Manali is Situated at the northen end of the Kullu Valley, Manali has spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and wooded slopes. The Beas rushes along its rocky course amid grassy meadows carpeted with wild flowers and wagtails hop along from stone to stone along the stream's edge. There are marvellous walks too, through dappled orchards and fairy-tale forests of deodar.
The Manali market is crowded with myriads of interesting shops selling Tibetan carpets and crafts and the appetizing aroma of steaming noodles hangs about the little restaurants. Manali, with its Mountaineering Institute, is a popular base for trekking and mountaineering in summer and skiing in winter. Interesting routes into the surrounding valleys, over the high passes, are provided with tourist huts and rest houses for trekking enthusiasts.
The surrounding mountain scenery lures tourists to Manali year-round. Domestic tourists come here for honeymoons and mountain views while foreigners come for adventure sports or, more commonly, to hang out in the hippie villages around the main town. Until the 1960s there was nothing here but a few old stone houses and temples, but modern Manali is crammed with concrete hotels and the town is in severe need of some town planning - stay in the villages of Vashisht or Old Manali for a more peaceful mood. This is also the main jumping-off point for Ladakh, Spiti and Lahaul, with daily buses to Leh, Keylong and Kaza from approximately June to October. Many tourists are also lured here by the famous Manali charas (marijuana) but be warned - local police are more than happy to arrest people for possession or sting them for bribes. According to legend, Manu, the Hindu equivalent of Noah, alighted his boat here to re-create human life after floods destroyed the world.