The fading winter means the onslaught of unbearable heat for many of us, but it also brings with it the perfect opportunity for travel to cooler climes – and as is often the case in India, that’s synonymous with a trip up north.
We are fortunate to soon count among our homestays a true hidden gem: Emerald Villa, Manali. The wooden cottage cuts a striking figure in Nalagarh, a marriage of comfort and regality – but of course, you might not want to be indoors at all given hours. With that in mind, here’s a few suggestions of activities and explorations in and around Manali!
- Roerich Art Gallery. Nicholas Roerich was a Russian painter and explorer who settled in Himachal Pradesh during the early 20th century; he was also dedicated to preserving art and architecture during times of war. His two-story house in the little town of Naggar is now a popular attraction featuring a collection of his popular works, including over 40 original paintings.
- Solang Valley, ideal for all you adventure fiends. Just 14 km away from Manali, Solang is a hotspot of activity during both winters and summer. If you find yourself here during snowy seasons, take advantage of the popular ski resorts that pepper the area to hone your skills; in warmer climes, test your adrenaline by parachuting, paragliding, or even zorbing!
- The village of Vashisht is just a quick skip from Manali, and is known for its eponymous temple, charming cafes and rich traditions. Its calling card, though, is the Vashisht Baths, the natural sulphur springs that spew steaming hot water in which you can take a dip. Peak season might find quite a crowd, but it’s worth at least one visit to bask in the naturally heated pools while external temperatures would otherwise have you shivering!
- Jogini Waterfalls, for mesmerizing views that will steal your heart. The waterfall merges into the mighty Beas downstream, cascading down from a height of about 150 meters and forming an idyllic pool at its base. The trek to the falls is considered one of the best short ones in the area, passing through narrow lanes, apple orchards, tall pines and murmuring streams. Shutterbugs, do not leave your cameras behind!
We could wax eloquent about all there is to do, see, and explore in Manali – and there’s no way this even scratches the surface. India’s bounty is on full display here, and it’s hard to do it justice. The thing is, you’ll just have to experience it yourself, while we provide you with the perfect home base.