If Manali holiday is on your mind, chances are Manali Adventure Sports is something you might be interested in. The whole belt of Kullu, Solang and Manali is a hub for adventure seekers. From ParaGliding to Zip Lining, Zorbing, Snow Scooter and much more. The holiday destination of Manali has tons to offer to make your vacation worthwhile.
But before you plan out your trip to Manali, ask yourself what is more important to you. Manali sightseeing or Manali Adventure Sports? Maybe both? You see, there are quite a few sightseeing locations that can keep you busy for 2-3 days in Manali. On the other hand, Manali Adventure Sports is quite spread out in terms of locations. So you might need to plan that a bit in advance.
Top 3 Recommendations for Manali Adventure Sports Activities:
- Paragliding at Marhi, Rohtang
- Zip Lining in Old Manali
- River Rafting at Kullu
While some sporting activities in Manali are for everybody, children included. There are some which are not for the faint-hearted. Luckily though, if it is your family you wish to holiday with, Manali has a few different adventure options for everybody.
Paragliding at Marhi, Rohtang
We were travelling in our State Bus to Rohtang admiring all of nature’s beauty on the trip when I first noticed something flying at a distance. It was a tiny colourful thing, which was definitely not a bird. I took out my Canon long distance lens and gasped. That was a human paragliding in the mountains of Rohtang. My heart skipped a beat.
There he was casually flying through the snow-capped mountains of Rohtang with the deathly cliff down below. Just to give you a perspective, Rohtang sits on a height of 13000 ft. This was about 10 to 11,000 ft height where this person was flying.
It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. It’s an adrenaline rush like no other. At that height, it is downright outrageously intimidating. The feeling you will get paragliding in Rohtang is unmatched to all other paragliding spots including Solang and Kullu. It is one of the best Manali Adventure Sports you can do in the area.
Paragliding at Marhi, Rohtang. Who can do it?
You have to be top-level adventure enthusiast to take this up. If you suffer from any motion sickness, or fear of heights, you might feel dizzy just looking at the flying humans. The point where they jump off from is straight out of the scenes from Game of Thrones. It is a nose dive ditch. But don’t worry, they have a long flight and a short flight option available.
If you have never done a paragliding activity before, I recommend going for the shorter flight which is a few minutes of flight. The longer flight duration is usually recommended for seasoned adventurers. The duration of the long flight can go up to 15-25 minutes a flight.
How much does Paragliding in Marhi Rohtang Cost?
We travelled Manali in June. The price quoted was INR 3500 for the long flight. June July is the peak season in Manali. So prices are hiked. During the non-peak seasons, you can do the same adventure sports for INR 1300-1500 a flight.
How to get to the Paragliding spot at Marhi Rohtang?
There are two ways of reaching Rohtang from Manali. State bus or Private Taxi. However, for paragliding activities, you will need to hire a private taxi. State buses simply pass through the paragliding spot. They do not stop over. Plus, you will need someone to fetch you post your paragliding session. So a taxi will be the most convenient transport to hire.
Zip Lining in Old Manali
The Old Manali area is probably the best part about Manali. The whole vibe of the place is very young. You will see maximum tourists spending their time here. Firangs included. Old Manali is where you will find some of the best Manali Cafes. You can spend the whole day here just walking the streets and cafe hopping while enjoying the views of the valley.
The Beas River flows right at the start of Old Manali. Most of the riverside cafes here are jam-packed with tourists lounging through the day. Some of the best views of zip lining can be done sitting at these cafes or down by the riverside.
Is Old Manali Zip Lining open to all?
Yes, it is. Anybody above 3-4 years can do the ziplining. For younger children, there are the zip lining experts who tag along with the kids.
How much does Zip Lining in Old Manali Cost?
INR 150 for a five to seven minute fun time over the river. The Beas river flows quite strong in this belt making it look much scarier than what it is.
My Recommendation for Zip Lining in Old Manali
Make sure you jump to touch the bone-chilling cold river water flowing below. The whole fun of this activity is when you dip your feet in the river. Ask the guide to help you touch it. There is just no looking back once you do it. It is a ton of fun.
P.S. If you are someone who is not into working out, or fitness, this activity will surely sore your body for the next 3-4 days. But it’s well worth it!
Zip Lining in Jogini Falls
The Jogini Falls trek is a must do if you are in Manali. Start early. It will take you 30-50 minutes depending upon your stamina to climb the mountain. Right before you reach Jogini Falls, there is zip ling activity. The zip line here is probably a 200-300 metre stretch. Nothing too spectacular. I would recommend you avoid this and do the Zip Lining near Rohtang instead.
How much does Zip Lining in Jogini Falls cost?
For the month of June, the price quoted was INR 400 one way. INR 600 for to and fro.
BONUS: Zip Lining en route Rohtang
When we were travelling back from Rohtang to Manali, we came across Paragliding and zip lining activities down the hill. The location is closer towards Manali than Rohtang. But the ziplining here is amazing. It’s essentially one mountain but with the river flowing below. The depth of the mountain you get to see during ziplining makes this well worth it.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t stop over, so couldn’t find out details about pricing and location. I couldn’t find anything written about this in Manali Adventure Sports on the internet. Maybe check with the localities?
Manali Adventure Sports in Kullu
There are three main adventure sports you can do in Kullu
- River Rafting
- River Crossing
Paragliding in Kullu
You know the Rohtang Paragliding sports was a bit of a scare even for me. Sure at that time, I would’ve totally killed my inner fear with a spear and done it. But if you are not a brave heart, paragliding in Kullu is a great alternative. Paragliding in Kullu height is just 2050 ft. The only difference is at Kullu the views you will get are the gorgeous dense forests and Beas river flowing below you.
How much does Paragliding in Kullu Cost?
For the month of June, we were quoted INR 2500 per person for a 10-12 minute flight. We were travelling during the peak season, so this was definitely on the higher end of the pricing. In other months you can score flight tickets for as low as INR 1200-1500 depending upon your negotiation skills.
Note: For all the paragliding sessions anywhere in Kullu and Rohtang, there is a guide who sits with you for the ride.
River Rafting in Kullu
The Beas river which originates from Rohtang at a height of 14,308ft is one of the best for rafting adventure sports. It flows some 470 kilometres distance starting from the Himalayas to the Sutlej river at Punjab. The current of the water is great at Pirdi, Kullu which makes it the ideal spot for rafting.
How to reach Pirdi, Kullu for River Rafting?
If you are holidaying in Manali, you will need to hire a cab for half a day to do the adventure activities in Kullu. You can alternatively also take the state and private buses to Kullu. It is one route, so most of these buses can drop you at the destination. The best way would be to check with a tour operator for rafting assistance.
How long is the River Rafting route in Kullu?
There are two options to choose from. One is the short rafting ride of 7kms. The other one is 14kms. Now, to some, both might seem quite much. But the river current is quite a bit. So the entire rafting adventure activity will take around 30-40 mins in total.
What is the cost of River Rafting in Kullu?
For the month of June, we were quoted INR 500 per person for 7km river rafting ride. For the longer 14kms rafting ride, the price was INR 800 a person. I could negotiate it to INR 700 a person. However, I feel you can negotiate it further if you directly book at Kullu. There are multiple agencies fighting for the same job which makes bargaining easier.
Recommendation for Kullu + In and Around Manali
If you are doing adventure sports in Kullu, plan for a camping stay by the river. There are quite a few options you can search on google. The charges are similar to what you’d pay for a hotel stay. But it is a worthwhile experience to go for. Check out these camping agencies below. I simply looked it up on the internet. However, you might find better deals on the spot as well or when in Manali.
- Wildwood Camping Kullu
- Camp Exotica
A friend also recommended that you can now simply hire camping equipment and pretty much go in the hills anywhere. So if you’re doing a solo trip or a trip with just friends, this would be an awesome experience.
You could also go on Biking and Trekking Trails if that interests you more. There are a lot of agencies in and around Old Manali who organize both group treks and other adventure activities. Take a stroll through Old Manali and you will get all the information from these tour agencies for the best trekking experience.
Solang Valley Adventure Sports Activities for family
- Snow Scooter
Depending on the season you travel to Manali, Solang Valley offers a range of adventure sports for families. Solang Valley is worth going during snow seasons as compared to the dry seasons for multiple reasons.
- There are much more activities during the snow season as compared to summer in Solang Valley
- The difficulty level for adventure sports at Solang Valley is much lower than in other destinations
- The experience at Solang Valley is somewhat similar to adventure sports at Kufri Shimla
How to reach Solang Valley from Manali?
You will need to hire a private taxi from Manali for the whole day. Just walk to Manali Mall Road and you will find taxi drivers everywhere.
The charges will vary depending on the month of travel. There is a taxi union at Manali. So chances are you might not be able to bargain the price significantly. On a bad day, the charges can go as high as INR 3500 a ride in an Alto. A Swift Dzire or a Sumo will cost much more. On a good day, the charges for Manali to Solang Valley will cost INR 1800-2000 for the ride.
Manali to Solang Valley Distance
Solang Valley is just 13 km from Manali. It would take you not more than 30-40 mins to reach your destination. Depending upon your dates for travel, you can easily cover Solang Valley in half a day. It is a picnic spot for families to enjoy together.
Solang Valley Adventure Sports Cost
- Snow Scooter – INR 500 upwards
- Cable Car Ropeway – INR 450
- Skiing – INR 300
- Zorbing – INR 350 upwards
- Paragliding – INR 600 for short distance, INR 1800 for long distance
P.S. At this point you should know, that long distance paragliding at Solang Valley is less than the short distance in Marhi Rohtang. But Marhi is the difficult one, so instead you could opt for paragliding at Kullu.
BONUS: Other Adventure Sports in and around Manali
- Kayaking at Panadoh Dam, Mandi
- Paragliding in Bir Billing
- River Rafting from Pirdi to Jhiri
- Angling (Fishing) Trout at Beas
- Helicopter Ride of Manali (INR 2500)