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Activities in Manali

Trekking, jeep safaris, adventure sports, fishing, and camping are some of the outdoor activities in Manali that you can enjoy while here.

Trekking

The entire Manali-Lahaul area offers plenty of scope for trekking, whether you start off at Manali itself or strike base camp at Keylong and then go hiking through the surrounding area. Trekking tours are organised by Himalayan Saga, SAHSI, Start Adventure Himalayan Sports Institute, and Trek India and they provide you with trained and skilled professionals to guide you throughout the trek.

All age groups are entertained and provided with proper trekking equipment. For beginners, the trekking route offered is an easy one and for experienced trekkers, the routes offered are both medium and difficult. The best time to go for trekking is summers (May- June).

Among the most popular trekking trails in the region is Manali-Chandra Tal-Keylong. A 120 km trek which takes you to the pristine blue lake of Chandra Tal is possibly the loveliest in all of Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by mountains and glaciers, Chandra Tal- ‘Moon Lake’ is situated at a height of about 15,000 ft, and is aptly named; it’s actually crescent shaped.

From Manali, take the road up to the Rohtang Pass, and from there onto Gramphu, where you can then walk beside the foaming waters of the Chandra River, travelling eastwards to Chandra Tal. The river takes you to Dorni (which can be the first halt; you’ll have to pitch a tent here); then comes Chhatru. From Chhatru, continue to Chota Dara, the latter is a major tourist centre as far as Lahaul is concerned- it has a PWD rest house, where you can actually get a hot meal and a room.

From Chota Dara, take the trail past the Bara Shigri glacier to Batal, at the base of the Kunzum Pass. Batal is the final halt- a windy and chilly campsite which has a PWD rest-house- before the final lap to Chandra Tal. Once you’ve ogled and taken all the photographs you want, head back- past Gramphu, to Keylong. The trek from Manali to Chandra Tal and then on to Keylong will take about 10 days; the altitude is high and the trek is arduous so take it easy.

When in Manali, you can also go on some interesting trails such as the Bijli Mahadev trek, Apple Orchard and Nashala Village.

Also make sure you dress in light cotton clothing- tee shirt and jeans as the activity is a challenging one and you should be comfortable to continue the trek. Do carry a back pack with a bottle of water, sun block, sun glasses, mosquito repellent and some snacks to munch when you feel hungry.

Jeep Safaris

Take a Jeep Safari and travel on the rocky roads admiring the barren and landscapes, lakes and snow capped peaks. The best months to go for this activity start from July until September. Trek India and Western Himalaya Mountaineering Centre can organise jeep safari tours for its travellers.

Adventure Sports

Around Manali, there are ample opportunities for adventure sports. The Mountaineering Institute in Manali is supported by the Himachal Tourism and organises courses in skiing, rock climbing and mountaineering.

The Institute and the tourist office, along with private tour operators like the Himalayan Saga and SAHSI, Start Adventure Himalayan Sports Institute, organise treks from Manali to other nearby places. The best season to for these adventurous activities is after the rains from mid-September till end of October. The trek routes are arduous and can be treacherous, so be sure to have well trained guides in addition to the regular maps. You can head to the slopes at the Solang nala, Patalsu, Kothi, Marhi, and Rohtang Pass which have been developed for skiing. At Rohtang and Patalsu, skiing can also be done in summer.

The swift flowing Beas River between Bhuntar and the Larji gorge is used for white water rafting, cannoning and kayaking. The best season for these activities starts from the end of May and continue till early July when the water levels are the highest.

Paragliding and heli-skiing on the slopes of Solang Valley is also being promoted by some private adventure sports organisers.

Fishing

Manali has some of the best fishing areas for its travellers. For best sport fish and trout fish, River Beas with its side streams Sarvari, Sainj, and Tirthan make the perfect spots for angling.

Camping

If you are going in the months o April to June or from mid September to mid October, you might want to try camping on popular campsites in the region. Raison, Solang Nala and Shoja are the three most well-known campsites frequented by tourists and provides an unforgettable experience of camping out in the beautiful Manali.

Rock Climbing and Rappelling

The hills and vales surrounding Manali, especially in the Solang Valley has some awesome cliffs and rocks for rappelling and rock climbing.Rock climbing is viewed as a precusor to mountaineering and rappelling a safer version of rock climbing. The areas that have the best overhangs and cliff faces are to be found in Aleo, Kothi and Shuru.

Mountain Biking

For many a preferred way of staying in shape, this activity finds itself in the ever-expanding list of the many adventure sports in Manali. If you are keen on putting your biking skills to test on the rough terrains of Manali, you can rent a bike and a helmet from Rohtang- La.


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