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Manali Sanctuary

Himachal Pradesh has a varied topography, climate and forest cover and is endowed with a vast variety of flora and fauna. From times immemorial, this tract is known for its wilderness, landscapes, beautiful forests and wildlife. In Himachal Pradesh, out of the total geographical area of 55,670 sqkm, the forest area as per legal classification is 37,691 sqkm. At present there are 32 Sanctuaries, 2 National Parks and 3 Games Reserves.



A beautiful wildlife reserve, the Manali Sanctuary is located about 2Km from the hill station of Manali in Himachal Pradesh. This sanctuary spreads on hills behind the town creating a scenic backdrop. Colourful birds, lush greenery and rich wildlife make the Manali Sanctuary a place worth visiting. This sanctuary is known for its interesting activities and exciting trekking routes. Home to different varieties of flora and fauna; the Manali Sanctuary is a great place for people of all ages to visit. Bird-watching is a favourite activity here. Its scenic landscape comprises of heavily vegetated areas and snow-clad peaks and is just amazing. Manalsu Nullah, a tributary of River Beas, flows through this sanctuary.

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       History : The Manali Sanctuary was officially declared as a wildlife reserve in 1954. Located away from hustle and bustle of city life, this sanctuary is one of the most visited destinations in Himachal Pradesh. Its wildlife reserve is home to several species of plants and animals and offers a serene environment for people to enjoy their time with nature.

       Geography :The Manali Sanctuary is located in Kullu district and spreads over an area of 31.8 sq. km and spans over an altitude of 2,273m to 5,173m above sea level. This nature reserve is located in Northwestern Himalayan biogeographic zone. Covered with Alpine trees and offering mesmerizing views, the Manali Sanctuary is a wonderful destination.

       Flora at Manali Sanctuary: The sanctuary is dominated by oak and conifer trees. Visitors can find deodar, horse chestnut, fir, poplar, walnut, maple, Robinia and willow trees. At higher altitudes, visitors can also see rhododendrons and junipers.

       Fauna At Manali :The Manali Sanctuary is home to a wide range of animals, avifauna and reptiles. Some birds that can be easily seen around include Kolkass pheasant, rufous bellied niltava, western tragopan, green backed tit, chakor, snow pigeon, Himalayan snowcock tree creepers, Himalayan monal, bar throated minla, kingfisher and snow partridge. Animals in the area include Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, barking deer, Himalayan ibex, musk deer, jungle catand brown bear. Snakes and lizards are also seen in abundance. The Himalayan ibex is often seen migrating to this sanctuary during summer months.

       Trekking :There are a number of nature trails and trekking paths clearly marked in the sanctuary. From easy treks to difficult treks, there are trails suitable for people with different trekking abilities. Trekking in this sanctuary can best be enjoyed from May to June.

How To Get There

TheThe Manali Sanctuary is easily accessible.

Air: The closest airport is in Bhuntar, about 52 Km from Manali. Bhuntar is connected to Manali by taxis and buses.

Rail : Joginder Nagar is the nearest railway station, about 95 Km away from Kullu.

Road : Manali is well-connected by a good network of roads. The scenic Kullu Valley connects Manali. This town is also connected to other major travel destinations in Himachal Pradesh.

Where To Stay

The Manali Sanctuary allows visitors to camp during summers. Lambadug and Gallant thatch are best places for camping in this sanctuary. Accommodation facilities are also available inside. Manali has a good range of accommodation facilities. However, hotels in this town are mostly packed. Hence, it is important to make bookings in advance.

In the upper Dharamshala, Mcleodganj is the actual residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The famous monastery known as Namgyal Gompa has larger than life images of the Buddha, Padmasambhava and Avalokiteshwara along with the golden prayer wheels. In order to understand the culture of residents at Dharamshala, a visit to Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts is a must do activity in the region.

Best Time To Visit

Summer :

Summers are cool and pleasant in Manali. Visitors who wish to enjoy trekking should opt to visit this sanctuary during the summer months of May and June. Those who need some adrenaline rush can climb up the glacier zone during summer.

Monsoon :

Monsoons are wet and humid. The area receives almost 1,080 mm of rainfall annually. Monsoon months, are usually not recommended for visiting this sanctuary.

Winter :

The winters are best to appreciate the beauty of nature and cold weather. However, it is important to carry proper woollen clothing as temperatures can reach freezing point. The winter time is good for enjoying winter adventure sports in this sanctuary.