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Snow, Sport And Serenity At Solang Valley

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Solang Valley

Snow settling softly on the ground, piling up in drifts, icing the mountains. A sky so blue your eyes water looking at it directly. Green, orange and brown marry and mix together flooding the land with warm earthy tones. Trees – thick and green, slender and grey – transform with the cycle of seasons. It’s the picture of serenity and quiet isn’t it?

Then you hear a swish in the air. A brightly coloured parachute swoops out of the sky. A soft thump registers – a large transparent ball bounces into view with a passenger tucked into its centre. The rumble of a bike drowns out the birds, as an ATV growls past you. The sharp, slick swish of skis cutting through the snow as a skier flashes by.

Solang Valley may look like a winter wonderland, but beneath the snow is a quick, beating pulse of adventure, fun, and madness. Yes, this little valley is a heady cocktail of snow, serenity and sports. Whether you pack a book or your ski boots, Solang Valley doesn’t fail to please.

So, pack your bags, the mountains are murmuring your name. Isn’t it time you answered?

Suggested Read : A Complete Guide To The Himalaya’s Hippie Town, Manali

So Near, So Far – Solang

Image Source : adventurenation.com

The name Solang Nalla was born from the combination of two words – Solang (Nearby Village) and Nallah (water stream). Travel a mere 10-13 kilometres from Manali and you’ll stumble into Solang Valley. Lying at an altitude of 8500 feet above sea level, the valley plays host to the beautiful river Beas.

How to Reach Solang Valley:

By Air: To reach this beautiful valley by air, you can take a flight to the closest airport – the Kullu-Manali airport at Bhuntar (this is around 63 kms away from Solang Valley). From the airport, you can hire a car or taxi for the 2-hour drive to the valley.

By Rail: If you have your heart set on a train journey to Solang, you’ll need to take a train to Joginder Nagar railway station – 175 km away from the valley. The other major railway stations close to Solang Valley are Chandigarh (327 km) and Ambala (347 km). From there, a taxi drive will get you to your destination.

By Road: If you’re looking to drive or take a bus, you can go via Delhi (544 kms, 13-hour drive) and Shimla (258 kms, 8-hour drive). From Manali, there are daily buses and taxis available year-round for travellers. Taxis fares range between INR 1500 to 2000 per car. State and private buses are available if you don’t feel like driving yourself.

Now that you’ve reached, what can you do?

Sports at Solang:

Solang Valley Adventure Sports
Image Source : nativeplanet.com

You wouldn’t think that this quiet snowy little valley, would be a hotbed for adventure enthusiasts, would you? Well, you’d be wrong. This is the place to challenge yourself, to let your pulse spike and try something a little different. Paragliding is a must here. Not only is it a thrilling activity, the views from above are magnificent. Solang Valley is well equipped to handle both first timers and experienced paragliders. Do bear in mind that if you choose to visit the valley during monsoons, you will not be able to partake in this activity. Timings are usually from 9:00 to 5:00 PM and the costs can vary from INR 600 to INR 2000.

If you want to take advantage of the snowy slopes, then skiing is perfect for you. Solang Valley is at the base of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, which offers skiing training and is the venue for the annual Winter Skiing Festival. Snowboarding is also a favourite pastime for many adrenaline junkies who visit Solang. Prices can start as low as INR 300, but make sure to do your research in advance to pick a good skiing school. Another way to enjoy the snow is take a snowmobile ride. Float over the thick white snow in the powerful, purring machine. You can choose to do a Solang Valley snowmobile tour on these vehicles. Prices start at INR 500.

Don’t let your enthusiasm melt away with the snow. Summer in Solang is no slouch when it comes to adventure sports. You glided on the snow during winter, now rumble over the green slopes of the valley in an ATV. Prices range from INR 900-1000, but is well worth the cost to see the valley cloaked in summer splendour. Take advantage of the mountains and pitch a tent on the lush green meadows of the valley. You can choose a rustic camping experience or a luxurious one – the choice is yours. Finally, the season would be incomplete without Zorbing. Tuck yourself into a well-protected, transparent ball and roll down the lush green hillside. It is unbelievable!

Other than these activities, you can also go trekking, hiking, rock climbing, rappelling, parachuting, horse riding and more.

Monsoon effectively shuts down most of the adventure activities for the season. However, trekking and hiking are always available. Exercise extreme caution as the rain can make the terrain slippery and make sure to head out with a group and a guide. You could indulge in river rafting during this season but do make sure you are an experienced outdoorsman or rafter before you sign up. This might not be the season for beginners.

Must Read : Trekking in Manali is an experience of a lifetime

The Serenity of Solang

Image Source : Gites.fr

Although a majority of travellers come to the valley to challenge themselves and try out the variety of sports offered, there’s no reason you can’t just relax. Long walks, treks, cuddling under a blanket and drinking in the view – why shouldn’t you pace yourself and savour Solang Valley? Head to the Great Himalayan National Park for some bird watching and trekking. If cafes and hot food are what make a great vacation, then Il Forno, Chopsticks, Toasted and Roasted are all cafes and restaurants you can visit. Make sure you stop at one of the smaller stalls to enjoy a warm bowl of Maggi and a cup of tea.

The Standards of Solang – Some Tips

Travelling to places like Solang Valley mean some things need to be kept in mind. Here are some tips to consider as you plan your trip

  • If you’re travelling to partake in some incredible adventure sports, make sure you check out the institute’s reputation and licences. These are incredible experiences, but not worth the risk of a careless or unverified guide/professional/institute.
  • Check the weather before you plan your itinerary. Remember, a lot of these sports are dependent on favourable weather conditions.
  • Peak seasons like winter mean accommodations will book faster than you can say Solang. Be safe and book your stay in advance.
  • Carry a good camera – these are views you want to take home with you.
  • A first aid kit, repellent, sunscreen, a torch are essentials. Warm clothes for the winter, light cottons and a windcheater for summer and rainwear and boots for monsoon should cover the basics of each season. Pack carefully keeping the weather in mind.
  • Keep some money in your purse for shopping. There are beautiful local handicrafts you’ll want to splurge on.
  • If you plan to travel to Rohtang Pass, make sure you get your permit in advance.
  • Bargaining for a favourable price for photography or guide services is essential.

So, will Solang see you this year? If yes, then book your trip via Thomas Cook. We have a variety of Holiday Packages to choose from. We’ll handle your transport, itinerary and accommodation. Click your way to your next holiday and answer the call of the mountains.

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