Manali is located at an altitude of about 6500 ft. above mean sea level and is one of the main tourist towns of Kullu valley. It is a place inhabited by innocent village folks who continue with their traditional rites and rituals in spite of the sweeping waves of modernization. To the modern day visitors, Manali conjures up images of evergreen pine groves, snow capped mountains, whispering forests, cascading water falls and the swift flowing waters of perennial Beas.
According to the Puranas there existed seven Manus and the first of them being Swayambhuva was self- born. The other six others that followed the foremost Adi Manu were known as : Svarocica, Auttmi, Tamasa, Raivata, Caksusa and Vaivasvata. The creation of the world is attributed to the Adi Manu who after having created all moving and stationery beings, ruled over them; likewise each of the succeeding Manus held sway over their respective eras. It is popularly believed that in order to overcome the Pralaya, Vaivasvata Manu accompanied by the Sapta Rishis set sail in a boat. Guided by the divine light, they landed on the sacred soil of the Himalayas. This place is believed to be Manali, hence the name which is a distortion of Manualaya, the home of Manu. Rightfully therefore the one and only standing temple dedicated to Vaivasvata Manu is at Manali.
The original Manali is now a big village situated across the Manalsu river, a major tributary of Beas. It is about 2 Km’s. from to-days bustling Manali. About five decades ago this Manali was an insignificant hamlet comprising a cluster of few shops, houses, a Civil Rest House, a two room Primary School, the Mission Hospital and the mansard roofed Jungli Kothi, now known as Govt. Circuit House. Pandit Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India used to stay in this building during his visits to Manali. Panditji’s sojourns in Manali were instrumental in attracting tourists and nature loving people of the world to this nature’s paradise.
Manali is an epitome of what nature can offer to mankind. It has every thing to offer to its visitors in commensurate with their tastes, temperaments and needs. It is a trekker’s paradise; here in the presence of pristine nature honeymooners experience an unparalleled bonding with each other; the unspoilt environment and the salubrious weather suits each and every one.
There are a number of soul-stirring Holy Places in and around Manali; Hadimba Temple, Manu Temple at old Manali, Vashishtha Rishi Temple, Shiv Temple, Tibetan Monasteries and a Gurudwara in Manali, are just a few of the places that calm the unquiet spirit.
The sulphur hot water springs at Vashishat and Kalath are endowed with great healing powers. Tourists visiting Manali can hike, trek and drive to the famous 13500 ft. Rohtang Pass which remains covered with Snow even during summers. Another tourist attraction and picnic point, situated amidst billowing meadows encircled by silver oak and spruce trees, is Solang Nallah. It is famous for its skiing slopes and offers opportunity for horse riding, paragliding and joy rides on snow scooters. During the Carnival this place will be the centre for winter sports competition which will showcase the talents of skiers who have done India proud in many international events.