Winters are here and what better place to celebrate your vacations other than Himachal Pradesh. ‘Dev Bhoomi’ Himachal has been blessed with some of the most beautiful and exotic destinations for the tourists to make the best of their holidays. And when these vantage locations are coupled with your favorite sports activities, order then it’s sure to turn your vacation into an unforgettable experience.
Skiing, purchase one of the most popular winter sports has now become the signature sport of Himachal Pradesh during winters. Tourist from all over the country and ski loving international tourists converge on Himachal Pradesh during winters to enjoy the thrill and excitement of racing down the snow clad slope.
The exuberance of the icy cold winds hitting you in the face, case leaves one asking for more. You don’t need to be a professional to enjoy skiing in Himachal, anyone with a slight knowledge can take to the sport.
To promote the sport Himachal Pradesh Tourism Corporation, Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali and private operators do conduct training and advanced courses on the skiing slopes of Narkanda and Solang Valley, near Manali. Should the winter have a bountiful snowfall, fun skiing is also conducted at Kufri, near Shimla.
Kufri: It is by far one of the most popular tourist destinations in Himachal. Kufri is located at a distance of about 16 Km from Shimla and at an altitude of 2,620 meters above the sea level.
The verdant forested area is also a favorite destination for many film makers who have captured its serene beauty. Many skiing scenes in the films made in the 1960s and 1970s were shot on the Kufri ski slopes.
Over the years, lesser snowfall that lasts for shorter periods has led to decline in skiing activity around Kufri. However, the sport enthusiasts are a excited lot whenever there is a good snowfall and the slopes come alive with ski lovers and tourists vying for space on the slopes. Tourists do trek right up to the Mahasu peak and ski down its slope to gain one enthralling experience. Private operators and government agencies do conduct skiing courses at Kufri starting with a week’s course for beginners.
Narkanda: Narkanda is perhaps one of the oldest ski resorts in India. It is located at a distance of 64 Km from Shimla and is at an altitude of 2,700 meters above sea level.
Tourists here do partake in the thrilling skiing sport amidst luxurious cedar forests, smooth and soft slopes with long ski tracks. The nearby Hatu Peak rising above thick spruce and oak forests raises the scenic setting to another level, providing a divine experience.
An amazing trek followed by the unforgettable skiing experience leaves the tourist completely mesmerized. The choice of skiing slopes varies from beginners to professionals and the skiing courses here are conducted each year.
Solang: Skiing on the slopes of Solang Valley is one of the best tourist attractions in Himachal. The Solang slopes are located about 14 Km form Manali and private and government trainer offer training courses both for beginner and professionals.
Other than trainings at the venue, professional competitive winter sport games are also held at the venue regularly. Solang valley was in fact the destination for hosting the National Winter Games in 2000.
Other than the Narkanda and Solang, skiing is also done at other places, which includes the many slopes along the route to Rohtang Pass, such as the Gulaba Slopes, at Triund on the Dhauladhar slopes near Dharmshala and in Dainkund near Dalhousie.
Taking skiing to a higher level, where the skier is airlifted by helicopter and dropped on a high Himalayan slope enabling him or her to ski unhindered for kilometers together at a stretch is the high adrenalin sport of heli-skiing.
The sport was introduced into the country in early 1990s, when it was started by a private operator in and around the high mountain slopes of Manali. International skiers simply love the Himalayan skiing vistas of Manali, where the sport is still conducted, mainly for the professional skiers.
Heli-skiing is an expensive sport conducted under the supervision of professional ski guides, who have to adopt maximum safety measures.