Manali, the hallowed home of the gods, is one of the most popular winter destinations for holidaymakers and hikers. Manali’s seductive bounty of towering evergreen flora, majestic snow-capped mountains, and trickling river streams are incentive enough to plan a trip there. Throughout the year, explorers flock to Manali, where they are awaited by expansive campsites, a bewitching Manali trek, breathtaking landscapes, and an endless list of places to visit. And planning a trip to Manali during the winter is the icing on the cake, thanks to the plethora of opportunities and activities available as the snow hits the ground.
The ideal time to visit Manali is between December and March when the city is covered in snow. This is the season when adventure collides with Manali’s captivating white beauty. A must-see for all adventurers, this destination offers not only hiking but also biking, paragliding, a diversity of winter sports, and let’s not forget the jeep safari. Tourists flock from all over the nation to witness Manali’s mesmerizing milieu, where serenity and magnificent grandeur coexist. Manali treks, which take place at a height of roughly 2,000 meters, put you to the test on multiple levels. Many notable Himalayan hikes, including the Beas Kund Trek, Bhrigu Lake, and trek to the Chandratal Lake, commence in the Manali region.
So put on your winter gear and embark on some of the finest Manali treks.
1. Lamadugh Trek
This Manali trek commences at the well-known ancient temple attributed to the sage Manu and concludes at Lamadugh. This medieval temple is dedicated to philosopher Manu, who is acknowledged as the first man on earth and the creator of the Manu Smriti, an ancient Sanskrit literature, according to Hindu mythology. Brace for a difficult ascent as you pass through dense cedarwood and pine trees. You’ll experience incredible views of Manali and the upper Kullu valley along the way. Peaks such as Indrasan and Deo Tibba, as well as the Bara Shigri glacier, can also be spotted. Once you arrive at Lamadugh, you will be surrounded by scenery that is as gorgeous as a masterpiece. This is where the snow-covered lush green plateau is flanked by high snowy peaks.
2. Jogini Waterfalls
This three-kilometer short hike is deemed one of the greatest Manali treks. Beginning from Vashisht Temple, it should take around 30 minutes to reach the ultimate location. This journey, which begins at an elevation of roughly 6700 feet, is suitable for novices. The Jogini waterfall in Manali, on the northern outskirts of Vashisht hamlet, cascades down from a height of 150 feet, creating a pool of water at its foot. The stream then travels down to Kullu Valley, where it joins the Beas River. The sheer beauty of the waterfall and the natural landscape is enough to make one ecstatic.
3. Beas Kund Trek
This is a well-known winter Manali trek location that leads to the famed Beas River. Along this journey, you’ll come across some of the most captivating visual grandeur, comprising of snow-capped mountains, meadows, and a gurgling river. Hiking to the Beas Kund is the finest way for adventurers to appreciate the best trek route. This trek’s complexity spans from simple to contemporary, making it an ideal antidote for the wanderlust of explorers. This hiking path begins in Solang Valley and passes into Manali’s alpine mountains. Did you know that this emerald kund splits into tributaries with cascading waterfalls all the way to the scorching Beas river? Everyone is drawn to this trek because of the large snowy mountains that loom over you, the beauty of the meadows, and the lake.
4. Hampta Pass Trek
The Himachal Pradesh’s Hampta Pass is one such site that is a fantastic hiking nirvana for all trekking enthusiasts. The Hampta Pass trekking trail traverses across the Manali region’s mountainous terrain before arriving at Chatru near Chandratal Lake. Walk by breathtaking vistas of snow-capped mountains with undulating ridges and an endless expanse of greenery cloaked in a haze. The trek takes roughly 4 days to complete and ranges in complexity from moderate to simple. This lovely Manali hike culminates at Chandratal Lake, which has the shape of a crescent moon and is hence a popular tourist attraction. The lake is a prominent tourist spot in the Lahaul Spiti province, and it is a great present for both vacationers and explorers.
5. Deo Tibba Trek
This trek begins in Khanol, a 1.5-hour drive from Manali. Roam through lush green pine, spruce, oak, and silver birch woodlands nestled against a stunning backdrop. As per Hindu mythology, the gods reside on the dome-shaped summit of Deo Tibba. As a result, the names Deo and Tibba were coined, with Deo meaning “Deity” and Tibba signifying “hill.” From his seat on the Indrasen Peak, Lord Indra, the King of Heaven and Gods, has a meeting with them here. The Deo Tibba Trek is a fantastic way to see the highlights of Kullu and Manali mountaineering. This path is a must-do for both first-time hikers and seasoned trekkers.
A Packing Check-list
1. Trekking Shoes
Trekking shoes that are robust, have good grip, have ankle support, and can withstand snow are essential for Manali treks. Many travel websites that organize the entire trip also lease trekking shoes.
2. Appropriate Backpacks
A 30-40 litre backpack is required for Manali Treks. Check that your backpack has appropriate hip and shoulder comfort, as well as rapid-access compartments. Backpacks from Wildcraft, Decathlon, and Adventure Worx are typically decent. While Wildcraft provides more pricey backpacks, the other two manufacturers have more affordable options.
3. Appropriate Clothes
In the mountains, it’s all about layering. Layers provide the best weather protection. And, as the temperature in the mountains changes (which happens every few hours), you remove or add clothing as needed.
Snow blindness can be avoided by wearing sunglasses. You’re in a tundra zone on a Manali trek like Beas Kund where there’s snow all year round. Imagine walking through a lot of snow. Snow blindness can be caused by a brief overexposure to pure sunlight on snow (approximately a half-hour exposure). This is because falling snow acts as a million screens, reflecting direct UV radiation. As a result, you’ll require UV-protective eyewear.
On a Manali hike, you’ll be dealing with a lot of snow. To hold something or keep your balance in the snow, you’ll need gloves. The gloves should help keep you warm. Purchase synthetic hand gloves with a cushioned lining on the inside and waterproofing on the outside. Wear a snug-fitting wool hand glove inside a synthetic hand glove if you find the combo difficult to acquire (which is unlikely). This journey requires the use of safety gloves.
Winter hikes may be challenging due to two factors: first, snow-covered terrain, and second, frigid temperatures. Winter treks in Manali are a fantastic opportunity to get a sense of the raw environment and ambiance of the area. With this comprehensive guide to Manali treks, we hope you get the most out of your winter adventure.