Manali is named after sage Manu. It is also know as " Valley of Gods". It is prime holiday destination today just 40km from Kullu. High mountains covered by snow, tall deodars, rippling water of River Beas, cool breeze, singing birds, wild flowers, fruit laden orchards,picturesque hamlets all that nature can give is here. It is 50km from Bhuntar Airport Kullu. It is 310 km form Chandigarh and 280 km from Shimla by road.
Solang valley is located around 14 kms from Manali and it is one of the best tourist attractions of Kullu Manali. This beautiful valley is famous for ski slopes and adventure activities or you can say it is an adventure hub of Manali. Beautiful view of Friendship peak is also available from the valley. This place is covered with snow during winters. You can enjoy skiing, paragliding, horse riding, zorbing, snow scooter, mountain biking and yak ride also in Solang Valley.
During winters after snowfall Solang Valley hosts State and National level winter sports. Near the ground there are few ski centres and one of them is managed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports. Short trek of Anjani Mahadev Temple is also starts for Solang Valley. Rope of Solang Valley also adds advantage to nature lover. For accommodation there are few cheap and budget hotels available in Solang Valley.
Often called India's Switzerland, the exquisite glade of Khajjiar (1960m) has a circumference of about 5 km. Along its fringes, thick forests of deodar climb the slopes, the snow-line rests above these woods. At Khajjiar there is a 12th century temple dedicated to KhajjI Nag. Within the temple are life size wooden images of the five Pandav brothers.
ACCESS : Khajjiar is connected by road and is 23 km from Dalhousie and 26 km from Chamba. It is 520 km from Delhi. The closest rail head is at Pathankot, 120 km. The airport at Gaggal in Kangra is at a distance of 180 km. Taxis and buses are available from all these places.
CLIMATE : In winter, the temperature hovers around freezing point with snowfall and heavy woollens are required. In summer, the climate is mild and light woollens / cottons are recommended.
Winter Carnival Manali is celebrated every year from 2nd to 6th January. The five days Carnival shows rich Himachali culture. After the blessings from Hadimba Temple, carnival kicks off with Jhankis from Hadimba Temple to Mall Road Manali in which various participants from all over India takes part. All Mahila Madals of Upper Kullu Valley also participate in this festival and make the atmosphere colorful by their woolen attire. Various food counters serves local dishes during carnival which are run by local ladies and NGO’s.
First Winter Carnival of Manali was inaugurated in 1977 by Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Late Dr. Y.S. Parmar. That time main motive behind Winter Carnival was to promote winter games in Manali and Shri Harnam Singh, founder of WHMI (currently known as Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports) was the man behind this. As a result of this, Solang Ski slopes produces lots of skiing champions every year which participate world wide and make us proud. Earlier the celebration dates of carnival was not fixed as it was connect with winter sports activities, but form few years it is celebrated every year on 2nd January.
The cultural events are organized at Manu Rang Shala (Ram Bagh) during carnival which attracts lots of Indian and foreigner tourists. These five days are full of musical and dance events, street shows, games and much more. Andcarnival concluded with Winter Queen Contest.
Carnival committee always tries to make this event world famous by improvising different ideas and activities. This year highlights of carnival was participation of local women in a dance form of Kullu called Lalharhi (Old dance form in which no musical instruments are played only performed on songs).
Hopefully these types of events will keep alive our rich culture.
For any information regarding Winter Carnival Manali, one can contact below:
Executive Officer, Manali District Kullu, Himachal Pradesh Ph. 01902-252363.