Paragliding in Manali, Himachal Pradesh
Himachal has it all. rivers, lakes, forests, alpine meadows,
treacherous passes, snow-peaked high mountains, spread-out valleys
simply ideal for a wide variety of adventure sports. Be it fishing for
the mahseer, heli-skiing at sub-zero temperatures, ice-skating at a
touristy hillstation, teeing off in salubrious surroundings, feeling
free as a bird on a glider, or simply cherishing the joy of camping on
a meadow next to a stream the outdoors person will not be found
wanting in Himachal Pradesh.
No special training is required for most activities, age is no consideration, all you need is a reasonable level of fitness. Equipment, training and instructors are available. And then, all this comes at a fraction of what it would cost elsewhere in the world.
Popular Adventure Activities
Camping is perhaps the best way to enjoy the natural outdoors of Himachal and being part of the life of its people. You can carry your own gear along or opt for any one of the several camps pitched in various parts of the state. These camps offer accommodation, catering and a variety of activities like hiking, fishing, nature-tours and rafting. Most of these offer quality facilities and services. Himachal Tourism operates camps at Sarchu in Lahaul besides built accommodation. Tents are available at Sangla and Kalpa in Kinnaur and at Kaza in Spiti. The Youth Hostel Association of India runs camps at Dalhousie (Chamba) and at Kullu-Manali. Camps run by the private sector are at Baspa (Sangla) valley and Kalpa in Kinnaur, at Tabo in Spiti, at Al Hilal (Taragarh) and Dharamsala in Kangra, at Shoja near Kullu and Mashobra and Baldian near Shimla. Adventure camps are also expected to be set-up in the Pabbar valley in the Jubbal - Hatkoti - Rohru area in Shimla district.
Mountaineering & Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is often seen as the basic stage for
mountain climbing. It can also be treated as an independent sport,
since it is climbing a rock face, using only hands and feet with a
The area around Manali, presently forms the core of mountaineering in Himachal. The Beas Kund region and lower reaches of the Hanuman Tibba (5930 m), the Manali and Shitidhar peaks around the source of river Beas and Deo Tibba (6001 m) (Kullu) area are suggested for amateurs. The Chandra Bhaga ranges, the Pir Panjal and Dhalaudhar ranges may be suitable for more experienced climbers. The Allied Sports Institute at Manali and its branch at Dharamsala (Kangra) conduct mountaineering tours. Courses are also available at the institute.
You can explore the Himalayan spectrum on jeep, car
or motorcycle for an exceptional experience. A sturdy jeep will take
you through the trans-Himalyan tract along one of the world`s
highest highways, you can drive out of Manali, cross the Rohtang Pass
(3980 m) and move through arid Lahaul. You drive through the haunting
landscapes of Spiti and over the Kunzum pass (4551 m), and enter
Himachal has an extensive network of roads, treks, and apart from the route mentioned above, there are several others you can traverse on. By car, driving over the more demanding routes may not be possible, but in no way does this curtail the range of experience. And a motorcycle may impose some limitations, but is really a wonderful way to get to know the region. All you need is a route map, a plan and you are on your way.
Gear yourself for high adventure with an expedition on cycles. You can pedal your way past high passes or simply make a day-adventure. Quite literally, the whole of Himachal is your playground. The tour can be coupled with camping and can be carried on for several weeks over diverse terrain. The lower regions of the state Kangra, Una, Hamirpur and Bilaspur offer gentle routes. Or you can stretch your mind, muscle and stamina to reach out to the trans-Himalyan tract of Lahaul, Spiti and Kinnaur. Milder but no less interesting excursions can be undertaken at any holiday station. For mountain biking in the higher regions, summer and autumn months are suggested.
The Maharana Pratap Sagar reservoir in Kangra with its 42 km length and 2 km breadth, offers a variety of activities in close collaboration with the Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports. Year long activities include swimming, water-skiing, surfing, kayaking, rowing, canoeing and sailing. Three levels of courses are conducted beginner, intermediate and advanced. Similar activities are also available on the waters of Gobind Sagar near Bilaspur, the Chamera lake near Dalhousie (Chamba) and the Pandoh lake on the Mandi-Kullu National Highway.
An anglers paradise, Himachal has several spots for trout and
mahaseer as well as other fish. Acclaimed as the best sport fish in
the world, both brown and rainbow trout are to be found in Himachal`s
Upstreams of Rohru in the Pabbar valley (Shimla), there are several spots ideal for fishing. Chirgaon has a trout hatchery and other sites are Seema, Mandil, Sandsu, Tikri and Dhamvari all are within 5 to 25 km of Rohru (Shimla). Kinnaur`s Baspa river in the Sangla valley also holds trout. Fish also abounds in Uhl river near Barot. Good spots on this beat are Luhandi, Puran hatchery, Tikkar and Kamand.
The upper reaches of the river Beas in the Kullu valley and its side streams such as the Sarvari, Parbati, Sainj, Hurla and Tirthan, especially the areas around Aut, Patlikuhl, Katrain, Raison and Largi are excellent for the sport. These are all upstream of the Pandoh reservoir and are close to, or on the Mandi-Manali highway.
In the Kangra valley, the reservoir of the Maharana Pratap Sagar right up to the town of Dehra has good spots for tackling the mahaseer river carp. Nadaun along the river Beas has some good beats, besides Chamba Pattan near Garli (accessible from Nadaun or Jwalamukhi), Amtar (2 km from Nadaun), Harsi Pattan (30 km from Tira Sujanpur) and Lambagaon (15 km from Tira Sujanpur).
On the river Giri, Gaura (30 km from Solan on the Rajgarh road) and the beat near Dadahu (5 km from Renuka lake) and the river Yamuna, downstream of Paonta Sahib (Sirmour) are also good spots for mahaseer. The waters of the Gobind Sagar near Bilaspur also have a variety of fish. Fishing fee are nominal. The trout fishing season is from 31 March to 31 October.
The Shimla ice-skating rink has the largest open-air area with naturally frozen ice in this part of the world. Ice-skating normally begins in early December and carries on till February. Clear skies and low temperatures provide uninterrupted sessions. There are two sessions every day, in the morning and in the evening. Membership is available for the season as well as for shorter terms and even for single sessions. Skates are available at the rink. Fancy dress carnivals, `gymkhanas` ice-hockey and dances enliven every season.
At Naldera, 23 km beyond Shimla is one of the oldest golf courses in India. The course, whose topography is absolutely natural, was originally created by the British Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, at the turn of the century. He was so enchanted by the spot that he named one of his daughters `Naldera` after the spot. This is a par 68, nine-hole course, regarded as one of the most challenging in the country. In the repeat nine, the yardage somewhat increases. Himachal Tourism maintains the links and accommodation is available at Hotel Golf Glade. There are other hotels in the private sector near Naldera. Annandale, in Shimla also has a nine-hole course managed by the army and there is another golf course at the exquisite glade of Khajjiar, 22 km from Dalhousie and 24 km from Chamba. Putting greens are available at several resorts and hotels.
|Shimla - The Pride of Himachal Pradesh - By Raj Kanwar|
In places like Delhi where pollution has become a major problem, Shimla would act as a soothing experience......