Delhi is also a highly polluted city which is a result of very fast (and chaotic) development and a rapid rise in wealth and buying power in India.
Nestled in the lap of the Kullu valley, Manali lies on the banks of the River Beas surrounded by imperial pine trees, alpine hills and a crescent of snow-capped peaks. Legend has it that Manali was supposedly named after Manu; the Hindu law giver who recreated life in Manali after human life had been destroyed in an all consuming flood. Divided into two two distinct settlements, New Manali, resembles an overcrowded tourist destination, with an influx of many north Indians trying to escape the blistering heat of the plains. Old Manali is perched further up the hill between mesmerizing deodar forests and lush meadows relatively untouched by the modern world.
The city was founded in the mid 16th century after Maharana Udai Singh’s former capital of Chittorgarh was plundered by the Mughal emperor, Akbar. Legend has it that the city was named after Maharana Udai Singh, who on the advise of a holy man, laid the foundation stone of this arrestingly aesthetic location. The Maharana of Udaipur is also the leader of the Mewar Rajputs known to his people as the “Sun King” and has the royal emblem of the sun on his standard.
The Mewar dynasty is one of the oldest in the world. More than seventy six generations have been witness to the grandeur of the Palace which reflects the rich cultural heritage, and the equally impressive traditions of 'royal' regalia.