Manali during December is like a dream. With the view of picturesque snow capped mountains from all corners, we have our very own winter wonderland right here in India. I was a little skeptical about going to Manali in December, considering it is their “off season”, but now I can absolutely tell you that Manali is a MUST VISIT during December. Go ahead and add it on your bucket-list!!..
How To Reach Manali
Flight- Nearest Airport to Manali is the Kullu Manali Airport (Around 50 Kms From Manali). It is not the most preferred choice as the whether conditions are not very favourable.
Next closest preferred way is from Chandigarh Airport (Around 300 Kms from Manali)
You can take a Volvo Bus or Taxi from Chandigarh to Manali.
Delhi Airport has connectivity to all the major cities in India. (Around 500 kms from Manali)
Bus – There are many AC and Non AC Volvo’s travelling to Manali. Delhi to Manali is around 13 hours by bus. Chandigarh to Manali is about 9 hours. The government’s (HRTC & HPTDC) are good options.
Car/Taxi – You can also take a cab or drive down to Manali with an experienced driver but keep in mind you will be driving through the Ghats.
Getting Around In Manali
You can rent a bike, bullet, jeep or a car on a day basis. You can also commute by Rickshaw or Taxi
Clothes to carry
Layering is key in cold whether conditions. Carry your fitted thermals, basic sweater, fleece jacket, trench coat, fitted denim jeans, warm woolen scarf, gloves, woolen socks, beanie, boots.
(Base layer – inner layer, Middle layer – insulating layer, Outer layer – Shell Layer)
Even if you don’t wear all the layers at once it is better to carry them as you can peel off the layers if you are feeling too warm.
Places To Visit
Hadimba Temple – Hadimba temple was built in 1553. It is an ancient cave temple located in Old Manali. It has a unique architecture with a cone shaped roof and intricate carvings. Beautiful Cedar trees surround the temple.
Manali Mall Road – This vibrant shopping street is bustling with activity throughout the day. It is a great place to just walk around and it has a lot of restaurants, souvenir stores and street food.
Solang Valley – Solang Valley is the perfect place for adventure sports in December. You need to take the Manali-Leh road to reach Solang Valley. It is about 1 and a half hour drive
Cafe 1947 – Situated right by the Beas river, on Manali-Leh road, Cafe 1947 is a must visit. Although it is a little far from the city center, It has the perfect view of snow mountains and the river. Had some delicious hot food and they serve sheesha as well.
Gulaba Pass – Situated at an altitude of 4000m, Gulaba is 27 kms from Manali and 25 Kms from Rohtang Pass. Is was the maximum distance we had access to on the Leh-Manali Road in December. It is also considered as an alternative to Rohtang Pass during Winter time. Gulaba is around a 2hr drive from Manali. It is visual treat with snow clad mountains all around.
Explore Old Manali – Old Manali town has a lot of cute cafes and interesting artistic corners. It is peaceful and serene and has some fantastic hidden views and it is relatively lesser crowded compared to New Manali.
Places to Eat
Cafe 1947 – Had some amazing Pizza and Sheesha with a dreamy view.
Lazy Dog – Lazy dog is a well known Restaurant in Manali. Their English breakfast is a must try!
Chopsticks – Situated on Mall road, I had some really good Spinach Momos and American Chopsuey here.
Rockey’s Cafe – Had some amazing lemon tea and smoothie bowl at Rockey’s cafe and a special mention about the great view you get to enjoy when you dine here.