A Nomad's Diary - travel tales

6 Super Quirky Facts About Manali We Bet You Didn’t Know Before

quirky facts about Manali

Manali is a popular tourist destination of northern India. It offers a great combination of scenic landscapes, pleasant weather in most part of the year, spirituality & adventure sports. It has great connectivity from Chandigarh and so visitors from Punjab and Delhi & Haryana come in plentiful numbers. Apart from this it is also a favorite choice of people from rest of the country and among foreigners. Here are six quirky facts about Manali that are lesser known.

Quirky fact about Hidimba Devi Temple in Manali
Hidimba Devi Temple, Manali – Photo Source: Rishabh Gaur

#1 Reason behind the name ‘Manali

Located at an elevation of 2050 mtr., Manali is named after the Sanatan Hindu religion lawgiver Manu. Initially, it was known as ‘Manu-alaya’ meaning ‘Home of Manu’. It is said that when sage Manu made the ark to protect all living beings, it was here that he got off the ark and recreated the world after the great deluge. Manali earlier was divided into three regions namely Old Manali Village, Vashishtha Village & Dungri. The little variance in culture and flavour of all these three regions can be noticed. In due course of time, the name of this tourist destination took its present form.

Naggar Castle in Kullu-Manali: Did you know the interesting fact how Manali got its name?
Naggar Castle in Kullu-Manali: Did you know the interesting fact how Manali got its name?

#2 One Local = One Apple Tree in Manali

‘Guess that Manali people took the idiom, ‘An Apple a Day…’ quite seriously. Jokes apart but an interesting thing about Manali is that apparently every local person in this ‘Valley of Gods’ owns an apple tree. How cool is that! I can only imagine having an apple tree exclusively for me. Well, did you know that apple tree farming was first introduced by Britishers in Manali? Yes that’s right, Britishers grew the first apple orchard in Patlikuhal village and after this as they say the rest is history.

#3 Shocking did you know what ‘Rohtang’ means?

Coming to Manali, Himachal Pradesh and not visiting Rohtang Pass or Rohtang La should be declared a crime, right! More so after the famous song of Jab We Met was shot here in which the Bollywood Superstar, Kareena Kapoor danced her way crossing the pass with heavy snow on the sides. This pass truly looked so mesmerizing in the song. In real also it looks just the same. However, being one of the high altitude passes in the Pir-Panjal ranges of Himalayas, many times due to heavy snow there have been many incidences of accidents & deaths. You will be surprised to know that ‘Rohtang’ in Ladakhi language actually means ‘pile of bodies’. This point truly had to be one among the six quirky facts about Manali indeed.

We did Skiing in Manali after visiting Rohtang Pass: Did you know the quirky fact what Rohtang means in Ladakhi language?
We did Skiing in Manali after visiting Rohtang Pass: Did you know the quirky fact what Rohtang means in Ladakhi language?

#4 Manali has Highest Sky-Bicycle Track in India

Gulaba is the place where many Hindi films including Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone starrer, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani has been shot. One can see the endless panoramic beauty of Gulaba on taking up the country’s highest Sky Bicycle track. It is built at an altitude of 9000 mtrs. and is a 350 mtr. track with a 450 mtr. zip line. However, owing to COVID we really don’t know if it is open for tourists or not. Just in case any of you awesome readers have any information about it then do let us know in the comment section below.

#5 The Foreign Influence

Manali has always been popular with foreign tourists. So much so that, the European influence can be clearly seen in the number of western inspired restaurants & cafes. Don’t miss out on German Bakery for fancy breakfast. Not only this, foreigners permanently settled here run book stores, pubs, yoga centers for wellness and more. Additionally, Kasol which is located very near to Manali, is also known as Mini-Israel. Here there are many Israeli restaurants and one can also see Jewish Chabad House. Shalom is mostly used in place of Namaste!

Testing our hands at Paragliding in Manali: We loved it!
Testing our hands at Paragliding in Manali: We loved it!

Final of the Quirky Facts about Manali: Ghost of Gata Loops

Going from Manali to Leh by road is now quite popular among biker groups and all in general. However, one set of loopy road (Ghat as we call in Hindi) has approximately 20 blind turns. If locals are to be believed there is a here-say that on the 19th turn of this ghat, people sometimes see a ghost of a man who is pleading for water, food and other things. So as many people would also have witnessed the villagers have made a small temple near this place. Most people passing through this road like truck drivers and others offer water bottle and cigarette packets at this temple. No wonder there is always a weird pile of mineral water bottles here along with some other stuff.

Concluding Thoughts

Hope this was an interesting and informative read about Manali. So tell us which all facts you already knew about or which interesting fact about Manali surprised you the most.

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