Adventure Sports in ManaliJust 14 km from the scenic town of Manali is the picturesque valley of Solang. This place actually lies at the base point of the statuesque mountain ranges of the north. Solang is the hub of adventure sports enthusiasts in Manali as the slope is even and gentle which makes it an ideal ski stretch.
This valley is equally beautiful and pleasurable both in summers and winters. In terms of adventure sports there are different sets of activities you can indulge in both seasons. Tourists from India and abroad throng the place throughout the year for exciting adventure sports.
Paragliding in ManaliParagliding is by far the most interesting and popular adventure sports activity in Manali and it happens in multiple locations of Salong valley, Gulaba and Fatru Mountain. The paragliding season starts from May and extends till October. From November-December paragliding happens at Salong and Naggar road only while this activity does not happen from December to March because of snowfall.
There are many operators who conduct Paragliding activities but it’s advisable to contact a known and popular agency because paragliding is a risky sport. Obesity, high blood pressure and cardiac problem sufferers are ill advised to undertake this activity. Para-gliders are transported to a point through the rope-way after which they have to undertake a sharp climb down to the launching pad. Usually the launching pad will be hidden between the crotches of two mountains. This location is selected as the wind force is high here.
Novice para-gliders start off from here on a shaky scared note and it is delightful how they gain confidence and power once the wind takes them up the Deodar forests. The sensation is akin to flying and for a brief period of time you can relish the feeling of having wings. The ride ends when para-gliders make a landing at the valley.
The charges for Paragliding are as under (varies from location to location):
Short trip (one minute): Rs 600/-
Medium trip (15 minute): Rs 1600/- (onwards)
Long trip (60 minute): Rs 3000/- (onwards)
You can contact the following operators for arranging Paragliding trips:
- Iceland Hotel (Solang Valley): 9816 066 508
- Himalayan Extreme Sports Center (Old Manali): 9816 174 164
- Vajpayee Institute (Aleo area): 09102 252 342
- Café Peace (Naggar Road): 9816 162 737
- Ski Himalayas (Solang Valley): 9736 699 999
- Tiger Eye Adventures (Old Manali): 9418 192 470
Gondola Rides in ManaliThe Gondola Ride is nothing short of a feast for the eyes. Though this does not require the individual to indulge in active physical prowess, the extreme high altitude of this sport makes it fall into the category of adventure activities. The Gondola in Solang valley Manali is more refined version of the rope way. The gondola is a beautifully crafted glass case with a textured finish. All you have to do is to get inside the Gondola and be prepared for the ride.
The ride goes both ways from Manali to Solang and then from Solang to Manali. First you get to see the scenic beauty of the mountains and the lush canopies of evergreen forests spread beneath your feet. The experience is mind blowing and you will surely appreciate the power of technology. You will generally alight at a mountain station in Manali which will offer you a full view of the valley and the mountains surrounding it. There are several restaurants and activity centers here.
Cost: Rs 1000 per person
Venue: Solang valley, Bhang
Quad Biking in ManaliATV Bikings latest avatar is Quad biking and this is a serious adventure sports open to only seasoned bikers. The ever changing scenery of Manali and the snow all around make Quad biking an adventurous and challenging activity. If you are a nature lover and also a biker then this is activity is not to be missed.
ATV Biking or Quad biking is done in a variety of areas like mud holes and slopes. Good agencies always offer free maps for participants so that they can navigate the area easily. ATV and Quad biking is done in the Solang valley.
Cost: Rs 900/- per person
Tip: If you are not an avid biker then you should exercise caution while mounting a Quad bike. This is a high impact bike which may make you fall if you don’t balance yourself well.
River Crossing in ManaliRiver crossing is a very interesting adventure sports in Manali. There are a lot of points in Manali from where this activity is organized. There are also several levels of this activity. For beginners and children under the age of 12 it’s recommended to organize club house option for river crossing. River crossing is a risky sport if done without help of professional trainer. The Bhang and Aleo points are best known for river crossing activities.
Cost: Rs 350/- per person
Tip: It’s important to ensure that you have tied the safety rope securely around your body while river crossing. The rivers in Manali are full of undercurrents so you are advised to embark on this adventure with the assistance of professional trainer only.
Rock Climbing in ManaliRock climbing is the basic stage of mountaineering. Manali with its steep inclines and large valleys is the perfect place to indulge in rock climbing. This adventure sports involves using only the lower and upper limbs to scale the outer face of a rock. The only help provided is through a safety rope. The best spots for rock climbing in Manali are Aleo, Kothi and Shuru. There are lots of slabs, solid walls and overhangs which allow rock climbing in these areas.
Cost: For 2 hours - Rs 450/- per person and for full day Rs 850/- per person
Tip: Make sure that you are physically fit enough to indulge in this sport. It’s important to follow all the safety instructions correctly while indulging in this sport.
Hot Air Ballooning in ManaliHot air ballooning in Manali is one of the most exotic adventure sports in Manali. This is a concept which is gaining buzz amongst tourists. Floating up in an air balloon is an activity which appeals to people of all age groups right from kids to middle aged couples. This activity is conducted by several agencies and a wide open space is selected for the balloon to go up. The balloons are all tied up with thick strong ropes that maintain the stability and balance. It’s important to be physically fit if you want to enjoy the charms of a hot air balloon ride. Bhang in Manali is the best place to go if you want to indulge in this sport.
Cost: Rs 700/- per person
Duration: 5-7 minutes
Tip: Always check the authenticity and reliability of the agency which offers Hot air balloon rides. Many Nepalese youth offer this facility with substandard balloons which may prove to be dangerous.
Trekking in ManaliThe best season to trek in Manali is June to October as there is minimum chance of snowfall. Snow is dangerous for trekkers especially novice trekkers. If you can brave the distance then its guaranteed that you can enjoy the charms of picturesque Manali to its fullest.
There are a few things to be kept in mind while trekking. Wear a pair of professional sports shoes and carry a comfortable backpack. Your backpack must carry a first aid kit, chocolate/ energy bars and water along with a torch. You must be wearing warm clothes as the air is likely to be chilly. The Mountaineering & Allied Sports Department and Tourist Development Corporation of H.P. arranges and offers services for successful trekking in Manali.The services include (chargeable):
- Medical Facilities
Best Routes for Trekking: Lamaruya Alchi, Shri Parvati trek, Parangla trek, Bara Bangal trek and Hamta pass.
Motor Biking in ManaliAll bikers around the globe generally prefer the Manali terrain as the perfect motor biking destination. The Manali-Leh highway is officially known as the best stretch to motorbike. This stretch is best explored from the month of June to the mid of October. Motor biking is an activity which should not be undertaken in the winter. Half the length of the road is above the elevation of 13,000 feet so the air is icy and thin. The rugged beauty of this terrain is almost entirely without human habitation. If you are looking for infrastructural support and frequent breaks for refreshment then clearly this sport is not meant for you. The bike riders pass through 5 high altitude passes and the excitement and adventure of the trip forms life long memories. Biking is a zero pollution sport and is wonderful for the ecosystem. Two popular bike spots are Rohtang downhill and Solang-Naggar.
Cost: Rs 1500/- per person (Full Day)
Tip: Mountain biking is best done in the summers in Manali as it is difficult to manipulate the bike on snow.
Horse Riding in ManaliThis is an activity which happens almost all year round in Manali. The horse ride in Manali will take you across snow, rivers and lush green valleys’ while you get to experience the wind in your hair and take in the amazing beauty of the place.
Horse riding can be arranged by the hotel you are staying in Manali. Watching the beautiful valley of Manali while trotting (or galloping) on horseback is an experience you will remember.
Cost: For 2 hours is Rs 700/- per person and for 4 hours is Rs 1000/- per person
Tip: You should ensure that the horse you are riding on is trained and experienced. Never sign on an inexperienced horse riding agency just for the sake of saving money.
Zorbing in ManaliZorbing will allow you to experience the beauty of Manali from all possible angles. This adventure sports is also known as globe riding and it makes the participant roll downhill a valley encased in a plastic transparent orb. Beginners can also opt perform the sport on a level surface while experienced players can opt for a valley ride.
There is a smaller ball present inside the inflatable PVC ball which is again fixed in its position by lots of colored nylon strands. In Zorbing the ball movement has to be controlled from inside and so the participant has to have enough strength. It’s important to maintain body balance and concentration while indulging in this sport.
Cost: Average Rs 500/- per person
Venue: Solang Valley
Tip: It’s important to maintain a light grasp on the plastic Zorb while playing as the speed will accelerate as the ball tumbles downhill. This is a summer sport which is best indulged in between May to September.
Skiing in ManaliThe oldest skiing schools in India originated in Manali which is very natural considering that Skiing is still the most preferred form of adventure sports activity in Manali. Whizzing past the snow balanced on a pair of skis is a powerful and rejuvenating experience. There are umpteen skiing schools in Manali and you should make your selection with care. Skiing is a pure winter sport and is best enjoyed in the months of November to February. Solang valley, Rohtang Pass, Gulaba, Patalsu and Kothi are some areas where skiing is practiced regularly. It’s recommended that professional help be taken especially if you are participating in the activity for the first time.
Cost: For 2 hours is Rs 550/- per person and for full day is Rs 950/- person
Tip: Make sure that you are comfortable with the weight of the skiis given to you as you will have to manipulate your movements using them. You shouldn’t choose a too steep slope to ski in if you are a beginner.