It’s base camp for those taking the road further on to Leh, Spiti, Ladakh, Keylong, kaza and Lahaul. Legend has it that Manu alighted his boat here to re-create human life after floods destroyed the world. Whatever be the story, Manali is a beauiful, cozy mountain town, albeit with too many visitors nowadays, but charming nonetheless. Manali tourism has indeed come a long way. Here’s a list of fun things to do in Manali.
1. Spread your wings & Fly
For the best views of Manali’s lush, unspoiled landscape, go paragliding on the way to Rohtang Pass. Literally take off with the wind in your hair and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.
2. Fall in love with the snow
Take a day trip to Rohtang Pass to make the most of the snow. Make a snowman, hurl fistfuls of fresh white snow at each other and try your hand at skiing. There are bunch of ski companies who provide equipment and instructors for rent. No reason to be intimidated if you’re a first timer, most people are and it’s an amateur slope to begin with.
3. Relax, rejuvenate & refresh
Manali’s hot sulphur springs are known to relax your muscles and are even believes to cure a number of skin diseases and other ailments. It’s the perfect setting in chilly, snowy Manali.
4. Row, row, row your boat
Go white water rafting down the rocky rapids of the River Beas. This one’s for the adventure lovers and adrenaline junkies. Best in the summers when the glaciers are melting.
5. Rock Climbing
And then you can say you climbed a part of the mighty Himalayas without lying. There are a number of companies that offer rock climbing, along with equipment and well trained instructors.
6. Dress like a local
Pretty much everyone who’s been to the popular tourist spots in Himachal has the quintessential picture dressed in the traditional outfit. It represents the deep-rooted culture of Manali. I say don’t just pose for a photograph, rent it out for a whole day !
7. Be spiritually reborn
There a number of temples and monasteries all across and surrounding the areas. The Hidimba temple is a famous and revered spot for Hindus. The Buddhist gompas are open to everyone; they are peaceful reservoirs of positive energy.
8. An apple a day
Maybe not as famous as neighboring Shimla, but Manali’s apples are well worth their dime. They are exported to other parts of the country and abroad. Once you’ve had your fill of the fruit, sip on the exotic apple juice and homemade cider that you won’t find anyplace else.
Eating out in Manali can get very interesting with loads of quaint café’s, bistros and taverns, especially those in the old town.