Manila – Kumaon, A Lesser Known Offbeat Place in Uttarakhand near Delhi

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Manila in Kumaon !! “What?? Never heard of this place bhai, what is that and where is that; what to do there and what to see, where to stay?” Some of the questions that keeps following me whenever I suggest this peaceful, calm and amazingly beautiful offbeat place in Uttarakhand near Delhi to any of my friends or family. In today’s article, I will try to address all these questions and present you a comprehensive travel guide for Manila in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.

Golden Glow of Sunset at Manila
Golden Glow of Sunset at Manila
Manila – Kumaon, Uttarakhand

Manila is one of my favourite offbeat places in Uttarakhand near Delhi and it has completely lived up to the standards as well as expectations so far for me or to whosoever Manila has been suggested. Prospering in the lap of the Himalayas, Manila Village, an abode of Manila Devi, imbibes a sense of calmness among the travellers and does not fall away a inch by its meaning "enchanting". Located in Almora district of Kumaon, Uttarakhand and contoured by dense forest range along with wide view of mighty Himalayas, this offbeat place remains un-crowded most of the year being unknown to many. Hindi is the official language in Manila while locals also speak in local Kumaon language. So, there is no issues in communication aspects 🙂

Apart from peace and tranquillity, Manila village offers breath-taking panoramic views of mighty Himalayas right from Trishul to Panchchulli including Nanada Devi peaks. The experience of seeing golden glows at sunrise and sunset over this range of Himalayas is just enough to fall in love with this beautiful yet small village in Himalayas named Manila.

Location

Manila village is located about 85 KMs from Ranikhet in Almora district of Kumaon region in Uttarakhand. Ramnagar near Jim Corbett is just 75 KMs from Manila. Marchulla, situated at the banks of Ramganga river and famous for its wildlife excursion being the tip of Jim Corbett National Park, is located just 45 odd KMs from Manila.

Altitude

Manila resides at an altitude of 1820 Mtrs, good enough to keep it cooler in summers and quite cold with snow in winters. About 2-3 feet snow pours at time in Manila and you can consider it to be the closest place to Delhi to get snowfall 🙂

Seasons for Travelling to Manila

You can travel to Manila all round the year and average temperature over an year is around 20 degree Celsius. The summers are cool while winters can be quite cold with temperature dipping down to zero degree Celsius too. We had a thick sheet of frozen ice on the wind shields of our cars in the morning when we woke up in December. It even snows about 2-3 feet in Manila, so take woollens with you while planning a trip to Manila in winters.

Views on the way to Manila from Delhi

Views on the way to Manila from Delhi

Views on the way to Manila from Marchula
Views on the way to Manila from Marchula
Roads on the way to Manila from Delhi
Roads on the way to Manila from Delhi

Roads on the way to Manila from Delhi

Roads on the way to Manila from Delhi
How to Reach Manila, Kumaon from Delhi
By Road

The route can be followed as Delhi – Moradabad – Kashipur – Ramnagar – Jim Corbett – Mohaan – Marchula – Maulikhal – Manila. Mohaan to Manila is 60 km. Route is Mohaan – Marchula (14 KM) – Maulikhal (35 KM) – Dotiyal (51 KM) – Manila (60 KM). Delhi to Manila is 365 KMs. We started at 6.30 AM and ended at 3.30 PM at Manila with decent number of breaks due to presence of small kids. You can also take the route from Nainital – Ranikhet side and exit from this side back to Delhi but that is a bit longer route. However, I will advice you to do a circuit only to enjoy both sides of the route and place.

Public Transport

By Bus: Ranikhet which is about 85 KMs is well connected to Delhi with both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses which are available from Scindia House, New Delhi and Anand Vihar Bus Terminal, Delhi. You can also take a bus to Ramnagar or Marchulla from where you will get connecting buses to Ranikhet or Bhikiyasain.

By Taxi/ Cab: We did saw lot of shared taxis running through Manila, so assuming, it will be well connected with major towns like Ranikhet or Ramnagar or Haldwani.

By Train: Kathgodam is about 145 KMs and Ramnagar is about 75 KMs which are the rail heads near to Manila

By Air: The nearest airport is Pantnagar Aiport which is about 170 KMs from Manila.

Most Common Itinerary for Manila, Kumaon

Manila is a place where you can soak yourself into the tranquillity of the place, relax in peace and may be get to know about the local culture of the region by interacting with the locals who are pretty much humble and down to earth.

  • Day 1 – Delhi to Manila. Enjoy the easy 8-9 Hrs drive to Manila from Delhi going through forest range of Corbett National Park, Mohaan – Marchula – Dotiyal. Finally, watch the sunset over the panoramic mountain range in front of you.
  • Day 2 – Rest day at Manila, may be visit the temples which are the main attractions in Manila or have a hike in the woods or visit Bhikiyasain which is about 13 KMs by foot or 35 odd KMs by road where you can see the confluence of three rivers Ramganga, Gagas and Norara. There is a memorial of Quit India Movement Martyrs at Khumar which is about 25 KMs from Manila. The Manila mata temple is in the village and about 6 KMs towards upper region towards Dotiyal there is another temple, where it is said that the hand of the mata (goddess) is supposedly placed and worshipped.
  • Day 3 – Manila to Delhi OR Manila to Ranikhet / Nanital / Kausani. You can either return back home after spending the weekend, over move to Ranikhet / Nanital / Kausani enjoying the beautiful valley views enroute.
  • Day 4 (Optional) – Ranikhet / Nanital / Kausani – Delhi, make a turn back to Delhi on this day to reach back home.
Accommodation or stay options at Manila, Kumaon

Accommodation or stay options at Manila is mainly limited to twin block KMVN Rest House at Manila. It is about 4 KMs before Manila village on the road itself on either side. Right side is a new block and left side is a old block which is taken back from private lease into KMVN now. The old block also has quite decent and big rooms with running hot water. The views are just awesome from the old block as it offers the valley views and Himalayan range view. Since, this KMVN of Manila is not listed on the website, you can call up the caretakers to block the rooms for you: Bhagat Singh ji at +919458152950 or Harinder Bisht Ji at +919457789896 (SURAJ SINGH (9456744274) is the new caretaker as per updates from debashis sir below). You can refer my name Dheeraj or Devil On Wheels to them, most likely they may recognize us 🙂 🙂 … Apart from KMVN at Manila, there are couple of basic homestay type guest houses and a dhabha plus night stay place too.

Attractions or Sightseeing around Manila, Kumaon

Manila is a small village place in Uttarakhand so as to enjoy the tranquil nature around you and enjoy in peace with your loved ones or get to know about the local culture too by interacting with the villagers and spending time with them. However, in case you wish to explore more around the village then apart from the temples you can keep Ranikhet or Kausani or Jim Corbett or Nainital in your plan or visit Bhikiyasain which is about 13 KMs by foot or 35 odd KMs by road where you can see the confluence of three rivers Ramganga, Gagas and Norara. There is a memorial of Quit India Movement Martyrs at Khumar which is about 25 KMs from Manila. The drive from Mohaan to Manila and further to Jainal is quite amazing in itself midst dense forest range.

Food Joints

Food availability is barely limited to the service kitchen of KMVN Rest House at Manila if you are staying there or there is a dhabha just few 100 Mtrs before KMVN TRH on valley side, which offers quite decent food. We had our breakfast there only before leaving for the day to Gwaldam. There are some more shops/dhabhas to eat in Manila village down the hill.

KMVN Rest House Manila, Kumaon – Block 1 New
KMVN Rest House Manila, Kumaon - Block 1
KMVN Rest House Manila, Kumaon – Block 2 Old
KMVN Rest House Manila, Kumaon - Block 2 Old
Rooms at KMVN Rest House Manila, Kumaon
Rooms at KMVN Rest House Manila, Kumaon

Rooms at KMVN Rest House Manila, Kumaon

Rooms at KMVN Rest House Manila, Kumaon
Cars Parked at KMVN Manila
Cars Parked at KMVN Manila
Sunset at Manila
Sunset at Manila
Views from Manila, Kumaon
Views from Manila, Kumaon
Views on the way to Ranikhet / Kausani from Manila
Views on the way to Ranikhet / Kausani from Manila
Medical Facilities

Besides a village health centre, a 24×7 ambulance services can be reached at 108/1090 telephone number. I will suggest not to heavily rely on it but always keep number handy. For any emergency situation, you may need to go to Ramnagar/Kashipur or Haldwani/Almora for treatment. Hence, advise you to carry your basic medical kit along with you which is commonly required during any journey.

ATM Availability

While going to Manila from Delhi, Maulikhal has an ATM which is about 25 KMs from Manila village.

Mobile Connection/Signal

Almost all the service providers have their coverage at Manila but it is always best to have BSNL when traveling in mountains or Himalayas as they generally provide excellent coverage in remote areas too. Besides one can find number of STD/ISD telephone booths too in Manila village.

Petrol Pumps

On the way to Kausani – Gwaldam from Manila, Dwarahat has a petrol pump. However, don’t worry much about fuel because unless you reach empty tank at Manila, you will find a fuel pump for yourself nearby and you will not get stranded :).

Other Tips and Suggestions from Devil On Wheels
  • 1. GPS is quite successful in this area but cannot be always relied on. It is hence recommended to take help from shopkeepers and passer-by for directions whenever you are confused. Also, double check the directions from couple of people.
  • 2. Always carry some extra woollen clothes. They might come very handy in case you get your clothes wet, somehow.
  • 3. Bring along a few medicines that are often required during a journey. Medical ambulance and police can be reached at telephone number 108/1090, keep this number with yourself for any such case.
  • 4. You can also check our suggested list of things to carry on trip including medical kit
  • 5. There are rains in monsoon and snow fall in winters, so plan your clothing accordingly. Road might also get close due to heavy snowfall or rainfall landslide for a day or two.
  • 6. If you are particular about brands in Liquor then it is best that you carry your own as we ended up shocked with even no availability of Old Monk
  • 7. While in Uttarakhand, buy some packets of buns everyday you start in case you like them. They are quite a good partner for tea on a road side tea shack 🙂

Petrol Pump at Dwarahat

Petrol Pump at Dwaraghat

Views near Mohaan – Marchula
Views near Mohaan - Marchula
Views from KMVN Rest House Manila, Kumaon
Views from KMVN Rest House Manila, Kumaon
Evening walk on road at Manila
Evening walk on road at Manila
Frozen Ice on Car
Frozen Ice on Car a Manila
Conclusion

Manila in Kumaon is quite an unexplored and offbeat destination in Uttarakhand. I feel that such places are better off without any commercialization or tourist activities which mostly spoil the beauty of these unusually calm places. So, when you travel up there then our request is that you travel responsibly. You can read our tips in DoW Community link: Responsible Travel in Himalayas

Manila too is one of the very few places I know that can offer you a break from the bustling city life and you will love to spend some quality time with your loved ones there in the lap of nature. It is a lovely place that takes you back in time. So, step out and experience the magic of this place where hills are experienced at its best…

Feel free to post any queries here as comments or in Itinerary Advice Forum of DoW Community…

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You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day - Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...

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27 Comments

  1. Armaan Malik on

    Hey Dheeraj you doing great job bro Manila is the awesome place to visit i have been there many times and cover lots of things i am again planning to go manila so i need your help to find more sightseeing places in near by manila so we can use our 1 week time complete and relaxing

    • Well, Armaan, we usually go over there to relax and drive between Manila – Kausani and Manila – Ranikhet. Both are beautiful drives. Apart from that I am not much aware of anything worth sightseeing unless you plan to hike here and there.

  2. Hi Dheeraj
    You sure have painted an extremely tempting picture of Manila and I am ready to pack my bags.
    We are planning to go in October.
    My mom is 83 years old and active but will there be too many steps up and down?
    Will it be negotiable for the elderly?
    Will be very glad to hear from you
    And really thanks a ton for the great work you are doing for the city tired folk.

  3. Pankaj Mishra on

    Hi Dheeraj, thanks again for being margadarshak.

    We are a family of 6 adults with a six year old and want to explore offbeat Uttarakhand. What according to you will be a good option? Plan to travel in May, want to explore a cold destination and also get closer to snow capped mountains

  4. Debasish pal on

    hI DEERAJJI

    THE NAME OF THE PERSON IS SURAJ SINGH (9456744274) WHO IS LOOKING AFTER MANILA TRH NOW.
    iam not able to contact with him for our accommodation on 23rd nov .i will let you know if I can.
    I have slightly modified our tour plan .the revised one is as under:-
    arriving nainital on 14th November morning by ranikhet express from delhi.

    14th& 15th -Nainital(doing nothing -visiting 3rd time -but love this place)
    16th-mukteswar(doing nothing expect local sight seeing at one/two spot)
    17th Dhaulchina after visiting kasardevi-anadamoyee ashram-jageswar-
    18th chakori- via sheraghat doing nothing —
    19th -munsiyari
    20th-munsiyari–only local sight seeing
    21st – kausani-vis tejam,sama, kapkote
    22nd -kausani-may visit gwaldam/debal
    23rd-manila via someswar/dwarahat
    24th & 25th -Corbett
    26th night at 10 p/m train to jaipur from Ramnagar
    27th -jaipur-doing nothing–visiting 3rd time
    28th&29th-Ramthambore NP
    30th -back to delhi to avail train to howrah

    I know ,I have allotted maximum time at Corbett.because it depends on availability of FRH .if we do not get it we shall try for day safari only on 25th and 26th.in that case we may reach ramnagar on 24th evening/afternoon.

    please guide me and suggest me if you have any alternate opinion. we have decided to hire a Indica type car for two of us to cover the entire tour including corbett.we are not hiring any separate jeep fpr corbett safari to control over cost.also suggest some cheap hotel near ramnagar railway station/bus stand.we have no other option but to stay here if we do not get accommodation at FRH.
    thanks

    • Sir, you plan looks OK to me. Indica will be good. will suggest that once you reach Ramnagar, you should find it on the spot because you should be able to find places on the spot and control the budget as well.

  5. Debasish pal on

    Hi Dhiraj,
    we a aged couple from kolkata would like to visit kumaon this november.we have decided to include manila this within our tour plan
    our rough tour plan are as follows:-
    14th & 15th Nainital
    16th Mukteswar
    17th barechina/dhaulchina/jageswar vis almora
    18th chakori via sheraghat
    19th &20th-Munsiyari
    21st-kausani
    22nd-manila via someswar/dwarahat(or 22nd gwaldam via baijnath and 23rd manila via dwarahat)

    23rd -marchula or manila
    24th & 25th Ramnagar for jim corbett np.
    26th night at 10p/m train to jaipur
    27th -jaipur
    28th and 29th -Swoai Madhopur for ranthambore np.
    30th morning back to delhi to avail Rajdhani exp for Kolkata.

    no doubt it is long and typical tour plan .how it looks like .your opinion is suggested.cost is a big concern for us .perhaps we have to hire a car (small) from Nainital upto Ramnagar to follow this tour plan.
    we are specially worried about the night stays at jim corbett(ramnagar)because resorts are very costly and I have been trying to book a FRH at Bijrani zone online for last two years on the opening day but failed. we have kept two nights this time also for booking of frh.I will try again this time to book FRH online but I am afraid of getting accommodation there .if I fail to book it again ,I shall try for day visit permission at Bijrani zone.

    Regarding Ranthambore we have chosen canter safari at zone 2,3, 4or5.I shall book it online on the date of opening.

    I left this plan and our concerns before you for valuable advise,assistance,and guidance ..

    • Hi Debasish ji,

      Your plan looks fine to me and very much doable. Yes, you will have to hire the small taxi. Also, thing is that KMVNs are pretty nice and have almost best locations at all the places.

      • Debasish pal on

        Hi Dheeraj Brother,
        thanks for your reply.We have slightly modified our tour plan .on 21st November we are at Kausani
        on 22nd we have decided to stay at Chaukuthiya via somesswar and dwarahat.
        How is this place Chaukuthiya?please let us know the accommodation options which are available there and app distance from Kausani to Chaukuthiya.
        on 23rd we are staying at manila .I have spoken to Bisthji today at his mob no provided by you.He has been transferred to other TRH but got the no of that person who is looking after the Manila TRH now.i will speak shortly with him for accommodation on 23rd Nov.

        Lastly we are worried with Corbett tour on 24th and 25th Nov.getting accommodation at FRH is very difficult.If I seek any assistance from a JEEP driver for accommodation at FRH, would be very costly —almost 18000-20000 for two days including everything(safari,lodging boarding etc at bijrani and dhikala) which is not bearable for us .

        do you have any idea of cheap hotels at ramnagar?if we do not get online accommodation at FRH we have left no other option but to go for day safari only by staying at ramnagar.

        pl suggest if you have different opinion.

        God bless you and your family

        • Hello Sir, sorry but I do not have stayed at Chaukuthiya and it was just a passing place. So, I cannot comment much on that. Also, regarding Jim Corbett, I will try to ask few friends who have stayed up there to provide the contacts and reply back here.

          Also, sir, it will be great if you can share the updated number of Manila FRH and person’s name who is not taking care of it. It will be helpful to others as well.

  6. Are you the admin here?? If not, you got some copyright violators to prosecute 😉

    zoomcar dot com/blog/manila-kumaon-a-lesser-known-offbeat-place-in-uttarakhand-near-delhi/

  7. sanjeev bhasker on

    hi
    TRH is not seen on the KMVN website for online booking…is it operational now or close down

  8. Pingback: Kumaon, Uttarakhand - Most Common Itinerary

  9. Amrita Bhattacharyya on

    Hi Dheeraj…thanks for sharing the details of this beautiful place….just a few questions…
    1. Are these photos of rooms from new block?
    2. Are the new block rooms better in terms of maintenance?
    3. How is the view from new block?
    4. If I start from Delhi by 9 am around then is it feasible to reach Manila by 4pm or should I stop somewhere in between as I have a small kid?and if I have to stay back then where should I stop where I can get some decent accommodation?
    5. Is it possible to book the rooms beforehand?
    Thanks and regards…

    • Hello Amrita,

      Thank you and yeah indeed it is a very nice place to relax.

      1. These photos are from old block not new one.
      2. Well, we saw the rooms in new one as well and there was not a great difference. Old block were also maintained well.
      3. You have to walk down across road towards valley side to get the view of the valley properly. That is where old block room scores more. I could witness the entire sunrise from my room window from old block.
      4. It will easily take about 8 Hrs for sure with kid. So, I will suggest you to leave early because you can avoid a lot of morning traffic even ahead of Delhi. Best is that you reach there in a day and then stop there only and will not recommend anything in between else it will break the experience IMHO
      5. Yes, just call these caretakers and they will help you with it. Ask them to keep the room for you and remind them couple of times before the trip. They will take care of it.

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