is mesmerising with elegant wooden furniture and iron benches. The food served here is mainly Italian. You can enjoy the wood fired pizza and end it with deliciously creamy textured tiramisu or the poire belle Helene.

  1. Drifter’s Cafe: Drifter’s cafe is a little slice of heaven. You can start off your day with piping hot coffee and a hale & hearty breakfast meal for a happier beginning to the day. As you shift towards the end of your exploration, Drifter’s Cafe will turn out to be the resting place. It has a laid-back ambience with vast selection of board games, low seating, and slow & soothing music which is perfect to sit back & relax.

Well, talking about Manali there are hundreds of amazing things to do here. Let’s start with the 5 must dos that you should try at least once.


  1. Zorbing: Ever thought that rolling down the hill inside a huge ball can be fun? Well, it is! Zorbing which takes place in Solang valley is an adventurous sport that will give you an adrenaline rush.

  2. Paragliding: Sailing the blue sky like a Himalayan Eagle is indeed a thrilling experience. Paragliding is just that! It is organised at Kullu and Solang valley. The best time to enjoy this activity is from May to October.

  3. Trekking: Manali has gained a reputation amongst trekkers. It offers some of the exciting trails that can be explored and very much enjoyed. The Hampta Pass and Rohtang Pass trek are two of the most popular trails. The trekking season starts in April and extends till October.

  4. Rafting: Rafting in Manali is rip-roaring and a fascinating experience. The icy cold water of river Beas will send shivers up your spine and the thrilling rapids will make for an unforgettable experience, one that you can brag about!

  5. Skiing: Skiing has emerged as one of the popular activities in Manali. Once again, Solang valley is a place to be if you want to ski. Skiing season starts from February and stretches till mid-April.

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Srishti is a writer by profession and a dreamer by choice. She loves experimenting with her space and her looks. Being an avid animal lover, she plans on being a part of Black Jaguar White Tiger Foundation in near future.

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