Have you ever watched the series “Walking The Himalayas”? It is an amazing series that documents Levison Wood’s journey as he explores the length of the Himalayas by walking. It was truly mind-blowing. Unfortunately, in my quest to travel the world and balance work & home life, it is not possible to accomplish those kind of journeys – at least not yet 😉
However, as you may have noticed in my earlier posts, we did find time to take short breaks in the Himalayas. During these short trips, we did manage to go on walks – about 1 to 2 hours long each. Looking back, these were amazing experiences. In this series, I would like to highlight some of these walks and how we went about enjoying them.
In my post: https://wanderingtalestraveldreams.com/2017/11/24/traveling-along-the-beas-river-in-himachal-india/, I outlined the itinerary we followed when we explored Himachal following the Beas river. One of our stops was Manali. We reached there around 11pm but because of the darkness, we really had no idea of the surroundings when we checked in. We woke up the next morning around 5 am and our jaws literally dropped when we saw the views surrounding us (the only other time this has happened to me was when I saw the Taj Mahal at Sunrise). Spectacular snow capped mountains all around us with beautiful streams joining together to become the Beas River.
Three short walks near Manali
(1) Along the Beas River (Early morning – about 1 1/2 hours)
The kids were still fast asleep, so a couple of us stepped out and went for a walk (kids were being monitored by the grandparents). We walked along the road (Leh – Manali Highway) beside the Beas river and noticed a couple of locals along the river. Watching them, we also stepped on the stones and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Since we followed the main road, it was a relatively easy walk with gentle inclines (just be mindful of the light traffic on the road). Time spent depends completely on time available! You will be able to enjoy and soak in the beautiful fresh air and fresh water energy!
(2) Solang Valley (Mid-morning – about 1 hour)
It is a favourite place to try different types of sports. While there are some difficult trekking options available as well, you can take advantage of the trails in Solang to walk for a reasonable length to enjoy the surroundings. In our case, we went during spring time and were enamoured by the streams everywhere… we just focused our attention on the gentle streams all around during our walk.
Important: When you go near streams, please be very careful. The ground is often very muddy and soft and the boundaries and depth of water are often not clear. You have to extremely careful, especially with kids.
(3) Hidimba Temple and Surrounding Area (Late afternoon – about 1 hour)
Do not miss visiting this temple. Beautiful temple, beautiful surroundings. The tall trees all around let you soak in amazing ancient tree energy (yes, there is such a thing even though I was not aware of the concept at that time). It is a very calm location and walking in the surrounding areas is a pleasure. It is a simple, short walk but definitely worth taking time out for.
As you may have guessed, the walks described above are not very aggressive. The point is, when you see the views from your hotel, you may be tempted to just chill and enjoy (and often the resorts are designed that way) or just drive around for specific sightseeing (like snow point, Vashishta Mandir, etc). While those are definitely great options, walking around the surrounding areas will really rejuvenate you… trust me. Luckily, you don’t have to be an ardent trekker to enjoy these walks in the Himalayas either. The elevation around Manali is about 6000 ft to 7000 ft – so breathing is not an issue. As for the timing, plan according to the weather conditions during your visit. So, bottomline, if you are visiting Manali, do go for a walk … you will not regret it!