Manali

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History of Manali

Manali's `history' is really more myth than history. According to the Hindu mythology, Manali was the home of the lawgiver Manu (after whom the town is named). Legend has it that when a flood deluged the earth, Manu and the gods were towed to dry ground by a giant fish, which was the seventh `avatar' of the god Vishnu. The area where Manu eventually found refuge was Manali.

Whether that's actually how it happened or not, Manali remained a fairly quiet place, more or less unknown to the outside world, till pretty recently. During the 20th century, the British started to frequent the town- its climate and natural beauty were equable enough- and Manali gradually began to acquire the reputation of a tourist destination. This reputation got a bit tarnished during the 1970s and 80s, however, mainly because of the discovery that marijuana grown around the town was particularly good.


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