The dramatic Himalayan chain is one of the world’s most admired international travel spots, with interesting activities awaiting to be explored. The natural grandeur of the mountains, the people, abundant wildlife, and even its remoteness, has drawn millions of tourists in the past 10 years.
Himalaya is not just your average type of mountain resort. Over 40 million people live here, and their diverse and vibrant culture will compel you to find out more. The pulsating mosaic of different communities, cultures and pilgrimage routes make the Himalayan chain an ideal place to test your limits and venture into the untamed wilderness. Here are 10 activities you might want to try out while exploring the Himalayas.
1. Water rafting
There are lots of gorges emerging from the top of the mountains in Himalaya, which means water rafting is exactly what you need feel that you’re living. River Ganga is great for water rafting; turbulent and quite challenging to beat, there are expeditions available for professionals and beginners alike.
Trekking is probably the most common type of activity to try out while in Himalaya. There are various routes available for both experienced and beginning mountaineers. Some of the most well-known are the Annapurna circuit, Langtang region, Mount Kangchenjunga circuit, and of course, the Mount Everest circuit.
Heli-skiing is a type of activity that gained a lot of popularity over the years in Himalaya. Himachal Pradesh in particular, offers several unbeatable options. Skiers are transported with a helicopter at a height of about 14,000 feet from where they jump onto the snow and slide downhill.
5. Yak safaris
This type of activity is exclusive to Himalaya’s Ladakh region. Yaks are massive animals native to Ladakh, and many travelers are just fascinated by them. In India, yaks were once used to explore the heavy-duty terrains; today, these animals draw many tourists interested to know more about their background.
No trip to the Himalayas can be complete without testing the slopes of Kumaon and Gahwal in winter. This seasonal skiing spot has become quite famous in India; from December through March the weather conditions are perfect for this activity. For tackling a variety of terrain conditions, try looking into the best all mountain skis out there and choose what feels best for your level of ski training.
7. Mountain biking
Not all Himalayan routes are meant for hiking and trekking. Some are excellent for biking, too. The Zanskar and Pir Panjal ranges are ideal location to test this sport, although you are advised to be careful; at some point, the paths might become a little tricky. The trail connects Kullu Valley to Ladakh, and it’s also the highest drivable path in the world.
Himalaya has some of the best hiking destinations in the world, including the highest – Mount Everest. However, the most superb of all places is India’s Har Ki Doon Valley. Covered in Himalayan blossoms and lofty mountain ranges, make sure to go in the warm season to admire the show.
9. Gondola rides
Gulmarg Gondola is the world’s 2nd highest and longest cable car in Asia. The rides begin from 9,000 feet and they ascend to 10,000 feet, thus offering travelers the most unbelievable landscapes. Have your camera ready as you’ll want to catch every second of this amazing experience.
The valleys and mountains of India and the Himalayan chain offer an amazing selecting of recreational and camping locations. From lonely boulders to green forests, it’s all about finding the right time and place to sleep under the crystal blue sky. Some of the best and most accessible camping sites can be found in Nepal, although Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh are excellent alternatives, too.
Himalaya has attractions, landscapes and activities for all types of travelers. Whether you’re an adventure seeker eager to try out paragliding, or you’d rather just stick to mountain biking, once you step foot on this beautiful Asian territory, you’ll never want to leave. Leaving aside the amazing activities, Himalaya is a sacred land packed with shrines, temples and a Buddhist culture that will instill a lot of curiosity.
[Article submitted by Peter Smith and ShaktiHimalaya.com]