A day hike to Lamadugh, Manali

It was a nice sunny Sunday of September 19th, 2021, when I was in Manali for workation. Since I was staying in a hotel near Hadimba Temple I decided to spend the day doing the Lamadugh hike.

Location: The starting point of this trek is 3km away from the Manali Bus Stand. Manali is further well connected to other major cities by road and air (nearest one is 50km from Manali).

Difficulty and Duration: The difficulty of the trek is intermediate and it can be done in a day.

Distance: 13km loop

Best months to visit: March to June

Strava: Activity link

This whole trek is basically a loop starting and ending at Hadimba temple. You can do this loop either clockwise or anti-clockwise. I did it anti-clockwise because that way it was an easy ascend leaving difficult descent in the end. If you want to gain elevation quickly (more difficult to do) go clockwise or else anticlockwise. The best views were on the descent thus if you want that early in your hike go clockwise.

This trek will take you through the beautiful green deodar jungle, a lot of small water streams, mini water falls and stunning montain views with a small lake in the top which was not having much water at the moment I visited it.

I started my hike with this view of Old Manali Valley, you can see a very small image of buildings of Old Manali which is visible just above the red roof in this image and surrounding mountains of Old Manali is clearly visible.

Old Manali view

A another view to this area is this where you can see a jungle, this is the same jungle which surrounds the famous Hadimba temple.

Hadimba Temple’s forest

Few minutes into the trek and the views started changing and it started looking like a trail finally. If you will visit this in or around rainy seasons then you will see a lot of greenery here which is both good and bad. While greenery looks good to the eye but sometimes it becomes hard to find path in trail when 7 foot tall bushes have covered it completely. Further in such seasons, make sure to wear full sleeves and avoid shorts also because trail will have Himalayan nettle at various places. If you are visiting in summer (March to June), then wearing shorts and sleeveless tshirts will be fine.

Early few kms were very easy and then after 3rd kilometer I started feeling my breathe. I had my water bottle with me which I was refilling from water streams time to time. I was completely alone in this trek but in the way I found workers working on water supply lines and a local person commuting for work too.

While I got my water bottle refilled from the water streams but I will not suggest everyone to do the same, if you have certain allergies then avoid this water and keep your own 2L can with you. But for me I was fine with the natural source of water.

I kept drinking-hiking-rest and repeated this again and again. You will reach to the top of the Old Manali mountains as you can see Old Manali as a small town in this image below:

Old Manali view

The terrain you will experience in this trek is very diverse. You will start from the Apple farms and go through the various water streams, natural rock structures, plants bed (these are not tea for sure lol) and amazing view of neighbouring mountains.

Now let me attach some flora I found through the way, I don’t even know the names to all of these, feel free to ping me the name and I’ll update them here.

Arisaema Serratum

Common Motherwort

Red Bistort

Oxford Ragwort

Not identified

After making my way through tall bushed which have eaten the trail making it hard to stay on the track I reached the top and that was the best feeling ever. Strava greatly helped me on not getting lost in this trek. This is how the top looks, you can see a dried lake on the left and rest of the area is grassland and forest. At this point I was so hungry but still the views made me feel so satisfied.

I started looking for a good place to have my sandwich now, so I hiked further ahead (150m) and reached another small grassland from where this was the view. You can see the Lamadugh top here, dried lake and forest and just behind the forest you can see the mountains around Manali, amazing.

This right here might not look like the best sandwich but I was so happy and hungry at the top that this tasted like heaven.

Yes, best sandwich I ever had in my life, period.

Now it was time to descent and I almost thought that the hike was over but no, most stunning views were on this descent.

Look at this view where the sunshine is falling on the farther mountains.

I kept on descending down making my way through the bushes and then reached this viewpoint which has view of Manali. Nothing but blessing.

On more descend, I came accross this nice camping spot as it was plain grassland and it was very near to Manali also thus great for weekend hiking barbeques.

Further, I reached the point where I had actually started the trek, thus completing my Lamadugh loop.

Bonus image:

, , , — May 26, 2022