When the summer months roll around, the best way to escape the heat is by rafting in Manali. The Himalayan rivers are some of the best when it comes to river rafting. Just strap yourselves in and get ready to battle the raging rapids. As you navigate through the mountains, you will be a witness through some of the most glorious scenic views amidst the rapids.
The Beas River runs past Kullu, fed by the melting glaciers and snow in the mountains, and is clear and blue under the sunny Himachal skies. Rafting in Manali is suitable for beginners and non-swimmers, thanks to the easy to moderate grade rapids on the rafting stretch. During your Manali rafting, you'll raft down a pristine river, with pine trees and mountain views all around, and do battle with some of the most famous rapids like S Bend Beta and Gamma.
Most Manali rafting trips take you along a fun 7 or 14 km stretch and are great fun for a day activity near Manali. You'll begin your rafting adventure in Pirdi, from where you'll get to battle rapids ranging from Grade II to III for almost two hours.
Rafting near Manali is open all day, from 10:00 hrs to 16:00 hrs, although it is advisable to go in the first half so that you don’t have to wait long. You have to report to Pirdi near the Water Sports Centre, and will be assigned your boats and gear. You'll receive a short briefing about the Manali rafting stretch, and will be given an introduction to the equipment by your instructor. After that, you board the rafts and set out on the Beas river. The rapids are thrilling, and you have almost two full hours of rafting near Manali. Do your best!
For rafting in Manali, you don’t need to carry much. Apply sunscreen before you start, and keep all your valuables behind. If you’re wearing sunglasses, make sure they have a strap to keep them around your neck. You’ll be provided with all the required equipment and safety gear for your Manali rafting trip.
Rafting in Manali begins as early as April and extends all the way till June, once the monsoons start. This is a great time for Manali rafting: the skies are blue, the weather is pleasant and sunny, and the orchards and valleys are lush and green.
Being one of the top tourist destinations of India, Manali is well connected to other cities of the country by air and road. If you are coming by flight, then you need to book your flight tickets to the Bhuntar Airport that is located 50 km from Manali. This airport is connected to Delhi and Chandigarh via daily flights and to other cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, etc. by regular flights. From Bhuntar, you can take a bus or a taxi to reach Manali.
Manali is connected to major cities and towns of India by a rich network of roads. You can either take a taxi to reach Manali or take a state-run or privately-run bus services. The roads leading to Manali are thrilling and scenic, hence you can even drive your own car to enjoy the gorgeous scenery at your own pace
Since Manali is located in hilly regions at the foot of the Himalayas, there aren’t any railway stations in Manali. The closest railway station is the Joginder Nagar Railway Station 126 from Manali. It is connected to several big cities of the country by regular express trains. Additionally, there are also the railway junctions at Ambala and Chandigarh. From here, you can either take a bus or a taxi to reach Manali.
Manali, one of the top adventure travel destinations in India, attracts adventurers from all over the country every year. Hence, there are many adventure activities that you can engage in while you’re visiting Manali. Here are some of the top adventures in Manali:
Manali is a starting point of some of the top Himalayan treks in Himachal Pradesh. These treks take you deep into the upper reaches of the Himalayas and let you explore the breathtaking landscape of snow-capped mountains, lush valleys and sprawling glaciers. There are treks for all levels from beginners to experienced trekkers. Here are the top treks in Manali:
Tosh-Kheerganga trek: An iconic trek which takes you into the lush Parvati Valley through dense forests and across charming villages. On this trek, you also get to explore the serenity of Tosh.
Hampta Pass and Chandratal trek: One of the most scenic treks in Himachal Pradesh, this exciting trek takes you from the lush landscape of the Kullu Valley to the arid deserts of Spiti via the high-altitude Hampta Pass. The route ends at the enchanting Chandratal Lake.
Pin Parvati Pass trek: One of the most challenging treks in India, the Pin Parvati Pass trek takes you from the lush Parvati Valley in Kullu to the Pin Valley in Spiti via the Pin-Parvati Pass which sits at an altitude of 17,000 feet. Here, you get to explore the upper reaches of the Himalayas like never before.
Manali is also the starting point of two of the best motorbiking routes in India - the Manali to Leh bike tour and the Manali to Spiti bike tour. These motorbiking in Manali trips begin in the lush valleys of Kullu and take you across the mighty Rohtang La to Ladakh and Spiti. On these trips, you get to explore some of the most magnificent landscapes of India on two wheels and cross some of the highest motorable roads to reach some of the highest villages in the world.
Paragliding in Manali is one of the most thrilling adventures that you can do in Manali where you get to fly through the sky and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Himalayan landscape. These paragliding trips take place in Bir Billing that is located close to Manali and is a perfect one-day activity.
Day 1: Go rafting on the Beas River in Manali
You have to report to the meet-up point at the water sports centre in Pirdi at 10:00 hrs. There, you’ll meet your rafting instructor who will brief you about rafting and the safety guidelines. Post that, you’ll head to the river and get on the raft.
While rafting, you’ll battle Grade II and Grade III rapids of the Beas River for two hours while at the same time enjoying the mesmerizing scenery of the Kullu Valley. You’ll cross 14 km and end the rafting session at Jhiri, after which you’ll bid farewell to your instructor and return the equipment before heading to your next adventure.
The river rafting in Manali packages includes one rafting session of 14 km on the Beas River along with all the rafting equipment like the raft, life jackets, helmets, etc. along with the services of an experienced rafting instructor. Lastly, the rafting in Manali price includes all applicable taxes.
The package does not include any kind of travel arrangements from your home-city/hotel to the starting point and back. Nor does it include any kind of personal expenses like tips, extra beverages, meals, etc. along with any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, roadblocks, strikes, bad weather, etc. The package does not provide any kind of travel or medical insurance. Lastly, anything that is not mentioned in the inclusions section is not included and will be charged additionally, if used.
Day 1: Check-in and enjoy!
Day 2: Go rafting on the Beas River
Check-in at the campsite by 10:30 where your tent will be allotted to you. You can then spend the day at leisure at the campsite or you can head out to explore Manali. Do note that lunch will be served at the campsite. You’ll spend the night in tents.
You’ll check out of the campsite and head to the rafting start point, but you can store your luggage at the campsite. There, you’ll meet your rafting instructor who will brief you about rafting. After that, you’ll begin your rafting session on the Beas River. Over the course of 14 km, you’ll battle Grade II and III rapids before reaching Jhiri. After that, you’ll be driven to the campsite. The rafting trip ends here.
The rafting in Manali with camping package includes accommodation in swiss tents on twin/triple sharing with an attached washroom along with meals from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 2. The package also includes travel arrangements from the campsite to the rafting start point and from the rafting endpoint back to the campsite
The package also includes a rafting session of 14 km on the Beas River along with all the required rafting equipment like helmets, life jackets, rafts, paddles, etc. Lastly, the package also includes all applicable taxes.
The overnight rafting package in Manali does not include any kind of transport from your home city to the campsite and back. The package neither includes any kind of personal expenses like extra meals, beverages, etc. nor does it include any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like bad weather, strikes, roadblocks, etc. Lastly, anything that is not mentioned in the inclusions will be charged on an additional basis, if used.
You can go rafting in Manali throughout the year except during the peak monsoon and peak winter seasons. River rafting in Manali is open from February to October, but the best time to go is from April to June. During these months, the water is not too cold and the rapids are manageable.
During the peak monsoon season, the river swells with high currents which can make rafting risky, and during the peak winters, the weather is extremely cold and the water is freezing cold which makes it difficult for rafting.
Manali is one of the most popular adventure destinations in India, attracting travellers from all over the country. Hence, it has grown to have sophisticated connectivity to the major cities of India. You can reach Manali either by flight or by road. But since Manali does not have its own railway station due to the mountainous location, you cannot reach there by train.
Of the two ways, flying to Manali is the most convenient. The closest airport to Manali is the Bhuntar Airport, located 50 km from Manali. The airport is connected to Delhi and Chandigarh by daily flights and to other major cities like Mumbai and Bangalore, etc. by regular flights. But due to erratic weather, it is not always dependable and there can be flight delays. From the airport, you can either take a cab or a local bus to reach Manali.
Reaching Manali via road is thrilling and fun since you get to cross winding roads through the mountains and lush forests. Manali is connected to most major cities and towns of North India by a rich network of highways. You can either take a private cab or a state/privately run bus. You may even drive your own car or motorbike if you enjoy driving.
For river rafting in Manali, you only need to wear basic clothes like a t-shirt and shorts/pants. Make sure whatever you’re wearing is comfortable and non-restrictive. While rafting, you’ll also be given safety equipment like a life jacket and a helmet. Make sure they fit well and do wear them throughout the rafting session. Lastly, avoid wearing expensive jewellery and watches.
For rafting in Manali, you don’t need to get any technical rafting equipment as the operator will provide those including the raft, paddles, life jackets and a helmet. All you have to get for the rafting session is some spare cash, sunscreen, and personal essentials.
While river rafting in Manali, you will be navigating a 14 km long route on the Beas River and tackle rapids of Grade II and Grade III. For this, you need basic fitness levels. If you are a fit beginner then you can go for rafting in Manali. However, if you suffer from any kind of serious ailments then consult your doctor before booking the Manali river rafting trip.
No, rafting in Manali is not dangerous. You’ll be rafting on the Beas River that consists of Grade II and III rapids, which are not that difficult to navigate. Additionally, you’ll be accompanied by an experienced rafting instructor who will guide you along the way. These instructors are trained to tackle any kind of issue that might arise while rafting in Manali. The operator will also provide high-quality rafting equipment including helmets and life jackets.
While rafting in Manali, you will be given a high-quality life jacket that will help you float if you do fall off the raft or jump in the water to take a swim, hence, swimming is not a requirement. Anyone with basic fitness levels can go rafting in Manali without any worries
While rafting, there are chances of you falling off or the raft capsizing. If this does happen, then all you have to do is relax and not panic, the instructor will retrieve you back on the raft. If the raft capsizes, the instructor will overturn the raft and help the team back on board.
While rafting in Manali, a single raft can hold up to eight people not including the instructor.
Since Manali is located in a hilly region, it does not have any railway station. Hence, the closest railway station is at 126 km at Joginder Nagar. It is connected to several cities of India. Other major railway junctions are Ambala and Chandigarh which enjoy better connectivity to most major cities of India. From these stations, you can hire a bus or a taxi to reach Manali.