Skiing at Rohtang
At an altitude of 3978m, Rohtang is one of the biggest tourist attractions of Kullu-Manali. The drive to Rohtang is an adventure, be it the clouds that reach out to you, frozen riverbeds cradled on hilltops or waterfalls that spill out on the road.
At Rohtang, horses lead you up to the vast snowy fields, where one can indulge in a bit of skiing — if you can balance yourself. The clumsier kinds can have a blast rolling down a pile of snow or indulging in a snow fight. Shops en route rent skis and other winter gear at nominal rates, so don’t stress over having to lug these around on your honeymoon.
Best time: Winter, though roads may be affected by excessive snowfall.
How to reach: Rohtang is 51kms from Manali. Hop on to a bus or rent a car from Kullu or Manali.
Paragliding at Rohtang
Tired of crisscrossing Rohtang’s bumpy roads along the way? We suggest you head upward. Jump off Rohtang’s cliffs and soar above the jams and roadblocks. Adventure sport companies in Kullu Valley and Manali offer great deals for couples with the lifetime chance to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the beautiful valley as you paraglide your way back from Rohtang to Manali. Nothing short of magical, you can even opt for shorter jumps from one valley to another, but the thrill is nothing short of top-of-the-world.
Best time: Dependent on wind and snowfall
White-water rafting on the Beas
There is no denying the beauty of the Beas River. A tributary of the mighty Indus River, this picturesque river flows strong, through valleys and over rocks with tremendous power, which makes it ideal for white-water rafting. The path, which is full of Grade 2 and Grade 3 rapids, stretches across 16kms, with various adventure sports and tour companies operating on the banks. Lose yourself in this adrenaline-high rollercoaster.
Best time: April-end till June and mid September to November.
How to reach: Several tour companies offer white-water rafting packages, which include hotel pick ups and drops.
Hot stuff at Vashisht
Vashisht, which is 6kms from Manali is famous for its hot water springs. The village lies at the foot of a laterite-accumulated rocky hill on the banks of the Beas River and the springs that come out of the granite deposits cover a huge part of the Himalayas in this area.
Given the cool climate of Manali, these springs are just what one needs to turn up the heat, literally. Many hotels in Kullu-Manali offer private hot water spring baths for couples seeking a more luxurious and intimate experience.
How to reach
>> Kullu-Manali is at a distance of 585kms from Delhi and is an overnight journey by road. Private airlines operate flights to and fro from Kullu. Chandigarh and Ambala are the nearest major railheads.
What to eat
>> One can enjoy authentic Tibetan cuisine in the many shacks owned and run by Tibetan refugees in the markets of Kullu-Manali.
Expats from around the world offer an interesting blend of world cuisine. The Himalayan Trout at Johnsons Caf © (Circuit House Road) is a must-try. The German Caf © (Free Tibet Market) in Manali is famous for its Yak milk cheesecakes.
What to do
>> Kullu-Manali is famous for its shawls and scarves. There is a strong Tibetan influence in everyday life, thanks to the many Tibetan refugees who have sought refuge here, setting up the Free Tibet market in Manali. The Hidimba Temple and Gadhan Thekchokling Gompa are famous attractions. Kullu-Manali makes for a great place to simply relax, take peaceful walks by the riverbed and soak in the clear mountain air, blessed with pine and spruce foliage.
Where to stay
>> Kullu-Manali offers a wide range of accommodation. Luxury hotels in manali and resorts including Holiday Inn, Snow Valley Resort, Apple County Inn are perfect for high-end TLC. Those who prefer to be around nature can opt for log cabins that are available on rent in Kullu and Old Manali, far from tourists.