Somehow refraining myself to fill this article with my usual philosophical and dreamy utterance. Here is the draft version of the travel guide intended for all types of travelers to Kullu-Manali and adjoining valleys (Parvati, Banjar, Sainj etc). In order to avoid chaos, I am not including details about all the tourist attractions. I am attaching the link to related travel blogs/articles and will keep updating this space as I come across to more distractions of this region.
If you have already visited this part of Himachal and feel that something is missing or inaccurate, Please post your inputs as comments below and help me creating a useful article for fellow travelers. If you are planning to visit this part and have some queries, feel free to post in as comments, I will be happy to discuss.
Local sightseeing: Hadimba Temple, Manu Rishi Temple, Club house, Vashist Hot Spring, Gayatri Temple, Jagatsukh, Manali Museum, Buddhist Monasteries,Van Vihar (Nature Park).
Village Hopping from Manali: Shanag (20 mins), Burrwa (9km, 30 mins), Solan (15 km, 35 mins), Palchan (13 km, 30 mins)
Beyond Rohtang Pass (Touted as Snow Point)- This trip takes you to the top of 3980 meter high Rohtang pass with meadows growing lush with wild highland flowers and nature full in its prime and the famous skiing ground. Beyond Rohtang Pass lies the remote Lahaul and Spiti district.
Visiting Points enroute Rohtang- Kothi, Rahala Water Fall, Marhi, Rahni Nala, Glacier Point, Famous Skii slopes paragliding at Solang Valley and best picnic spot of Dhundi.
Local Sightseeing: Raghunathji temple, Mahadevi Tirath (Vaishno Devi Temple Bashing), Jagannathi Temple Bekhli, Kais Monastery (10 km from Kullu), Kashap Narayan Banogi, Aadi Brahma, Khokan Trijugi Narayan Duyar, 9th Century Shiva Temple Bajaura.
(20 km from Manali and 24 km from Kullu)
You are offered to see 5000 year old temples of Mahabharat period and also see the old seat of Kullu rulers besides the paintings of famous father and son painters, the Roerich. Forest Road by Jana Mini water fall to Bijli Mahadev Temple from Naggar.
Local Sightseeing: Gauri Shankar Temple, Castle Naggar, Mini waterfall Jana.
Village Hopping Trail: Nashala, Jana, Rumsu
Bijli Mahadev- The Shiva temple is 3 km from Chansari Village, situated at the height of 7874 feet a gradual uphill walk (or on horse/ponnies) through sylvan and magestic Deodar forest and lush green meadows. The place offers panoramic view of the twin valley of Beas and Parvati. It is believed that whenever calamity threatens the town of Kullu, Bijli Mahadev Ji obtain the calamity on himself, Shivling breaks into pieces during lightening and the Pujari has to join back those pieces with butter and Sattu (an incredible phenomenon).
From Bhuntar (10 km from Kullu), road turns left across the Beas River and enters to Parvati Valley. Popularly known as manikaran road.
Manikaran: Manikaran is famous for hot water springs and temples. Here you avail the opportunity of offering tributes at famous historical temples, Shri Ram Chandra Ji, Shiv Parvati and also a Gurdwara. Spring water is so hot that Dal, Rice etc can be cooked in it. According to a legend Manikaran is also associated with Lord Shiva and his divine consort Parvati who lost and recovered her ear-ring here.
Other visiting point in Parvati valley- Jari, Malana, Kasol, Manikarana, Pulga, Barshaini, Angora Rabbit Farm, Kullu Shawls weaving Industries and Bijleshwar Temple Bajaura etc.
It is about 58 km from Kullu (Via AUT) at an altitude of 5000 feet. Banjar is famous for its scenic beauty and trout fishing in River Tirthan and Sainj.
Attractions in/around Banjar Valley:
Bahu: 13 km from Jibhi on the way to Gada Goshaini, Bahu is famous for its natural beauty and temples. From this place one can enjoy the marvellous and commanding view of Saraj Valley. Best place to enjoy holidays. Small lake also here (Sor)
Shoja/Jalori Pass- Situated at an altitude of 8500 feet, it is an excellent place to have a panoramic view of snow ranges, peaks and meadows. Raghupur fort and Dugha Thatch (a grassy blank) are most charming places very close to Shoja. Little ahead of Shoja is Jalori Pass which offers a strinking panorama at its best. One can come to Kullu from Shimla on a short route via Jalori Pass.
Saruelsar Lake: 5 km walk from the Jalori pass, the holy lake is dedicated to Goddess "Bhudhi Nagin".
Raghupur Fort: Once occupied by Gorkhas, the ruins of this Raghupur fort are 4 km right to Jalori pass. It's a short descent and steep climb.
Gushaini: Famous for trout angling
Village Hopping Trail: Gushaini >> Jibhi >> Bahu >> Sojha >> Ghiyali >> Gada Gushaini
Prashar Lake (Around 100 km from Manali)- The Prashar lake situated at the height of 8000 feet is perhaps the only lake with natural floating platform. The lake derives its name from the temple of Prashar Rishi. The place attracts large number of devotees every year. The road bifurcate from Bajaura and Mandi.
Fishing: For anglers, trout fishing in lower Beas valley, Parvati Valley, Garsa, Lug Valley, The Tirthan, Sainj and Larji rivulets which are angler's paradise.
Rafting: From April to July, Rafting trips are possible on Beas River.