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Adventure in Uttaranchal

Adventure Sports in Uttaranchal
The terrain of Uttaranchal offers various opportunities for an exciting adventure holiday. The region abounds with a splendid combination of flora and fauna, flowing rivers and snow–capped mountains which infuse the spirit of adventure in all. In Uttaranchal, over 90 per cent of the area of the state is rugged and mountainous and is ideal for sport that is suited at high altitudes like trekking, rafting, kayaking and skiing. The various adventure activities which can be undertaken here are

Uttaranchal Adventure

Cycling on village and forest trails, Jeep and Elephant Safari in Rajaji National Park and reserved forest areas, White water rafting on the River Ganga, Trekking on the foothills of the Himalayas, fishing and biking through river valleys. Thrilling water sports also pushes the enthusiasts to try out their skills on the gushing white waters.

The state of Uttaranchal contains some of the finest Himalaya mountains and is highly accessible. This region has the trekking possibilities especially during the winter. Trekking can be performed in the Inner Himalayas for 7 to 20 days with an experienced outfitter and modern camping equipment. Trekking is best enjoyed in small groups, not exceeding eight or ten. Each group is accompanied by an English-speaking trained guide and experienced kitchen staff to serve fresh meals. Dehradun, the capital of Uttaranchal is the main base point to start trekking. There are many trekking routes which offers some of the most spectacular walking and scenery. Around Gangotri and Yamunotri there are various good treks, some suitable for the independent or alone trekker. The valley of Har-ki-Doon, Pindari glacier, Dodital Lake, Kuari pass and Nanda Devi are other trekking routes. Some of the lesser known routes are Ruinsara, Bali Pass, Buran Pass, Sahastratal and the Rudranath and Milam Malari treks. One of the popular trekking route is from the Kuari Pass to the Valley of Flowers. The maximum height which can be reached in this trek is 3658 metres. Many of these routes lead across high-altitude meadows, passes and lakes. Along the way lies some of the highest, perennially snow-clad peaks like the Nanda Davi, Kamet, Neelkanth and Mana. The scenic splendour of these mountains lies partly in the fact that the forests around the big peaks are still in marvelous condition and the local population is unaffected by the ravages of mass tourism. The best seasons for trekking are Februray and March for lower altitudes, April and May for higher altitudes, and October and November.

The mountaineering is more technical in nature and hazardous. The mountaineering routes are graded according to the degree of difficulty and accessibility. The difference between the various grades of difficulty are based on the required techniques concerning rock, snow, ice and rescue. For peaks between 7350 to 8050 meters in height, the base camp would usually be established between 4200 to 5250 meters. However as the route goes higher, the location of campsites is determined by the slope, possibility of digging snow caves and the need to avoid exposure to wind and avalanche. The Garhwal Himalayas were the first Himalayas to explored and surveyed. Nanda Devi, also known as the pearl of the Himalayas, is the highest peak of the Garhwal Himalayas. At the traditional source of the Ganga, one can find the most fascinating mountaineering areas in the world. All along the 30 kms. length of the Gangotri glacier are side glaciers, some not yet fully explored. One can also go across the southern face of the crest which provides steeper ice. In the east, Kumaon provides fairly easy access to the Sunder-Dhunga glacier and other fascinating mountain ranges. The mountaineering season prevails during April to November. A number of climbs are also being attempted in winter. Various equipments can also be hired for mountaineering from Muni–ki–reti, Uttarkashi, Joshimath, Gangotri, Purola, Chopta, Ukhimath and Ghuttu.

Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing adventure is conducted at Buranskhanda (Tehri), Songad (Uttarkashi), Tekhla (Uttaarkashi), Tharali (Chamoli), Tapovan (Chamoli) and Kaudiyala (Tehri). The Rock climbing area is near Bhatkote (Pithoragarh), Kalika rock area Ranikhet and rock area Bageshwar.


White Water River Rafting
If you are a normal healthy person and without any fear of water, then rafting can be your sport. A river journey is one of the most enjoyable ways to experience the rural areas and natural environments of any country. White water rafting in Uttaranchal has become the major attraction of vacations that include various activities. The key ingredient is the whitewater that courses through the state's spectacular mountain scenery. White Water River Rafting in Uttaranchal is the extreme

River Rafting Uttaranchal

and never-ending thrills in the untamed rivers. The rivers in the upper Himalayas are among the best in the world for river rafting sports, with many challenges, challenging the body and spirit of the river rafter. Uttaranchal has an array of river rafting regions, which suits both amateurs and professionals. The glaciers melts at the high slopes and provide three rivers for the white water river rafting. In the west, near the Himachal border, flows the Tons river, a long-medium volume stream, graded Class IV. The Tons river is rocky, with a lot of sharp drops, requiring precise, technical maneuvering. The rapids on the Tons are fast and furious, with short stretches of flat water in between. While the top section is good for beginner, the mid and lower segments are appropriate for experienced river runners.

Major Sites for White Water River Rafting
In Garhwal Himalayas, the sacred river Ganga offers the professional as well as the beginners the thrill of whitewater river rafting. The Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers are the main tributaries of the Ganga and meet at Devprayag. Their waters are from grade IV to V challenging the expert to savour the thrill down river. From Devprayag, the Ganga changes into a pool drop river. This stretch of almost 70 kms. is perfect for the beginners, and the river offers some fine Grade III rapids and two Grade IV rapids the ‘Wall’ at Byasi and the ‘Golf Course’ 4 kms. below Shivpuri village, each followed by deep and placid pools. Sandy beaches boundaries the river at intervals, allowing river rafters to pull up alongside. The slopes on either side are dominated by oak, pine, spruce and fir, with the villages. Wildlife can be seen at a distance, especially spotted Deer, Monkeys, Leopard and multi hued butterflies. Situated amongst the thick forest on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway at an altitude of 480 m, is the place of the mighty waters of Ganga, which are most ideal for whitewater river rafting. Riding the Ganges is an exciting experience and its this apparent invincible power of this majestic river that has attracted the adventure seekers to the challenging sport of river rafting. In Kumaon, the Kali Ganga (Sharda) flows down from the Nepal border through Kumaon hills. The Kali and the Gori rivers meet at Jauljivi where the water volume increases, offering adventure to professionals. For over 110 kms. from Jaujivi to Tanakpur its rapids are Grade IV and more. Lower down among the forested slopes, the river become calm, offering the amateur a sporting challenge before flowing out into the plains of Uttar Pradesh. A trip down its rippling back is one of the most picturesque and remote river journeys in India, with some great rapids. Gangotri, Nanital, Kudiyala Rafters Club and some places in the Garhwal Himalayas are the other river rafting places in Uttaranchal.

River Rafting Tips

Rafting training facilities exist in different parts of Uttaranchal. Many tourist agencies and state departments conduct courses in river rafting and also provide rafts, equipment, river side camping items and trained guides. Always carry dry bags or boxes to keep your small personal items you may bring with you. Also take along sunscreen, sunglasses with a strap to secure them and a camera. The perfect rafting gear on most rivers during the summers is a simple swimsuit, nylon shorts, tennis shoes or sandals and a hat. Spring and autumn rafting trips require additional clothing. In any case be sure to dress in layers so that you can easily add or remove articles, as you need. Avoid cotton clothing while rafting, except in summers as cotton takes away the warmth from your body. Wool, polyester fleece and other synthetic materials will keep you warmer and will dry faster than cotton. Many rafting clubs have wetsuits available for rent.

Water Sports

Uttaranchal is a paradise for adventure sports. Activities like river rafting, canoeing, kayaking etc are fast becoming increasingly popular. One can opt for Canoeing, Kayaking or Rafting, depending on the nature of the water.

Major Sites for Water Sports

Asan Barrage Water Sports Resort

Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd. has developed a water sports resort at Asan Barrage. The resort is only 43 kms. drive from Dehradun – Chandigarh highway, with water sports facilities like water skiing, sailing, boating, rowing, Kayaking, canoeing. There are also two hovercrafts and two powerboats. Residential accommodation is also available. During winters, the bird watchers can view the migratory birds in the close by areas.


In the beautiful "Lake district' of Nainital, facilities of boating through yatchs, paddle boats and traditional rowing boats are available. The Nainital Boat house Club exclusively holds the management of yatching in Nainital. In Nainital district, Sat Tal, Bhim Tal, and Naukuchiyatal also have water sport and boating facilities.

Garhwal Himalayas

The icy heights of the Himalayas are the source of some of India's mighty rivers. Fed by innumerous streams they race along boulder strewn beds, cutting deep gorges and breaking into silvery white rapids. With the intricate network of Mountain Rivers flowing through rocky gorges, forests, flowers and high mountain villages, the Garhwal and Kumaon hills provide ideal location for the perfect water adventure. In Garhwal Himalayas, the sacred river Ganga offers the professional as well as the beginners the thrill of water sports.

Nanaksagar Matta

Nanaksagar in Udhamsingh Nagar of Uttaranchal Hills is a place ideal for water sports. The total area of the reservoir is approximately 18 sq m. The various activities for water spots which can be organised in this reservoir are Water skiing, Yatching, Boating, Canoing, Kyaking, Wet parasailing etc. This place being nearer to the Nainital, Almora, Pithoragarh, attracts large number of water sports loving tourists.


Uttaranchal provides immense opportunities for adventure sports like skiing and the enthralling water sports which make Uttaranchal an ideal destination for adventure seekers. The large slopes of Uttaranchal hills covered with snow became an ideal place for skiing in the winters. In skiing, the use of only the simplest forms of implements adds to the adventure. For the avid skier, cross-country runs of 10-20 km are now available, with the added advantage of fresh powder snow.

Skiing Uttaranchal

Because of their height and expanse, Garhwal   and Kumaon, are able to offer the thrills of skiing round the year. December to March are the best months to do skiing. Participants are advised to bring heavy woollen clothing like caps, socks, gloves, mufflers, pullovers, trousers, wind proof jackets, dark glasses, gum/snow boots and a torch for personal use.

Major Sites for Skiing


Auli at a distance of 16 kms. from Joshimath is an ideal winter haunt run by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN). Auli is a famous skiing resort in Garhwal. Auli has been developed as a ski resort due to its four kilometer-long ropeway, two ski lifts and snow beating machines. The ropeway, with two cable cars, connects Joshimath, the base town at 6000 feet, to the upper skiing slopes of Auli at 12000 feet. The ski runs at Auli over five km and the terrain is treeless and easy and suitable for beginners. A 3 km long slope ranging from a height of 2519 m to 3049 m is a major attraction. The Auli resort run by GMVN has snow beaters which beat the snow to keep the slopes perfect for skiing at any time. A 500 m long ski-lift carries skiiers back to the slope top, thus saving them the trouble and time to bridge up wearing long skis. The natural advantages of Auli’s slopes, together with state of the art facilities have made it comparable to the best in the world. These slopes provide excellent opportunities for cross country and downhill skiing events. Auli extends its skiing slope, which is fully loaded, between late January and early February. The snow covered months from January to March are ideal for visiting Auli. The clear blue sky and the surrounding snow make this an ultimate ski-resort.

Dayara Bugyal

Bugyal in the local language means "high altitude meadow". Situated at an elevation of about 3048 meters, this vast meadow is second to none in natural beauty. During winter it provides excellent ski slopes over an area of 28 square kms. The panoramic view of the Himalayas from here is breathtaking.


Mundali is situated in district Dehradun, 129 km from Dehradun via Chakrata. Mandali offers a mind blowing view of the snow coated Himalayas. The place has vast ski slopes on which professional can enjoy skiing. Accommodation facility is only available at Forest Rest House and therefore it is advisable that one ensures accommodation through the Forest Department, before starting the trip.


Munsyari is situated at a distance of 127 km from Pithoragarh via Thal, at an altitude of 2135 meters. Munsyari is the centre as well as the gateway of the Johar region. Munsyari is the base for treks to Milam, Namik and Ralam Glaciers. There is a Tourist Rest House and a small town for accommodation. Khalia top and Betulidhar are two high altitude places, ideal for skiing.


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