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About Manali

The name Manali is derived from Manu-Ali which means 'Manu's doorway'. This is named after the Sage Manu who lived here as per indian mythology. In ancient times, the valley was very sparsely populated by mythological nomadic hunters known as 'rakshas'. The place was next inhabited by shepherds who were said to arrive from the Kangra Valley who settled here to take up agriculture.

When talking about inhanitants of the vallyer, some of the earliest inhabitants of the region are the 'naur' or 'nar', which is a caste unique to the Kullu valley. Now only a few naur families are known to exist. A naur family in the village Soyal near Haripur on the west bank of Manali was famous for the vast land they owned and their practice of having 'rakshas' as their laborers.

Manali is also well know for apples but interestingly apple trees and trout were not native flora and fauna of Manali. It was introuduced by the British in the valley. Initially the land suited well to apple tree growth. It is said that the fruits were so plentiful, branches often broke and collapsed due to weight of the fruits. Apple, plum and pear are the best source of income for the majority of inhabitants of kullu manali.

Climate in Manali

The climate of Manali is towards colder side all year round. It is serverly cold during winters, and moderately cool during summers. The temperatures range from 4°C (39°F) to 30°C (86°F) over the year. The average temperature during summer is between 14°C (57°F) and 20°C (68°F), and between -7 °C (19.4 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F) in the winter.

Monthly precipitation varies between 24 mm (0.94 in) in November to 415 mm (16.3 in) in July. In average, some 45 mm (1.8 in) of precipitation is received during winter and spring months, increasing to some 115 mm (4.5 in) in summer as the monsoon approaches. The average total annual precipitation is 1,520 mm (60 in). Snowfall in the region, which usually took place in the month of December, has been delayed over the last fifteen years to January or early February.

How to Reach Manali

By bus

Manali is approximately 550 km from Delhi, the Indian Capital. The roads of Manali are well connected by Delhi, Shimla, Dharamsala and Leh. Bus services are available from Delhi to Manali. Tickets and reservations can be made at the Inter State Bus Terminus as well as at the Himachal Tourism office on Safdar Hashmi Marg near Mandi House in New Delhi. It takes approximately 14 hours to reach Manali fro Delhi where as Ambala to Manali is a 10 hours journey by road. Kulu to Manali is 1.5 to 3 hours. Volvo buses normally depart at around 5PM from Delhi and reach Manali at 09-10 AM next day. These buses are the best option in terms of comfort and value for money to reach Manali but you need to book these in advance. Various Hotels and Package providers book your volvo along with their packages.

By private taxi

If you are hiring a private taxi, then make sure that driver is experienced enough to drive in hilly region and should not have habbit of drinking alcohol. The roads in the hills of manali are so tricky that an experienced driver who is coming to manali for the first time will face the problems in driving there.

By train

The nearest Broad Gauge Rail Head is Ambala Cantt(200 km) or Chandigarh (250 km) from New Delhi. Ambala Cantt lies on the Delhi - Amritsar and Delhi - Jammu main lines and is well served by rail, but you will need to travel to Ambala to get a bus for the 10 hour ride to Manali. Jogindernagar and Kalka are other rail heads for Manali but are less preferable. The nearest Broad gauge station is Kiratpur Sahib in punjab near the city of Nangal. It lies in Ropar district of Punjab. The station lies on the Ambala Cantt - Una route of Indian Railways. From here you can easily get buses for Manali.

By plane

The nearest airport is Bhuntar ( Kullu ) Airport which is approx. 50 km from Manali and 10 km from Kullu. Indian Airlines and Kingfisher airlines operate flights to Kullu from Delhi and Chandigarh to reach Bhuntar Airport. From the airport the best option to go to Manali is by Pre Paid taxi which is easily available there.

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