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Old Manali-The Real Manali

Be it the snow kissed conifers carpeted mountains or Mist-laden valleys, breath-taking journey or invigorating climate -the town has it all, Yes We are in Manali. This fairytale town will stupefy you with its dazzling kaleidoscopic visions of nature.

If you are a lover of tranquility and want to sit back and relax in the lap of nature, away from the heat and buzzing of urban life, then Old Manali is the best place for you to visit. The land of the honeymooners, Manali is located at the end of the Kullu Valley in North India . You can easily find anyone eulogizing the serene beauty of Manali, but the secret is that the real Manali can only be found in Old Manali.

Way to Old Manali: Located 3 kilometers uphill from high-sprinted city Manali, Old Manali is completely a contrast location. It is less crowded and tranquil in nature. The village has an exotic charm as it is surrounded by Apple orchards and the cool breeze blowing almost all the time gives you the feeling of absolute serenity that you get as you begin to discover this town. You can easily get transportation to move around the town in feasible price. Bollywood probably shows the best transformation of old Manali in various movies, but when I visited this place last year, it was much more than I had expected.

way to old manali
Way to old Manali


Historical importance: Every old place has its own quaint history, so as this place.‘Manali’ literally, means ‘the resting place of Manu’ a highly learned ancient sage who made Manali his abode after a big flood. In the town, the famous Manu Maharishi Temple stands exactly where it is believed the saint Manu meditated after surviving the disaster.

Johnson Lodge- Manali

My Stay: After a hectic but beautiful journey, watching the clouds playfully swirl around the snow-clad mountain, I reached here at 6 in the evening. Though Old Manali looks like a small place, you have everything you might need out there. There is no dearth of coffee shops and food joints, but finding a good hotel in old Manali can be a tough task so I decided to stay in Johnson Lodge, Manali. Though the price is high, the comfort and ambiance you get there are worth staying. The hotel has its best service, awesome food and the live music concert added more fun to your trip. Having nothing to do except enjoying my dinner and listening live music with no energy left, I went to my hotel room.  Thin layer of clouds began to mask the full moon, filling the room with blue light and I went to bed in mother nature’s store.

Market at Manali: Tucked away from the noisy Mall Road, there’s only one main road (Shops on both sides) in Old Manali. The chaos and mayhem of vendors and tourists in the market of Old Manali give you the touch of real India. You can witness many shops of woolens and summer clothes with bohemian vibes on both the sides of the alley. The street is full of shops containing chunky jewelry, Leather bags and tattoo and beauty parlors and massage centers out there.

The Mall Road in Manali is the heart of the town. Lined with countless shops, restaurants, and hotels, it is a good pastime for you if you want to meander around simply looking at things. The shopkeepers even give you an umbrella for free in case you stuck there in the merciless unwelcome rain only to return it back. Some travel guides also can be found on Mall road with exciting offers and travel packages.

The Café and food court in Manali:

If you are in Manali and u have not visited the cafes, then I would say the trip is incomplete. The true beauty of Old Manali is the innumerable cafes in the town. The cafes are small and sophisticated, but they give the proper ambiance of exotic nightlife to a Delhiet like me. Some of my favorite Café are:

Dylan’s Toasted & Roasted Coffee House:

It is the perfect place to have a morning breakfast. I love this place especially for their freshly baked cookies. The place has Small and cozy setup but you can spend hours sitting near the balcony and looking at the bustling road (must meet Mr. Raj if you visit the place).

Live concert at Johnson Lodge- Manali

The Drifter’s Café:

This place is considered to be the best for lunch and dinner in Old Manali. Though the Price is a bit high compared to nearby places, it provides you a great ambiance yet located far away from busy roads.

The Lazy Dog Café:

The best place to get lazy after a tiring day.The best part about this place is the natural river wave (miracle sound) which itself makes the cafe unique. Moreover, food is decent and it’s pocket-friendly.

lazy dog cafe

Another interesting activity one can indulge in here is trekking.

For me, it is a perfect place to garner some memories from mother nature’s store. The beauty of this town unravels a different story for everyone and surely can be one of your dream destinations. So guys, explore the true spirit of Himachal at Old Manali and come up with a list of things you would like to do out there and inspire others to explore our India.

Authored by Nidhi Gupta

Nidhi Gupta
Nidhi is a travel aficionado. Her passion for travelling is contagious and she love sharing her experiences. She love exploring new places, meeting new people, capturing the impeccable moments in her camera. With her writing, she aims to give an honest description of journey, lifestyle and culture of places in India. Keep reading her articles to know your own India better…. and yes! Keep travelling

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  1. hey.. nicely express. It reminds me our 3 day journey #travelfeels#Good old days#manali.
    keep writing.

    Helpfull for those who are planning to go there. As we explored most amazing places over there.

  2. Very nice description. Giving the real overview of Manali

  3. Very nice decription…although i hav not been there yet…bt after reading dis…planning to be thr soon…
    Keep writing…

  4. Very informative and interesting depiction of manali…true reflection of manali beauty

  5. Very well explained Nidhi, I have been there several times, It’s one of my most pick place for my summer vacation, The way you have explained all feeling like I’m right there 🙂
    Keep on writing 🙂

  6. Thanks Nidhi for sharing this article with us. The way you expressed is really awesome. After reading that, I think I should visit this place sometime.

  7. Nice description of old manali…. Keep writing dear

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