Adventure Sports

Valleys cut by rivers, the thrilling high altitudes and snow- caped mountains; all of these have always been the ultimate attractive features of the state for adventure-seekers. There are numerous activities that can be undertaken for recreation in this Himalayan belt. These sports can be enjoyed by people of all ages as they range from golf to trekking and even fishing. For more rigid adventure sport, special training is also imparted by learned and experienced localities.

The major adventure sports/ recreational activities offered in Himachal Pradesh are:

Trekking

Location – Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges Passes between Shimla region Kullu Valley Trans Himalayan region of Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti
Best time – May to October
Trekking is one of the top activities in the to-do list of adventure lovers. The trekking trails of Himachal are surrounded by thick deodar, spruce and oak forests. These trekking areas vary from 1500m to 6000 m in altitude. The duration and topography of the trek can be chosen according to the requirements of the trekker. There are dak bungalows placed along many routes for the convenience of trekkers. Advance bookings can be done at such stoppages. To provide adequate training, there is a mountaineering institute in Manali with its regional centers at Dharamshala and Bharmour. Camping facilities are also available along trekking trails.

Heli-skiing

Location – Area around Hanuman Tibba Rohtang Pass Chanderkhani pass Deo Tibba
Best time – December to March
Heli-skiing is a sport wherein a helicopter carries you to the peaks of snow-covered mountains from where one can ski down the slopes and enjoy the thrill of the white land. Within 10 minutes one can reach as high as 14000 feet on a slope and then ski his way down the powdery lane.

Skiing

Location – Kufri and Mahasu ridge in Shimla Narkanda (64kms from Shimla) Solang Valley near Manali
Best time – December to April
At Narkanda various ski courses and equipments are available on hire. Kufri is one of the oldest skiing areas in India. At Solang Valley too, the Mountaineering and Allied Sports Institute provides training and ample opportunities for skiing.

Ice-skating

Location – Shimla ice-skating rink
Best time – December to February
In India, the largest open air ice-skating rink with naturally frozen ice is located in Shimla. Due to low temperatures, one can enjoy ice-skating throughout winters. Membership at the ice-skating club in Shimla is available for short and long terms. Morning and evening sessions are conducted every day. The club also provides skates. Ice-hockey is also undertaken in the rink.

Golf

Location – Naldera (23km from Shimla) Annandale (Shimla) Khajjiar (22km from Dalhousie)
Best time – April to June
The par 68, nine holes golf course at Naldera was established by the British Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. It was named after his daughter ‘Naldera’. The landscape of this golf course is entirely natural. There are many approachable hotels and resorts near the three golf courses.

Para-gliding

Location – Billing, Kangra Bundla Dhar, Bilaspur Kullu Valley Intkali, Rohru (Shimla)
Best time – March to May and September to October
Para-gliding is a combination of hang-gliding and sky-diving. Training programme and events are undertaken for the same. This sport is rapidly gaining popularity among tourists. The thrill of literally flying over the hills and valleys is undoubtedly a plus point for people who like adventure.

Fishing

Location – Pabbar Valley, Chirgaon, Seems, Mandil, Sandsu, Tikri and Dhamvari (Shimla) Baspa river, Sangla Valley (Kinnaur) Puran hatchery in Uhl river, Barot Beas, Sarvari and Parvati rivers (Kullu) Tirthan Valley, Aut, Patlikuhl, Raison, Largi (Kullu) Maharana Pratap Sagar, Kangra Govind Sagar, Bilaspur Giri, Gaura, Dadahu and Yamuna rivers
Best time – April to October (for Trout) January to April and September to December (for Mahaseer)
Himachal is famous for its Trout and Mahaseer fishing. Trout is considered the best sport fish in the world and the state has both brown and rainbow trout in abundance. Fishing charges are not very high. Innumerable lakes and streams of the state provide extensive opportunities for fishing

Water Sports

Location – Maharana Pratap Sagar, Kangra Govind Sagar, Bilaspur Chamera Lake, Dalhousie Pandoh lake, Mandi Chandra, Lahaul Beas River, Kullu Ravi River, Chamba Sutlej River, Shimla
Best time – March to June
The Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports offer a variety of water sports on the 42kmX2km reservoir in Kangra called Maharana Pratap Sagar. Here, activities like swimming, water-skiing, surfing, rowing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, etc. are organised. Himachal is famous for river-rafting and white-water rafting. It is a must try for every adventure lover.

Mountaineering and Rock Climbing

Location – Areas around Manali Beas Kund region Lower reaches of Hanuman Tibba Dhauladhar range Chandra Bhaga range
Best time – Throughout the year except during monsoons
The Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Manali along with its branches in Dharamshala and Chamba provide professional training for rock climbing and mountaineering. It is a hard form of adventure sport and requires great stamina. The Himalayan region is a perfect spot for mountaineering.

Camping

Location – Sarchu and Kaza, Lahaul-Spiti Sangla and Kalpa, Kinnaur Barog, Solan Kullu Dharamshala Mashobra and Baldian, Shimla
Best time – There are many camping sites in Himachal. One can either camp independently of opt for a number of camps pitched in the region. These camps provide good facilities like accommodation, catering, recreational activities etc. and also help in cultural exchange among people residing in such camps. It is perhaps the best way to experience the peace and serenity of nature in the Himalayas.