Manali is one of the few stops in mountain state of Himachal Pradesh that has turned out to be a household name. From honeymoons to full-family trips, people from all parts of the country visit the mountain clad beauty for a stay in cozy hospitality this town offers. Whether it is about escaping the summer heat, or celebrating a snowy new year, Manali always retains a favourite spot in visitors’ cookbook. But is Manali still the same abode we grew up listening praises of? Is Manali the very same ‘India’s best hill station’ as many still entitle it? This blog tries to answer these questions and tries to find if we need to revisit our summer trip plans!
Manali is a busy town in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, India. Located 40 km north of the district headquaters, Manali can be reached by road from Chandigarh via Bilaspur-Mandi-Kullu. Thanks to the heavy tourist turnout, regular buses ferry tourists from almost all major metro cities in North.
So where is the problem with Manali? The problem lies in the same heavy tourist turnout every year. Every year, tourists come around in large numbers to enjoy a week or two in Manali. The numbers increase manifolds in summers when people seek refuge in mountains from the scorching sun across the country. Manali, being the tourist sweetheart, attracts an overwhelming amount of visitors, just to overcrowd the streets further.
This has lead to heavy commercialisation of this place-electronic shops, routine cafes, cloth market, eateries, Manali looks like just another Indian tourist town. The heavy commercialisation has taken the very natural charm of Manali from it leaving back large marketplaces and luxurious hotels.
The markets are becoming a costly affair with every passing day because everything from eatables to garments have adjusted their rates to the tourist fanfare. Garbage and rotten food can be seen around the main town even after hard work the people of Municipal Council put in to retain cleanliness. In the end period of June, the streets are so full with people, one might hardly get a place to walk freely on the main Mall Road Square. People, who are rather more intrested in clicking selfies then admiring the scenic beauty and attaing mental peace the place once used reverbrate.
It definitly concludes that you might want to alter you travel plan if it includes Manali. Himachal Pradesh is an abode of sceneic beauty and many new destinations await to be explored.