Located at the banks of the Beas River, Kullu valley is home to the picturesque towns of Kullu and Manali. Due to their close proximity, they are often considered as a single destination. The valley is known for its amazing hills and the various temples and sight-seeing locations attract a huge number of visitors each year. The Kullu valley is surrounded by deodar and pine forests and is located between the lower and the greater Himalayan ranges as well as the inner Himalayan ranges of the Pir Panjal. Kullu-manali is one of the topmost tourist places in Himachal Pradesh and is frequented by huge crowds of tourists and pilgrims. Here’s the list of the best places you must visit in Kullu-Manali.
1. Rohtang Pass
The high mountain pass of Rohtang lies at an altitude of 3,978 meters above sea level and located in the eastern hills of the Pir Panjal Range. The pass lies at a picturesque location with the rivers Beas and Chenab that lies to the southern and northern side of Rohtang Pass. Rohtang Pass is famous for its picturesque views of the valley and various hidden waterfalls. Rohtang Pass is a must visit on your trip Kullu-Manali.
2. Hadimba Temple
Situated atop a hillock the Hidimba Devi Temple is surrounded by thick deodar forests and was built in 1553. The temple is dedicated to the Rakshasa Hidimba who was also the wife of the Pandava Bhima. The temple structure is built in a distinctive architectural style that somewhat crosses Indian architecture with the one employed in the Buddhist monasteries. The structure is made primarily of wood and 70 meters from the temple also lays the temple dedicated to Ghatotkacha, the son of Bhima and Hidimba and a hero of the Mahabharatha war.
3. Vashist Hot Water Springs
The place lies at a distance of 4-5 kilometers from Manali and is situated across the Beas River. The village of Vashist is famous for its sulphurous Hot Water Springs and is a popular attraction among tourist and pilgrims. The springs can also be enjoyed in privacy at the Turkish-styles bath houses which are available here. The village is also famous for its stone temples which are dedicated to a local saint Vashishta.
4. Solang Valley
Solang valley is also known as the ‘Snow Point’ and is famous for hosting various winter adventure sports like skiing, parachuting and paragliding etc. The Solang Valley is located at an average altitude of 2,560 meters above sea level and is also one of the favorite trekking hotspots in the region. The views from the point are magnificent and give views to snow capped peaks and glaciers.
5. Basheshwar Mahadev Temple
Located at a distance of 15 kilometers from Kullu at a small village called Bajura, Bhasheswar Mahadev Temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity lord Shiva. The temple was constructed back in the 9th century AD and is famous for its intricate stone carvings and various small idols of the Hindu deities like Lord Vishnu, Ganesha, Durga and Laxmi.
6. Nehru Kund
Nehru Kund refers to a natural cold water spring that originates from the Brighu River. The springs are located 5 Kilometers from Manali on the national highway to Leh towards Keylong. The place is named after Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru who was said to drink from this very spring whenever he visited Manali. The place is a serene and beautiful picnic spot which is sure to refresh your senses.
7. Sultanpur Palace
Sultanpur Palace was formerly called as the Rupi Palace and is newly built on the remnants of the older which was damaged in an earthquake. The palace houses various wall paintings and its marvelous blend of Pahari style architecture and colonial style. The palace is the residence of the erstwhile Rulers of the Kullu valley.
8. Bijli Mahadev Temple
Located at an altitude of 2,460 meters above sea level, Bijli Mahadev Temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva. The temple is located across the Beas River and can be reached by a moderately easy trek. The name Bijli Mahadev refers to the 60 feet high lighting rod that is situated in the temple and is struck by lightning throughout the year.
9. Beas River
Beas River is often described as the Heart of Kullu valley and is known for its various camping spots and water sports. The river also marks the eastern border of Alexander the Great’s empire in 326 BC. The flow of the river is very fast and is not fit for swimming, but is the perfect for Rafting. The shores of the Beas are famous picnic spots and the best place to relax during the evenings.
10. Ma Sharvari Temple
Ma Sharvari Devi is one of the ancestral deities of the Kullu Kings and a manifestation of the Goddess Durga. The views encountered on the way to the temple are quiet picturesque and the temple itself provides some breath taking views of the entire valley. The best time to visit the temple is during the Hindu festival of Dussehra when the festivities are at their prime.