Located in the district of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh, Manali is a small resort town. Snow-capped mountains, lush green meadows, pristine river streams, and dense forests of Manali attract tourists all round the year.

Top 10 Adventure Sports in Manali

Apart from being a popular destination for its picturesque views, Manali is also a hub for adventure sports. The rugged terrain and mountains of Manali are perfect for trying out various adventure sports like hiking, rock climbing, biking, snowboarding, skiing, and trekking. It is also famous for various water sports like rafting, kayaking, and canyoning, as many rivers flow in this region.

Here are some of the adventure sports that you can try in Manali.

1 Rafting

If you are in Kullu and want to experience the challenging water currents, river rafting is a must-try. It is one of the most sought-after adventure activities in Manali, and you mostly try it on the Beas River. The best part about experiencing river rafting in Manali is that you can enjoy the sport to the fullest, whether you are a beginner or an expert.

The rafting starts at Pirdi, and you can raft through Bhuntar, Bajaura, Raisol, Sarabai, Katrain, and Shamsai. Snow-capped mountains, diverse landscapes, and breathtaking rafting campsites are all the more reasons why we should not miss out on it. You can enjoy the water best during the summer months. However, when you choose from the various tour packages available, make sure to know the different rafting grades and what it has to offer.

2 Paragliding

If you are someone who dreams of flying freely in the clear blue skies, you should try paragliding in Manali. The thrilling backdrop of snow-clad mountains, orchards, pristine lakes, and lush green meadows add to the beauty of the beautiful experience. There is nothing more exhilarating than feeling the fresh wind against your face, closing your eyes, and looking down to admire the diverse landscape that Manali offers. It is truly an experience that has the power to make you feel alive like no other.

You can paraglide in any place of your choice if you have the standard fitness level. But Solang valley en route Rohtang Pass is the most popular paragliding spot. If you are a beginner, a tandem flight is a good option as you get to fly with experienced paragliders for three minutes. While for experts, solo flights are also available for a time frame of fifteen-twenty minutes. You can choose the area, duration, and type of flight depending on your budget.

3 Trekking/camping

Trekking is a thrilling sport that you can enjoy in Manali. Many famous treks of Himachal Pradesh originate from Manali, making it a popular trekking destination. The routes and views of the lofty Himalayas, vast meadows, crystal clear rivers, and rich biodiversity make both the journey and efforts worth it. It also has campsites that come with breathtaking views along with a beautiful life experience.

If you want a break from the monotony of life, trekking or camping trip with your friends or family tucked in the lap of nature is the best therapy. You can choose from various treks depending on the duration, skill, and nature you want to experience. Some of the best places to trek include Chandrashila Peak, Kheerganga, and Tosh Valley. You can also try camping at Solang Valley, Sethan, and Bhuntar. The ideal time to try the sport is during the summer months of May to June.

4 Canyoning

If you want to stare at the sunlight while hanging from a cliff, you should try canyoning. This adventure sport includes swimming, rappelling, jumping, climbing, but it is safe as you do it under professional supervision. In summers, the water flow in rivers is slow, and the rocks are dry, so it is ideal for canyoning. Bhrigu Lake, Vashisht-Jogini Waterfall, and Baralacha-Chandratal Lake are some of the best places to try canyoning in Manali. 

5 Skiing

Manali is one of India’s few places ideal for skiing, as it remains covered in snow for most of the year. You can enjoy this winter sport by using a ski to glide over the snow. January and February is the ideal time to visit Manali for skiing. There are three types of skiing that you can choose from – Telemark, Alpine, and Nordic. Downhill skiing or Alpine is the most popular one, and expert ski schools guide it.

For experiencing sky jumping and cross-country skiing, you can opt for nordic skiing. But if you want to try ski turning, telemark should be your pick. Solang valley, Dhundi, Marhi, Rohtang, Gulaba, and near orchard house are the most common skiing places in Manali. Tourists can also practice and enjoy the sport at specially designed ski resorts for a safer experience. 

6 Snowboarding

Snowboarding is a popular adventure sport in Manali, which is similar to skiing. But unlike skiing, snowboarding is done from a much steeper mountain or hill, and the level of difficulty is higher. Adventure seekers worldwide come to Manali to try snowboarding at Solang Valley and Rohtang Pass. The ideal time to snowboard is from January to March.

7 Zorbing

Zorbing in Manali is an adventure sport that is loved immensely by all age groups. It is an exhilarating experience to be inside a giant, transparent plastic ball and hurl down a hill. You not only get to enjoy the view but also to look at the world in a somewhat unfamiliar manner, i.e., upside down. Tourists mostly prefer to try this sport at Solang valley. You can try zorbing anytime between January to May and October to December. It is not suitable for the rainy season as you need to balance the rolling ball.

8 Zip lining

Did you ever imagine yourself crossing a part of a jungle or a mountain on a cable? Zip lining is one such adventure sport in Manali that ties you to a zip line by your waist and makes you cover the distance in no time. Adventure lovers tend to like this sport for the adrenaline rush that it offers. You can try it either at Haripur or Solang Valley. May and June are the best time to try zip lining in Manali. 

9 Rock Climbing

If you want to test your physical fitness, rock climbing is the sport for you. It requires not only immense physical strength and body balance but also requires mental strength. Manali offers a terrain that comes with dividers, chunks, and shades ideal for rock climbing. It may appear difficult in the beginning, but it gets easier once you understand the trick. April to June and September, and October are the perfect time to try this sport. Some of the places you can try rock climbing in Manali are Marhi, Solang Valley, Dhundi, Gulaba, and Rohtang Pass.

10 Biking

If you want to experience the raw trails of Manali, mountain biking is the perfect adventure sport for you. The feeling of biking through the terrain with the fresh wind against your face and the thickly forested greenery around is unparalleled. You can try both uphill and downhill biking in Manali. The route includes biking from Manali to Rohtang Pass, Baralacha La Pass, Lachalangla Pass, Tanglang La Pass, Khardung La Pass, and a return to Manali. You can try mountain biking in Manali at any point of the year, but it is advisable to avoid monsoons.

If you haven’t yet been to Manali and are an adventure enthusiast, you can choose to try any of these adventures in Manali. I can vouch that it will be an enriching experience.