Walking through Old Manali

Its not just another day. The monastery at Manali is abuzz with activity. Huge crowds have gathered to listen to the sermon of the head monk. I try and sneak through a few pictures, but even the minimal shutter sound made heads turn and embarrassment gripped me. So I decided to take a walk in the lanes of Old Manali. Vintage cafes, roadside food stalls, shops selling Junk jewellery, shawls and Knit wear, Old Manali is delightful. Nestled between tall deodhar and pine trees, with the River Beas flowing alongside, this photo walk will not disappoint you 🙂

The view of the snow capped mountains from Manali

I started the walk from Hidimba temple. A temple built as an ode to Hidima Devi , the wife of Bheem( one of the Five Pandavas , according to the Hindu mythological epic , Mahabharata). The architecture of the temple is worth a watch. Old wooden architecture amidst huge, tall cedar trees was a sight to behold!


The scents of the forests rejuvenate my senses and I walk through towards the Old Manali Market.

Quaint little cafes and street shops are aplenty on this road.

One can find traditional  silver ‘Tibeti’ jewelry worn over ‘pattus’ (local attire)

DSC05233 DSC05234

Brass and wooden utensils and antique kettles found in the Tibeti stores near Manu temple.

DSC05241 DSC05240

Fashion accessories for women: Precious and semi precious stone jewelry and Silver neckpieces and anklets.

Fashion accessories for men: Kullu woollen caps 🙂 worn by almost all the Himachali men in the region.

DSC05223 DSC05169

The area attracts a lot of foreigners, especially hippies. I found street shops selling sheesha and chillum accessories all over this area.


And there is something that you shouldn’t miss: The Local food!!!

Street food is cheap and very tasty in this area. My favorite was the Besan Paneer Chilla Rolls( Cottage cheese rolled in Gram flour pancakes)

Besan Paneer Chilla rolls

And another mouth watering local dish is the Pahadi Chole ( Chickpeas of the hills ) with Kulche ( Bread)

Chole being prepared

In northern India, these are traditionally sold out of a huge , deep brass vessel and hence they are called “Peepe wale chole” ( chickpeas out of a brass tin)

Peepe walen chole (chickpeas in a brass vessel)

The market is abuzz with activity in the morning. I capture some street scenes before gorging on my piping hot plate of chole kulche.

Local ladies selling vegetables in the daily Mandi (market)
Kids enjoying their ice cream in the middle of all the chaos in the market.

The place gets extremely crowded, cars are restricted and there’s always a jam. The best way to explore is to walk! 🙂

Manali is one of my favorite travel destinations. Next posts will revolve around Exploring Manali 🙂 Stay tuned!

34 thoughts on “Walking through Old Manali

  1. Great post again! Even i want to mention about how shutter sound disturbed the silence in my previous post 😀
    Well, the brass utensil you mentioned is the Tibetan healing bowl i believe.
    And like always all the pictures are amazing ,landscapes are gorgeous and food pictures are mouth watering!

  2. Manali looks beautiful. It’s one of the places in my ‘to travel’ list. Your 1st pic was very good. Glad to know your name too 😉

    Have a great day.

  3. Nostalgic and delighted, I was there in 2007. I visited the Hidimba temple and clicked the Yaks there 🙂 I saw a nice big neck piece in one of your pics, gosh I want it 🙁 The clicks of food are awesome and its veg so happy and mouthwatering 🙂 loved the post

    1. Thanks a lot Shweta 🙂 I saw the yaks too! People kept posing against them much to the chagrin of their owners :p Thanks for reading in! its always a pleasure hearing from you!

  4. Love the pics :). The food looks tantalizing. And must say the place seems to have quite a rustic charm to it :D.

  5. I loved your post. We have booked a family trip to Manali, Kasol & Palampur in October 2015 (from Gurgaon) and Old Manali was already on my list – and as we will be staying at the Johnson Lodge, we plan to walk a lot :). Im a photographer & your post helped me have a glimpse of subjects I too can photo document (apart from nature). Your post offers a fresh perspective to things in Old Manali.

    Thanks for such a lovely post!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This function has been disabled for Quirky Wanderer.

%d bloggers like this: