Himachal Pradesh is easily one of those few places in India where the nature bestows its generosity in full measures. Often referred to as the ‘Land of Snow’, the state has maximum number of tourist destinations to its credit and attracts thousands of tourists every year.
As much as the tourists love the resplendent valleys, rolling streams, cozy hill stations and a rich culture; adventure tourism is trending in Himachal Pradesh like never before. Apart from the winter sports, adventure activities like paragliding, mountaineering, trekking and rafting are becoming a craze among the tourists nowadays and offer instant adrenaline rush while encapsulating the scenic backdrop Himachal provides.
Here is what you need to know about popular adventure sports in Himachal:
Mountaineering is extremely popular in Himachal owing to its topographical condition and the amazing mountain ranges here. A lot of adventurers travel all the way to Himachal to indulge in mountaineering. The popular spots include Dhauladhar, Lahaul-Spiti, Manali, Chandrabhaga and Pir Panjal. A popular and fairly easy one is at Kullu Manali which is also host to other water sports too.
From travelling through passes to criss-crossing amidst valleys, the mountaineering here involves an experience of a lifetime and is open throughout the year for tourists barring extreme weather conditions. For the enthusiasts, there is Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports where you can take up a course in mountaineering with all the equipment before actually attempting one.
While the sport gained popularity in Himachal around 80 years back, the hilly range and the stunning beauty makes it a perfect activity while exploring the state. There is something for every kind of trekker, from a novice to those who are adept at it.
Kullu-Manali remains a popular trek for most of the tourists while Great Himalayan National Park, Lahaul, Sangla Valley and Spiti offer you those exotic trekking options that span over days.
The majestic outline and rolling white water of the several rivers in Himachal offers endless opportunities for rafting. Easily among the best rafting spots in the world, this sport attractions many tourists round the year except for monsoon and winters.
The popular rivers for white water rafting here include Ravi near Chamba, Chandrabhaga (Chenab) in Lahaul, Beas in Kullu and the Satluj near Shimla. Among these, Beas is an easy favourite with many due to its vast 20 km stretch.
While preparing, it’s a good idea to travel light and carry important items such as nylon shorts, swimsuit and appropriate shoes.
Himachal has a lot of places where paragliding can be enjoyed but the small village with Tibetan monasteries and a tiny Tibetan colony, Bir, takes the cake here. While the take-off spot, Billing, is 14 km upwards from Bir; the place is extremely popular for its Hang and Para gliding option.
Due to the scenic view it offers and the easy accessibility for high altitude gliding across distance as vast as 200 km, Bir also happens to be a destination for World Champion Paraglider pilots.
Other favourites among the novice and enthusiasts for paragliding include Bundla Dhar, Pabbar and Kullu valleys.