Once called the "end of the habitable world," Manali is an important hill station of northern India and is the destination of thousands of tourists every year. Its cool atmosphereprovides a perfect haven for the ones afflicted by the hot Indian summers. Besides offering quite a few places for sightseeing, Manali is also famous for adventure sports like skiing, hiking, mountaineering, paragliding, rafting, trekking, kayaking, and mountain biking. In brief, Manali-the veritable "valley of the Gods"-is an ideal place for the ones in search of both adventure and comfort. The Kulluis in brightly patterned puttoos, Tibetan women wearing ankle-length rainbow-striped pinafores, Nepali porters, Buddhist monks, and even the odd party of Zanskaris, swathed in fusty woolen gonchas, muddled together with souvenir-hunting Indian and Western tourists-all add up to the welcoming hubbub of Manali.
Manali has a pre-historic legend behind its name. Vaivasvata, the seventh incarnation of Manu, the first creation according to Hindu mythology, found a tiny fish in his bathing water. The fish told him to look after it with devotion, for one day it would do him a great service. The seventh Manu cared for the fish until it grew so huge that he released it into the sea. Before departing, the fish warned Manu of an impending deluge when the entire world would be submerged and bade him to build a seaworthy ark. When the flood came, Matsya (fish), the first avatar of Lord Vishnu, towed Vaivasvata and the Seven Sages to safety. As the waters subsided, the seventh Manu's ark came to rest on a hillside and the place was named Manali after him.
Best Time to Visit
The very well-known hill station of Manali is charming all around the year. While summers bring respite from the heated plains of the country, the winters cover the place with a sheet of white snow, making it all the more stunning. One can partake in sightseeing and adventure sports like river rafting, paragliding, zip lining and zorbing in summers, the winters are ideal for enjoying snowfall and snow sports in Manali. It is advisable to avoid the rainy season (July-August) because of landslides.
From September to February, the temperatures might go down to minus 1 degree Celsius and the weather is amazingly cold. In December and January, the place is entirely covered in snow. It is time for snow sports like skiing, snow scooter ride etc. March to June are summer months where the temperature is pleasant, varying between 10 degree C to 25 degree C. During this time, sightseeing, adventure activities at Solang Valley and Rohtang Pass (closed in winter months due to snow on roads) are a must.