Old Manali – Small town surprise

Forget beaches, mountains and palaces. How about a holiday in an orchard with some marijuana to go with it? If the idea reads interesting, head to Himachal Pradesh, the ‘apple’ capital ofIndia. The small town of Manali, divided into old and new areas, is a holiday experience as quirky as it gets.


A 15-hours drive fromNew Delhi, new Manali is your regular town. But it is old Manali which you truly want to visit. Unending apple orchards, friendly locals, an eyeful of foreign tourists, a playful riverBeas, inexpensive lodging and a good connection to the Internet is just the start of a memorable trip.

Apple orchard in Old Manali, India


Old Manali is dotted with little cafes decorated with the most unusual art. We are talking glow-in-the-dark curtains, drawings by customers, and animal antlers. Most cafes expertly whip up excellent Irish, Italian, Spanish and Jewish cuisines, apart from Indian, of course. Courteous waiters and freely available marijuana are incentives to get you to try the foreign fare. Do sample some Yak cheese available in select cafes.


On the singular main street of old Manali, there’s scope to shop for silver jewelry to your heart’s content. Be wary of the prices though, and quote less than what you pay for the item in a city. Knitted woollen wear in all sizes can be the next on your shopping list. Also not to be missed are the skimpy dresses stocked for foreign tourists that belie the fact that you are in a small Indian town.


14 responses

  1. Sounds interesting …..

  2. very very interesting….i have been to GHNP..and boy did we get high on marijuana there!!


    1. I see you had happy times!

  3. This is a perfect post with much beautiful pictures and great topic really the Old Manali is a great place but a few peoples know about it. There we able to know about it by this post. I am in waiting for your next post.

    1. Hey, thank you! I’m guessing that you have been to Old Manali 🙂

  4. You have shared good information on Manali apple orchards. Manali has many orchards which will turn the whole Himachal in red. One should go to Himachal to see the red beauty of place.
    Manali Tourism

    1. Hey guys! How nice of you guys to leave a comment here : ) Thank you!

  5. sonali shah…..want more info about this place…what do i do???pls suggest somethin

    1. Hey, Bansi! Here’s my suggestion: Pack your backpack and go! It’s pretty cold there presently, so don’t forget to carry along a warm jacket. Have fun!

      Get a late afternoon bus from ISB gate (also called Kashmir gate) in Delhi. You’ll reach Manali by 7 or 8 in the morning. Look/ ask around for an inn, dump your bags and go for a walk in the woods!

      1. thanks 🙂

  6. Ha! How did I ever miss this post? My namesake town sounds lovely 🙂

    1. Ah, my favourite Manali!

  7. There is no other place like Manali! i have gone there every summer since i was 1 for 18 years.

    1. You, Kunal, are so so lucky!

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