Adventure Sports in Manali
Paragliding in Solang nala
Solang valley around 14 km from Manali is one among the few places where paragliding can be enjoyed. The place is easily accessible by taxi or through trekking. Summer months from May to September are the best time to enjoy paragliding as the skies are clear and the wind aids in paragliding.
Kullu is one of the most popular destinations for rafting. River Beas, located close to Kullu is the place where rafters can enjoy this sport. The season from end of April to June and again from mid-September to mid-October is the apt time for rafting in Kullu. Charges for enjoying this sport is around Rs 1000 to 1500 per person (negotiable).
The river boasts of various grades that suits amateurs as well as seasoned rafters. Gears and training can be taken from the Himachal Mountaineering Institute and Allied Sports, located in Manali.
River Rafting, Manali
Snow-fed riverbed of the enchanting River Beas put forward incredible chances for the demanding activity of rafting. The thrilling sport of River Rafting in the untamed Beas River offers a magical feeling of intense and unbounded pleasure. River Beas offers one of the best rafting fields in the entire Himalayan brooks and with its difficulty level proves as a challenge even to experienced rafters.
In Beas River, rafting is done from Manaki to Jhiri close to Bajaura in Kullu district. Rafting trips generally begins from Mohal covering 10 km distance, during the months of mid-April to mid-June, while the rest depends on the arrival of the monsoon. The journey takes around one and half hours which consist of rapids from grade II & III.
If you enjoy river rafting then there are many tour operators that provide basic equipment required for water sports with rafting guides as well as instructions. The rafting points or region can also be reasonable accessed by taxi/cabs, with most of the places having food joins nearby.
For skiing, Solang Valley near Manali (14km accessible by taxi or through trekking) is the place to go. The two slopes here are ideal for beginners and rated as a top class ski resort. There are two lifts that take the tourists up to the slope from where tourists ski down. Please remember that the lifts are not operational all the time and one should be ready to climb atop the two peaks.
Besides Solang Valley, tourists can also enjoy skiing at Patalsu, Gulaba, Marhi, Dhundi and Rohtang Pass. The best time for skiing is during the winter months from December to February. However, summer skiing is possible in Rohtang and Patalsu.
There are many local ski operators from where equipment and instructors can be hired. Tourists can take up ski tours that are organized here, which charges Rs 2,000 per day for a trip that lasts around 3-5 days.
Situated on the upper Kullu Valley on the banks of the River Beas, at an altitude of 1,830 meters, Manali offers numerous trekking routes through the rocky terrain, alpine meadows or even the dense forests and sanctuaries.
The trails in Manali pass by the untouched lakes, apple orchards, blossoming pastures and small villages. Trekkers can experience the abundance of rich flora and fauna as one takes the popular trails through the Beas Kund, Manali-Hampta Pass, Pin Parvati Pass, Kinner Kailash circuit, Sar pass, Chanderkhani Pass, Deo Tibba Base Camp, Chandertal Lake, Bal Taal lake, and Barlachala.
Some of the popular treks from Manali include a 7-day trek into the Malana Valley through which one gets an amazing view of Deo Tibba mountain peak. The 11 day trek from Manali to Chandratal is one of the finest in Himachal. This trek passes through high mountain passes like the Hamta and Baralacha la Pass. The Solang Valley trek takes just seven days to complete and takes the trekker to Beas Kund, the source of the river Beas.
Manali also offers high altitude trekking for the experienced trekkers. One such track starts in Manali passes through Marsu, Balu Gyra, Shea Gharu, Chhatru, Chhota Dara, Bataal Lake, Chandra Taal Lake, Topko Yongma, Topko Gongmo, Baralachala and ends in Manali. This route takes one to a height of 4, 800 meters above sea level. The route is blessed with admirable breaks, wide-ranging scenery and amazing glacial views.
The best time of the year to engage in Manali trekking is between the months of June and October. Due to the extreme frigid conditions and snow, trekking in Manali during the winter months is very tough.
Kullu features among the main trekking areas in Himachal Pradesh. There are several famous treks around the Kullu Valley, but most of the trails are situated beyond the Rohtang Pass in the valleys of Spiti, Lahaul, Zanskar and Ladakh. Expeditions for upto 10-12 days are organized in this area from Pin-Pass to Spiti and Manikaran to Chhota Dhara.
The valley extremities are usually around 3500 m high with many villages and Buddhist monasteries positioned well above 4000 m. Most treks take about two to three weeks to complete and lead through isolated areas.
The treks here pass through rough and pristine terrain, deep forests and beautiful streams. The trekkers can see many old temples that lie along the way. The best period to enjoy trekking in this region is from April to mid-June and mid-September to mid-October. The excitement of high altitude trekking is the utmost when done in the months from June to September.
Putasar Lake trekking is also a good option for trekkers. Starting from Dashal temple, it usually takes 4 days to reach the lake. Best during September and October months, such treks are organized by Juniper Outdoor pursuits Centre (9810009564), charging up to Rs 25,000 inclusive of all equipment.
Zorbing is one adventurous sport that can be enjoyed while visiting Manali. This adventure sport began here only in the year 2002, when the adventure operators imported the zorbs from New Zealand. Zorbs are made of transparent plastic and the adventure requires no skill but huge amount of courage.
In this adventure, the person is slid inside the zorb and then it is then rolled down the slope. A maximum of two people (whose combined weight is not more than 120 kg) can zorb together.
The zorbers are instructed to hold on to the harness places inside the zorb and after ensuring all the safety, these zorbs are made to roll down on 100 meters ride on a gradient. The more adventurous can opt for a 150 meter grade, to make the zorb roll at a higher speed.
Solang Valley in Manali (13 km), which is 25 mins drive offers this adventurous sport. Besides, some of the agencies like Himalayan Extreme Centre also offer this sport.
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