Manali, at the northern end of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh, is a hill station situated at a height of 2050m (6398 ft) in the Himalayas. Situated on the Beas river (Vyaas in Hindi) and near its source. The snow-covered landscapes of Manali grab the attention of local and foreign tourists, making it an apt choice for those who want to see snow or indulge in snow adventure sports. It is located at a distance of 540 km from the national capital, Delhi and only 250 km from the state capital, Shimla. Old Manali is a serene, tranquil place, whose lingering silence is broken only by the twittering of the birds and the sound of the roaring waters of the Kullu river.
History of Manali
The existence of Manali can be traced back to the folklore of Mahabharata. The name ‘Manali’ literally means the abode of Manu drived from the word “Manu-Alaya. Manali was the hometown of the Brahmin lawgiver Manu and the town is named after him. Legend has it, that one day, the seventh incarnation of Manu found a tiny fish, who told him to take care of him as he would do him a great service one day. The fish grew and grew to such an extent that Manu had to finally release the fish in sea.
Before it left, Matsya warned Manu about an upcoming flood that would submerge everything before it. It foretold that the only chance for survival of his family and the Saptrishis, was for him to build an ark worthy enough to carry them and outlast the flood. When the flood finally came, Matsya towed the ark to safety. As the water slowly receded, the ark came to rest on a hill side which manu made his abode.
Modern Manali history began with the advent of the British. The British developed the land as a sanctuary from the oppressive heat of the plains during summer. They planted apple and released trouts in the rivers of Manali. Manali was part of the princely state of Mandi, which merged with India in 1948.