1. Paragliding and river rafting in Kullu
Before heading to Manali you might want to halt at Kullu for some adventure. Kullu is a hub for aero sports and hence alluring numerous enthusiasts seeking the adrenaline rush. Paragliding adventure enables you to embark on this extremely thrilling air adventure at a soaring height riding on the clouds and feel the gush of air .
You will be given an option of two flights :
- Short flights:Flight is taken from a lower take-off point which lasts for approximately 3-4 minutes .
- High flying :Flight is taken from a higher take off which lasts for approximately 5-7 minutes .
The flight is taken along with the pilot in the two-seater paraglider. You will be taken with a jeep to the takeoff point. Paragliding fly time depends mainly on air direction and speeds mainly, which is the fact and very few people will tell. Before my flight, I had to wait for 1 hr or so to have air currents in required specific direction ; a pre-requisite for flying and that also counts to your flying time.
Rafting in Kullu is one of its kind experiences. The white water rafting packages proffered in Kullu are mind blowing. Enjoy rafting a 14 Km stretch in the mighty River Beas. Swimmers or non-swimmers just be carefree and hop into the boats and embark this thrilling journey.
Before you say Bid Adieu to Kullu , don’t forget to visit apple orchids. (Depends on which season you visit ) . If you are lucky you might get to see and pluck an apple from trees.
PS : Sports remain closed during monsoon or sudden rain .
2. Spend a day like local; take a stall on Manali mall road
The mall road is the central nerve of Manali and is lined up with hotels, guesthouses, eateries and shopping opportunities. The mall road has everything and buzzing with activity throughout the day . This is the perfect place to start exploring Manali , as a local. If you are here for some shopping you might want to pick some shawls or strollers ,Tibetan handicrafts or trinkets like key chains and keepsakes as souvenirs. For some food lovers , treat your taste buds to a 5 flavour ice cream cone ; a childhood dream. Some hot sizzling aloo tikki or momos. You can also slurp on some hot Kesar milk topped with cream .
3. Enjoy Tibetian & Chinese Cuisine
There is nothing more satisfying than a hot plate of momo on a hill station. If you are in Manali ,then the visit is not complete until you drop for a meal at Chopsticks. Chopsticks offer quite a variety of Tibetan and Chinese cuisine. The decor is distinctly Tibetan: there’s a snow lion flag draped on the walls, a Laughing Buddha on a shelf, Tibetan wheel of life hanging on a wall and, of course, a photo of the Dalai Lama. We started out dinner with thukpa , which is one of the best in manali . The broth was full of flavor and the noodles were accompanied with a whole bunch of vegetables. Definitely order the gyakok, a Tibetan hot pot served in a large copper vessel above a burner, into which you dip noodles, tofu, vegetables and boiled egg. Don’t miss their homemade chopstick special noodles .Catch a drink at the famous pub !
Tired after long day travelling and exploration? Head out to the Manali’s bar and chill out in the cool night breeze relishing the serene beauty. Located in beautiful places, these bars are most likely to give you an experience beyond your imagination, one very different from what you had in the city.
Few of my favourite from the town !
Johnson’s Bar and restaurant is one of the impressive bars in the locality. It’s peaceful, romantic and secluded. It offers a wide range of Indian, Italian and Continental cuisine. The bar offers numerous fine wines from the extensive cellar and the specialty scotch and whisky with cocktails/mocktails. The bar opens to a beautifully done lawn which has a bonfire. During peak season they host most diverse and audacious music in town.
Other Bar & Café we didn’t try but you should
- Drifter’s café
- The lazy dog
4. Spend afternoon at Club house
If you have been travelling a lot lately and want to just halt for some time and indulge in some fun activities at well. Visit Clubhouse in Manali just adjacent to the bank of beans and 1km away from main bus stand . It’s like your own amusement park catering to all age group . The clubhouse is run by Himachal Pradesh tourism development cooperation . There are a lot of indoor activities like pool, badminton, carom etc. You can also go for some outdoor activities like go – karting , video games , and river crossing spress. After all fun activities, you can enjoy a hot cup of tea and snacks at very reasonable cost. A visit to the park next to clubhouse is mandatory which is on side of river bank and looks like a movie location with tall trees around.
5. For those who love the rush of adrenaline ; Solang Valley
Solang Valley , one place that deserves a spot on your bucket list and needs to strike off when you visit Manali. The valley is nestled at an altitude of 8500 feet, 12 km from Manali. It is famous for adventurous sports like Bungee jump, Paragliding, Zorbing, horse riding, trekking and skiing. The valley is not only for adrenaline rush lovers but anyone who praise natural beauty .Its lush greenery, apple orchards, snowcapped peaks and lakes offering a picturesque view. To enjoy skiing, January and February are the best seasons. For trekking and zorbing, May to November is the best time and for paragliding, it can be done any time except monsoon.The state-of-the-art ropeway is a favourite with the tourists and a convenient way to view Solang.
6. Get your adventure streak ; Rohtang Pass on Bullet
There is a definite dream & aspiration everyone will have in their single hood is go to laddak with friends on a bullet. At least once in a life time, everyone wished to do so. A bike ride to Rohtang pass is a little fulfillment of my dream.Before you head to Rohtang. You can get many shops providing bullet on rent . You require special pass & permit from mali to enter rohtang. There is few pre-requisite but it will be worth it.he Pass offers beautiful sights of glaciers, peaks, Lahaul Valley and the Chandra River.The entire pass is a surreal and dreamy landscape of glaciers, enchanting snow peaks rising above clouds.Scenic nature enthralls people who visit this heavenly pass.Rohtang remains open from June to October.The Rohtang Pass is the same road, which connects to LehLadakh (State of Jammu & Kashmir) from Manali.Skiing and Trekking are the most popular adventure sports available in RohtangPass. Since it is covered by snow for nearly nine months. Monsoon will not recommended season to visit.
7. A dutiful visit to ancient temples
Manali is not only home for an adventure enthusiastic but a place to rejuvenate yourself. There are some beautiful ancient temples surrounded by a tranquility and quiet that you will rarely experience in a city busy life.Hadimba temple ,Situated atop a hillock surrounded by thick deodar forests . The temple structure is built in a distinctive architectural style that somewhat crosses Indian architecture with the one employed in the Buddhist monasteries. It is an old wooden temple of four stores, located in the middle of dense forest known as Van Vihar. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Hadimba and was erected in 1553.
The very ancient Vashisht temple is in old Manali, about 6 Kms from Manali.It is believed to be more than 4000 years old. Inside the temple there is a black stone image of the Rishi wearing dhoti. The Vashist temple is decorated with excellent and beautiful carvings on wood. Hot Water Spring is one of the famous attractions of this temple which is known to cure many skin disease.Separate enclosures are kept for ladies and gents to have a dip in the hot water springs.