Someone has aptly said that mountains call you again and again. When you get to see a mammoth-like, ice-laden, multi-faceted mountain for the first time, you are left dumbfounded and humdrum of the daily life takes a backseat. On my very first visit to a hill station, I had the similar experience and I knew I would not be able to get over the mesmerizing sceneries that it presented. So, I kept going to hills, coming back to mundane life, longing for them and then going back again. My Kullu Manali tour was one such attempt to run away from the turbulence of city and have some peace of mind. It was the month of April and my hometown Delhi was already under a scorching heat wave. Though the best time to visit Kullu Manali is winter(between October and February), we just wanted to have a short trip to a place that was still cooler. So, we booked a 4-night, 5-day tour to Kullu Manali tour package through an online portal that provides holiday packages across Indian and global destinations. As per itinerary mailed to us, Chandigarh Airport was going to be our pick-up point. This airport serves the union territory Chandigarh, and states of Punjab, and Haryana. The plane took about an hour to transport us from Delhi to Chandigarh Airport where our tour driver was waiting to take us to Kullu. Our drive from the airport to Kullu was no teeny-weeny and it took us about 7 hours to cover 290 kilometres.
Beas running parallel to our journey
Kullu Manali Temperature
The temperature here can range anywhere from 10°C to 26°C in summers and -15°C to 12°C in the winter season. We visited in April and at that time, it averaged between 20°C and 35°C.
Best Time to Visit Kullu Manali
Winter (October-February) is the best time to visit Kullu Manali. For snow lovers, December, January, and February can be ideal months. The summers could be a bit disappointing for snow-lovers.
Located at a distance of about 10 kilometres from Bhuntar Airport, Kullu is one of the most sought-after hill stations in India. A part of Kullu Valley and crossed by the voluminous Beas River, this hilly region is steeped with apple orchards and lush green deodar trees. Once in Kullu, we were dropped to our hotel situated in Bhuntar-Kullu Road, Shamshi. We refreshed, had food and went out to visit Jagatipatt and Raghunathji Temples. Jagatipatt is a serene temple made in wood. In its background, you can always see snow clad mountains.
View at Kullu Hotel
Top Places to Visit in Kullu
For those looking for satisfying spiritual pangs, there is a multitude of monasteries all over Kullu. Dhakpo Shedrupling, Dechen Choekhor Mahahavira, and Tabo are some of the famous names.
Great Himalayan National Park
If you are looking for long treks and car drives amidst the serene Himalayas, this would be the best place. Go for it of you ample time, around 2-3 days. All along, you will see ice-capped peaks and nature in its calming best.
Manali is situated towards the northern end of Kullu Valley and is a part of Kullu district. Kullu to Manali is approximately a two-hour drive and takes about 40 minutes to reach there. Our hotel was at Aleo, Nagar Road on Kullu Manali Highway. We spend the day strolling around in Manali Market known for its pashmina shawls, jackets and other souvenirs.
Top Places to Visit in Manali
Those visiting Manali make it a point to visit this religious place located near Parvati River. Known for its hot thermal springs that are known to have healing properties, Manikaran carries immense importance for Sikhs and Hindus. At Gurudwara, you can have the tasty langar and hot tea served as “prasad”. In its hot springs, you can see rice and dal are being cooked and later served at langar.
Food being boiled over hot water springs
Known for Vashisht and Ram temples and hot streams, this village can be reached by half an hour walk from Manali. You can also take an auto to reach here. The idyllic street here sells woollen clothes and antique jewellery.
Devotees in Vashisht Temple
No tour of Manali is complete without its fascinating sceneries that Solang Valley has. Situated at about 14 kilometres from Manali, this tourist attraction has everything that one can hope for: snow-clad peaks, paragliding, trekking, parachuting, skating, ropeway, and zorbing. While being driven up there, we met shopkeepers selling us winter jackets and shoes on rent.
Pony Ride to Solang
Him Valley Fun and Food Entertainment
Located on Rohtang Road, near Manali Mall Road, is Him Valley. It could be one of the best things to do in Kullu Manali. There is no limit to the activities that you can do here. Watch dance shows from different Indian states, have fun at magic shows and on swings, enjoy rides in cars and boats, and have food in the traditional restaurant where you are served food in Himachal Pradesh style.
Fun at Him Valley
A must-see for adventure lovers, Rohtang is a famous high mountain pass located at about 50 kilometres from Manali. Due to extremely low temperatures in winters, the pass is closed for tourists. It remains open from May to November for motor vehicles. The pass offers dozens of thrilling activities for its visitors: skiing, gondola riding, camping and paragliding.
Things to do in Kullu Manali
For those looking for adrenaline-driven adventure, paragliding is quintessential to Kullu Manali tour. The cost may range anywhere between Rs. 600 to 5000, depending on the time you are in the air. Before booking, make sure to do the bargaining for the price.
Paragliding at Manali
Rafting in the exuberant waters of Beas River in Kullu is a thrilling experience. The distance covered during rafting could be anywhere between 7 and 14 kilometres. Rafting could cost you an average of Rs. 1000 per person.
There is no dearth of treks that you can opt for in Kullu and Manali. Malana, Hampta Pass, Deo Tibba and Beas Kund are some of the popular ones in Kullu Manali. Trekking on the difficult Dhauladhar ranges can be challenging. Malana, you get to climb over Deo Tibba and Chandrakhani peaks. For the first time trekkers, it could be even more adventurous.