Things have drastically changed, and the small town of Old Manali hasn’t been left behind. Instead, COVID had hit the towns badly, not only the Old Manali but the state as a whole.
Did you know that Himachal Pradesh’s growth is in tourism contributing to 6.6% GDP approx?
2020 was like a Strict Teacher ??.
Let’s start in 2021 with a fresh perspective and travel responsibly and importantly.
We all want a productive time to be spent wherever we go.
This post will discuss your favorite place in the hills, Old Manali, and how to explore around.
I had written a few lines before we started –
Fingers crossed 2021 will bring joy,
Just be positive, Do not ask why.
This was yet another bad dream in 2020. I woke up goodbye
2021 will definitely bring joy
If you loved the line, don’t forget to let me know. And share.
How to Spend a Useful Time Around Old Manali & Explore in 2021?
You will see a significant change in Old Manali when you visit now, as compared to when you went to Old Manali.
Many shops have been closed in the market, which can get understood.
There are a lot of positives which can be taken out and further explore Old Manali and its surroundings –
1. Nature Hike from Mall Road Manali to Old Manali
I am getting lost ain’t getting found,
Tightening up those lose 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 different apart from the name between (NEW) & (OLD).
From New Manali, I understood the properly developed hotels, houses, and the mall road. The visitors get attracted to the mall road because of happenings.
In other words, “New Manali” is a reasonably attractive place.
From Old Manali, I understood the old-built houses and hotels. It’s an 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 crossing via Forest.
You can spot a Van-Vihar forest entry board while coming a little up from Manali Mall road. After that, 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 of the bridge separating the New Manali from the Old Manali.
There is no entrance fee, and the locals mostly use the route because these trails are more known to them. However, tourists end up taking the heavy traffic road route.
The cab will be charging from Mall road to Old Manali or vice 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. You won’t get a lost feeling. Instead, you will end up staying a little longer, admiring the surroundings around you.
The trail is surrounded by tall deodar trees that give you a mysterious yet scenic look. The hike will be effective 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 & want to go to Old Manali.
Then, you can hike from Manali’s private bus stand to the Old Manali crossing via Van-Vihar.
The time will be around an hour or more, 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 passage will directly take you to Manali mall road & from there, you can take the Van-Vihar route.
It will make you tired, but worth utilizing 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 depend upon your choice.
I will try to give full justice to both rather than becoming partial towards any to 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 about that.
Long-distance travel can be managed, and that will result in time-saving efforts.
The majorly visited areas of Old Manali can get easily covered by foot, but if you’re planning to go a little far to the nearby towns of Old Manali, then renting a mode of transport will be viable.
Many scooter rentals exist, but Hari offers a special discount to Solo travelers. No need to worry if you’re in a group; at least the cost can be divided.
Cost of Renting a Scooter
If you’re a Solo traveler, your excitement will be above the mountains for a reason for traveling Solo. Solo travelers can rent a scooter for Rs.400 per day from the Hari bike center near Old Manali bridge.
Suppose you wanted to rent a Motorcycle in Manali. Then, the list of the bike models 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 below has an Old rate list and a New rate list. The owners of the two-wheelers will give the bikes for rent according to the new price.
But there’s also a probability that you can get a two-wheeler on rent for the Old and New rates.
Likewise, It also depends upon your bargaining skills and not forgetting 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 –
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 go 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 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
I tested the vehicle and the availability of fuel until the petrol pump was refilled.
While returning the vehicle, if the owner demands that the scratch or dent was not present, you can show the pictures before renting for clarity.
What are all things you need before Renting a Bike 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. it should clearly show your identity, name, photo, address, date of birth, etc.
- The security deposit will be taken in advance and will be Rs.100-Rs.200 or possibly 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 to yourself. However, you will need it during the journey because you are renting a two-wheeler.
After you return the two-wheeler, the security deposit will be given back to you after checking for damages, if any.
While on a two-wheeler, you can easily reach from Manali to Solang Valley for under Rs.500 & can make a plan to explore the places to visit near Manali.
Petrol Pump in Manali
While on your way to Solang Valley, you’ll find two petrol pumps. You can fully refill your vehicle’s tanks there before heading ahead.
The cost of filling 1lt petrol in your bike/scooter will be around Rs.80-Rs.84. But no one knows where the price of 1lt petrol will land. So you must ensure that the tank is full upon starting your journey.
Renting a Cycle in Old Manali
Cycling on a flat road can make the journey seem like butter. Effortlessly smooth with just a peddle. Do the road conditions need to be perfect as well? Okay, no worries.
You can find shops that rent cycles in Old Manali 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 to 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 ascending the hill and fruitful results while coming down on cycle.
You must think that the cost of renting a two-wheeler & cycle is almost the same? You’ll have to apply more effort.
The two-wheeler runs on petrol; you have to watch the fuel meter. You have to refill after some interval. On the other hand, the cycle runs on your stamina & efforts. If you compare them, the overall cost might look in reverse order.
What are all things you require before Renting a Cycle in Manali?
Things you need to rent a cycle in Manali would be the same as renting a two-wheeler. That is your identity proof. The per-day rent will be taken in advance, and the security deposit will get 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 until the farthest point without worrying about returning.
Just kidding, return on time before the sunsets because there are no lights in the small street.
On the other side, if by chance you have forgotten your way. The Locals are always there to guide you to reach your destination.
But it’s a request that, don’t try to disturb anyone with not acceptable behavior. I hope that you can understand. It leads to a poor 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. However, the intense sunlight in Black & White made me energetic while reviewing.
Photographing & showing your perspective doesn’t require a pro-level skill. So you have your phone in your pocket, take it out & capture your moments.
It will be helpful when you rewind your memory & look back at the perspectives you had taken the pictures with.
Get under the tree or shoot at an ant’s eye level.
Utilizing the time in Capturing Memories
It will be your perspective through which you see the world. You can share behind the scene moments. For example, what was going on in your mind or any funny thing that had happened around you.
Sharing your point of view can inspire others to get going.
I can recall when I first saw an image full of snow and a single tree standing tall in between. It urged me to find a corner in the mountains to showcase my perspective, with that single tree in the frame too full of snow.
I still cannot find that scene in reality, but the hunt is on. Like Goa is (On), the race 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 3-4 days and need a new place to explore & travel every day.
You can always stick to a place for, e.x- Old Manali. As 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 the place. And 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 come to a particular place during different seasons. It can help you spend your time usefully by understanding the surroundings.
For e.x – If you went to Manali during the winter surrounded by snow. Then you will be pretty 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 too 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. So you can walk by road and cover half of the remaining gap by 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 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 in a positive and exploration mode.
Additionally, read, Is Rani Sui Lake trek for you?
But never forget responsible and safe travel.
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You can comment below your queries or directly contact me over Instagram.
Until then, see you on the roads.