If it's an adventure holiday
you are looking for, India has it all. Be it trekking over mountainous passes,
skiing down smooth snowy slopes, riding the waves of the sea on a wind
surfer-or a horse in the desert, be it river rafting or trout fishing, India
has some of the best-and at incredible prices.
India's vast geographical
diversity a wealth of outdoor adventure, All tastes are catered for -from the
gentlest to the fast-paced, and there is something for every level of
competence-the beginning and the expert. Not only does India have an immense
variety of outdoor thrills, but prices here are extremely low by international
In summer the focus is on the mountains in the northern
boarder states. Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal
Pradesh all lie in the lap of the great Himalayan range. The trekking season in
the first three states roughly spans from may to mid-October. The right period
for Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh is from October to December.
majority of trekking trails in India are well outside the 'inner line' and
hence did not require permits. In the rare event that a trekker wishes to cross
the inner line, prior permission must be obtained.
Trekking is a popular
sport in these states and equipment can be easily hired. These include kerosene
stoves, carry-on mats, tents, and personal items such as waterproof jackets.
Would-be trekkers need only bring trekking boots, sun screen lotion and a
camera in addition to specialised equipment, if required. Hiring of ponies,
poters, guides and cooks can readily be arranged at the starting point of the
Also in focus all through summer is river running in precisely
those states which offer trekking. However, the most popular stretch for this
sport is on the Ganga near Rishikesh. Here again, specialised agencies offer
guides, trained personnel and the hire of equipment that includes inflatable
rats and crash helmets, camping arrangements range from the modest to the
luxurious and are included in the services provided. The advantages of making
arrangements through an agency that specialises in river running are manifold.
It completely obviates the necessity of carrying bulky equipment to India;
routes are well-planned and grades of difficulty for the river are precisely
marked. The best season for river rafting is from April to
Kashmir in the summer offers a series of soft adventure
sports in famed settings. Water skiing on Srinagar's Dal and Nagin Lakes is a
popular pastime. Equipment can be hired along with a motor and driver. For the
novice, instructors provide guidance. Water trekking is calculated to delight
anyone wanting to explore valley of Kashmir in a boat. A gondoal, known locally
as a shikara, takes sightseers on a five-day route along rivers and lakes.
Nights are spent in tents in convenient camping sites along the way. Trout
fishing is a delight in kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The
fishing season lasts all through summer. Rods and reels can easily be hired,
and flies purchased wherever fishing is possible-'catch and release' being the
norm for nature care.
Winter sports are centered sroung Kashmir, Uttar
Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, Skiing usually starts by the end of December and
lasts till the end of March. Gulmarg in Kashmir, Auli in Uttar Pradesh, and
Narkanda and Manali in Himachal Pradesh are transformed into multitudes of
snowy ski slopes of a veriety of gradients, Each of these places is services by
ski lifts, and equipment is always available on hire.
Skiing has become
a prime attraction in recent years because India provides the cheapest ski
holiday anywhere in the world. Complete beginners are given individual or group
coaching and have a variety of gentle slopes with short ski runs to choose
from. On the other hand, there is much for the advanced skiers as well.
Gulmarg's gondola cable car provides an exhilarating run of several thousand
feet of steep slopes.
Heli skiing in Manali and Kashmir Valley provides
an enormous variety of ski runs and routes as complicated or as straightforward
as the individual can tackle. A helicopter takes a group of advanced skiers up
onto any one of Nemours peaks that surround the resort from where they make
For six months of the year between October and March,
India's coastline, thousands of miles long, provides perfect beach holidays.
These range from secluded, seldom-visited beaches ideal for those wanting a
quit holiday, to internationally renowned resorts, complete with several luxury
resorts to choose from, and yet others where the accent is one water
Each of India's coastal states, Gujarat, Maharashtra. Goa,
Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa have a choice of
beaches. Those in Goa are all popular, any offering luxury resort hotels on the
beach itself, wind surfing and yachting often being part of the resort's
facilities. Gopalpur-on-Sea in Orissa, Chorwad and Ahmedpur Mandvi in Gujarat
are but two examples of relativity quit beaches. Lakshdweep offers excellent
wings surfing, snorlelling and acuba diving in the crystal clear waters of the
lagoons which surround each island.
The desert state of Rajasthan offers
an exotic counter with the outdoors in the form of camel safaries. The thar
desert in western Rajasthan is the locale for an age-old adventure. Camels-one
per rider-are used as a unique form o sightseeing which can last one day,
leaving early morning and returning by nightfall. Camel safaries can be
undertaken over a period of several days in which case camping equipments is
necessary. Whatever the duration, agencies in Jaisalmer organise trips to
wind-sculpted san dunes, ornate Jain temples and tiny village in the middle of
wilderness. Charges include the hiring of a guide (Absolutely necessary), and
camping equipment. Camel safaries are commonly organised in the relativity
cooler months of winter.