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Manali at altitude of 1,950 m (6,400 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. It is located about 250 km (160 mi) north of state capital, Shimla.

Manali with population of approx. 30,000 is administratively a part of the Kullu district. 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 Saptarishi, or Seven Sages

Geography

Manali is located at 32.2396 N, 77.1887 E, about 40 km (25 mi) north of Kullu town. The town ranges in elevation from 1,800 m (5,900 ft) to 2,000 m (6,600 ft) in the uppermost "Old Manali" section.

Demographics

Manali is a small town. People from different parts of India have settled here. As of 2001 India census,[1] Manali had a population of 6265. Males constituted 64% of the population and females 36%. Manali had an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy was 80%, and female literacy was 63%. In Manali, 9% of the population was under 6 years of age.

The 2011 census data for Manali town have not become available as on 2012-01-01.

Etymology

Manali is named after the Hindu lawgiver Manu. The word Manali is regarded as the changed name of "Manu-Alaya" which literally means "the abode of Manu". Legend has it that sage Manu stepped off his ark in Manali to recreate human life after a great flood had deluged the world. Manali is also often referred to as the "Valley of the Gods". The Old Manali village has an ancient temple dedicated to sage Manu.

History

In ancient times, the valley was sparsely populated by nomadic hunters known as 'rakshas'. The next arrivals were the shepherds who arrived from the Kangra Valley and settled to take up agriculture. Some of the earliest inhabitants of the region are the 'naur' or 'nar', which is a caste unique to the Kullu valley. Only a few naur families are known to exist now. A naur family in the village Soyal near Haripur on the west bank of Manali was famous for the vast land they owned and their practice of having 'rakshas' as their labourers.

The British introduced apple trees and trout, which were not native to Manali flora and fauna. It is said that when apple trees were first planted the fruits were so plentiful that often branches, unable to bear the weight, would collapse.To this day, apple—along with plum and pear—remains the best source of income for the majority of its inhabitants.

Tourism in Manali received a boost after the rise of militancy in Kashmir in the late 1980s. This once quiet village was transformed into a bustling town with many hotels and restaurants.

Transport

Air
The nearest airport (IATA code KUU) is at Bhuntar town, situated on NH21 about 50 km (31 mi) south of Manali and 10 km (6.2 mi) south of Kullu town. The airport is also known as Kullu-Manali airport and has more than a kilometre long runway. Indian Airlines and some private airlines have regular flights to the airport.
Chandigarh airport is the nearest large airport.

Road
Manali can be reached from Delhi by national highway NH 1 up to Chandigarh and from there by national highway NH21 that passes through Bilaspur, Sundernagar, Mandi and Kullu towns. The road distance from Delhi to Chandigarh is 248km and from Chandigarh to Manali is 273km; the total distance from Delhi to Manali thus is 521 km (324 mi).

Rail
Manali is not easily approachable by rail. The nearest broad gauge railheads are at Chandigarh (275 km (171 mi)), Pathankot (325 km (202 mi)) and Kalka (310 km (190 mi)). The nearest narrow gauge railhead is at Joginder Nagar (135 kilometres (84 mi)).

 

Naggar About 25 kilometers (16 miles) from Manali at an altitude of 1760 meters (5867 feet) lies the picturesque Naggar village, an erstwhile capital of the Rajas of Kullu for about 1400 years. Naggar is on the left bank of Beas River and opens up a vista of wooded slopes, waterfalls, quaint homesteads and the snow-covered Himalayan pinnacles in the backdrop. The area is dotted with ancient temples, not to mention the popular, 16th century Naggar Castle from Pal Dynasty. Built by Raja Sidh Singh, this imposing stone edifice served as the royal residence and latter as the state head quarters of the kingdom till the middle of the 17th century. Now, converted into a hotel by the tourism department, the castle commands a majestic view of the Kullu Valley. Within is a small wooden temple called Jagati Patt temple, a fine specimen of the architecture and design of the Pal Dynasty.

Once in Naggar, browse the beautiful Gauri Shankar temple built in the 11th and 12th century, believed to be the last great monument of the Gurjara-Pratihara traditions. Its architecture is a fine blend of Shikhara and Pagoda styles, with exquisite woodwork and stone carvings adorning the interiors. Further on, continue to the Roerich Art Gallery, displaying the works of Russian painter-cum-philosopher Nicholas Roerich. Set amidst well-manicured gardens, the former house of Roerich beautifully captures the essence and beauty of the Himalayas, just like the subtle strokes of his brush. There is a small room on the ground floor of the museum that displays paintings and sculptures by the artist. Pan through the collection, and you will notice the generous use of deep and bright colors, and his mythological fiber of the Himalayas. You will also come across a few old photographs of Roerich with Jawaharlal Nehru, along with his quotations and words of wisdom.

Within the premises of the Roerich estate is the Uruswati Himalayan Folk Art Museum housing a collection of local folk art and a gallery of Russian folk art. This includes a few paintings by Roerich and his Russian followers, besides an interesting assortment of Russian folk art, musical instruments, painted dishes, dolls, oil paintings, crystal figurines and stone carvings. The gallery dedicated to local folk art exhibits traditional costumes of Ladakh, Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti and Tibet, idols of Indian gods and goddesses, Pahari paintings, and wood carvings such as door frames. A tour of the museum and the art gallery gives you a glimpse into the life of Nicholas Roerich and the rich cultural heritage of Himachal.

If you are visiting in April, you would be just in time for the Naggar fair, when the local villagers gear up for festivities by putting up souvenir kiosks at an amphitheatre site. It is a great chance to pick up armloads of traditional handicraft, artifacts, shawls, stoles, socks and sarees. Adventure seekers also visit Naggar to enjoy paragliding, trekking, skiing and white-water rafting. There is plenty to explore, enjoy and take back from the little hamlet of Naggar where the grand Himalayan scenery merges with the brush strokes of the legendary Roerich.

Special Attributes Admire the fine and bold brush strokes of illustrious painter Nicholas Roerich at the Roerich Art Gallery.

Nuisance The site is very peaceful and free of irritants.


Dressing restrictions Dress is whatever you find comfortable.


Connectivity You can hire a private taxi to visit Naggar or use buses run by Himachal Pradesh Roadways.


Enjoyed by Families, Kids, Senior Citizens, Backpackers

Exposure You will be partly under open sky of Naggar and partly indoors. The temperature remains pleasant here in the summer months and can dip below freezing point in winter. At any time of the year, you are advised to carry at least light woolens. The sun could be harsh in afternoons, so bring along your sunshades and a sunscreen lotion.

Avoidable Season You can visit at any time of the year

Facilities You can buy some books on Roerich from the museum shop. You also also enjoy a host of adventure activities or set out on a photography expedition.


Things Not Allowed No such restriction.

Tip Begin early in the day as the hills darken by early evening. And you might miss out on some gorgeous views.

Type of site Countryside with a castle, lots of temples and a folk art museum-cum-art gallery.

Aapo Aap Shimla Homestay : Shimla homestays, Himachal homestays, Shimla B&B, Shimla bnb, Shimla bed and breakfast
On Spiritual parameters, Aapo Aap gives you total energy of facing the rising sun. In its south west, there is spiritual protection of Maa Tara Devi. The terrace, on which the meditation room is located, has beautiful unobstructed view which is ideally suited for Sadhna. The mediation room with its tapering conical roof lined with wood and having big glass windows on all sides makes it an ideal place for merging individual consciousness in Cosmic Consciousness.

"Aapo Aap" literally means "On Its Own" (Swatah-in Hindi). This name has been inspired by our Guruji's place known as "Dera Aapo Aap" ("Dera" means "Living Abode")

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