An ancient town near Kullu valley, Manali is a popular tourist destination and is often called the 'Switzerland of India'. Travellers, adventure tourists and honeymooners can find some fabulous places to visit in Manali during their tour. This region has some of the most enchanting landscapes that feature snow-capped peaks, beautiful mountains, Beas River and thick forests. It is also considered as a sacred place, and is visited by plenty of Hindu pilgrims every year. According to the local traditions, Manali has been named after a mythological character called Manu, who survived when the world drowned in flood. Shopping centres at various places in this region are also of great benefit to the ones who are looking for some excellent places to shop for their favorite items. As the Himalayan handicrafts of Manali are famous among tourists, many of them buy prayer wheels, masks, musical instruments and jewellery.
Manali has several attractions for tourists in the form of temples and fascinating natural surroundings. The Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa, located in the Tibetan area of Manali is worth visiting for travellers. It has a mid-size Buddhist statue and brightly coloured frescoes that would be of great interest for visitors. Those who are in search of places that are of historical significance can visit the Hidimba Devi Temple. It is located at a distance of about 2.5 kilometres from tourist office, and sits amidst a deodar forest. A big festival is held in the month of May in this temple complex. Another interesting part of Manali tourism is Nehru Kund, which is a natural spring of cold and clear water. The first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, used to drink water from this spring during his stay in this region. Vashishtha village, on the left bank of Beas River has hot springs with separate bathing tanks for men and women. Rohtang Pass is another famous attraction of Manali, which provides a spectacular view of peaks, glaciers and Chandra river. Rahala water falls, Solang valley, Arjun cave, Manu temple and Tibetan monasteries are among the other popular attractions in Manali.
Summers in Manali are very pleasant, while the winters are very cold with frequent snowfall. Best time to visit this region would be between the months of May and October. The period from December to February is ideal for people who want to enjoy skiing in this part of the world. Picturesque hamlets, small fields of wild flowers and fruit orchards of this region are also considered as great tourist attractions by travellers. A popular event called 'Winter Carnival' is held in February, which gives a chance for adventure seekers to have a great skiing experience. An expensive sport called Heli-skiing can also be enjoyed around this time of the year. Bhuntar Airport is the nearest for people arriving by air. Nearest railway station for the ones travelling by trains would be Joginder Nagar. Motorable roads connect Manali to some of the major places like Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Haridwar and Shimla, which offers great convenience for people travelling by road.