Amidst fresh snow in Manali

We didn’t expect snow in Manali when we travelled there in November 2015. Normally, the schedule for snow in Manali is around new year or in late January and the beginning of February. However, it does snow in Manali, at higher attitudes, once in a while out of the main season. But, as you can guess from the post title, it did snow in Manali (vuuuaaah!!) when we visited here. Actually, there was a fresh snowfall in the upper hills the day we reached there and the next day. Due to it, all the mountain peaks around us , till half way down the mountains, were covered in fresh layers of snow.
I must say, this was the best part of our journey, as, we had not expected an endeavor with so much snow in Manali at the time of the year. Although it didn’t snow right in the town (which would have been a real real bonus!) . Nevertheless, this bout of snow came as a sudden delightful surprise for visitors like us! (something is always better than nothing, isn’t it!)
snow in Manali
snow carpet amongst the trees on way to Rohtang Pass

How did it all start?

We were out on our first day in Manali. And, we had already visited quiet a few places like Hidimba Temple, Manali Club House, Monastery. Finally, we settled down for lunch at Mall Road. After having lunch we were deciding where to head next. That is when the weather started taking a sudden turn. It became cloudy. And after sometime, it started drizzling a bit. With that, the temperature also dropped down drastically. And we started feeling the chills. Some of the locals around us excitedly told us that it looked like an outlook of snow. If the drop in temperature and chill would continue, soon it would snow.

Our ears were immediately alert. And we could already feel the excitement thinking about the perspective of snow..this is something we had not at all expected when planning our trip. Meanwhile, looking at the sudden change of weather, we decided to head back to our hotel. We got into our cabs and started back to our resort. Upon reaching the resort, we all gathered in a room and ordered some hot coffee and tea. Meanwhile, our eyes were glued to the windows to get that first glimpse of snow.

Although it did not snow right there. But soon, we saw it was snowing higher up in the mountain ranges. Slowly, as we talked and sipped our coffees, we could see snow blanketing the mountain just in front of us from top down. Almost till halfway through, the mountains got covered with snow.

Solang Valley after snow in Manali

The day after the snow in Manali, we started our drive towards Solang Valley & Rohtang pass. The view of the mountain peaks on the way towards Solang Valley was stunningly beautiful. It felt like the road was leading right into the snow covered peaks, as we travelled from our hotel near Hidimba temple towards the Solang Valley. The higher ranges were completely covered with fresh snow from the day before.
snow in Manali
Way to Solang Valley , Manali
Manali Snow
Soon we arrived at Solang valley. The Solang valley had become a velvet of green, surrounded by snow covered mountain peaks from all sides. We reached here around 11am. The place was not so crowded as it was the start of tourist season. We chose to sit on some of the rocks and enjoy the scenic beauty around. Cabs were lined up at the road side near Solang Valley.
snow in Manali
Solang Valley and the road to it
But we couldn’t sit still for a long time. The valley was beckoning us to walk and explore. So, we started to roam around, and trek a little on the slants of the valley to the extent we could. The whole stretch was moist due to fresh rain overnight. The shades of white snow peaks, green trees, and the earthy rocks were all glistening into the fresh sunlight post the snow. There is a cable car in Solang valley that seems to take the tourists up into the mountains. But for some reason, it was not operational at that point of time. The office operating the cable car was closed as well. We strolled around in the valley, wondering how it would be to trek up into the mountains and reach those snow covered peaks.
snow in Manali

Towards Rohtang pass

From Solang Valley, our original plan was to proceed towards Rohtang pass. But unfortunately, we came to know that the way to Rohtang Pass was closed half way through for vehicles post the heavy snow in Manali and the mountains around. Initially we had thought that we will go till Solang Valley and then return back. But after reaching the Solang valley, it was impossible to contain ourselves from indulging deeper into the snow game. So, we decided to venture towards Rohtang, till the point we could. We heard that the vehicles were allowed further up till a certain point after which snow had blocked the way. Also, there is special permit to be taken to reach Rohtang Pass. We had missed obtaining the permit also. So, it was not possible to take our vehicles further.
But we were constantly thinking, there must be some way to venture further. Finally, we thought we will go enquire with the locals. There must be local vehicles available with prior permit that we can hire. Luckily, soon we got a jeep hired. And hence started our journey from Solang Valley towards Rohtang Pass. And, we were not disappointed in the least by mother nature as we proceeded.

Snow and more snow

Soon the way from Solang valley towards Rohtang Pass enters into the steep incline of the mountain. As we ascended, we got the first glimpse of snow from closest range. First, we encountered trails of snow on the foot of the mountain where it met the road. Then we saw snow scattered on the rocks. Then slowly the layer of snow  kept increasing until we arrived at the point beyond which the jeep was not allowed.Here, we got down to walk further.
The slope of the mountains at this point looked like a soft velvety blanket of fur owing to the fresh snow. And, the patches of green below the snow made little beautiful patterns over this blanket. While, on the other side, majestic mountain ranges covered in snow added a charm of a different level to the whole scene. The more we comprehended the beauty of nature around us, the more we felt like staying there forever!
We walked for quiet a bit up the road towards Rohtang. On the way, we sometimes stepped into the snow. And at times we stopped for some quick beautiful snaps. Sometimes, we enjoyed making soft balls of snow and throwing on one another. Although our little one worried a lot looking at the snow. She felt, it was milk scattered all over. And she was literally disappointed on so much spillage of milk 😛 . But, still, she also had a wonderful time. She enjoyed feeling the snow and playing with it as much as we did.
snow in Manali

Inspired by this, we have put on our chart a journey to Shimla and Manali way into the snow season to experience it live!!! Stay tuned and thanks for reading 🙂

snow in Manali
Finally amidst the snow


Amidst fresh snow in Manali, Himachal Pradesh in India. In the mountain ranges of Himalayas

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37 Responses

  1. Why I love Visiting Old Manali | Drifter Planet

    […] In my opinion, its a year round destination and it looks even more beautiful in winters. In fact, my fondest memory of Manali is when I saw it during winters because of sudden snowfall. It is indeed magical when it snows in Manali. […]

  2. Shayan Naveed (@ShayanBkk)

    I wish I could see snow like that or have the opportunity to every year. We live in Thailand, so no snow, ever. I have seen in Pakistan but its very choppy, icy snow. Not like this for sure.

    • Neha

      I can understand.. even we live far off in South India, so to enjoy the snow, we have to make special plans. That is why this unexpected snow felt so refreshing

  3. Anna

    I’m from Siberia, so snow is my natural habitat. It would be great to play around in Manali – I’d be right in my element! After all, nothing beats the mountains 🙂

  4. Suz

    I LOVE mountains. I spent most of my teen years in and around the Appalachian mountains in the USA, and just recently having lived in Seattle we went exploring in the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges all the time. I would have loved to have this experience, there’s something just so, so, so beautiful about mountains under a fresh batch of snow!

    • Neha

      You are so in sync with us when it comes to our views about the mountains. It feels you just can’t have enough of them . So beautiful indeed

  5. Christina

    I’ve never really been a mountain person (grew up at the flattest sea side) until lately. Driving in a tiny car through the Austrian Alps definitely changed my mind, it was … exciting, impressive, I don’t really have a word for it. So now I can slightly imagine, especially with the snowfree village and the snowy valley, what a spectactular sight it must have been. Although you look quite daring in only jeans and shirt in the snow, haha!

    • Neha

      🙂 It was not really that cold the next day. We played in the snow with a fresh sunshine over our head.. maybe that’s why. Nevertheless, an experience to remember forever

  6. Swati Sam

    I love Kullu to Manali road trip … have been there in 1999 ..That was the first time I saw snow and I was so damn excited …but it was no way close to the ones you have looks gorgeous. I think I need to plan another trip 🙂

    • Neha

      Exactly the same happened to me. I visited here as a small kid, yet the memories stayed, like none other trip taken at that age. So, I decided to return here.

  7. wanderingwagarschristina

    The views of the mountains are magnificent. I could definitely feel your joy when you found out that the snow had come early to Manali during your visit. The snow adds a certain beauty to the mountains don’t they? This is a part of India I hope to visit one day.

    • Neha

      So true. The unexpected snow brings a lot of joy to the travelers. Actually when we talked to the locals the day before, even they were excited about the snow. Although I had thought the locals will be tired of snow 🙂 but to the contrary they are not

  8. Johann Kuruvilla

    So unfortunate you couldn’t get to Rohtang, but glad you could experience it without having to go all the way there. Now that is some luck. Had been to Manali and to Leh last year. Yearning to go back.

    • Neha

      Rightly said Johnna. We are actually yearning to go back to Rohtang and leh ladakh is also high on our list. Just waiting for our toddler to grow up a little more before trying such altitude 🙂

  9. The Venetian Rover

    I already am in love with India but you’re pictures made my feet itchy! Can’t wait to visit it

  10. Cai Dominguez

    Wow! Where in this world is this located? Its so beautiful. Im not fun of climbing but if this is what to experience on too. Ill go 🙂

    • Neha

      This is Manali, in the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. It is located in the Himalayan mountain ranges. Upper himalayas are snow covered almost all through the year while this place, in middle himalayas, gets snow in the winter

  11. pswdarlene

    Oh nice! an unexpected suprise! I never experienced snow before so this is something that I would really like to see for myself. Looks like you had fun!

  12. Vyjay Rao

    Your post has kindled many memories of our last trip to Manaly. We were there during Christmas and it was a wonderful experience. Of course the Rohtang Pass was closed. But we were able to go to a nearest point on the way where we discovered spotless snow, untouched by the human hand,it was an awesome experience. Need to head back some day.

    • Neha

      Thats why perhaps it is said when you once go to the Himalayas, it will make you return back to it again and again. We are actually yearning to go to Himalayas at the peak of winter. Christmas time must have been a very lovely time to be here.

  13. danicagilbuena

    At first I’ve mistakenly read Manali as Manila (which is btw in the Philippines). But then I saw the pictures of snow ~ nice captures! Made me wanna grab my sweater. Chills!

  14. Louiela

    Wooowwww…. I love snow. I can relate how’d you feel when you saw and experienced snow unexpectedly.

  15. PackYourBaguios

    Love all of how descriptive you were. Sounds like a wonderful place to visit!

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