Adventure in Manali – Best of Adventure Sports and Activities to do in Manali

Manali has many legendary tales to tell and every nook and corner, every temple, every turn, every rivulet running wild across the city scapes has an anecdote to narrate. While you go around listening to these tales of yore, there’s every opportunity to create your own stories befitting a tale telling status lasting a lifetime. The nature has its wonders and you can attempt taming these during your adventure trysts with them.

British born novelist, Pico Iyer once said

Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.”

If you have traveled to this alluring town, Manali is going to bewitch you, enthuse the adventurer in you and this sure is going to be one love affair that will last forever.

The cascading waters of Beas offer an opportunity for white water rafting and river crossing. The fresh water spring streams are perfect to go fishing for the brown trout and the rainbow trout on a lazy afternoon. The lush gradients, contrasting with barren mountain scapes let you go mountain biking. The knolls let you have a fling both with mountaineering and a subtle sport like Zorbing. The birch and deodar woods, exotic flora and resplendent vista line the trek routes. When the mountain tops are dotted with snow they are just perfect for a skiing experience down their inclines.

Here is a plethora of all that you can take up while being up close and personal with different moods of nature in Manali.

Trekking in Manali

Trekking, I believe is the best rendezvous with pristine nature. Manali offers treks into lands that epitomize an unparalleled lifestyle and culture. It lets you take a sneak peak into lands that were forbidden and untread till a very long time.


Trek to the Malana Valley

It is a seven day trek from Manali into the Malana Valley. The best time to get on your feet around this side of the world is the month of May or anytime between September to mid November. The route generally followed is from Manali to Nagar, moving onto Rumsu, then to the base of the Chandrakhani pass followed by crossing the Chandrakhani pass and reaching Malana.

Malana Valley

Malana Valley

Each of these destinations have mesmerizing panorama leaving you with memories as fresh and as luscious as the nature around. Once known to be a land beyond human habitation Naggar flourishes along the river banks of Beas. It has the splendor of the mighty Himalayas and a queer charm of a quaint village. Rumsu is another solitary village on the slopes of the mountain ranges and is famous for its three storeyed  “Katkooni stylehouses which are constructed alternating wooden beams with layers of stones. The magical Chandrakhani pass offers views of the towering Pir Panjal and Shivalik Ranges and the mystique of the pass and beyond lies in the windswept ridges that flare up one’s imagination.

ZARA HATKE ! (Unusual)

malana trekking Here are some of the reasons, besides the trekker spirit in you, why you need to take the trail to the “Athens of Himalayas” . Malana is a cloistered solitary hamlet isolated from the rest of the world lying overpowered by the lofty mountain ranges of Deo Tibba and Chandrakhani. The village revels in its unique culture, its language and a lifestyle strictly specific to its own village confines only. The village folk converse in “Kanashi” which is believed to be the language of the “Rakshasas” (demons) originally inhabiting the village. The language is spoken only by the villagers and bears no resemblance to the dialect in any of the adjoining villages.


The residents are believed to be descendants of the Aryans, the master race. The inconspicuous little hamlet boasts of being one of the worlds very first and the oldest democracies. It also shares the honor of being the oldest republic in the world. Interestingly, it is strictly forbidden for visitors to touch any of the belongings (even the walls of their hoses while passing by), visitors can only walk on a prescribed path or walkway and are made to go through a self styled detailed ritual of purification before being allowed into the house. Any aberrations are dealt with strictly the erring visitor has to give “bali” (sacrifice/slaughtering) of an animal.

Trek to Chandra Tal

It takes eleven days of treading the scapes on foot to witness the mysterious charm of the land of “Lake of the moon”. The ideal time to undertake the trek is between the months of May to early October. Nestled at more than 14,000 feet, it offers views of the lofty Himalayas at one end and a perfectly mystical cirque on the other.



The crescent shaped lake appears to have no source and the water is hence believed to be coming from within the earth. This trek lets you revel in the views of the snow dusted mountain peaks, lush green surroundings, glaciers and then a sharp contrast of landscape with everything turning arid and brown as you pass into the Lahaul valley. The route followed is Manali to Prini, Panduropa/Setan, Juara, Shea Gahru, Chhatru, Chota Dara, Batal and finally Chandra Tal.

ZARA HATKE ! (Unusual)

The trek lets you pass through another relatively sequestered village of Hamta. The local legend echoes that any person dying has to pass through Hamta on his way to heaven or hell. The locals believe that they hear sobbing and crying sounds indicating a weeping soul on its way to hell  and the celebratory sounds of a trumpet for those who are proceeding to  heaven. Another notable stop is that of Pandupora which is home to the largest potato farm of the state of Himachal.

Trek to the Solang Valley

This trek takes about a week to conclude  and culminates at the originating source of the cascading waters of Beas. The best time for the trek is from the month of May to the month of November. The route takes you through Old Manali, Barua village and the Banang village, to Dhundi and Bakarthach which then leads its way into the Beas Kund glacier. The trek route has priceless views of forested slopes, woods, snow capped mountains and glaciers.

Solang Valley

Solang Valley

Manali also has an apt landscape for high altitude trekking experience. The route generally followed is through Marsu, Balu Gyra, Shea Gharu, Chhatru, Chhota Dara, Bataal Lake, Chandra Taal Lake, Topko Yongma, Topko Gongmo and  Baralacha-La.

Mountaineering in Manali

Mountaineering in Manali

Mountaineering in Manali

Mountaineering and Manali were so made for each other that the town has its very own mountaineering institute. The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports at Manali offers both basic and advanced courses in trekking, in mountaineering, skiing and most of the water sports. The adventure seekers can let their souls seek solace post formal training in whatever adventure sport they wish to pursue while in Manali. The institute has natural rock faces to impart training. The institute also gives away trekking and skiing equipment on hire. Adventure enthusiasts  above seventeen years of age can take up various courses , at the institute, of a duration of approximately 26 days anytime from May to October. The best time for mountaineering in Manali is from the month of April uptill November. The most popular mountaineering apt peaks are of Hanuman Tibba  and Deo Tibba.

Skiing in Manali

The Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports at Manali offers a week long snow skiing program and a two week long promotional skiing course. The Solang Valley becomes home to hundreds of ski enthusiasts specifically during the winter months from December to February. The Solang Valley offers the most popular ski slopes for visitors with all levels of expertise. The two slopes are ideal for beginners. The slopes of Bhrigu Peaks close to Hamta also attract a lot of ski lovers. Skiing can also be enjoyed at Gulaba, Marhi, Dhundi, Rohtang and Patalsu. Rohtang and Patalsu have the distinguished categorization of being a summer ski hub, however  the slopes here are suitable for those who are well versed in the sport and have an above average degree of expertise in it. The local operators lend ski equipment on rent. They also cater for instructors.

Mountain biking- Pedal or zoom on your Mean Machine

mountain biking in manali

Mountain Biking

Motorcycling and mountain biking through the rugged, rustic terrain of the Himalayas around Manali can give an adrenaline rush many cherish and keep coming back for. The best season for the adventure sport is June to September. Manali serves as a base from where motorcyclists start their journey to Rohtang Pass, Lahaul, Spiti and Ladakh. It is advisable though to carry a small first aid kit and a repair kit comprising of an air pump and a tube, whatever way you choose to explore the nature on wheels, whether pedaling or on your mean machine!

Motor biking in Manali

Motorcycling through the rugged, rustic terrain of the Himalayas around Manali can give an adrenaline rush many cherish and keep coming back for. The best season for the adventure sport is June to September. Manali serves as a base from where motorcyclists start their journey to Rohtang Pass, Lahaul, Spiti and Ladakh. It is advisable though to carry a small first aid kit and a repair kit comprising of an air pump and a tube.

Para gliding in Manali

It is again the Solang Valley that lets you soar high up in the sky like a bird while you paraglide with the wind brushing against your face and your spirits take a flight with you. The ideal season is from May to September.

Water sports in Manali

The gushing waters of Beas are a perfect opportunity for white water rafting. Beas  is a popular river for a fast growing sport of river crossing too. The two popular places for river crossing are Aleo and Bhang.

River Crossing

River Crossing

The sport can be enjoyed all year through except for during monsoons when the river swells up and the force of the flowing water is very great. Angling is another sport that appeals to many. The natural water bodies in Manali are rich in brown and rainbow trout and makes a perfect picnic get away where one can fish and enjoy the quiet serene surroundings.

Enjoying River Rafting in Manali with Kids

Tourists Enjoying River Rafting in Manali with Kids

Many of us have often given up the thought of an adventure holiday wondering what would we do with the children. Manali offers opportunities for a perfect adventure holiday with the tiny tots. There’s almost everything that your little treasure can take up with you, right from river rafting, to river crossing too.

Zorbing in Manali

Gentler slopes of Manali offer lucrative opportunities for Zorbing . The zorbs are  rolled over for a distance of a hundred meters and to a maximum of one hundred fifty meters. Zorbing as a sport does not need any specific skills. One can see ones world go on a rock and roll over a mountain slope. Life going round in a tizzy can be fun once in a while too and Zorbing lets you love it!

Zorbing in Manali

Zorbing in Manali


The popular legend believes that after a devastating deluge that destroyed all in the world, it was here in Manali that life came alive again. If this is true, life could not possibly have come alive and flourish into something more beautiful than Manali. Come explore and make memories. Come seek and find yourself and as the French author Gide Andre had rightly put it “It is in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves”. Give adventure a chance and let adventure give you another chance at getting high on life here in Manali!