Old ManaliManali can be divided in two parts old and new Manali. When you cross the bridge on Manalsu River, you can enjoy a visit to Old Manali. It is the only one bridge that connects not only the both parts of Manali, but two different worlds which are divided by Manalsu River. In contrast to the main Manali, you can sense a slow pace of life which has not changed for the centuries. It also exudes a sense of timelessness in Old Manali as you climb uphill to the old village. When you reach old Manali, you will see a busy market which has lot of shops side by side.
The main thing which you notice about the shops is that the names of the shops are anglized such as German Bakery, Blue Elephant Cafe etc. Here, most of the shopkeepers are busy tending to the customers which can be locals, Indian or foreign visitors. These shops provide all types of services such as food, clothing, grocery, medical shops, cafes, small hotels and STD and ISD phone shops.
You will also find cyber cafes, where internet services are provided or buy souvenirs at the great rate such as embroidered dresses, woodcraft items, metal craft and woollen items. The world famous Hadimba Devi Temple is located in Old Manali and have thousands of devotees visiting the temple round the year.
When you have some leisure time, you can enjoy yourself in the cafes which have odd names and unconventional music. The bazaar of Old Manali is one of the main haunts of Hippy generation. One of the important facets of Old Manali is the guesthouses with the cafes. These quaint guest houses provide accommodation for the tourists and backpackers. These cafes cater to visitors from different nationalities such as English, german and Italian visitors. When you stay here, you are bound to meet many people again and again. Slowly, you become friends with them, talk about trivial items and enjoy music.
As you climb further, you will reach the old village, where nothing has changed for the centuries. The houses are made from wood and stones with hilly architecture. You will pass through the pear and apple orchards, hear birds calling, and see the timeless aura of the place. Old Manali represents a balance between the traditional local population and globalized world. The streets have anglized local shops but the local people prefer to live in wood and mud houses. The timeless of the Old Manali and simple lifestyle of the villager is what attracts the tourists and the foreign visitors to Old Manali.