Manali (alt. 1,950 m or 6,398 ft), in the Beas River valley, is an important hill station in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, India, near the northern end of the Kullu Valley.
Manali is administratively a part of the Kullu district, with population of approx. 30,000. The small town was the beginning of an ancient trade route to Ladakh and, from there, over the Karakoram Pass on to Yarkand and Khotan in the Tarim Basin.
Manali and the surrounding area is of great significance to Indian culture and heritage as it is said to be the home of the Saptarshi, or Seven
To be found 40 kms. Away from Kulu to the north, Manali is positioned close to the end of the valley on the nationalized Highway going to Leh. The landscape here is breath takingingly beautiful and the people thronging this place are completely mesmerized by the attractions and magnificence of this alluring hilly track. One sees distinct and sharp snow capped peaks; the Beas River with its fast flowing clear water wanders through the various towns. On the other side are enticing deodar and pine trees, small fields and fruit orchards. It is an outstanding and an exceptional place for a vacation who gives priority to tranquility. In addition it is a preferred and much loved resort for trekkers to Lahaul, Kinnaur, Spiti, Leh and Zanskar areas in Kashmir valley. It is identified as the SWITZERLAND OF INDIA.
Positioned on the national highway that leads to Leh, Manali is also the doorway to the distant and deserted valleys of Lahaul and Spiti. As per to Hindu fable, it was named after the sage Manu when he guided a boat of survivors to safety point here during a devastating flood. In current times, the city was first explored by the hippies of the 70s and 80s. Later, in the 90s, domestic sightseeing to Manali got a boost due to the terrorism in Kashmir. It trapped the attention of the people and was soon a genuine town full of life and enthusiasm, finally growing far ahead of its actual village size. It has now become a major tourist attraction for the people all over the country and the world.