Adventure Sports in Himachal Pradesh
Free flowing rivers, thick forests, tough terrains, snow covered mountain peaks and cold deserts of the Trans Himalaya, offers great possibilities for a wide range of adventure sports in the state. Some of popular adventure sports in Himachal are river rafting, skiing, heli-skiing and ice-skating, paragliding, camping, trekking, mountain-biking, car safari, mountaineering and rock climbing etc.
TrekkingHimachal Pradesh is a heaven for the trekkers with variety of treks in the state. These treks vary from soft terrain to hard terrain, one day hike to week long days hike. The treks vary form a height of 1500 mtrs to 6000mtrs. These treks passes through the pine forests, forest of deodars and spruce, oak and flowering rhododendron.
The famous trekking places in Himachal are the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges, over the passes between the Shimla region and the Kullu valley, in the Kullu region and Trans-Himalyan regions of Kinnaur, Lahaul & Spiti. Bijli Mahadev in Kullu, Churdhar in Sirmour,Triund in Mcleodganj, Shikari Devi in Mandi, Kinner Kailash in Kinnaur and Manimahesh in Chamba are some must visit treks.
There are agencies that conduct treks. Guides, equipment, porters and maps are available at major starting points.
Heli-SkiingFor high mountain thrills perhaps nothing can surpass the magic of heli-skiing. You are taken by a helicopter to a snow-draped peak. And after that there is nothing except the sky and the snow. It is a thrilling experience as you rapidly zoom down the slopes. The icy winds slaps your face and the swiftly slithering hiss of skies reminds you that you are racing away on your own steam. The sport is available in the area bound by Hanuman Tibba, Rohtang Pass, Deo Tibba and Chanderkhani Pass near the resort town of Manali. A major feature is the compactness of heli skiing area. A sortie of ten minutes can carry the skiers to the top of a 14000 feet high slope.
SkiingSkiing can be a great experience of adventure in the slopes of snow covered peaks. Skiing is hot favorite among the adventure freaks. Manali, Narkanda, Kufri and Shimla are most ideal places for Skiing in Himachal Pradesh. Kufri, is one of the oldest places in India associated with skiing. The Mahasu ridge and Narkanda also has good slopes. Solang Nala and Hamta Pass in manali are also a good destination for skiing. The range of slopes varies from a beginner's run, an advanced slope and a fast run. Skiing equipments and coaching can be easily made available by several agencies. At Manali, the Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports offers a variety of courses and facilities for skiing in the Solang area near Manali.
Ice - SkatingThe Shimla ice-skating rink has the largest open-air area with naturally frozen ice. The Ice Skating Club has already celebrated its Diamond Jubilee. Ice-skating normally begins in early December and continues till February. Clear skies and low temperatures provide series of 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 period and even for single session. Skates are available at the rink.
Para-GlidingFlying in sky, like a bird, has been an old desire of humans. Paragliding in Himachal Pradesh provides with full opportunity of flying in the sky. The open and clean sky in Himachal can lure any one to try out gliding. Billing, Kangra, Bilaspur and Kullu are the best destination for trying a hand at para gliding.
The bald peak of Billing, above the Buddhist monastery of Bir in Kangra, has been the venue for five national and three international hang-gliding championships since 1984. The site is perfect for para-gliding too. Bir Billing is the second best paragliding site in the world. This sport is a combination of sky-diving and hang-gliding. Para-gliding is a fairly new sport, steadily gaining popularity, and is popular at various places in the state. Paragliding in Manali especially in winter when the whole valley is covered under snow, is an unique experience for paragliding enthusiast. Solang Valley Para-gliding is also done at Bundla Dhar near Bilaspur, in the Kullu valley and at Intkali in the Pabbar valley near Rohru in Shimla district.
Training programmes and events at various times of the year, are organized in different places. HPTDC sponsors training programmes and events at various times of the year, in different places.
River RaftingThe free flowing rivers in Himachal Pradesh, provide a good scope of water sports. River Rafting is one such activity which can be enjoyed here. The main rivers here for rafting are Chandrabhaga in Lahaul, the Sutlej near Shimla , the Ravi near Chamba and the Beas near Kullu. The speed of water in them can give a tough time to any professional rafter.
Possibilities are also being explored on the river Spiti. This sport takes a break during winter and monsons.