Kashmir: Adventure Tourism in Paradise
Kashmir is sheer paradise! Few places in the world can match its panoramic natural beauty and charm. While on a visit to Kashmir, you could stand and stare at the breathtaking beauty around you, enjoy leisure and watch the world go by and finally involve yourself in exciting activities that will leave you rejuvenated.
The unique landscape of the valley encourages visitors to discover their stamina and inborn sporting calibre.
You could begin by trekking through meadows, glades past gurgling brooks, through villages and orchards. You could discover numerous peaks through trekking. The most sought after trekking destinations include Gulmarg and Sonmarg.
Try your hand at mountaineering for which the valley offers ample scope. Zanskar- Kishtwar-Ladakh area with ranges hovering between 10, 000 to 28,000 feet above sea level forms s the hub of mountaineering. Interestingly, the rugged lower peaks of Ishtar, pose a great challenge to the climbers. Remember to take permission from the Govt of India through the Indian Mountaineering Foundation
If you are passionate about skiing, head for Gulmarg, which happens to be one of the finest ski slopes in the world. Cable cars popularly called gondolas transport the tourists to higher slopes of Apherwat and Khilanmarg where the snow is deep and crisp, so that the skiers can slide down smoothly and have lots of fun. Also try tobogganing- a flat wooden board is taken to a hilltop and pushed downhill- and rides on snow scooters.
Angling/fishing is yet another popular adventure sport in Kashmir. The best season is from April to October. Brown and golden trouts are found aplenty in Kashmir’s water bodies. Visitors require a permit for angling, use only artificial flies for baiting and collect maximum six trouts per day. Dal, Krishanshar, Vishanshar, Gangabal lakes, along with getting Jhelum, Sindh, Lidder rivers are popular angling sites.
In case you are an avid golfer you could practise a few shots at the golf courses located around Srinagar and Gulmarg. Golfing season is from April to November.
Tourists can also enjoy white river rafting in Kashmir during August and September. The charming valley is crisscrossed by Zanskar Lidder Chenab and Jhelum among many others. These swiftly flowing rivers pose many challenges for the adventurers to combat and surmount.
In case you want to capture an aerial view of the verdant valley and hill slopes then paragliding is most appropriate for you. While you soar in the air, the lush green hill slopes below, and the majestic snow clad peaks on all sides, will leave you mesmerized. Paragliding clubs are concentrated around Sansar and Batote. These clubs offer all facilities to tourists, besides proper training to the uninitiated. The best time for paragliding, are May-June and September-October periods.
During winter, fearless and sturdy tourists may try hot air ballooning in Suru and Zanskar valleys. Find yourself at a dizzy height of 3000 ft in about a couple of hours!!! However this sport is an absolute no-no for pregnant women and people with high blood pressure.