Adventure Activity In Kashmir

Kashmir is one of the provinces of the northern most state of India, the other two being Jammu and Ladakh. Kashmir is the central most region, largely formed of low lying plains surrounded by some amazing mountains. The valleys astounding beauty have long been attracting tourists and in large numbers. Mountains, hills, lakes and gardens constitute the beauty and elegance about it. With many of the favorite tourist hot spots untouched and un sophisticated Kashmir promises an exciting and adventurous vacations. The winter sports, far and wide popular in the valley, include Skiing, Heli Skiing, Ice Skating and Snow Boarding.

Skiing at Gulmarg
Gulmarg is one of the best ski resorts of Himalayas. The slopes here are of international standards and due to this reason alone skiers from all over the world flock in the winters. Much to the surprise the first National Winter Games were held at Gulmarg, in the year 1998. Khilanmarg, one more skiing resort in the valley, complements the popular one. The ski resort at Gulmarg was established back in 1927 by two army officers and since then things have been coming to surface. The resort is one of the highest lift served ski resort in India. The approximate 2.5 kms slope run with soft powdery surface fuels up the acceleration and the excitement.

Sonamarg Trekking
Sonamarg is the starting point of a major trek passing several mountain lakes that include Vishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Gangabal. One trek even leads all the way to the Amarnath Cave.

Thajiwas Trek
A popular short walk from Sonamarg, which is a major highlight of the place in the summers, is the 4-km route to Thajiwas, a small valley at the foot of the Sonamarg glacier. It leads up to the Shakhdar hill that overlooks the glacier from the northeast. Climbing the steep slope leading up to the glacier can prove to be dangerous and one may hire opt for ponies for the trip. In early summer, one may also spot the nomadic groups of Gujar passing through Sonamarg on their way to the alpine meadows for the summer.

Heli Skiing
Now we mean business when we say that Kashmir is the only place that offers the extreme sport heli skiing in India. In fact it is the second destination in the world, after Canada that gives you this unique experience. Heli skiing gives you an opportunity to be lifted by a chopper/helicopter and dropped on an inaccessible summit. All that follows is the thrill of sliding down the slope. It is one extreme sport and requires a great skill and experience.

Ice Skating
Winters in Kashmir are exhilarating as the temperature drops to zero and below zero degrees. Lakes and pools transform into mere sheets of ice and with your skates on nobody is going to tell you what to do. Ice skating is one more popular adventure sport hosted in the valley. Ice skating rinks are set up at many places and tourists from all over places assemble to participate in the competitions and sometimes for fun. Gulamarg and Pahalgam are two popular destinations for ice skating.

Snow Boarding
Snowboarding, like skiing can be best enjoyed at Gulmarg and Khilan Marg. The slopes are excellent, weather is fine and facilities are available. The tourists however need to bring their snow boards with them.

There are good reason for the tourists and sports lovers to come to Kashmir. First and foremost the slopes and summits are the best in the country and among the best in the world. Second that inevitably secures the choice is the expenditure. In Europe and North America one has to spend handsome and hefty amounts for going for such activities. At Kashmir they get it all at an affordable and much cheaper price compared to places already mentioned.

Golf
Kashmir Valley offers verdant golf courses at Srinagar and Gulmarg, where one can play golf all through the summer, stretching from April to November. Bordered by trees of Chinar and Pine, one may play for longer hours here than in the plains because of the lower temperatures and invigorating climate.

The golf course at Gulmarg is one of the prettiest ones. Located as high as 3730 metres above sea level, it is the highest green golf course anywhere in the world. Hardly any stretch of the course is flat, which is full of the land slopes and inclines along the complete area of the course, which has a par of 72. The place has rarefied atmosphere, which carries the ball further, and the turf, since it lies buried six to eight feet under snow for five months of the year, is soft. The greens have a combination of moss and a high variety of grass and natural slopes, which are fast to play on.

The Kashmir Golf Club at Srinagar is spread over 52 sprawling acres of lush land. Its president, the noted politician Dr. Farooq Abdullah, is himself a keen golfer. With well laid out bunkers and hazards, interspersed between Chinars and Pine trees, is a professional 18-hole course and has been the venue of many tournaments. The course has common fairways and a par of 70.

Stretching across an expense of 300 acres near the famous Cheshma Shahi at Srinagar, The Royal Springs Golf Course was designed and laid out by the World-renowned Golf architect, Robert Trent Jones Jr. II, who has been known to design about 500 courses all over the World, including the cities of Bangkok and China. Overlooking the famous Dal Lake, it is set in a natural environment created against the dramatic backdrop of Zabarvan hills. Course at a par of 72 offer a challenge to all levels of players. The fairways are turfed with cool weather grass of different Shades. The trees bordering it are Rye, Kentucky blue and tall frescoes that lend a touch of color throughout the golfing season.

Rafting
River rafting in Kashmir is emerging as a popular sport. River Lidder in Pahalgam has stretches available for white water rafting and is excellent place for adventure white water rafting. Equipment for rafting and canoeing is easily available.