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

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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.

Wa­ter sports

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.

Moun­tain cy­cling

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.

Trekking

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.

Paraglid­ing

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.

Camp­ing

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.

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