general information of manali  
At the northern end of the Kullu valley sits the ancient site, but modern town, of Manali. It is a pleasant, if overdeveloped, town with lovely forests and orchards nearby for hiking, and good facilities for visitors. In the 1970s and 1980s, Manali was very much a 'scene'. In summer, the town would attract numerous western hippies and travellers drawn by the high quality marijuana that grows in the area. High season is mid-April to late June, mid-September to early November, mid-September to early November, Christmas and new year.
The State Bank of India and UCO bank, opposite the tourist offices, will only change Thomas Cook and American Express travellers cheques. A moneychanger at the Solang hotel, on school road, keeps more convenient hours and will change all major brands of travellers cheques as well as cash.
There are plenty of places to buy clothes and souvenirs in Manali, particularly along the Mall. Some of the better places are the Charitrust Tibetan Handicraft emporium on the Mall, or any of the cooperatives run by local women. The Tibetan market, spread around the back of the hotel Ibex, has a good range of thangkas and silver and turquoise jewellery.