(Last Updated on : 05/10/2010)
Manali is one of the most beautiful hill stations located in the state of Himachal Pradesh
. This picturesque hill station is an administrative part of Kullu District
. Manali is situated at the northern end of the Kullu Valley. Manali offers a tremendous view of snow capped peaks and wooded slopes. Manali is also known as 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 considered as sacred by the Hindus. Further, Manali is also considered as a cosmopolitan hill station. Manali is of great significance to Indian culture and heritage as it is said to be the home of the Saptarshi, or Seven Sages.
History of Manali
Etymologically, Manali got its name from Manavalaya, which means the abode of Manu. As per the myth, Manu is the heavenly lawmaker and also the sole survivor of Mahajal Pralay - the Great deluge. He is the father of the mankind. The small town was the starting point of primitive trade route to Ladakh and then stretches further to the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin. History of Manali suggests that in ancient times, the valley was lightly populated by nomadic hunters. Shepherds also arrived from Kangra Valley and settled here. Further, history also reveals that some of the earliest dwellers of the region are Naur.
Geography of Manali
Manali has a strategic location. It is located approximately at 32 degree 16 minutes north and 77 degree 10 minutes east. It rises approximately to a height of 2625 metres or 8612 feet above the mean sea level. The climate of Manali is quite cold during the winter season and during the summer season it remains moderately cool. The temperatures vary from 4 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius throughout the year.
Demography of Manali
According to the Census report of 2001, the total population of Manali has been enumerated to be 6265. Out of which, male population constitutes around 64 percent and female population constitutes nearly 36 percent of the total population. The average literacy rate of Manali is around 74 percent. Male literacy rate of this hill station is as high as 80 percent whereas female literacy rate is near about 63 percent.
Tourism in Manali
This hill station offers several exploring options. Manali in Himachal Pradesh with its mountaineering institute is considered as a popular base for trekking and mountaineering in summer and skiing in winter season. Interesting routes into the surrounding valleys, over the high passes, are provided with tourist huts and rest houses for trekking enthusiasts. Some of the popular tourist spots in Manali are Hidimba Temple which is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar. Winding paths through forests and glades of whispering Deodars form the setting for the majestic wooden temple of Hidimba Devi. Another popular attraction is Jagatsukh, which is famous for its Shiva temple. Other major tourist spots are Arjun Gufa, Beas Kund and Rohtang Pass. Naggar Fort is one of the most significant tourist spots of Manali and it is a reminder from Pala Dynasty
. This fort is made from rocks, stones, and wood carvings and is known for elegant art works. Rahla waterfalls and Solang valley are other tourist interests. Solang Valley is also known as Snow Point.
How to Reach Manali
: The nearest airport is located at Bhuntar, which is 52-km from Manali. From Bhuntar one can take a taxi or a bus to reach Manali.
: The nearest railway station is 95-km from Kullu. The scenic beauty of Kullu while going to Manali can best be enjoyed on a bus or a taxi.
: The road to Manali passes through the picturesque valley of Kullu. Manali is well connected with other major cities of Himachal Pradesh through regular bus services.