Just 40 Km away from Kullu to the north, Manali is situated near the end of the valley on the National Highway leading to Leh. The landscape here is breath- taking. One sees well-defined snow capped peaks, the Beas River with its clear water meandering through the town. On the other side are deodar and pine trees, tiny fields and fruit orchards. It is an excellent place for a holiday, a favorite resort for trekkers to Lahaul, Spiti, Bara Bhangal (Kangra), and Zanskar ranges. From temples to antiquity, to picturesque sight-seeing spots and adventure activities, Manali is a popular resort for all seasons and for all travelers.
According to mythology, one day, Varvasvata, the seventh incarnation of Manu found a tiny fish in his bathing water. The fish told him to look after it with devotion as one day it would do him a great service. The seventh Manu cared for the fish till the day it grew so huge that he released it into the sea. Before departing, the fish warned Manu of an impending deluge when the entire world would be submerged and bade him to build a sea worthy ark. When the flood came, Varvasvata and seven sages were towed to safety by Matsya, the fish which is regarded as first avatar of Lord Vishnu. As the water subsided the seventh Manu's ark came to the rest on a hill side and the place was named Manali (2,050 m) after him.
As the flood slowly dried, here arose a place of breath-taking natural beauty which was only appropriate at Manali that life began again. Today this legendary cradle of all human kind is a prime holiday destination.