In Himachal Pradesh, the land of the high hills and deep gorges, every nook and corner of the state is a playground for adventure lovers. Whether you want to jump off cliffs and fly above the clouds, or you want to play with electrifying waters, you can come here anytime and thrill your senses.
And, always remember, adventurous expeditions need you to have a strong mind and a strong body. Our mother nature is rather unpredictable; sometimes it is gentle, but at others it might grow wild.
So, without holding you much, here is a list of the Top 5 adventure tourism destination in Himachal Pradesh you must visit.
1. Bir Billing (Kangra)
For outdoor enthusiasts who’re dying to experience a crazy gush of adrenaline, the right place for you is Bir Billing and the right sport is paragliding. Considered as the 2nd best paragliding site in the world, it nestles in the beautiful tea garden district of Himachal Pradesh, Kangra.
While Billing is small meadow high up on the mountain ridges of the Dhauladhar Range, at 2290 meters; Bir is tiny village in the fields of Tibetan Colony in Chowgan, at a height of 1400 meters. When you take a fall from the meadow, you will remain up in the air for about 25- 30 minutes and will cover approximately one kilometer downhill before landing. The place entertains both experienced pilots as well amateurs. There are a number of skilled instructors on site, who use two seat gliders to take you paragliding.
Best time to visit– April to May, just before monsoons and then September to October
Major towns nearby – Baijnath is 14 km away and Palampur is 29 km away.
2. Kullu Manali
Activities – River rafting, River crossing, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Trekking and Skiing
For the adventurous traveler, who wants every day of his journey to be challenging, the land of Kullu Manali is your calling. From the magic of river rafting in the white waters of Beas to the dangers of river crossing on ropes; and from trekking through criss cross valleys and mountains to Heli Skiing around Hanuman Tibba and Deo Tibba, you’ll experience what it means to conquer human will above any challenge.
The region boosts of being the headquarters to the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (ABVIMAS). It is in fact the largest training center in the country. You can get yourself registered with them for various programs on mountaineering, hiking, skiing and many others. In case self exploration is your calling, then get together with a group of friends and plan your own itinerary. You can visit different sites and engage the local people, who most often, willingly oblige you and accompany you on your adventurous treks, and other expeditions.
Best time to visit– You can visit the region all throughout the year. Summers last from April to June, monsoons from July to September and cold winters from November to February.
3. Lahaul Spiti
Activities – Trekking, Skiing, River Rafting
Ideally located, Lahaul Spiti is bordered by the Zanskar ranges, Kinnaur and the Tibetan Plateau, making it amongst the most sought after place for adventure sports. The region is marked with a rugged terrain, cold desert, gushing rivers and lakes and offers ample scope for hosting some of the most exciting and breadth taking activities, unlike nowhere else around the world.
The region is popular with trekkers both looking for low altitude to high altitude treks. The most frequently traversed route is Manali to Zanskar, which passes through Lahaul. Guides, camps and equipment; is all made available through starting point villages and at other camp sites. Traveling a few kilometers from Keylong, the main district headquarters, is the Chandra Tal River. It is most popular river rafting destinations in the region. Chandra Tal can give you a wild chase; it cuts through rocky banks and foams and swells with wild roars, and flows swiftly with a enraging zest.
Apart from these you can go mountain cycling, Jeep Safari and much more. You don’t always have to be experienced with these sports activities, there are many programs organized by the Tourism department and other organization, especially for first timers and amateurs. You’ll meet a number of guides and instructors on site and they will help you enjoy the adventure without much effort from your side.
Best time to visit – The summer months from June to October is the best time for visiting Lahaul and Spiti.
4. Maharana Pratap Sagar (Kangra)
Activities– Swimming, Canoeing, Water Skiing, and Sailing
Also fondly known as the Pong Dam, Maharana Pratap Sagar is a 2 km long and the highest earthfill dam in India, located on the Beas River in Kangra district. It is mostly frequented by domestic and international travelers for various still water sports activities and angling.
They recently established a regional water sports center, which offers courses in canoeing, sailing, rowing, swimming and water sailing. You can register yourself for a three tier courses: basic, intermediate and advanced levels. One can easily enjoy these recreational activities without taking too much stress of perfecting them.
Besides this, you can also take spare sometime for bird watching, which may not exactly be adventurous, but since the region is vastly covered with wetlands, you will be able to trace some of the rarest species of birds.
Best time to visit– You can visit the place all round the year, but maximum activity is experienced during the months from November to March.
Nearby towns– The closest town in Pathankot, at 65 Km and Dharamshala is 112 Km. Travelers should not worry about staying, the place itself has a few rest houses and hotels, where you can stay for days or weeks.
5. Sangla Valley (Kinnaur)
Activities– Trekking, camping and wildlife exploration
A paradise for offbeat travelers, Sangla valley Kinnaur, is just 30 km away from the Tibetan Border. It is among the most incredible valleys in the Himalayas and its green and flowery slopes circled by the Baspa River leave a permanent imprint in the eyes of every watcher.
For adventure seekers, this is the perfect choice. You can go on wildlife excursions, or simply camp at the valley and go bird watching and enjoy the scenery around. For thrill seekers, you can tread on some of the most outstanding treks you can ever cover on foot. These include the Sanga-Kamru-Rakcham-Chitkul trek, the Kinner-Kailash Trek and Chitkul-Doria-Zupika Har-Ki Dun. Apart from these tough terrain rugged treks, you can simply choose and easy upside path and go nature walking, admiring the wonders of this beautiful valley. The Tourism Department organizes various camps throughout the year.
Best time to visit– April to July, just before the monsoons and from September to November