Popular Winter Sports in India
For some in India, the cold winter season and snow is a reason to keep themselves indoor, there are others who know how to unleash their adventurous self by partaking in winter sports in India especially the Northern Himalayn region of Himachal, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand at this time. If you are one of those who love exploring the unknown horizons, winters in India has to offer unending opportunities to allure the travel bug hiding inside you. The mighty rugged snow-clad Himalayan ranges in India are ideal venues for a number of activities that can be done during the winter times. Do not forget to pack heavy woolens along with your activity gears. The chill of winter season and the thrill of winter sports is an amazing deal. The blog enlists some of the popular winter sports in India:
Skiing: Winter Sports in India
Probably, skiing is the most popular winter sports in India, which is visited by skiing enthusiasts from all around the world in huge numbers, every year. Gulmarg, Dayara Bugyal, Auli, Manali, Pahalgam, Sikkim, Shimla, Uttarkhand, Mundali, Munsiyari, and Narkanda are the most famous skiing destinations of India in winters. Gulmarg and Auli are two of the very popular skiing spots amidst skiers from all around. If you are a professional, you known the art but if you are an amateur, there are trainers and instructors, who would help you in learning skiing on slopes, ranging from steep to mild. Equipment are available on rent on hourly basis. Skis are connected to top and heels using bindings. Freestyle skiing, Alpine skiing and Military skiing are some of the types of skiing that can be done here.
A relatively new winter sport in India, snowboarding is slowly gaining a lot of admiration from adventure seekers. In this activity, a fiberglass board is attached to the rider’s feet, using a special mounted shoe and then you zip down the mountain. The most popular style of snowboarding is free-ride where one slides down from any kind of snow-clad landscape. Freestyle snowboarding is another type of snowboarding where one performs a number tricks on a man-made terrain. Alpine and Boarder cross are two other kinds. The activity looks pretty simple but it needs a lot of practice and skill. Balancing the body and correct timings are the most important here. Snowboarding in Auli, Manali (Solang Valley) and Gulmarg is a thrilling affair.
One of the most popular winter sports in India, Ice skating is taken care off by Ice Skating Association of India. Shimla is a great destination for trying your hand at ice skating. Even an Ice Skating Carnival is organized here every year in January by the ice-skating Club of Shimla. Figure skating and ice hockey are a part of this carnival. Kufri, Auli, Narkanda, Manali, Gulmarg are the other popular ice skating destinations of India.
Trekking is another very popular winter activity in India that boasts of several winter trek trails. If you wish to scale and climb up to those snowy paths and peaks, you need to have high fitness levels, tolerance of biting cold and strong willpower. The winter treks in India though are shorter in distance and have low altitudes but it no way means that the treks are easy. Most of the treks are pretty demanding because of the extremely cold weather. Nevertheless, breathtaking panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks and tranquil wilderness make all this worthy. India is a popular trekking destination and is flocked by trekking enthusiasts from all around the globe in winter months. Kanchenjunga trek, Nanda Devi trek, Winter Kuari Pass Trek, Kedarkantha Winter Trek (Uttarakhand); Chadar Frozen River trek, Chopta Chandrasilla trek, Dodital – Darwa Pass Winter Trek, Parashar Lake, Hampta Pass trek are some of the most sought-after winter treks in India.
Also known as dog-sledding, sledding or sledging involves sitting on a wooden sledge and sliding down a snow trail, where the person comes across twists, turns and bumps. Some people also lie down on their stomach to make the process easier and then slide down. Rohtang, Nathatop, Auli and Gulmarg are some of the popular snow sledding destinations here. This activity is particularly popular with the newly weds who head to snow bound hills during winters for honeymoon in India.
Probably the most difficult and adventurous winter sports, Ice climbing in India is an activity that involves a lot of courage while climbing up ice walls in subzero temperature but for adventure enthusiasts, this experience is worthwhile. Though it looks same as rock climbing but the skill required is pretty high and the challenge of climbing up on slippery ice walls cannot be explained easily in words. Proper training is given to the climbers and they need to have enough experience before an actual expedition. Boots, crampons, waterproof garments, ice screws, mittens, googles, ice axe, hammer attachments and wrist loos are some of the necessary equipment. One arm is used to get higher and you need to maneuver yourself with three limbs. Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh regions offer ice climbing opportunities.
From past sometime, ice hockey is gaining a lot of popularity amongst winter sports enthusiasts. A number of ice hockey turfs are coming- up at higher altitudes in India. Though only professional ice hockey players can access most of these turfs but tourists can always visit these placed and try their hands at this activity. This activity is quite similar filed hockey and is played over a flattened ice area. Shimla, Ladakh and Kashmir are the best destinations in India for ice hockey enthusiasts. There are a number of indoor ice hockey rinks all across the country.
Along with the above mentioned ones, ice fishing, snow cycling, snow football and snowball are some of the other winter sport activities in India. So, as soon as the winter season spreads its white sheet of snow, make sure that you are all set to experience the thrill and excitement of these snow sports in India.
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