Surrounded by high peaks in the beautiful green Beas valley, with mountain adventures beckoning from all directions, Manali is a year-round magnet. Backpackers come to hang out in the hippie villages around the main town; adventurers come for trekking, climbing, rafting and skiing; Indian families and honeymooners come for the mountain air and a taste of snow on the 3978m Rohtang La pass. It makes sense to unwind and feed up here for a few days while organising your trip into the mountains.
So popular has Manali become among Indian tourists that this once bucolic retreat now has an estimated 800 to 1000 hotels and guesthouses in the town and outskirts, and from mid-April to mid-July, mid-September to mid-October, and over Christmas–New Year it gets pretty well overrun, with dire traffic jams along its narrow lanes and the main roads approaching town.
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