Manali is the northernmost village/city of the Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh. Its located at 2050 m altitude, surrounded by 4000 m+ peaks.
Manali is a main tourist attraction, for backpackers, hippies and indian honeymooners, with plenty of hotels and restaurants.
Culturewise it has ancient temples, like the Hadimba Temple and a tibetan monastery. Its also got a big Bazaar, with mainly tibetan Vendors and local handicrafts.
For most backpackers, Manali is the gateway to Lahaul, Spiti and the hidden Valleys.