Manali was once an obscure point called ‘Dana' meaning fodder where traders travelling towards the legendary bazaars of Central Asia stopped to restock their supplies and get fodder for their pack ponies and horses. Later under the British, it was named P.O. Duff Danbar after a British Deputy Forest Officer who served here in the 1850s. His pahari style house built a little above the Dhungri village has been acquired by a public school. Mr. Dunbar was also responsible for acquiring all the material from England for the iron suspension bridge still being used to cross the River Beas at Bhuntar. The real Manali after which the modern resort town is named is a big village across the Manalsu Stream about a kilometre northwest.
Today Manali is a town that offers you excellent accommodation with prices ranging from low budget to expensive. Transportation is in the form of auto rickshaws, taxis and buses. Multi-cuisine restaurants and dhabas offer a range of culinary delights and the mall- excellent
shopping. A range of adventure sports can be enjoyed here and include river rafting, paragliding, trekking, skiing, angling and mountaineering depending on the season. In fact, Manali has all the services that you would ever want while on vacation. Manali is also an ideal gateway to the northern hi-altitude desert regions of Lahaul-Spiti and Ladakh, which are accessible only from July through September. The Manali-Leh Highway (470 Kms) has become a popular route for Jeep Safaris going through some of the highest mountain passes in the world.
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