|Skiing is a winter sport that is close to nature and is packed full of excitement and thrills. The exciting sport of skiing today has evolved from its original use as a means of transportation and survival. It was a vital means of transportation and was used for work, hunting and exploring in a winter climates that received large quantities of snow |
In India, the Kashmir region is known as the ski state, but the sport dates back over 100 years to the days when it was called “snowshoeing.” Twelve-foot boards and long sticks were used in those days. The development of skiing in India can be traced back to an English Officer named Abbott Fay who used skis in the Gulmarg region..
In recent years India has emerged as one of the most sought-after adventure skiing destinations. The country offers the variety of adventure opportunities. This diversity is remarkably amazing and includes skiing at resorts, ski touring through high alpine areas and heli skiing in the Himalayas.
The major areas for skiing in India are:
1) Kashmir (Gulmarg (or “Meadow of Flowers”) is a town, a hill station, a ski resort and a notified area in Baramula district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
2) Himachal Pradesh – Kufri, Narkanda, Manali
3) Uttaranchal – Mundali, Munsiyari, Dayara Bugyal
The three states that boast of providing the best facilities are Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. This includes facilities for the ultimate in ski experience, Heli-skiing. Heli-skiing can be found at Manali in Himachal Pradesh, with another operation planned to be starting in Gulmarg during 2010. The packages in Manali include 10,000 feet of vertical over 6 days with professional mountain guides.
India is becoming the favorite destination for overseas skiers. The distinctive feature about the Himalayan tourism is that traveler has the option of enjoying myriad adventure activities. If you travel to Gulmarg you can indulge in no only skiing, but enjoy uniquely Indian experiences through its culture, customs, food and people. This includes spending a night in a houseboat on Kashmir’s famous Lake Dal . . The quality of snow and terrain in Gulmarg is equal or better than many of the world’s most famous resorts. Along with the great quality of skiing in India it is also less expensive compared to anywhere in the world. The facilities are meant for beginners as well as for seasoned skiers.
Gulmarg situated in Kashmir has gained a global recognition because of its natural beauty and it has also become a favorite place for vacation Gulmarg’s amazing ski conditions have become sought after following feature segments in recent film released by noted ski film producers ‘Warren Miller’ and ‘Matchstick Productions’. With only a small local snow-rider population and massive snowfalls, there is always an abundance of un-tracked powder . Therefore Gulmarg is one of those rare places where keen powder enthusiasts are more interested in blue sky weather, rather than the arrival of the next snowfall!
Nowadays there are many overseas ski tour companies that are offering exciting guided trips to Gulmarg along with professional mountain guides. These trips include exciting access to the back country and powder terrain from Gulmarg’s 4,000 meter gondola. Many hotels and guesthouses are open during the winter, often with central heated rooms.
Government of India has also taken some steps to provide the global exposure to skiing in India. Jammu and Kashmir Government is positive that the newly developed resort of Gulmarg will only add to the state’s basket of attractions and will further fuel tourist inflow in the valley. The state plans to host winter games (skiing events) at Gulmarg as it seeks to boost the brand of this mountain resort.
The government has identified other areas on the tourism map of Jammu and Kashmir and set up 19 development authorities in different parts of the State to look after the skiing development opportunities along with their maintenance.
The idea is to develop more attractions under Kashmir, catering to the requirements of many travelers and segments of tourism, including skiers, adventure seekers and sight seeing tourists.
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