This blog post includes a detailed Five Day Manali Trip Itinerary. In case you are planning a Manali vacation, the Five Day Manali Trip Itinerary will help you choose the best areas to stay in Manali, places to eat, sightseeing, adventure sports and some insider tips to plan your budget trip.
Manali for me was a last minute plan. We pretty much went through a list of weekend destinations from Delhi. Looked for available transportation and narrowed down to Manali. My Five Day Manali Trip Itinerary hence will include some improvisations along with quick tips on how to cover the most in the least expense possible.
Few Things You Must Note About Manali:
- The Best Place to book your stay is in Old Manali. Do not book your stay in the Vashisht area.
- You need 3-4 days to cover sightseeing in and around Manali
- Carry your walking shoes. Traffic is a nightmare in the city. Walking is the only way to see the tourist spots.
When we planned our impromptu trip to Manali, we did not do any kind of research. It was pretty much a surprise holiday spot for us. So, in case you are planning a well planned and well-researched trip to Manali, this blog post will help you ease the process of planning.
Five Day Manali Trip Itinerary:
We covered Rohtang, Kullu and Manali in our five-day plan. You can also include Solang and Kasol/Manikaran within the five days. Manali as a city is completely walkable from one end to another. Though not on the same day, however from one point you can walk your way to every single destination.
Day 1 Manali Trip Itinerary:
- Van Vihar
- Tibetan Monastery
- Cafe Hopping in Old Manali
Day 2 Manali Trip Itinerary:
- Rohtang Full Day Tour
- Adventure Sports in Rohtang
Day 3 Manali Trip Itinerary:
- Solang Valley/ Kullu Adventure Sports for Family
- Kasol/Manikaran Hot Springs (optional, you might need to plan an overnight stay to see everything here)
Day 4 Manali Trip Itinerary:
- Hidimba Temple + Ghatotkach Tree Temple
- Naggar Castle (optional, can be clubbed with Kullu Tour)
Day 5 Manali Trip Itinerary:
- Manu Temple
- Vashisht Temple
- Jogini Falls Trek
Things that are not included in the Five Day Manali Trip Itinerary:
- Biking Trails and Advanced Treks + other adventure sports
- Sightseeing in Kullu and Solang Valley
- Camping ideas
- Hotel and Stay Recommendations
On Day 1:
Depending upon your time of arrival, do local sightseeing. The best place to start your Manali Trip is in Van Vihar. It is located in the heart of Manali. A nice place to soak in nature among the tall deodar trees. You will easily see a drop in temperature the minute you walk in here. In case you are visiting Manali in the hotter months, this one is a must visit during hot afternoons.
This Tibetan Monastery is one of the oldest structures in Manali. Given the high occupancy of Tibetan population in the Kullu and Manali belt, one can see various monasteries all around Manali. There are three important Tibetan Monasteries in Manali – The Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa, Himalayan Nyingamapa Temple and one more at Aleo on the left bank of Beas River.
The Gadhan Thekchoking Gompa is situated near the Mall in Manali. The monastery is run by the local people who gather funds through donations. The Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa is situated near the marketplace in Manali. The architecture of this monastery replicates a more modern style than the earlier one. – Source, Trawell
Cafe Hopping in Old Manali
I have written a detailed post on where to eat in Manali. You will find various cuisines to try out. From Italian to the Mediterranean, Israeli and more, there is a ton of options to choose from. You can’t possibly visit every single one of the cafes. There are far too many. But after a long day of sightseeing, this is the place to unwind, in the Old Manali area.
On Day 2:
Rohtang Full Day Tour
I would suggest you book your Rohtang trip at the earliest. If you are doing the bookings online, then that’s pretty straightforward. In case, you wish to do bookings from Manali, try getting the tickets on Day 1 itself. Almost every soul who comes to Manali goes for a Rohtang tour, and tickets run out real fast.
Adventure Sports in Rohtang
In the month of June, what I saw in Rohtang that caught my eye was Paragliding in Marhi. It is a difficult activity, not recommended for the faint-hearted. But if you are adventure-inclined, then you must research on it. If you wish to do the adventure sports, you might need to book your own private transport as public buses do not stop for adventure activities.
On Day 3:
Solang Valley/ Kullu Adventure Sports for Family
Most of the adventure activities happen in the first half of the day. Start early by booking a private taxi the previous day. Charges for Kullu or a trip to Solang Valley cost anywhere between INR 1500-2500 depending upon the season you travel. For the month of June, Kullu trip cost INR 2000, and Solang Valley trip cost INR 1800.
Kasol/Manikaran Hot Springs
Manali to Kasol is a three-hour drive. Kasol in itself is a weekend getaway of sorts. You have hot springs, gurudwara, temples, and a whole lot of trekking options. If you can manage a one night stay, you can cover these places in good time. We did not opt for Kasol as we were travelling from Gurgaon. I thought it can easily be another weekend getaway for us.
Instead, we opted for a day out in Kullu to do some adventure activities.
On Day 4:
Hidimba Temple + Ghatotkach Tree Temple
At a walking distance from Old Manali area, lies the famous Hidimba temple and Ghtotkach tree. The temple is surrounded by cedar forests also known as Dhungiri Van Vihar. Take some time out to enjoy the place. You can even come here with a picnic basket and enjoy an afternoon.
The Hadimba devi temple was built in 1553 AD by Maharaja Bahadur Singh.The temple is built around a cave where Devi Hidimba performed meditation. Hidimbi was supposed to have lived there with her brother Hidimb, but not much is known about their parents. Born into a Rakshasa family, Hidimba vowed to marry one who would defeat her brother Hidimb, who was supposed to be very brave and fearless. During the Pandava’s exile, when they visited Manali; Bhima, one of the five Pandavas, killed Hidimb. Thereafter, Hidimba married Bhima and gave birth to their son Ghatotkacha. – Source, Wikipedia
While at Hidimba temple, check out the Mela if it’s going on. You can do the giant wheel ride which will give you a stunning view of the Manali landscapes.
Naggar is an ancient town in the Kullu district. It used to be the capital of Kullu kingdom once upon a time. In 1978, the castle was converted into a rest house and subsequently a heritage hotel run by HPTDC. You can club your Naggar castle tour along with Kullu tour. Note: Taxis charge extra INR 300-1000 just to do this tour.
While you are visiting Naggar Castle, stop by the Roerich Estate. Home to 20th-century Russian painter and explorer Nicholas Roerich, this two-floor house is now a museum and key attraction of the town featuring a collection of his popular paintings.
On Day 5:
Located on the other end of Manali on the Vashishtha route, Manu Temple is a must visit. While the temple on its own is like any other temple, the walking pathway through the old resident houses and cafes of Manali is what brings about the charm.
Fun Fact: Manali is named after the Sanatan Hindu lawgiver Manu. The name Manali is regarded as the derivative of ‘Manu-Alaya’ which literally means ‘the abode of Manu’.
Guru Vashisht who was sole Guru and teacher of Ram and Laxman. The place was once the home residence of the Vashisht clan. You can see the natural hot springs outside this temple. Although it is now heavily used by local residents for their daily chores.
Jogini Falls Trek
The reason why I’ve included Jogini falls trek right after Vashisht Temple is because the road for the trek starts from this temple. It is roughly 45 mins trek uphill which takes you to a stunning view of Manali from the top. While there are quite a few other treks in the area, this is one which is quite popular and is doable by all age groups.
Did I miss anything important in the Five Day Manali Trip Itinerary? Let me know in the comments if you have come across something worthwhile to be included in this list.