Adventure Holidyas
Mountaineering in India

Mountaineering in IndiaIf you're fired by the spirit of adventure, let the sparks in your heart fly...... in India, a land blessed with lofty snow-clad peaks, crystal glaciers, rolling meadows, jagged rock faces, verdant valleys, meandering rivers, cascading waterfalls, dense forests, and hospitable people, blessed with a rich culture - a land perfect for mountaineering, trekking, and rock climbing.

While the mountaineering season tends to be concentrated around the April-November period, a number of climbs are also attempted in winter (December-March) which, though much colder, allows for clearer climbing days.

Mountaineering routes are graded, according to the degree of difficulty and accessibility. Prior medical examination is essential. The permanent snowline, generally being in the region of 5,200 m, the degree of difficulty of mountaineering routes, can broadly be defined as : Requiring knowledge of basic mountaineering techniques, such as those imparted by the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering at Uttarkashi, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute at Darjeeling, and the Western Himalayan Institute of Mountaineering at Manali.

For this category of peaks, it is necessary to be in top physical condition, and to possess advanced mountaineering skills, either through the advanced courses of mountaineering institutes, or through expedition experience. Within this category, further demarcation is possible, till the highest degrees of difficulty.

Trekking in India

Trekking in IndiaFor those fascinated by the unexplored, the mountain ranges of India offer breathtaking, enthralling trekking routes. In the vast amphitheatre of the Indian Himalayas and Karakorams, there are limitless possibilities for trekking, mountaineering, skiing, and river rafting. Within this alluring arena, the Garhwal and Kumaon regions, occupy the central place, with special points of interest for the trekker.

Spectacular views apart, the Himalayan foothills are just ideal for trekking, offering energetic out-door people a different and exciting option for a holiday. The Garhwal and Kumaon regions of Uttaranchal are the most popular destinations for trekkers, though Chamba and Manali in Himachal Pradesh, and Ladakh and Zanskar in Jammu and Kashmir, have interesting trekking routes as well.

Darjeeling and Sikkim in the east also have some trekking routes. While trekking as a sporting activity does not require prior training or practice, except that the trekker should be in good physical condition, there are certain dos and don'ts which should be adhered to. Routes should be carefully chosen, as some treks may be more difficult, or may involve high altitude trekking. It is generally advisable to be accompanied by a local guide. Ensure that the pace of the trek is not too rapid, since this could result in exhaustion, and would in any case not be enjoyable. The adventure season, which till recently, was confined to the summer months, now covers almost the entire year, including winter. This has been made possible by improved equipment and transportation, and the availability of year-round bookings in areas, hitherto, considered inaccessible. Moreover, Winter treks are gaining popularity as a means of 'getting away' to relatively lower altitudes.

Camping in India

Camping in IndiaCamping is perhaps the best way of enjoying the wonders of nature given to Himachal and sharing the warmth of its people. You can carry your own gear along or opt for any one of the several camps that are pitched in various parts of the State.

These camps offer accomodation, catering and variety of activities like hiking, fishing, nature-tours and rafting. Most of these offer quality facilities and services.

Himachal has camps at Sarchu in Lahaul besides built accomodation, and tents are available at Sangla and Kalpa in Kinnaur and Kaza in Spiti part of Lahaul & Spiti district.

The Youth Hostel association of India, runs camps at Dalhousie (Chamba) and at Kullu-Manali. Camps run by the private sector are at Barog in Solan district, Baspa (Sangla) valley and Kalpa in Kinnaur, at Tabo in Spiti, at Al Hilal (Taragarh) and Dharamsala in Kangra, at Shoja near Kullu and Mashobra and Baldian near Shimla Adventure camps are likely to be available soon in the Pabbar valley in the Jubbal - Hatkoti - Rohru area in Shimla district.

Boparais organisation is running a camping site at Barog in district Solan. It is situated on Chandigarh- Shimla highway.

River Rafting in India

The challenge of the daunting, turbulent rivers is no less, than that of the rugged mountains. The icy heights of the Himalayas, are the source of some of India's mighty rivers.

Fed by innumerable streams, they race along tortuous boulder - strewn beds, cutting deep gorges, and breaking into silvery white rapids.

An intricate network of thundering mountain rivers, flowing through an amazing landscape of thrilling gorges, forests, and remote villages, the Garhwal and Kumaon hills, in the state of Uttaranchal Pradesh, provide ideal settings for some dramatic water adventure.

White Water Rafting in Garhwal Region
The challenge of the turbulent rivers is no less than that of the rigged mountains. The icy heights of the Himalayas are the source of some of India's mighty rivers. Fed by innumerable streams they race along Tortuous boulder strewn beds, cutting deep gorges and breaking into silvery white rapids.

With the intricate network of Mountain Rivers flowing through a myriad of different colors of rocky gorges, forests, flowers and high mountain villages, the Garhwal and Kumaon hills provide ideal locales for the perfect water adventure.

White Water Rafting in Kumaon Region
In Kumaon, the Kail Ganga (sharda) flows down from the Nepal border through kumaon hills. The kail and Gori Rivers meet at Jauljibi where the water volume increases. Offering adventure to professionals. For over 117 kms. from Jauljibi to Tanakpur its rapids are grad iv and more, the tough 3 day of rafting should be done by professionals Lower down among the frosted slopes.

The river become calmer offering the amateur a sporting the amateur a sporting challenge before flowing out into the plains of Uttaranchal Mahakali Ganga river flows along the border between India and Nepal a self contained river journey as and Expedition or mega trip up to Tanakpur can be undertaken.

Skiing in India

Skiing in IndiaWith their vast open spaces, above the snowline, the Garhwal and Kumaon hills of Uttaranchal, offer a plethora of ski locales. For the avid skier, cross - country runs of 10-20 km are now available, with the added advantage of fresh powder snow.

Due to their awesome height and spread, Garhwal and Kumaon, like other areas in the Himalayas, offer the thrills of exploratory long distance skiing, round the year. Winter skiing in Garhwal is, now, professionally conducted at the Auli slopes.

The usual season is late December to early March, depending on the snow conditions. With their vast open spaces, above the snowline, the Garhwal and Kumaon hills of Uttaranchal, offer a plethora of ski locales. For the avid skier, cross - country runs of 10-20 km are now available, with the added advantage of fresh powder snow.

Due to their awesome height and spread, Garhwal and Kumaon, like other areas in the Himalayas, offer the thrills of exploratory long distance skiing, round the year. Winter skiing in Garhwal is, now, professionally conducted at the Auli slopes.

The usual season is late December to early March, depending on the snow conditions.

Rock Climbing India

Rock Climbing IndiaRock Climbing in India, initially began as training for mountaineering and turned into an exciting sport about 15 years ago. Rock-climbing is largely balance and not strength. Balance also determines the value of strength by how much energy you spend actually climbing

Sheer rock faces, ideal for rock climbing, can be found in many areas. The Aravali hills have good climbing faces at Dumdama, Dhauj and Nuh, all situated near Delhi. The Western Ghats have Mumbra and Dudha beyond Pune. Himachal Pradesh offers the Manali Valley, Manikaran and the Rohtang Pass. Rajasthan has Mount Abu and Sariska which have gentler rocks. In Karnataka there are the Chamundi Hills.

High-altitude climbers will enjoy the rock faces at Sonmarg in Kashmir and Gangotri in Garhwal, Uttaranchal. These trips are advisable in the summer and autumn months. Certain climbs can often prove gruelling and tough, but the magic of the beautiful landscape, the cool weather and pure air keeps the climber's spirit up.

Most climbs are graded from 1 to the 30's. The highest grade climbed is currently 32. Serious climbing starts around 10. Beginners normally do the early tens and then move upwards. Rock-climbing can become complex because it involves the interplay of many elements: you, your gear, your skill and technique.

Camel Safaris India

Deserts have since long exerted an irresistible charm on the psyche of the humans, the landscape inspiring different emotions in different people. And what better way to explore this magical realm than on a camel back, for a camel safari is one of the most adventurous of experiences, and indeed a novel way to 'discover' the desert.

Camel safaris trace their origins to the time of trade between India and China, when camel caravans would journey along established trade routes laden with spices and herbs and jewels. They provide an opportunity to get a glimpse of traditional Indian life in the desert, with all the hardships, the beauty and the desolation.

The accommodation on the way consists of primitive thatched mud huts, and the way of life-though hospitable-is entirely ethnic.

Camel safaris generally cover the area around Jaisalmer, Bikaner or Jodhpur, popularly known as the desert circuit. The duration can vary between one day and two weeks. Big towns are not usually on the route though there is no definite route that you have to adopt.

Desert Safaris India

Desert Safari IndiaOne of the most popular deserts in India, the Thar region was once ruled by the Rajputs. These strong and powerful rulers built magnificent fortress palaces, of which the ruins are still visited.

The Thar is best experienced by camel safaris. These leave from Khuri village. There are also, day treks that leave in the morning and return at night, as well as overnight trips.

All travelers and tourists are required to make this journey along with an experienced guide.

Fort Rajwada - A historic building, now turned hotel

Hotel Rang Mahal - A modern day hotel. Also has a swimming pool.

Safari Tours - Offering camel safaris, desert safaris staying at the camp Rawala Canoi, and other local tours.

Thar Safari - Offering camel, jeep, and horse safaris, accommodation in tents. Also desert safaris staying at camp in Pushkar.

Polo India

Polo IndiaOne of the legacies left behind by the British -much like cricket and hockey - is Polo. Much like these two games. Polo owes its origin to the British, even though it was first played in India. An erstwhile passion of the royal families - some, like the former ruler of Udaipur, still patronise it - the game is now largely a preserve of the men in uniform, played in metres and cantonment lawns.

Matches are usually organised in the winter season, details of which can be obtained from local dailies or race courses. India is considered the cradle of modern polo. It is here that this game of kings was rediscovered and nurtured since the medieval times. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty in the 15th century, firmly established its popularity.

The period between the decline of the Mughal dynasty and the upsurgence of the British Imperial rule, Polo almost vanished from the mainland India. Fortunately for the world, the game survived in a few remote mountainous enclaves of the subcontinent, notably Gilgit, Chitral, Ladakh and Manipur.

Far removed from the tumult and political turmoil of the plains and secure in their mountain fastness, life continued much the same as it ever had. Polo continued to be played in the traditional manner in these areas. It is to the survival of the game in the remote north-eastern state of Manipur, that the world owes the genesis of modern polo, as it is universally played today.

In India, the popularity of polo has waned and risen many time. However, it has never lost its regal status. In the last few decades, the emergence of privately owned teams has ensured a renaissance in Indian polo.

Today, polo is not just restricted to the royalty and the Indian Army, many companies and firms too patronise the sport. Polo facilities are on the rise and polo holidays in India too are in vogue.

Motor Rallying

Motor Rallying IndiaTo experience that rush of blood and the pump of the adrenalin, get behind a wheel. For those interested, India is a major venue on the international rally circuit, with quite a few rallies now established as annual events, attracting not only national level participation but also from the international level.

The terrain that India provides -from the deserts to the beaches, to the mountains -tests not only the skills of the rallyists but also their mettle. One of the more well known rallies, till about a few years back, was the Himalayan car rally, which has since been discontinued.

Of recent origin are the vintage car rallies in which some very rare, collector cars are not only displayed but also run in the rally. If you're lucky, you might just spot a 1935 Jaguar convertible'or even an 1898 Humbrette.

With a terrain that shifts from hill roads to forest tracks, desert trails to beach routes, India tests the mettle of both man and machine in motor rallies. Several championship rallies are held in India every year. Picturesque vintage car rallies are also held in some of the metros like Kolkata's Annual Statesman Vintage Car Rally. One of the most challenging Motor rallies is the Himalayan Car rally.

Hang Gliding in India
Hang Gliding in India A hang-glider is quite heavy (almost 55 kg in weight), bulky, and much complicated object. It takes around half of an hour to open the glider and almost the same time to pack it. The technicalities are more complex than, say, a para-glider and the risks more. But, then, what is in adventure if some element of risk is not involved? This is the only reason that this game is still quite popular despite so many new versions coming out. The joy of flying in the sky just like a bird is unparalleled and enormous.

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