After Rishikesh, if there’s any particular location that comes to my mind for adventurous activities in India — that would undoubtedly be Manali.
Ranging from mountaineering in Pir Panjal mountains (home to 4ooom high Rohtang pass), paragliding, rafting in Beas river, to skiing in Solang valley, Manali has much to offer for the adventurers at heart.
Solang Valley in Manali is actually a year-round activity hotspot, and the ideal time to visit would depend on your reason to visit Manali. If paragliding and lush landscape are what’s calling you to this hill station, then summers would be an ideal time. On the other hand, if you’re more excited by the thrill of skiing or skating, then head to Solang Valley in winters.
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My flying dreams came true right in Solang Valley when I jumped off a cliff and the glider took me far off from the ground where I had a birds-eye view of the entire valley.
There’s a short couple of minutes flight starting from Rs. 800. But if you’d like to enjoy the beauty of paragliding, then I’d highly suggest you try the 10-15 minute long flight which costs about Rs. 1800 and rises to around 3500 ft. Book a cable car on spot for about Rs. 500 both ways, and it takes around 5 minutes to reach the spot from where paragliding starts.
Also, there are local photographers taking photos and videos while you are in flight, which costs an additional Rs. 500.
Paragliding is closed during rainy reason, and runs from January to May and then October to December.
Unleash the inner kid in you by zorbing in Solang Valley. Stumbling down the hill in a transparent ball is a sensation one has to experience to assimilate it. Zorbing prices start from Rs. 350.
Rafting in Beas River
Beas river may not be as popular as the Ganges for rafting with shorter distances but it sure is thrilling. Negotiate the rapids on the ever torrential Beas river on a 7km or 14km long rafting (I’d suggest the latter).
There are a few places in India where you can learn skiing in India, the popular ones being – Auli, Gulmarg, and Manali.
Out of all the things to do in Solang Valley, skiing has to be the most exciting one.
There are many tour operators providing skiing packages of 3 – 5 days for first-time skiers. Apparently, the Manali skiing industry is likely to collapse in the coming years due to receding snowfall. In order to combat this, the country’s first ever artificial snow park has been set up for visitors recently.
Read: Practical Guide on Skiing in Auli
Named after a former Prime Minister of India – Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (ABVIMAS) is one of the premier mountaineering institutes in the country. Situated along the banks of Beas river, this institute offers a medley of courses for adventure enthusiasts and can host over 200 people at a time.
There are many treks starting from Manali — Parvathi valley, Bhrigu valley trek, Hampta pass, Chandra Tal lake trek to name a few. Trekking in the Himalayas is just life-changing and I urge you to try it if you haven’t already.
Are you convinced that Manali is more than just a honeymoon destination? What are you waiting for? Book your stay and start planning your adventure!
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