Mountaineering in Kashmir
The relief and terrain of Kashmir offers exciting opportunities for mountaineering in the state. High peaks of the Himalayas attract thousands of adventure sports lovers to the state. These mountains can be categorized as Alpine and Himalaya. The four important mountaineering zones in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are Kashmir, Zanskar, Kishtwar and Ladakh. With the mighty ranges of the Himalayas towering 10,000 to 28,000 feet above the sea level, mountaineering options in Kashmir are almost unlimited.
The Pir Panjal, Karakoram and Zanskar ranges are the mountaineer's delight. Add to that the charm of the green pine forests, the rich plants and animal life on the mountains. The peaks of Sonamarg facilitate quick ascent and decent, while the lower peaks of Kishtwar are more challenging owing to their ruggedness.
Foreign climbing expeditions are required to obtain permission from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation for climbing all listed peaks. Application forms for booking along with other requisite documents can be obtained from the Director, Indian Mountaineering Foundation, Benito Jurez Road, New Delhi-110021.The climbing season extends from mid-May to mid-October
Skiing : Skiing in Gulmarg (Kashmir)
Skiing in the Himalayas is one of the major attractions for adventure loving tourists and Kashmir is an ideal place for this sport. Gulmarg, the best skiing base in the Himalayas provides an excellent platform for this adventure. Skiing in Gulmarg is a sport for every one. We have slopes for young children and beginners (known as baby slopes near the club house and for intermediates we have slope 85 , highlands, church slopes and for experts we have Affarvat and Kangdoori slopes.
Gulmarg enjoys the position of being one of the highest lift-served ski resorts in the world. This is due to setting-up of a Gandola Cable Car Lift from Gulmarg to Apharwat top. At present, only the first part of the Gandola, from Gulmarg to Kongdori is operational, giving a downhill ski run of about 3 kms. Besides, three ski lifts and one chair lift also serves the resort, which are ideal for beginners and intermediate-level skiing, respectively.
In the recent past, a famous French skier Sylvain Saudan, had started Heli-skiing in the Himalayas for the European skiers. This arrangement has been suspended for the time being.The most enthusiastic aspect of a winter stop over at Gulmarg is the friendly atmosphere.
Kashmir is quite famous for a number of picturesque lakes and rivers. These water bodies of Kashmir not only serve as delight to the eyes, but are also a hub of a number of activity-oriented leisure sports. The less adventurous people go for the quiet Shikara boat rides on the Dal Lake and Nagin Lake of Srinagar. The Shikara rides offer peace and serenity as well as the option of sightseeing some of the beautiful places on the embankments. Other options include riding motorboats or going for water skiing.
However, what takes the cake is white water rafting in Kashmir Rivers. River rafting tourism was introduced quite recently in the Kashmir valley. The best season for River rafting in Kashmir is from August to September. The following rivers of the Kashmir valley are quite popular from the river rafting point of view:
- Lidder River
- sindh river
- Drass River
- Suru River
- indus river
- Zanskar River
- Chenab River
- Jhelum River
The two most famous rivers where you can go for this extreme sport is River Indus and Zanskar river.
River Lidder also hasfew stretches that are good enough to keep you enthralled. The rivers run trough few of
the most mesmerizing landscapes, giving you the opportunity to explore those wonders of nature,
which are otherwise unreachable through land routes. Few stretches are long enough that they take
days to complete. And in between, you will stay in camps setup under the snow-capped mountains and
hilltop monasteries, just by the sides of these roaring rivers. Though there are rafting options in
Kashmir region but they don't compare up to rafting in Ladakh region,especially in Zanskar.
In other adventure sports, you get training sessions before you indulge in the real thing,
but rafting is something where there can be no trial runs. All you get are few precaution tips
and safety presentation. Here only the real thing prepares you for the real thrill.
White River Rafting destinations in Kashmir
The best place in Kashmir where you can indulge in River Rafting is in River Lidder near Pahalgam. The river hosts the two different stretches, which are quite suitable for river rafting. They are great for rafting but they cannot be called treacherous as the slopes are not that steep, and this attribute of the river is idle location for thetourist . One can go for a daylong excursion to the river. You can also take up white water canoeing in rivers like Sindh and Drass and Suru and in the many high altitude lakes like Gangabal, Kaunsarnag and Vishensar. Its worth the time and money that you will spend on it.
Mountaineering in Kashmir