Things have drastically changed and the small town of Old Manali hadn’t been left behind. COVID had hit the towns badly not only the towns but a state as a whole.
Did you know that Himachal Pradesh’s major growth is in tourism that contributes to 6.6% GDP approx?
2020 was like a Strict Teacher 👨🏫.
Let’s start in 2021 with a fresh perspective and by traveling responsibly most importantly.
We all want useful time to be spent wherever we go.
This post will further be going to talk about your favorite place in hills Old Manali & how to explore around.
I had written a few lines before we start –
Fingers crossed 2021 will bring joy,
Just be positive don’t ask why.
This was yet another bad dream, 2020 I woked up goodbye
2021 will definitely bring joy
If you had loved the lines then don’t forget to let me know 😜 and share.
Table of Contents
How to Spend a Useful Time Around Old Manali & Explore in 2021
You will see a significant change in Old Manali when you’ll visit now as compared to the previous time when you had visited the town before.
A lot of shops have been closed in the market and the reason can be fairly understood.
There are a lot of positives which can be taken out and further explore Old Manali and it’s surroundings –
1. Nature Hike from Mall Road Manali to Old Manali
I am getting lost ain’t getting found,
Tightening up those loose wounds.
I am looking around,
Only hearing my sound.
The Sound is getting rebound,
Trees in my surround
One way to go to be again found
There’s nothing major difference apart from the name itself between “NEW” & “OLD“.
From New Manali, I understood that the properly developed hotels, houses, and the mall road. The visitors get attracted to the mall road because of happenings in and around.
In other words, “New Manali” a fairly attractive place.
From Old Manali, I understood the old built houses and hotels. A quite older architecture as compared to the New Manali. But Old Manali has a lot of cafes and hostels that too very affordable.
The Old Manali to New Manali Mall road distance is 2.3km approx.
Mall Road Manali to Old Manali Via Van-Vihar
A nature hike is a 20 – 25 mins walk from Mall road Manali to the Old Manali passing via Forest.
You can spot a Van-Vihar forest entry board while coming a little up from Manali Mall road. The trail goes straight to the Old Manali, a few meters before the Old Manali bridge.
If you have no idea what bridge I am talking about!
I will give an overview that the bridge separates the New Manali from the Old Manali.
There is no entrance fee and mostly, the locals use the route because these kinds of trails are more known to them. Tourists end up taking the heavy traffic road route.
The cab will be charging from Mall road to Old Manali or visa versa somewhere around Rs.150-Rs.200. The rates can differ depending upon the season.
The time taken will be around…….
I can’t say because the traffic sometimes blocks the whole road and can take up to an hour to cover a short distance.
Van – Vihar
While via Van-Vihar, a proper path has been made and you won’t get a lost feeling. You will end up staying a little longer admiring the surroundings around you.
The trail is surrounded by tall deodar trees which will give you a mysterious yet scenic look. The hike will be useful in two ways –
It will save time compared to walking on the road.
It will save money compared to taking a means of transport.
Also, if you’re coming to Manali by bus & wanted to go to Old Manali.
Then, you can hike from Manali’s private bus stand to Old Manali passing via Van-Vihar.
The time taken will be around an hour or more than but it will be a damn good experience for you.
There’s a straight route uphill in front of the Manali private bus parking. The route will directly take you to Manali mall road & from there you can take the Van-Vihar route.
It will make you a bit tired but worth to utilize your time and efforts to explore.
2. Renting a Scooter V/s Renting a Cycle
Both the Scooter & Cycle have their benefits in the hills. Renting amongst both will completely depend upon your preference.
I will try to give full justice to both rather than becoming partial towards any. So that it can become a little easier for you to decide and take the next step.
Renting a Scooter in Old Manali
The scooter can ascend effortlessly uphill. There’s absolutely no doubt in that.
Long-distance travel can be managed and that will result in time-saving efforts.
The majorly visited areas of Old Manali can be easily covered by foot. But if you’re planning to go a little far to the nearby towns of the Old Manali, then renting a mode of transport will be viable.
There’s quite a lot of scooter rental’s but Hari offers a special discount to the Solo travelers. No need to worry if you’re in a group, at least the cost can be divided amongst the group, right?
Cost of Renting a Scooter
If you’re a Solo traveler then your excitement will be above the mountains for an obvious reason for traveling Solo. The Solo travelers can rent a scooter for at Rs.400 per day from the Hari bike center near Old Manali bridge.
If you wanted to rent a Motorcycle in Manali, then the list of the bike models along with the prices I had written below in the table.
The renting time is between 8 a.m to 7 p.m. or can differ according to the season. The table shown below has an Old rate list and a New rate list. The owners of the two-wheelers will give the bikes on rent according to the new price.
But there’s also a probability that you can get a two-wheeler on rent for somewhere between Old rate and the New rate.
Likewise, It also depends upon your bargaining skills and not to forget the luck factor.
Bike Rental Charges in Manali
The bike rental cost will depend upon the type of model that you’re looking for.
Please find below the Manali Biker’s Association Rate List concerning the type of model –
Type of Two-Wheeler/Model No.
Old Rate List
New Rate List
Pulser, CBZ /
150cc to 200cc
Twin Spark 350cc
NOTE – The rates listed above in the table are daily RATE
Factors to consider before you Rent a Bike in Manali or Anywhere
These are the steps that you can follow before you will be going to rent a vehicle anywhere –
Step – 1
Check the original papers of the vehicle that you’re renting.
Step – 2
Check the condition of the bike thoroughly.
Step – 3
Check for even the minor scratches and dents.
Step – 4
Take several pictures from various angles.
Step – 5
Check for the helmet and safety kit inside the vehicle.
Step – 6
Testing the vehicle and availability of fuel till the petrol pump to refill.
Upon returning the vehicle, if the owner demands that this scratch or dent was not there previously. Then, you can show the pictures before renting the vehicle for clarity.
Things you require before taking a Bike on Rent in Manali
The list of things you will be required to provide are –
You’ll need to provide your Identity Proof such as an Aadhaar Card, Voter ID, etc. which clearly shows your identity i.e name, photo, address, date of birth, etc.
The security deposit will be taken in advance which will be Rs.100-Rs.200 or can be even more along with the per day rate. If the two-wheeler gets damaged by you, then the actual cost of damage will be calculated & you might have to pay more.
You can keep your Driving License within yourself. Because you are renting a two-wheeler and you will be needing it along with you during the journey.
After you’ll return the two-wheeler the security deposit will be given back to you after checking for damages caused if any.
While on your way to Solang Valley you’ll find two petrol pumps. You can fully refill your vehicles’ tanks there before heading ahead.
The cost of filling 1lt petrol in your bike/scooter will be around Rs.80-Rs.84. Rest, no one know’s where the cost of 1lt petrol will going to land. You must ensure that the tank is full to escape from any problems while returning.
Renting a Cycle in Old Manali
Cycling on a flat road can make the journey seem like butter on road. Effortlessly smooth with just a peddle. The road conditions need to be perfect as well 😜, okay no worries.
You can find shops that rent cycles in Old Manali just after the bridge crossing.
Charges for Renting a Cycle
You can rent a cycle in Manali for around Rs.400-Rs.500 per day.
While cycling, you can cover Manali. If you’re crazy enough you can even think of cycling till Solang Valley. The road ascends higher & higher as you proceed towards Solang Valley.
Also, it will be fun while coming down. In other words, hard work while ascending the hill and fruitful results while coming down on cycle.
You must be thinking that the cost of renting a two-wheeler & cycle is almost the same? In fact, on cycle, you’ll have to apply more efforts.
The two-wheeler runs on petrol i.e. you have to keep an eye on the fuel meter and have to refill after some interval. Whereas, the cycle runs on your stamina & efforts. If you compare them the overall cost might look in reverse order.
Things you require before taking a Cycle on Rent in Manali
Things you need for renting a cycle in Manali would be the same as for renting a two-wheeler. i.e. your Identity proof. The per-day rent will be taken in advance and the security deposit will be refunded after returning the cycle.
3. Explore the Narrow Streets of Old Manali
The never-ending streets of Old Manali with old-fashioned architecture will make you feel involved. With smiling faces all around and no one to disturb you have your time to spend & explore the streets of Old Manali.
The streets will urge you to explore till the farthest point with no worry to return.
Just kidding, return on time before the sunsets because there is no source of light in the small street.
On the other side, if by chance you have forgotten your way. The Locals are always there to guide you so that you can reach your destination.
But it’s a request that, don’t try to disturb anyone with misleading behavior. I hope that you can understand. It leads to a bad impression and the result that comes out is everyone suffers.
4. Photographing with your Unique Perspective
If you went to the hills and no pictures were captured! Then, I can’t think further without photographing anything.
The photo above was a house in the Old Manali & it gives me the feeling that there’s so much left to be explored, to be honest. The strong sunlight with Black & White made me energetic while I was reviewing.
Photographing & showing your perspective doesn’t require a pro-level skill. You have your phone in your pocket, just take it out & capture your perspective.
It will be really useful when you rewind your memory & look back at the perspectives that you had taken the pictures with.
Get under the tree or shot at an ant eye level.
Utilizing the time in Capturing Memories
It will be your perspective through which you see the world. Share your behind the scene moment, what was going in your mind or if any funny thing had happened around you.
Sharing your point of view can inspire others to get going.
I can recall a moment when I first saw an image full of snow and an alone tree standing tall in between. It urges me every time to find a corner in the mountains that I can showcase my perspective with that alone tree in the frame that too full of snow.
I still not be able to find that scene in reality but the hunt is on. Just like Goa is “ON“, the hunt to capture perspectives will always be “ON“.
I hope it’s pretty clear what I am trying to conclude that “Perspective Inspires” to get going in life.
5. Around One Place at a Time
It doesn’t mean that if I am in Manali for about say 3-4 days i.e. I need a new place to explore & travel every day.
You can always stick to a place for e.x- Old Manali. Like I above said, the word “Old” has been used just to differentiate. It doesn’t mean that Old has nothing to do and New has everything to look at.
You can soak in the charm of that place & can get involved in the nature and beauty of the surroundings. Let the magic of hills spell on you.
The impact it will have is that you’ll end up coming to a particular place during different seasons. It can help you spend your time usefully at a particular place by understanding the surroundings.
For e.x – If you went to Manali during the winters surrounded by full of snow. Then you will be quite interested in knowing how the place looks in lush green or during the autumn season.
It will ultimately add value to your visit to the town again.
6. Spending Alone Time at Manu Temple
You can plan your visit to Manu Temple Manali in the early morning. The crowd during that time will be absolutely low. You will get your peaceful time overlooking the serene architecture of the Manu Temple.
The surroundings of the temple have benches so you can sit and inhale the mountain air from the top.
The Manali mall road to Manu temple distance is around 3km approx. You can choose to walk by road & can cover half of the remaining distance via Van-Vihar that I had already explained in the first point.
As you enter the Old Manali by crossing the bridge you’ll have to ascend with every step forward. The steep narrow lanes of Old Manali will take you to Manu temple.
It will take around 45min on average and the rest depends upon the speed to reach from Manali mall road to Manu Temple.
I hope that you’ll spend 2021 on a positive and exploration mode whilst the travel that had stopped everyone the previous year.
But never forget responsible and safe travel.
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