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With a backdrop of breathtaking snow-capped mountains in the winters, lush green hills in the summer and colorful little houses and cafes, Manali looks and feels like a little town plucked out of Europe and transplanted to northern India. Enjoy trekking, hiking, rafting and biking - you'll never want to leave.
Tucked away in the Manikaran and Vashisht villages are rejuvenating, natural hot sulphur baths. Book a spa day to unwind and de-stress.
Connecting Manali to Ladakh and Leh, the Rohtang Pass is full of winter sporting opportunities, like skiing, paragliding and trekking the snow-covered trails.
Battle the icy, refreshing waters of the River Beas on your own white water raft adventure. The best time is in June.
For a change of pace, hang around in Old Manali and let its charming cafes, tattoo parlors and live outdoor music have its way with you.
The Hadimba Temple, with its wooden doorway, three-tier pagoda-style roof and intricate, hand-carved figures of gods, animals and dancers on its outside walls, is worth a visit.
Manali is cold in the winters while summers are warmer but still retain a touch of coolness. Temperatures are typical of the north: lows of 39°F and highs of 68°F.
Travelers arrive at Bhuntar airport in Kullu, which is 31 miles from Manali. Use a prepaid taxi for ₹2,200-₹2,300 from companies like Innova or Tavera.
Though there are no direct trains getting in to Manali, you can travel from cities like Delhi to the nearest stops like Chandigarh or Kalka and take a bus for the rest of the journey in to Manali.
Manali is well-connected to other major cities. From Delhi, for example, use a combination of the NH44, NH205 and then the NH154 to arrive.
Book a Volvo bus passage online from the RedBus company from Delhi to Manali for anywhere between ₹925 to ₹1,200.
The best accommodation in Manali is The Himalayan. If you're looking for comfort and moderate prices, Snow Valley Resorts is a great option. For budget stays, check out Hotel Shandela.
Kasaul - Right by the flowing Parvati River is the quaint little village of Kasaul, whose large, shady trees, interesting vintage shops and eclectic cafes will help you embrace a slower pace of life.
Old Manali - The "old town", as it's known, is a haven for youthful "hippies" and long-term travel "nomads". Expect lots of beaded jewelry shops, tattoo parlors and vegan cafes playing Bob Dylan tunes.
Vashist - About 1.5 miles north of Manali is Vashisht, which overlooks the formidable Beas River. The pace is quieter, which is perfect for its hot sulphur baths.
Bus services in Manali are cheap but service is infrequent. Service starts at 7 a.m. and trip fares vary based on destination between ₹10 and ₹40.
Most travelers use prepaid taxis that they can hire for the duration of their trip or even for the day. Rates start at ₹1800/day or a discounted price of ₹3000 when you book for three days.
If you're going to get a self-drive rental car, there are plenty of options from companies like ZoomCar. Rates start at ₹60 per hour.
Visit the Manali Market for a selection of funky souvenirs as well as more functional items like woolen shawls, clothing and local wooden crafts.
A quart of milk costs ₹45 and eggs cost ₹60.
If you've worked up an appetite, why not dig into a South Indian fare when in the north? Check out Madras mess, a mess-style eatery offering unlimited meals for ₹80.