Manali, the "Suhana Nagar" of the Himalayas. Located in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, its elevation is 2050 meters above Sea Level. Flocked by tourists all Year-round, you can never say what's the Best Time to visit it. As the season passes by, its beauty elevates to another level.
Named after the greatest Sage "Manu" in Hindu Mythology, it is believed it was his abode for the most extended period. While it holds spiritual importance for many spiritual seekers, for adventure junkies, the name is enough to give them an adrenaline rush.
While in the majestic mountains, you can ski in the snow, raft in the waters, or splash in the Beas. While the Solang Valley is known for skiing, Parvati Valley is known for trekking. The River Beas gives ample options for Water Sports like rafting, river crossing, rappelling, and more.
Being a hub for tourists, Manali is well connected through road, air, or railways. Whether you are a solo traveller or in a group, it's a place that will win your heart by welcoming you with open arms. Camping, fishing, rock climbing, you name it, and you will find it in this city of snowcapped mountains.
While we have used many adjectives by now to praise this city, let's delve deeper into what all Manali has to offer you. Manali Tourist places now have top adventure sports as a major attraction. If you have booked a Manali tour package, don't forget to reserve the below outdoor activities for an unforgettable Manali trip.
Navigating a river in an inflatable raft is what we call River rafting. Considered a high adrenalin sport, it involves various grades of difficulty depending upon the season and sudden plunges that a river may have. Manali is home to the waters of River Beas that supports both beginners and a Pro in river rafting. The presence of both grade 2 and grade 3 rapids in Beas makes the experience thrilling and memorable. River Rafting is one of the most popular things to do in Manali.
Pro Tip: Choose Pirdi to Jhiri stretch if you are a beginner; else, Manaki to Jhiri is one of the best stretches for rafting in the country. Even if you are the world's best swimmer, don't try playing up with Beas, as she may engulf you forever.
Paragliding is one adventure sport that allows you to have a bird' eye view of the beautiful world we live in. If your dream is to fly and so high, then Paragliding is the way to go. The safest way to navigate through the air as it gushes all over your face.
A paraglider is a lightweight glider aircraft to be flown by an individual, or an expert can accompany the flyer in a cocoon-like speed bag suspended by the harness. The speed bags are balanced with fabric wings. It's also one of the environment-friendly sport as it's the aerodynamics of the wind that drives a paraglider and not the fuel. Manali being home to spectacular views, you are assured of witnessing these beauties once you are high up in the air.
Pro Tip: If you suffer from air sickness, avoid it as you may faint or vomit midair. If you haven't paraglided without a pilot in high mountains, train for a day or two before you take on the flight on your own.
In Manali - The Paragliding spot is Dobhi Paragliding Point on Kullu Manali Highway, where you are taken by the Paragliding organizing Company you hire.
In Kullu - The Paragliding Spot is Gulaba, and the endpoint is Kothi. In this flight, you get a spectacular view of the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal mountains.
In Solang Valley - It's 15 km away from Manali and is HubSpot of adventure sports; it's known as one of the best spots for Paragliding.
Skiing in Solang Valley - Skiing is an art or an adventure sport of navigating on the snow using skis with fixed-heel binding. Considered as a recreational activity all across the world, it requires expert training to master it completely.
The Solang Nallah or the Solang Valley is the best spot for skiing in Manali and is well known among travelers. If you have to witness how snow adds to the beauty of Manali, you have to visit Solang Valley. There are ample experts available there to give you an experience of skiing, choose the one which best suits your pocket.
Pro Tip: If you know how to balance your core, you can master it easily. A regular exercise regime is a must!
There are various day hikes present in and around Manali, which are easy to conquer and provide you a fantastic view of the interiors of Manali. These hikes can be categorized as Easy, Medium, and Difficult ones.
Pro Tip: Practice a few stretching exercises before you embark on your journey; always follow the leader and not try any acrobatics on the way!
A Deep Forest Hike: It's an easy trek but a longer one. This trek goes towards Dev Diyaar – a Himalayan cider tree plantation. The locals can guide you the way to it. It's a thick forest where you come across the palm, pine, apple, and peach trees on the way. This trek is in a circle; hence you will not come back from the same route. En route, you can mingle with local village people and also visit the famous Hadimba Temple. It's around a 6-7 hrs trek.
The Jogni Water Fall Trek: The word Jogni in the Local language means Mountain Goddess. Jogni Water Fall trek you can complete in two ways.
· First Option: Reach the place Vashist and start the trek from there. It will take around 3 to 4 hrs to complete it. It ends at Vashist, too, where you can take a dip in hot springs before you head back to your destination.
· Second Option: From Old Manali's primary market area, you can start trekking to Vashist, which is 2 km from there; as you continue, you reach the local village Goshal and Bahang leading to Jogni Waterfall and the Temple of the Goddess. While returning, you can walk to Village Vashist and take transport to return to your destination. This one takes around 4-5 hrs.
The Solang Valley: The most popular destination for adventure sports Solang Valley is also trekking. It is located between Solang Village and Beas Kund, this gorgeous space witness many picturesque sights.
The trekking point can be from Old Manali, about two km away from mall road. En route on this trek, you can see the Valley Kullu and the River Beas. This Valley trek takes you through rocky trails, apple trees, and much more. The ancient villages of Burua and Shang are on the way, and you get a glimpse of the rural life of Himachal Pradesh. The whole trek takes around 14-15 hrs to complete.
Gulam Lang Trek: This trek starts from Old Manali. You pass through the Manalsu river while on this trek. The beginning is slow and gradual, and then the hike becomes a steep climb up the hill. It takes around 10 hrs to complete the trek. The maximum altitude is 2650 meters.
Lama Dug Trek: This trek lets you explore the snow-capped mountains and the multitude of birdlife in Manali. One of the best ways of spending the day outdoors, it's at the height of 9000 feet.
The trek starts from Hadimba Temple, sweeping you through oak, Maple, Pine, Cedar, and chestnut trees. On this trek, you can get a glimpse of Manalsu Glacier, Pirpanjal, and Dhauladhar ranges, and not forget, Rohtang Pass, Deo Tibba, and Hanuman Tibba. It takes 10-15 hrs depending upon your speed, to complete the trek.
Patalsu Peak: This trek starts from the Solang Village. Located at around 13800 feet, the Patalsu Peak trek allows you to trail through thick growths of pines and the inhabitations of Pheasants and Monals apart from the flora and fauna a Himalayan town provides. Here you get an entire view of Kullu valley and Lahaul and Spiti.
Apart from the hospitality that the localities give, the forests of Manali on the Patalsu trail also offer a sneak-peek into Beas Kund and Hanuman Tibba. It takes around 10-15 hrs to complete the trek depending upon your speed.
A popular adventure sport in the mountains, biking is paddling in the terrains of mountains on a bicycle. Manali has ample routes for this activity and is in preference with seasoned bikers and even novices.
Pro Tip: Cycle in the Terrain for few minutes every day before you embark on the long journey.
Bike for Hire: Available near Manu Temple Road, there are many renting outlets, or you may ask your touring Company to book for you. The rent amount ranges from INR 475-1575 a day, depending upon how and what type of bike you choose. A helmet is also provided with these mountain bikes.
Types of Bicycle: Variant 1: Hydraulic Brake.
Variant 2: V Brake.
MTB- Solang Valley: One Day-30 km
A popular resort for adventure, Solang Valley is home to beautiful mountains and deodar trees. This MTB tour is a 30 km stretch and starts from Old Manali. An entirely off-road stretch until you reach Palchan that passes by the River Beas. Post-Palchan, the route is uphill; hence, before taking it up, make sure you have acclimatized to the height and great lung capacity. Palchan is just at the foot of the Rohtang Pass. So keep yourself warm and get set go!
MTB- Rohtang Pass Downhill- One Day-51 km
Going downhill to Manali from Rohtang Pass is thrilling. Make sure you keep yourself warm as it gets colder as we reach heights. You reach the spot in a jeep for this tour, and even bikes are transported there in a bigger vehicle. Once you reach the top, bikes are unloaded for you to take charge of them and cycle down to the fantastic picturesque Valley. The Atal Tunnel is quite near to Rohtang Pass, hence an excellent opportunity to visit it while you cycle into the heart of the Valley!
MTB-Naggar- One Day-22 or 44 km.
Naggar, a beautiful village known as the capital of Kullu in the 16th century, now witnesses picturesque scenery in and around it.
Home to the castle, this heritage site has a Jagti Patt – a Shiva Temple. Naggar is also known as the home of Russian Painter and Photographer Nicholas Roerich, whose work is still exhibited in a museum there. So combining a bike tour with some sightseeing is a good idea and Naggar is the best place to do so.
This tour is on the right side of River Beas, where you cycle through rice fields, tiny villages, and apple orchards. It's an entirely downhill track but can be tiring. If you feel you cannot cycle more, you can hire a vehicle back home than exhausting yourself.
Mountaineering is another popular sport in Manali. It's the art of climbing mountains while you are harnessed to the ropes. For some, you may have to carry essential equipment to make a grip on the surface of the hill. Bouldering is a form of rock climbing where you are not harnessed to a rope but only wear crash pads to save yourself during the exercise. There are places in Manali where it is done.
The four popular spots for both activities are Deo Tibba, Pin Parvati, Kanamu Peak, and Patalsu Peak.
Pro Tip: A highly durable shoe should be your choice for this activity. Make sure you are wearing all ideal gears required as per your fitness level.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute Of Mountaineering And Allied Sports is the Institute that provides training in mountaineering and other recreational sports. The course duration ranges from 8-14 days and is priced between INR 7500 to INR 10500. It's one of the best places to train if you are a nomad and like traveling and trekking.
Before you try mountaineering for the First Time in Manali, it would be a good idea to enquire and undergo training here, and it's an investment for a lifetime as once you learn the skill, you have it with you until you are alive.
One of the more relaxed sports compared to others as you get a driver to drive you through the high scaling mountains while enjoying the views and lifestyles there.
Spiti Valley from Manali:
Leaving permanent awe in your memories, this Jeep Safari to Spiti valley is a great escape from a typical hill station holiday. You take the less traversed path and drive through the lanes that capture the lifestyle of small villages there amidst the bald and magnificent Himalayas.
Duration: 4-5 hrs.
Atal Tunnel from Manali:
A 9.02 km long Atal Tunnel is the world's longest highway tunnel. It is located at 10,000 feet with absolutely stunning views at both its north and south points.
From Manali, it's a 24 km journey passing through Dhundi and Solang Valley.
Duration: 2 hrs.
Tirthan Valley from Manali:
Tirthan Valley is 90 km from Manali. Known by the Tirthan River that flows through the Valley, it's home to some beautiful landscapes. It's an offbeat tour as it's away from the crowded spaces of Manali and is easily driveable on well-built roads that lead to it. Again a stretch for many sports activities, its peacefulness will calm your mind.
Duration: 3:30-4 hrs.
Chandratal Lake from Manali:
Located in Spiti Valley, this crown jewel of Spiti is a place where you would like to put aside your camera and immerse into its beauty by just being there and experiencing its tranquillity.
This crescent-shaped lake is 129 km away from Manali. Though a day trip is not possible as it can get hectic, you may just drive to its camp overnight and return the next day to Manali if that's your base.
Jalori Pass from Manali:
Another exciting destination from Manali is about 114 km away. This Pass connects Shimla to Kullu Valley hence is reachable by drivable roads from either end. It's home to unique flora and fauna and should be on your must-visit list.
Duration: 4 hours.
Rohtang Pass from Manali:
Around 53 km away from Manali, it connects the beautiful valleys of Kullu, Lahaul, Spiti, and Leh. Witness to high peaked mountains that are snow-capped, Rohtang pass is first on the wish list of tourists who visit Himachal Pradesh. Easily motorable roads make their wish come true with ease.
Duration: 2 hours.
Descending on a snow-covered surface/slope while being on a board attached to your feet is snowboarding. There are various camps organized in Manali to train you for the same and make you confident enough to try it yourself. Though learning it in a day is difficult, you can learn a few basic techniques to try it on smaller and safer slopes.
Once you sign up for it with the available trainers, you are first acclimatized through simple walks in the Terrain. Then you are familiarized with the snowboard and taught some basic activities on it. A well-experienced trainer teaches you the art of balancing, turning, and coming to a complete standstill on a snowboard. Post teaching the techniques; the instructor tests you on smaller slopes with all that he taught. Once you reach his satisfaction level, you are certified to go snowboarding the next day.
Pro Tip: Don't try it in the absence of a proficient coach. Practice as much as possible before going for a rugged slope.
Crossing a river while you hang on the rope is a challenging task, but if you are an adventure junkie, it comes under one of the must-do's in Manali. It's done under the supervision of an expert.
The most prominent spots for River Crossing in and around Manali are Van Vihar in Solang Valley and Morpheus Valley Resort in Club House, Old Manali. Performed over the River Beas, the prominent intersections of the River happens near Bhang and Aleo.
Pro Tip: Don't try it in the absence of a proficient coach. Avoid it if the River has an enormous downpour.
Sportfishing is known as angling, and if you are an angler, then Manali is a paradise for you. It's known as the hub spot for rainbow and brown trout. River Beas and its streams like Tirthan, Sainj, and Sarvari are excellent spots for anglers.
Angling is a technique a fisherman uses to angle the fish hook at a certain angle to catch the fish. If you are on a trip to Manali, you can find many local outlets providing you with the fishing equipment either on rent or buy.
Pro Tip: Make sure you learn to cast the bait accurately and handle the pressure with ease.
Snow Scooters are well-built machines whose tires can endure the snow, crush it and run on it smoothly. It's always advised to have an expert riding with you if you are handling it for the First Time as they are heavy, and skidding is expected over a snow-capped area.
It's a leisure vehicle, and you may choose to go on a shorter or longer ride to witness the abundance of beauty in nature. Most of them have a 2kms capacity.
1. Do not just jump on a vehicle in excitement.
2. Learn and practice its operation from an expert before you choose to go on a solo ride.
3. Wear Water Proof clothes that are warm too.
ATV or All Terrain Vehicles/Quad Biking is a trendy sport in Manali. One of the best ways to explore the dense forests on Manali and capture some picturesque views. The Quad bikes are large and heavy and can have more than one rider.
Pro Tip: Make sure you wear the prescribed helmet for ATVs.
If gazing at the stars in the night as you lay down to rest in one of your belonged experiences, then Manali is the place for you. Though the whole Terrain is such where you can just pitch your tent and spend the night under the stars, there are few famous spots for camping in Manali.
Places like Bijli Mahadev, Bhuntar, Solang Valley, and Tirthan are the spots preferred for camping overnight. As the fire in the bonfire burns, the night grows more beautiful with the twinkling stars and cold gushes of wind just singing into your ears.
There are many camping companies across Manali, and you can choose as per your paying capacity or choose to negotiate with them.
Pro Tip: Carry warm clothes for the night because as the night grows, the temperature decreases. Put on or apply a mosquito repellant.
Manali is home to a plethora of two days or longer treks. It's home to many trekkers all Year-round. The experience of trekking in Manali takes you away from the Hustle Bustle of everyday work life. It offers you various terrains be it snow-capped mountain treks or lush greens and boulders. Depending upon what you wish to experience, you can choose a trek. The most popular longer treks are Bijli Mahadev Trek,Beas Kund Trek,Prashar Lake Trek , Chanderkhani Trek ,Hampta Pass Trek, Patalsu Peak Trek, Kheerganga Trek, Deo Tibba, Bhrigu Trek, Tosh Valley Trek,Pin Parvati Trekand many more.
Pro Tip: Make sure your bag pack is light and carries only essentials.
Manali gives you a chance to whop around in the jungle amidst the trees, over the rivers while you are tied to a rope on your waist, and you are speeding around while hanging up in the air. It's one of the thrilling sport-causing adrenaline rush conducted by experts in the lap of the Himalayas and most cherished by travelers. Ziplining is safe and easy if you don't have a fear of heights and are a risktaker.
Pro Tip: Wear comfortable loose clothes.
If you wish to take a spectacular aerial view of Manali, then ropeway is the way. It is a state of art creation of a French collaboration known as Poma. The most popular ride is known by Dev Bhoomi Ropeway. It has 19 coaches with a seating capacity of 8 people in each.
A distance of 1.3 km is covered with a vertical rise of 500 meters and 6 meters per second. Operated by experts with great zeal, these coaches have a world-class security system to ensure a safe and secure trip for you.
Pro Tip: Capture the memories not only in your mind but also in your camera.
Similar to rock climbing, the only difference is here you climb down the mountain harnessed to a rope under a waterfall. Anything adventurous always opens the door for more endurance, both mentally and physically. Rappelling is fun and easy if you are with the right experts and enthusiastic enough to get wet under a waterfall while you support a rope. Being home to many short and long waterfalls, Manali is the best place to experience this.
Pro Tip: Put on good grip shoes and make sure you have a tight grip on the rope.
You jump into the unknown while your feet are tied to a rope, all below you can see are trees and some picturesque views but wait a minute, you are upside down, isn't it exciting!
Bungee Jumping is a sport available just 5 km away from Manali, in Bahang. Operated by experts, this sport is not for those who fear heights unless they are willing to overcome the phobia.
Pro Tip: Empty your mind before you jump; trust the process.
Now you can experience the Arctic-Antarctic region while you are in Manali. The winters in Manali have become more exciting, with Igloo staycations being organized in Manali. You can even get a chance to make one for yourself. Various camps are organized with one night stay or two-night stay in an Igloo while you enjoy a bonfire, dinner, and delicious barbeque. This Magical experience is one of a kind and an opportunity to fulfill your childhood dream.
Pro Tip: If you get a chance to construct your own Igloo, it could be once in a lifetime experience.
Imagine waking up to snow-capped mountains and the lush green forest while you are amidst the clouds that fly by you with a Good Morning Kiss. Glamping is a futuristic stay where you stay in nature while you enjoy all luxuries of a home. This glamourous camping is possible at Glamp Eco, located 12 km away from Manali.
Staying in Geodesic Domes Glamping Tents at 2600 m height facing the Dhauldhar Range doesn't feel like a dream! Yet, it can come true now.
Pro Tip: It's more expensive outside of India. Better experience it here!
So finally we come to an end of the detailed recce of Manali and places around it. A well-informed traveller is the smartest! You now have all the information about what you can experience in Manali, so choose the one which fits in your budget and, most importantly, your Time! I hope you hop on to some of the activities mentioned here.