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Manali is probably the most popular hill station of India. An altitude of 2050 m, snow-clad Himalayan peaks in the background, and a restless river – Manali is a well-endowed temptress. There are hundreds of amazing things to do in Manali. Go trekking, skiing, paragliding, rafting, or simply sit and take in the icy cool air. If you wish to strike off Ladakh and Leh off your bucket list, do Manali first. Manali has been featured in numerous Hindi movies and is a fav among filmmakers wanting to recreate a Switzerland in their films. If you are at the right place at the right time, you could catch a film shoot in the snow.

1. Zorbing and Paragliding

Rolling down a hill in a huge transparent plastic ball can make anybody’s world go round. The green slopes of Solang Valley are perfect for this activity. Two people can be strapped in a single ball at the same time. And don’t worry about safety, your poor instructor will run alongside.

Paragliding in Manali is yet another activity you cannot not do. With open spaces and high altitude, the Solang valley is the perfect spot for paragliding.

2. Take a Hot Sulphur Water Bath at Manikaran

Manikaran and Vashisht Village are famous for their hot sulphur springs and a di is pa must for everyone who takes the effort to go to this high-altitude place.


3. Head to Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass is a treacherous route but the most favoured one among tourists. It not only connects Manali to Ladakh and Leh, it is a hub of adventure activities such as skiing, paragliding, trekking etc.

4. Trekking

Manali is a fav jaunt for trekkers. The trekking season in Manali starts in April and runs till October. The Hampta Pass trek is one of the more popular ones.

5. Rafting

Rafting in Rishikesh is one thing, rafting in Manali, in the icy cold waters of the river is another. The river Beas is at its strongest here, and the rapids are ideal for a thrill rafting adventure. Best time to go white water rafting in Manali is June.

6. Get Tattooed in Old Manali

Old Manali is full of quaint cafes and tattoo parlours. Go sit in a café, listen to some nice live music, and if you are high enough, get a tattoo.

7. Hangout in Kasaul

Kasaul is a small and pretty settlement beside the Parvati River. Like Old Manali, it is lined up with little shops, cafes, and restaurants serving great food. A nice cosy place to have candlelight dinner is the Evergreen restaurant here.

How to get to Manali:

By air: Nearest airport is Bhuntar which is 50 km from Manali. You can also fly till Chandigarh and hire a taxi from Chandigarh to Manali.

By road: Volvo and Himachal Tourism overnight buses ply to Manali on a regular basis.

By train: The nearest railway station to Manali is Chandigarh (350 km) and Ambala ( 360 km).

Nishi Jain spent 5 years studying English literature, 2 years editing novels, and shouting herself hoarse in street plays, after which she realized erudition never got anybody anywhere. So, she took off and visited the four corners of India, came back, and announced that the best thing in the world was cheesecake. Now, she just writes, plays ping pong, and eats cake on the sly.

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