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Manali is a high-altitude Himalayan resort town in India’s northern Himachal Pradesh state. It has a reputation as a backpacking center and honeymoon destination. Set on the Beas River, it’s a gateway for skiing in the Solang Valley and trekking in Parvati Valley. It's also a jumping-off point for paragliding, rafting and mountaineering in the Pir Panjal mountains, home to 4,000m-high Rohtang Pass.
Manali at a height of 6,398 ft, in the Beas River valley, is a popular hill station in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh. Its 40 Kms. away from Kulu to the north and situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. The landscape here is breathtaking. One sees well defined snow capped peaks, the Beas river with its clear water meanders through the town. On the other side are deodar and pine trees, tiny fields and fruit orchards.
Manali is famous as a Honeymoon Destination among Indian tourists while Western tourists visit Manali for adventure sports and leisure, nature trips in the Himalayas. A gateway to Spiti, lahaul, Kinnaur & Leh regions, Manali has become a hub for multi adventure activities and serious trekking. Little wonder then that it is known as the SWITZERLAND OF INDIA!
Monthly precipitation varies between 31 mm (1.2 in) in November to 217 mm (8.5 in) in July. In average, some 45 mm (1.8 in) of precipitation is received during winter and spring months, increasing to some 115 mm (4.5 in) in summer as the monsoon approaches. The average total annual precipitation is 1,363 mm (53.7 in). Snowfall often takes place between November end to early February. The weather in Manali is not stable.
Manali is named after the ankit 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. ankit 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.