Up For A Winter Adventure? Try These Activities In Uttarakhand

Want more adventure? This winter, head to Uttarakhand for the thrill of winter sports such as skiing, paragliding, and river rafting
Paragliding in a picturesque valley in Uttarakhand, India
Paragliding in a picturesque valley in Uttarakhand, India Shutterstock.com

Prettier than its pictures, the northern state of Uttarakhand is a fast-emerging destination for winter sports. Domestic and foreign tourists keen to try adventure sports or enjoy the snowfall are heading to the state, known as dev bhoomi, for its network of ancient Hindu pilgrimage sites. It is also called the trekker's haven because of its vast mountains and valleys awash with diverse flora and fauna, dotted with quaint villages showcasing their cultures and cuisine. Uttarakhand has recently picked up followers on the winter tourism front. 

It's Ski Time

If your holiday style comprises a gentle winter breeze and snow-covered mountains, head straight to the renowned town of Auli in the Garhwal region. Well-known now for its ski slopes, it is a significant tourist attraction. It has the Mountaineering and Skiing Institute run by Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), where experts train talented skiers. While skiing is being organised here for the past few years, the state government has begun overhauling the infrastructure to train children. 

The ski slopes in Uttarakhand are a tourist attraction
The ski slopes in Uttarakhand are a tourist attraction

Gairsain, which receives heavy snowfall, is also the perfect skiing destination. The slopes of Gairsain are being developed by the state government to turn the town into a full-fledged skiing destination, like Auli. The sport of skiing is also popular on slopes in Betulidhar, Dayara Bugyal, Mundali, and Khaliya Top. 

Located in the Kumaon district, Khaliya Top is at a height of 3,500 metres above sea level. It offers spectacular views of the peaks of Panchachuli, Rajrambha, Hardeol, and Nanda Kot, all in the Kumaon district of Pithoragarh. This region is well-known for a wide variety of flora and fauna, Chaukori in Pithoragarh district has been winning the hearts of tourists for decades. This is also the place to be if you want to see the sunrise and sunset views of the peaks of Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Trishul, and Chaukhamba. 

Chill, Go For River Rafting

The extreme adventure sport of river rafting is a typical winter sport in Uttarakhand. Rishikesh is a world-renowned rafting destination where amateurs and professionals arrive to enjoy rafting in the cold crystalline waters of the holy River Ganga. Additionally, river rafting has been introduced in the River Sharda, a tributary of the River Saryu, which flows through the town of Tanakpur in the Champawat district. A rafting trip on the River Sharda crosses four rapids over 13 kms between Charan Mandir in Tanakpur and Boom Tapasvi Baba Ashram. 

Enjoy the beauty of the valleys and gorges while river rafting
Enjoy the beauty of the valleys and gorges while river rafting

If you plan to be in Uttarakhand for a session of rafting, then the best time is from December to February. This is when the glacier-fed rivers gush towards the valleys and plains, and the crystal-clear waters are optimal for river rafting, as the monsoon-water swollen rivers have abated to safe levels, post-passing of the rains in October. With river rafting, tourists can enjoy first-hand the thrill and the beauty of the river valleys and gorges. 

How About Paragliding?

When you want to feel free as a bird, opt for the second-most popular adventure sport of Uttarakhand paragliding. Create memories for a lifetime as you glide across the blue skies and over the verdant landscape.

The best thing about paragliding in Uttarakhand is that no prior notification is required. The two popular spots for paragliding are Mukteshwar and Ranikhet. Additionally, trained paragliding experts will guide you on pair paragliding.

Trek Your Heart Out

Uttarakhand has some prominent winter treks such as the Nag Tibba trek in Tehri Garhwal, and the Kedarkantha trek in the Uttarkashi district. Here, trekkers can enjoy the beautiful views of snow-laden alpine trees. Other important trekking routes include Har ki Dun in Uttarkashi, and Brahmatal trek in Chamoli district. The temperatures can vary between a maximum of 10 degress Celsius during the day, and a minimum of minus 5 degrees Celsius during the night. 

You can indulge in the breathtaking beauty of Uttarakhand by seeking out the adrenaline rush of adventure sports, ambling along on long walks, and sightseeing tours of its historical and pilgrimage towns. Take a break from the busy city life and book yourself a tour to Uttarakhand. 

(With inputs from Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board)

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