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Activities in Himachal Pradesh

The north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is a tourist’s delight. The state is mostly covered by the low Shivalik hill range towards the south and the dramatically high trans-Himalayan ranges as you go north.

Himachal Pradesh, besides being nature’s gift to India, is its most popular state too, with respect to tourism. A huge reason for this popularity is the enormous list of activities in Himachal one can do. Visiting Himachal Pradesh provides a great opportunity to explore the scenic natural beauty. It’s really a wonderful place to spend the holidays with family and friends. The main visiting attractions in Himachal include Shimla the “Summer Capital” of British India and still the busiest hill station. Manali, besides being the most charming hill resort area, is also famous for skiing and trekking. Mandi is the gateway of Kullu valley, which is a haven for camping and trekking activities. This lush and green valley is surrounded by snow capped hills. Dharamsala, surrounded by dense pine trees and Deodar forests. This place is mostly famous for Tibetan Buddhism. Dalhousie and Chamba the most fascinating hill stations. This place is also called “Dev Bhoomi” for the famous pilgrims around there. So to get the incredible experience of your holidays come once on this Majestic Place, Himachal Pradesh.

Other than trekking and skiing, other activities tourists usually indulge in include river sports, mountain cycling, heli-skiing, ice-skating, motorsports and even golf. This page here is a detailed guide to the activities that can be planned for a tour to Himachal.

Best Things to Do in Himachal Pradesh

Himalayan Motor Sport

Get ready to race on a motorbike, cycle, or car in the narrow & winding roads of Himachal Pradesh. The Himalayan Motor Sport in Himachal Pradesh will make you experience the breathtaking sceneries. You may take the routes from Manali to Leh and Ladakh crossing the Rohtang Pass (3980m) and arid Lahaul. Alternatively, from Shimla, you may drive to Lahaul passing through the picturesque Kinnaurm, landscaped valley of Spiti, and the Kunzam pass (4551m). Moreover, you may also enjoy Himalayan motor sport at Raid de Himalaya.
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Sail the skies like a free bird driving the warm thermal flows of the air with paragliding in Himachal Pradesh. Apparently, you will savor paragliding with an amazing experience of gliding over the valleys and hills. Billing’s bald peak is regarded as the best site in the world for paragliding. This destination is beyond the Buddist monastery of Bir in Kangra. Intkali in the Pabbar valley near Rohru and Bundla Dhar near Bilaspur in the Kullu valley are also the regular sites of paragliding in Himachal Pradesh.
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Mountain Cycling

Gear yourself to the next level of adventure with an excursion on cycles. For mountain cycling, on the higher regions of the Himachal Pradesh, the months of summer and autumn are considered favorable. Rest, in the lower regions of Himachal Pradesh, namely, Hamirpur, Kangra, Bilaspur, and Una, you may savor gentle routes. Enriching your experience, you may combine the cycling with camping. As per you stamina, you may also try for long routes of the Trans Himalayan tracts of Kinnaur, Spiti, and Lahaul. Adventure seekers looking for moderate level of mountain cycling may prefer the trail on wooded Mashobra Bekhalty road near Shimla. Experienced persons and professionals may also opt for downhill cycling on the Hatu (above Narkanda).
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Golfing is one of the most sought-after activities in Himachal Pradesh. The golf clubs in this region are quite popular amidst avid golfers because of the world-class maintenance standards. Around 23 kms from Shimla, the Naldehra Golf Course, is situated at an altitude of 2,200 meters and is a very well-known golf club. A par 68, 18-hole course with 16 greens and 18 tees, this golf course is India’s oldest and the finest one. This course was originally built in the early 1900’s, under the supervision of the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. This golf course is full of activity between the months of April to October. Annandale in Shimla is another Golf course that is run by the army. This 9-hole golf course is located at a height of 6,117 ft. There is another golf stretch too, which is around 24 kms from the town of Chamba. This beautiful glade in Khajjiar offers great golfing opportunities.
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Ice Skating

Ice skating in Himachal Pradesh is the sought-after adventure sport, held in Shimla from early December to February. There are two sessions held, one in the morning and other in the evening. During this time, the events Gymkhana and the Fancy dress carnival energize the season. There are memberships available for the season, half a season and a fortnight, depending upon the preference of the skaters. You may carry your own skates or hire them from the respective authorities for the sessions.
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Heli Skiing

Himachal Pradesh is well-known all around the world for best glaciers and powder snows. If you love Heli Skiing, then this Indian state is a perfect one for you. To indulge in this amazing winter sport, you need to be physically fit. In Himchal, there are several peaks offering great opportunity for this activity. Some of the perfect sites for heli-skiing are Rohtang La and Chanderkhani La, Mount Hanuman Tibba and Mount Deo Tibba along with the Slalom run. You can hire equipments, instruments and opt for ski courses offered by Himachal Tourism at Narkanda. One of the most popular hill town - Manali, is one of the best destinations for this activity, primarily because of its landscape features. At the Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Solang Valley, you can even enroll in a number of courses. The course is conducted from the first half of January to the month of March.
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Mountaineering & Rock Climbing

The basic stage of mountaineering is known as rock climbing. This sport is not to be undertaken on independent basis as basic level involves climbing or descending a rock using hands, feet and a safety rope. For the non professional climbers, the Deo Tibba (6001 m), the lower reaches of the Hanuman Tibba (5930 m), the Beas Kund region, and the Manali & the Shitidhar peaks near the organ of the river Beas, are considered ideal for Mountaineering & Rock Climbing in Himachal Pradesh. Moreover, the Dhauladhar ranges, the Pir Panjal ranges and the Chandra Bhaga ranges are also considered for amazing rock climbing experience. Mountaineering & rock climbing in Himachal Pradesh is conducted by the Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports at Manali. Its branch at Dharamshala is also involved in the same. Some of the important peaks of Himachal Pradesh are Reo Purgyil (6816 m), Rangrik Rang (6553 m), Shilla (6132 m), Gya (6794 m), Manirang (6593 m), Central Peak (6285 m), Papsura (6451 m), Gephang Goh (5870 m), PK (5990 m), Malana Towers (5500 m), Jorkanden (6473 m), Hansbeshan (5240 m), Gyagar (6400 m), Ratang Tower (6170 m), Parilungbi (6166 m), Mani Mahesh Kailash (5655 m), Dharamsura (6446 m), Ashagiri (6100 m), Phabrang (6172 m), and Shigri Parvat (6526 m). Some of these mountain peaks are still not been climbed.
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Angling as an activity is a recent trend in Tourism and Himachal Pradesh has taken to it like a fish takes to water! Most river streams in Himachal can be broadly categorized as trout water streams and general water streams. Other than these, some other varieties such as Barilus sp, Nemacheilus spp, Glyptothorax spp, Schizothoracids Crossocheilus spp are also fished. The rivers of Himachal are also home to some of the best sport fishes like Rainbow and Brown trouts.There are plenty of natural spots for angling in Himachal Pradesh, the most favorable of which are along the upper reaches of river Beas in Kullu, and Beas’ tributaries Sarvari, Sainj, Parbati, Hurla and Tirthan are equally conducive to angling. Other than Kullu, low lying areas in Rohru in Pabbar Valley, Shimla, Seema, Sandasu, Mandil, Dhamwari and Tikri are other popular sites for angling in Himachal. The trout fishing season extends from April to October and the costs of angling are really low.
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Water and River Sports

When it comes to water and river sports in Himachal Pradesh, River Rafting is the one sport that pops-up in the minds of adventure lovers. This challenging water sport is also popular as white-water rafting. The major destinations in Himachal Pradesh where you can savor river rafting are the river Satluj near Shimla, the river Beas near Kullu, the river Ravi near Chamba and the rivers Chandrabhaga (Chenab) in Lahaul. The river rafting could also be enjoyed at the Chamera Lake near Dalhousie and the Gobind Sagar near Bilaspur. The best time to enjoy water and river sports in Himachal Pradesh is from April to September. For this sport, the participants are required to be well-equipped with rafting gears that include swimsuit, nylon shorts, tennis shoes/sandals, and a helmet. To help you to become an expert in river rafting, there are various rafting course conducted by the Himachal Pradesh adventure tourism department. These courses are of different durations and designed for adventure lovers above the age of 12-14 years. There is the Basic Water Sports Course for the 12 years onwards. This course is of 14 days conducted from January to December at Bilaspur/Bhakra & Pong Dam. The Basic Rafting Course of 14 days is for the 14 years onwards. This is conducted in the month of October at Kullu. The Intermediate Kayaking (white water) Course is conducted in October and November at Satluj River (Bilaspur) and Beas River (Kullu). This course is of 14 days for participants of 14 years onwards of age. The courses also include Advance Water Sports Course, which is conducted at Bilaspur and Pong Dam during the months of July and October. This course is of 21 days for the participants of more than 14 years of age.
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Trekking in Himachal Pradesh is an adventurous sport that encourages the nature lovers to explore the natural setting of the areas. The main trekking areas include the Pir Panjal range and the Dhauladhar range. The trek will take you through the passes between the Kullu Valley and Shimla region. Most of the trekking routes range between 1,500 meters and 6,000 meters. From Kullu you may select tracks to Lahaul, Spiti and Kinnaur of the Trans Himalayan regions. There are various agencies that are into conducting various treks in Himachal Pradesh. There are also facilities for camping available at various trekking destinations. The participants are required to be equipped with all important trekking equipment like comfortable shoes with excellent grip on the ankles, woolen/tennis socks, swiss army knife, water bottles, sunglasses, rucksack, headgear, torch & batteries, first aid kit, tent, binoculars, compass, rope, gloves, umbrella, sleeping bag, foam ground sheet, water proof warm jackets, and cooking equipment (food & ration).
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Vehicle Safaris

Vehicle safaris in Himachal Pradesh are the best way out to explore the magnificent geographical varieties. The Trans Himalayan tracts could be explored via jeep to unveil the natural and manmade wonders of Himachal Pradesh. You may drive out of Manali to Leh and Ladakh crossing the Rohtang Pass (3980m) and arid Lahaul. You may also drive from Shimla to Lahaul passing through the picturesque Kinnaurm, landscaped valley of Spiti, and the Kunzam pass (4551m). Both the tracks could be explored on jeep car or motorbike. It is important to take expert suggestions when deciding the route. The season and choice of vehicle play an important role in vehicle safaris in Himachal Pradesh. Thus, you may also participate in ‘Raid de Himalaya’, a national and an international level an off-road adventure conducted since 1999.
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Himachal Pradesh is an ideal place and is also the most popular camping destination in India. Camping is considered as the best way for experiencing the natural beauty of Himachal Pradesh. You can either organize your own camp or can also opt for any of the organized camps offered by the state. Accommodation, catering along with a number of activities such as nature tours, river rafting, fishing, hikes and rock climbing are offered by these organized camps. You can enjoy camping at a number of places besides Chail that include – • Triund • Beas Kund • Malana, Pulga, Kheer Ganga Some of the other renowned organized camps are also available near Shimla, Lahual, Spiti, Kullu Manali region, Kinnaur and around Narkanda.
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Cities in Himachal

Tourism in Himachal