Protected in the valley of the mighty Beas River, boasting cool weather in the summers and snowfall in the winter, Manali is a dream destination on every biker’s list. While the ride to Manali is scenic, there’s also so much more to see when exploring Manali by bike. The sleek bikes give you maneuverability, making it easier to traverse the winding slopes of Manali. Plus, there are several options to choose from when looking at renting bikes in Manali. Read on to know all about exploring Manali by bike, and get your friends to start planning an unforgettable trip.
Best Time To Visit Manali
The climate in Manali is such that it offers a charming experience in each season. Summers are nothing like summers in the plains of India; temperatures range between 10°C to 25°C, which means light woollens are a must. The clear skies make it a great time for adventure activities, and biking around is nothing short of rejuvenating.
This great weather lasts from March to June. Post June, the monsoon sets in, in the months of July and August. Heavy rains lash the hill town, and landslides often occur. However, low hotel prices make it a great time to book yourself a room and sit tight indoors.
September sees the end of the monsoon and the start of winter, which lasts till February. You can even experience sub-zero temperatures, so woollens are a must. December and January see snowfall, and skiing enthusiasts flock to the hills.
Keeping in mind that you want the ideal weather for exploring Manali by bike, the best time to visit Manali is in the summer months. Avoid the temptation of lower prices in the monsoon as the rains will make it next to impossible to ride your bikes without stress. The extreme chill of the winters are sure to make riding uncomfortable, and riding in the snow is not an option.
Snow-clad peaks, grassy meadows stretching out as far as the eye can see… Solang Valley is promising any time of the year. Visiting in the summer means you’ll be treated to the fresh bloom of nature as the valley blossoms under the sunlight. It lies to the west of the Beas river, a mere 14 kms away from the main town of Manali. Your ride will be breathtaking, as the roar of your bike gets drowned out by the roar of the river alongside, and you pass by gorgeous apple orchards.
There’s tons to do at Solang Valley. It is famous for its adventure activities, almost all of which are available in the summer. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the valley, either while paragliding or riding the gondola, go rock-climbing or simply ride around. There’s no designated car park last we checked, but there’s plenty of space to safely park your bikes.
Having stood the test of time since 1553, where the presiding goddess is known as a Goddess of the Forest, the Hadimba Temple is a must-see in Manali. The temple is a four-storied structure, constructed by Maharaj Bahadur Singh in the 16th century. It is surrounded by the dense Dhungiri Van Vihar forest, and the aura you feel here is of nature and a structure that has seen many moons.
The temple is around 2 kms from the main town, and only 100 mts from the locally known Mall Road. You shouldn’t face any problems with parking, especially as the temple tends to attract a lot of visitors. If not for the religious aspect, then to admire the nature and architecture – the Hadimba Temple awaits.
Manali Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread across 3,180 hectares of land, the Manali Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a vast range of wildlife and biodiversity. Manali is surrounded by nature, and the sanctuary forms a big part of this. Biking to the sanctuary involves a scenic 2 km ride from the main town.
It was established in 1954, and continues to be a home and safe haven for a number of animals including the flying fox, Himalayan black bear, musk deer and goral. Trees like deodar, maple, chestnut and walnut simply add more diversity to this thriving ecosystem.
The Manu Temple is dedicated to the sage Manu, writer of the Manusmriti. The location of the temple is said to be the first spot where the sage meditated after he arrived on earth. It is also said to be the only temple dedicated to Manu! The temple draws a lot of devotees, as well as tourists who come to enjoy the view.
The temple is said to have been built centuries ago. It is located on the banks of the river Beas, around 3 kms away from the Mall Road of Manali. While your road there is scenic, you may find traffic jams depending on when you visit. Additionally, you will have to park your bikes at a distance away from the temple and walk there.
Manali is dotted around with Tibetan monasteries. Two of the most famous and important ones are the Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa and the Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa. Representations of the Tibetan presence in the region, the monasteries are unique and beautiful to behold. The Gadhan Thekchhokling Gompa is located near the Mall road in Manali, and the Himalayan Nyingamapa Gompa is near the market.
Both monasteries are surrounded by shops selling beautiful handicrafts that are made by Tibetan locals. You can also purchase gorgeous woven carpets here.
Additional Points For Exploring Manali By Bike
Manali is not a metropolitan city, and its roads are not as developed or easy. When renting a bike in Manali, try to take it on a test run to ensure it performs optimally. Always keep your fuel tank full as petrol pumps are not easily found. Getting stranded in the middle of the wilderness is far from ideal! Also make sure you are prepared for the weather. If it is warm when you are heading out, carry extra clothing for the way back as temperatures drop post the afternoon.
Apart from the locations we’ve mentioned, Manali is superb to just ride around and explore. There are a number of Israel cafes in Manali, serving Israeli food and Turkish coffee. Look out for vendors selling hot jalebis as a refreshing break from the biking around. Ride along the Beas river and down the winding roads – exploring Manali by bike is a dream you can make come true.
See also: 4 Best Day Trips From Manali