Himachal Pradesh Haven for adventure lovers
Himachal Pradesh is endowed with a plethora of natural resources from rivers in deep gorges and placid mountain lakes, thick forests to mountainsides draped in snow. The array of terrain in the state present ample possibilities for a wide range of outdoor
Equipped with the right gear, reasonable level of fitness and a burning desire to be adventurous is all one needs to enjoy Himachal Pradesh. Sedentary or strenuous, for the expert or beginner, the state offers a niche of sport and adventure for everyone.
The state has become a focal point of water sports with a variety of river rafting possibilities available. For a torrent of adrenalin to gush through every vein and surge over every muscle you can race over the state's river rapids in an inflatable rubber dinghy. The sport is now being held on the Sutlej at Tattapani near Shimla on the Beas near Kullu, the Ravi near Chamba and Chandra in Lahaul. Possibilities are also being explored on the river Spiti. If river rafting is not your thing, then you can also enjoy still water sports of the likes of water-skiing, surfing, kayaking, rowing, canoeing and sailing. Water sports activities are also available on the waters of the Gobind Sagar near Bilaspur, the Chamera Lake near Dalhousie and the Pandoh Lake on the Mandi-Manali highway. Boating is also available on the Renuka lake in the district of Sirmaur.
The entire state is a playground for those who wish to gear for high adventure with an expedition on cycles. You can pedal your way past high passes or simply make a day-adventure. 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 Himalayan tract of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur. Milder but no less interesting excursions can be done out at any holiday station.
With well over 200 defined trails, the variation in terrain is enormous in the state for an active adventure like trekking. The main trekking areas in Himachal are the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges, routes over the passes between the Shimla region and the Kullu valley, the numerous treks out of Kullu and select treks in the trans-Himalayan regions of Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti. Most trekking areas are between 1,500 metres and 6,000 metres.
Ice Skating and Skiing
The Shimla ice-skating rink has the largest open-air area with natural ice in this part of the world. Ice skating under clear skies, Shimla’s temperature provides a series of uninterrupted sessions. Ice-skating normally begins in early December and goes on till February. Kufri, near Shimla is one of the oldest places in India to be associated with skiing and the slopes are still in use during winter. Above Kufri, the Mahasu ridge also has exciting slopes.
Sail the skies as a free bird while admiring the changing landscape in myriad ways. Almost at will, you dip and wheel high over the hills and valleys. Bir-Billing in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh is one of the best paragliding sites. The activities on offer at other places like Bundla Dhar near Bilaspur, Solang valley near Manali in the Kullu district.
Considered as one of the best ways to enjoy the natural landscapes of the state, camping is a popular activity. You can carry your own gear along or opt for any one of the several organised camps such as the Boparais Camping Site at Barog, that are pitched in various parts of the state. These camps offer accommodation, catering and variety of activities like hiking, fishing, naturetours and rafting. Most of these offer quality facilities and services.