Manali is the adventure sports capital of Himachal Pradesh and is home to all sorts of outdoor activities which can be organised through tour operators in town. Situated in the heart of the mountains and rich in culture, Manali is host to a number of sights and activities – We recommend all our guests to take part in or visit at least a few of these sights or experiences if they truly want to explore and experience the wild mountains and cultures of the Himalayas.
Sights & Activities
Hadimba Temple : An ancient cave temple dedicated to Hidimba Devi, wife of Bhima, a figure in the Indian epic Mahabharata. The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest and the sanctuary is built over a huge rock jutting out of the ground which was worshiped as an image of the deity. The structure was built in 1553.
Solang Valley : 14 km northwest of the town Manali on the way to Rohtang Pass is solang – comprised of Giant slopes of lawn and has its reputation as a popular ski resort in the winter months.Snow melts during the summers starting May and skiing is then replaced by zorbing, paragliding , horse riding and ATV’s.
Jogni Falls & Vashisht Hot Springs : This stunning waterfall is only a short trek and is a must go to destination for anyone staying in manali. Accessible either from the village of Vashisht or Bahang. Located at the northern end of vashisht this gorgeous waterfall carves through sky-high granite cliffs before opening up to a huge mouth making it a true natural gem of manali. Vashisht is also the abode of revitalizing sulphur springs which allows you to indulge in exotic baths with the striking backdrop of Himalayan beauty.
Rohtang La : Scenic and legendary, situated at an elevation 13,050 ft, Rohtang is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km from Manali. It is an ancient trade route that connects the Kullu Valley with arid high-altitude valleys of Lahaul and Spiti.The pass is only open from May to November as it is snowed in the rest of the year and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in manali during the summer months.
Hampta Pass : lying at an altitude of 4270 m, this majestic pass is frequently used by shepherds seeking for high altitude grassland in the dry cold desert of Lahaul during summer time and is abundant with wild flowers, Vertical rock walls, water falls, hanging glaciers, tiny lakes, peaks rising above 6000 m are main characteristics of this trek. People need a proper guide to cross certain glaciers. From Hamta pass one can extend their journey towards the beautiful Chandratal.
Chandratal & Brighu Lake : Chandratal – Also known as the moon lake, as the name suggests it originates from its crescent shape and is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 metres across rohtang pass towards spiti making it an excellent camping spot to view the high altitude himalayan panorama as well as an unmatched view of the stars that fill the crisp sky all around you. Brighu lake on the other hand is located much closer to manali at an elevation of around 4,300 metres, this pristine glacial lake can be reached by trekking either from Vashisht or Gulaba. It is named after Maharishi Bhrigu. Legend has it that the sage used to mediate near the lake and hence it has been rendered sacred. The locals believe that due to this the lake never freezes completely.
Roerich Art Gallery & Naggar Castle : Situated on the left bank of river Beas , 20 kms, down valley from Manali, the nagar castle was built by Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu around 1460 A.D. The hotel overlooks the Kullu Valley and was later converted into a resthouse. Apart from the castle, nagar is home to Nicholas Roerich’s art gallery. He was a reputed artist and had chosen Naggar as his residence when he came to India in 1929. The house has now been converted in an art gallery which houses numbers of rare paintings and other specimen of art. The gallery is open for visitors all year round.
The Alternate Terrain : located deep in the himalayas alongside the mighty beas river the alternate terrain offers a one of a kind quad biking experience second to none in this country,boasting a range of polaris atv’s and quad bikes for all age groups.The park also includes a gorgeous cafe amidst apple and peach orchards which makes it is a must visit destination for couples, families and groups alike.
Fishing : the rivers of the kullu and parvati valleys are rich in trout and mahseer.the season runs from march – june and october – november in which period temporary licenses can be bought.Rods, tackles and other equipment can also be hired from agencies in manali.
Bike Tours & Jeep Safari : Tours can be arranged to ladakh,lahaul and spiti which take you on a journey visiting monastaries, glacial lakes, alienisc landscapes and the legendary mountain passes of the himalayas which are home to some of the most spactacular panoramas this country has to offer.
Mountain biking : manali is the prime destination for mountain bikers as the mighty dahuladhar and pir-pinjal range provide an unmatched terrain with views you could never have enough of.Agencies all over town provide bikes on hire and even organise tours to lahual, spiti and ladakh for the adventurous.
Paragliding : paragliding is one of the most popular adventure sports in manali and is popularily organised in solang nallah however longer flights can also be booked by tour operators providing flight from surrounding take-off points.
River Rafting : white water rafting trips on the beas river can be arranged in manali, however are carried out 25 to 45kms downriver near kullu.there is a 14 km grade 2 and 3 whitewater between pirdi and the take out point at jhiribut. rafting is heavily dependant on weather conditions.
Mountaineering : Manali is a popular start-off point for organised mountain treks.Popular options include – Beas Kund (3 days), The pin parvati trek from parvati valley to spiti (8 days) and the Hampta pass(4270 mtrs.) to lahaul. Mountaineering training can be arranged through the directorate of mountaineering & allied sports in aleo 3kms south of manali offering a variety of courses. Plenty of shorter walks are also possible such as the trek from manali to solang nallah alongside the beas river, a walk to the snowline above lamadugh meadow beside the manalsu nallah, the short walk to Jogini water falls accesible by vashisht or bahng or the trek to Brighu lake- a 6 hour walk to a glacial lake surrounded by alpine meadows. Rockclimbing and bouldering is also a popular sport in the region.surrounded by cliffs, manali has a good range of bolted and traditional routes to satisfy any climber, be it master or novice. Preferred routes include the ones in aleo, solang and vashisht.
Skiing & Snowboarding : From january to march the village of solang transfroms into himachals main ski & snowboarding resort and special equipment can be hired through local tour operators in manali.Year round high altitude skiing expeditions can also be arranged on virgin powder for experienced skiers however at a much higher cost. Heliskiing trips to high altitude powder can be arranged through Himachal Heliski adventures.
Canyoning ,Horse Riding & Zorbing : With abundant waterfalls, manali is home to some of the most spectacular canyoning in this country – It refers to rappelling down a waterfall or multiple waterfalls and is an easy family activity to beat the summer heat. In the summer months the ski slope in Solang is a popular place for zorbing ie.(rolling downhill in a giant inflatable ball), horse riding and a number of other activities.