Almost every family in Old Manali owns an apple tree if not an orchard. Apples are integral part of their life. It came from years of perfecting the art of planting and nurturing it; a ritual if not traditional. Small houses lay hidden between apple orchards. It is amid this setting that you get to see some of the most halcyon guest houses you’ve ever seen in your life.
I landed up in Manali three weeks short of apple picking season. There’s no tradition or event to announce the apple picking season but locals agreed that it roughly begins from 15th August. Having come from a place where apple trees are a rarity, you can imagine my excitement when I landed at a guest house surrounded by apple trees. I kept my backpacks inside the room and wandered off in a trice. My landlady thought I was crazy. She followed me some distance just to make sure Iwasn't plucking any unripe apple. I presumed my excitement made her suspicious.
The Beas river Valley from Manali to Solang has the best apple orchard in Manali. Solang is the last valley before the mountains preside over on the north. You could see snow peaked mountains from here. Perhaps it might also be the last apple orchard. Narrow mountain roads from Old Manali to Solang Valley passes through apple orchards and is easily one of the best hiking road in Manali.