Manali, located near the valley’s end, is one of the most popular tourist destinations not only in Himachal Pradesh but also internationally. Manali is synonymous with rivers and birdsong, woods and orchards, and snow-capped peaks.
It is located 45 kilometers away from Kullu. There is an interesting tale about Manali that says that after the great deluge, Manu, the author of “Manu Samhita,” initially stepped on the ground from the celestial boat at a location in this country. There are numerous offbeat places to visit near Manali.
Offbeat Places To Visit Near Manali
Fojal region, located almost midway between Manali and Kullu, is a remote and unpopular Himachal Pradesh region with about a dozen small villages.
In terms of location, Fojal Valley rises almost perpendicular to Kullu Valley near the town of Patlikuhl before dividing into two halves, with the town of Fojal (the entire valley also shares the same name ‘Fojal’) in the center acting as the valley’s transportation hub.
Soyal Village, located less than 15 kilometers from Manali (towards Kullu, on Naggar Road), is an offbeat location for those who envision a glacial water stream surrounded by forest and a few eateries to satisfy their cravings.
A day excursion from Manali to village soil is conceivable, as is camping and staying overnight. One kilometer from the settlement is an open camping area large enough for at least 50 people to sleep together.
Kasheri hamlet is located around 20 kilometers from Mall Road and is nearly 2500 meters above sea level. On the route, you can also visit Nyingmapa Pangan Monastery, one of the region’s least visited monasteries.
There are no guest houses there; thus, the only way to visit is on a day trip from Manali. The village has about 15-20 dwellings, and the overall scene is rather village-like. I recommend visiting Kasheri Village for the landscapes and its beauty rather than the village experience.
Kharma Valley, also known as Karma Valley or Kherma, is the final point of Old Manali before entering the undiscovered wilderness area.
If you want to stay in Old Manali but don’t want to be in a crowded spot, Kharma Valley is the place to be. Take the trekking route from the famed Lazy Dog Cafe to Kharma.
You arrive at Kharma Valley after an almost 10-minute hike. The final guest house/campsite in Kharma Valley is about a half-hour walk from Lazy Dog Cafe.
Chichoga, a tiny village located across Mall Road, is one of the newest offbeat destinations near Manali. Most visitors to Manali stay in Old Manali because they believe it is the nearest alternative to Manali Mall Road. They are, however, incorrect.
Whereas Old Manali is 2.5 kilometers from Manali Mall Road, Chichoga Village is only 1.8 kilometers.
Because of the (mountain-top) position, most households in Chichoga Village can overlook Manali Mall Road down below. The views from Chichoga Village are among the nicest in the entire Kullu-Manali region.
Situated 25 km from Manali, Hallan Valley is counted in Manali’s famous offbeat location. It is populated by the indigenous Himachali people and has absolutely untouched and pristine nature with stunning views.
Nature and peace guarantee uninterrupted and relaxing holidays. The one disadvantage is that there are no guesthouses or hotels in Hallan Valley, while there are a few homestays that are absolutely unique and unusual.
Arjun Gufa is a legendary natural structure near Manali. The cave is a popular picnic site and is well known for the thrill of exploring the natural creation from within.
It’s on the left bank of the Beas River, close to Prini Village. The trek up to the cave is thrilling, with the surrounding natural terrain being so beautiful that words cannot describe it.
Bhuntar is located in the Kullu district and is frequently used as a gateway to the towns of Kullu, Manali, Kasol, and Manikaran.
Kullu Airport is also located in Bhuntar. Bhuntar is a tiny little town with nothing particularly grand to offer in terms of natural beauty, but it is the type of holiday option for you if you prefer less touristy places to unwind.
Jagatsukh is a lovely village and the capital of the erstwhile state of Kullu, located around 7 kilometers from Manali.
It is well-known for its beautiful natural scenery as well as the historic Jagatsukh Temples, which are religiously significant temples devoted to Lord Shiva and Goddess Sandhya Devi. Jagatsukh can be easily explored in a single day.
Tirthan Valley, an area of pristine and mystical beauty, is a destination with an abundance of attractions.
This site, located about 3 kilometers from the entrance to the wonderful Himalayan National Park, is rich in adventurous activities and a heaven for nature enthusiasts, making it a terrific place to visit near Manali.
Rahala Waterfalls, 29 kilometers from Manali Bus Stand, is a popular picnic place for residents and visitors on their route to Rohtang Pass.
The water here is always frigid since it comes from a melting glacier in the Himalayas. The area is densely forested with deodar and Silver Birch trees.
Located only 3 km from Manali, The Shepherds Trail Trek, also known as the Bara Bangal Trek, takes you from the lush green Kullu Valley to the austere landscapes of the Bara Bhangal range.
Before reaching Bara Bhangal, a trekker will pass the Kalihani Pass and head northwest.
From here, continue south to Thamsar Pass and then to Billing in Kangra Valley to complete the trek. If the trek did not provide a high, one may paraglide to Bir.
Kunzum Pass, also known as Kunzum La by locals, is one of India’s highest motorable mountain crossings, rising 4,551 meters above mean sea level.
It links to the scenic Spiti Valley via Kullu and Lahaul. Kunzum La provides a spectacular 360-degree view of the Bara- Shigri Glacier (the world’s second-longest glacier), as well as a breathtaking panorama of the Chandrabhaga Range and the Spiti Valley.
Parvati Valley, located in Himachal Pradesh, is among the state’s best tourist attractions. The breathtaking valley is well-known for its backpacker hangouts and adventure activities.
It is also well-known among hippie tourists for its famous charas (hashish), rave events, and spiritual experience.
Sethan is a charming Himachal Pradesh village about 12 kilometers from Manali. This Buddhist community is a little hamlet that looks out over the Dhauladhar mountain.
Sethan Valley, which is covered in snow throughout the winter, is a perfect area to try out skiing and snowboarding.
During the summer, Sethan Valley is suitable for trekking and camping. In the winter, you can enjoy snowboarding or ice skating. The Sethan Valley also serves as the starting point for the Hampta Pass trip.
Manali is a tourist-friendly town. Many people visit Manali first, then choose locations in and around for a perfect short trip. The destinations are appealing and well-liked.
There are several tourist attractions in Manali that are ideal for anyone looking to get away from their daily routine. These places take 1-2 days (s) to see and are ideal for a weekend vacation from Manali.
If you haven’t already, go explore these offbeat places near Manali.
Also read: How Many Days Is Enough for Manali?