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Which is better Manali or Kasol?

Discussion in 'Himachal Pradesh' started by KapoorNishi, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. KapoorNishi

    KapoorNishi New Member

    I am stuck in choosing between two destinations in Himachal Pradesh one is Manali, and the other is Kasol. I have never been to Himachal Pradesh neither has anyone in our family. Both of these destinations are quite different regarding their popularity. Manali is very popular, and Kasol is a destination which is getting popularity, so it has become hard to choose which place should be visited or even better.

    I need help in finding out which is better Manali or Kasol?
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi there, welcome to the forum!

    Have you ever been confused about two destinations just because they are quite similar in terms of landscapes? Manali and Kasol fit into this category greatly, because they both have rivers, beautiful mountain views and adventure activities. This makes it more difficult to decide which is the best destination for you. There's no doubt that both destinations are scenic and perfect for adventure lovers. So in deciding which is the best destination for you, you need more than these categories. But first, let us give a brief overview of both destinations.

    On one hand, we have Manali, a hill station in Himachal Pradesh. Flowing within it is the Beas River with the backdrop of the Himalayan peaks, thereby giving travellers picturesque views from all corners of the city. Whether it's adventure you're looking for or maybe just some tranquility, Manali has it all for you. Long been dubbed as a honeymoon destination, family destination and adventurer's destination, it's clear that Manali caters to every type of traveller.

    [​IMG]
    Beas River in Manali

    Next we have Kasol, somehow a bit offbeat as it is not as visited as other destinations in the same state. But when it comes to views, it also doesn't disappoint, with the Parvati River flowing within it and the Himalayan peaks as backdrops. See the resemblance to Manali? Yet it doesn't stop there, as adventurers can also have a grand time here. But even honeymoon couples or families can enjoy the laid-back appeal of Kasol. While a bit unknown, Kasol offers the same landscapes, if not even more pristine, as any hill station in the country.

    [​IMG]
    Parvati River in Kasol

    So let us discuss the differences between these two destinations, a bit more deeper. This way, you can decide just which destination is the best for you.

    1. Accessibility
    • Manali - You have some options on how you can reach Manali from any other city in India. The most convenient option would be via air travel. Bhuntar Airport is about 50 kilometres away from Manali. You can either ride a cab to reach Manali from the airport or reach Kullu and from there, ride a bus going to Manali. If going by public transport, you either have train journey or bus journey. Train journey is a bit more complicated as you need to reach Chandigarh Railway Station first, about 316 kilometres away from Manali. From there, plenty of buses ply to Manali. But if going by bus, there are now direct buses from Delhi to Manali, which makes the journey less complicated. There are HRTC, HPTDC and private buses plying this route. The journey duration though is about 14 hours and can be a bit uncomfortable especially through the hilly regions. If you have your own vehicle, roads to Manali are quite good but there are some curves that you have to pass through. It's very scenic though so you can enjoy the beautiful views along the way. Thus, Manali might be a bit remote but it is still easily accessible especially if you come from Delhi.
    • Kasol - Since Kasol is located a few kilometres before Manali, you have the same options as above. If going by air, you need to reach Bhuntar Airport and from there, ride a taxi to reach Kasol. If going by public transport, you can either ride a bus or a train. By bus, ride a bus going to Manali and be dropped off at Bhuntar. From Bhuntar, there are buses plying to Kasol or you can directly just ride a cab. If going by train, you can also opt for the Chandigarh Railway Station as there are plenty of buses here plying to Manali. Again, you need to be dropped off at Bhuntar and ride another bus from there to Kasol. But your other option would be to ride a train going to Una Railway Station and from there, you can ride a taxi to reach Kasol. If going by road, follow the same route leading to Manali but take a turn at Bhuntar to reach Kasol. As you can see, Kasol is not directly connected to main cities but it is still accessible.
    2. Best Time to Vist
    • Manali - This hill station is an all-year round destination. Winters here are cold though and snow is heavy around Solang Valley. For winter activities though, it's the best season to visit, with temperatures ranging around 0°C to 7°C. Make sure that you bring your heavy woollens though and pick a hotel with heating. Summers, from March to June, are pleasant and this is the peak tourist season in Manali. Hotels can be fully booked during this time so book in advance. By the end of May, Rohtang Pass is opened to visitors and thus, you can enjoy playing with snow even in summer. Temperatures during this season range between 11°C to 27°C. Nights are a bit chilly so do bring some light woollens. The last season is the monsoon, from July to September. Temperatures remain roughly the same but the occurrence of landslides along the roads passing to Manali can be common so do check the weather reports before venturing into the hill station. This is the best season though for enjoying river rafting, especially at the end of September.
    [​IMG]
    Manali in Winter Season
    • Kasol - Much like Manali, Kasol can be visited all-year round. Travellers prefer visiting the hill station during the summer season though, especially during the months of April and May. The pleasant climate in the hill station is a good respite from the city heat. Temperatures range between 18°C to 25°C during this time. The months of July to September are the monsoon season. Temperatures go slightly lower and the Parvati River becomes fuller during this time. The last season, from October to February, is the winter season. Kasol receives snowfall by the end of December to January. However, heavy snowfall might lead to road blockages so if possible, reach the hill station before snow season sets in. The months of September to November are good as there are not much travellers and you can enjoy the serenity of the place.
    [​IMG]
    Kasol in Winter Season

    3. Attractions
    • Manali - As mentioned above, there's the Solang Valley and Rohtang Pass. Both are adventure attractions around Manali, with Solang Valley being open all-year round while Rohtang Pass is open about four months in a year. You can enjoy snow in Solang Valley during winter while you can enjoy snow in Rohtang Pass even during summer. There are also a number of temples that you can visit around Manali. The most popular one is the Hadimba Temple, a wooden-style temple dedicated to Goddess Hidimbi. The Bijli Mahadev Temple is also worth a visit and even more fascinating about it is that its lightning rod gets struck by lightning every year. The Vashisht Temple, dedicated to Vashisht, also has a hot spring within it that you can also visit. There are also a number of natural attractions around Manali, like the Jogini Waterfalls and Rahala Waterfalls. There's also the Beas River and Raison River, perfect spots for river rafting or just having a picnic. There are many attractions around Manali to keep you and your loved ones busy for a few days.
    [​IMG]
    Jogini Waterfalls in Manali
    • Kasol - Manikaran Sahib is Kasol's version of the Vashisht Temple. Just like the latter, it has a hot water spring flowing within it. You already know about the Parvati River, equally beautiful as Manali's Beas River and also a river rafting destination for many travellers. While Kasol doesn't have the equivalents of Solang Valley or Rohtang Pass, you can explore the nearby villages within it. Some of the villages worth visiting here are the Chalal Village and Tosh Village. Both are home to a number of Israeli settlers and as such, you get to view a unique mixture of culture in the villages. Yet another interesting village here is Malana, supposed to be the home of the descendants of Alexander the Great. Pulga is a must visit village too, with its tea plantations, the views here would remind you of Munnar.
    [​IMG]
    Malana Village in Kasol

    4. Activities
    • Manali - In Solang Valley, if you're visiting during the winter, you can enjoy snow scootering and skiing. If you're visiting during the summer, you can enjoy activities like zorbing, paragliding, quad bike riding or even helicopter riding. An activity that can be done all-year round is riding the aerial ropeway of Manali. In Rohtang Pass, you can enjoy playing with snow once it opens in the end of May. You can also enjoy winter activities like skiing and sledging. The Beas River and Raison River are perfect places for river rafting. During summer season, you can also enjoy trekking around Manali. Popular treks around the hill station are along the Chander Tal, Beas River and even the Great Himalayan National Park. There's also yak riding, possible when you're in the Manali Wildlife Sanctuary.
    • Kasol - Trekking is the main activity you can do around Kasol. The best treks to do here are around Kheer Ganga and Rashol Pass. The Rashol Pass trek would take you around beautiful valleys and beautiful views of the Dhauladhar ranges. You can also enjoy river rafting in the Parvati River. Angling is another activity you can do in the river, but it requires a permit. Some opt to indulge in camping around the beautiful meadows of Kasol.
    5. Hotels and Other Lodging Options
    • Manali - There are over 150 accommodation options around Manali, which includes hotels and guest houses. Thus, staying here won't be an issue as you have plenty of choices. If you want to spoil yourself, there are five-star hotels like The Anantmaya Resort and The Himalayan Resort & Spa. Night rates for rooms cost between Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 8,000 per night in such hotels. For mid-range hotels, you can opt for The Orchard Greens or Utopia Resorts, both cost under Rs. 3,000 per night. For budget hotels, there's Kapoor Resort and Hotel Manali Castle, which cost under Rs. 1,000 per night. Even more affordable are guest houses like Rocky's Guest House and Bhoomi Holiday Homes, not exceeding Rs. 700 per night.
    • Kasol - Unfortunately, hotel options around Kasol are quite few. The most affordable ones cost around Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,500, with the likes of Hotel Anupam and Hotel Blue Diamond. There are more options for higher end hotels like The Himalayan Village and Parvati Kuteer. Rates for these hotels are around Rs. 7,000 to Rs. 9,000. The good feature of these hotels is that they are located close to the Parvati River so you can enjoy the views while staying in any of these hotels. There are some guest houses around Kasol though which can be more affordable but have fewer facilities for travellers.
    6. Food
    • Manali - Around Manali, there are plenty of dining options. In The Mall road area, there are restaurants like Chopsticks (Chinese cuisine), Adarsh (Indian and Asian cuisines) and Four Seasons (Indian and Chinese cuisines). But for the most delicious meals, head on over to Old Manali. Here you can find quaint cafes and restaurants offering a myriad of different cuisines to guests. There's La Plage (French cuisine), Dylan's Toasted and Roasted (Cafe) and People (International cuisine). For fulfilling your sweet tooth cravings, there's the German Bakery and also Manali Sweets.
    • Kasol - Lined with numerous cafes, specialising in Israeli cuisine mostly, Kasol also won't disappoint when it comes to gastronomic experiences. One of the top-rated restaurants here is Evergreen, serving Indian, Italian, Israeli and other cuisines to guests. They have a number of crepes, teas and shakes that are great for mid-meal snacks. Another must try here is the Moon Dance Cafe, serving mostly Italian cuisine to guests. Their shakes and juices are worth trying out. For street food, try out Shambhu's Momo Corner, very affordable yet delicious momos can be tasted here.
    So there you go, a comparison of the two destinations. Have you decided yet? If not, in a nutshell, Manali offers numerous adventure activities for guests. Interaction with the locals here is quite little as most activities are touristy. But if you're going with your family, Manali is the perfect destination for that. On the other hand, Kasol offers offbeat places for travellers. Activities here are geared more for interacting with the locals and seeing the unique culture of the residents. Kasol is perfect for travellers looking for something different, a new perspective even in life.

    I hope this helps you!:)
     

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