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  India Tours & Travel Plans >> Adventure Tours >> Skiing in India

Skiing in India
[ Gulmarg | Manali | Narkanda | Kufri | Rohtang | Auli ]

"Man likes to be at his best, but often nothing short of a Himalayan peak can extract it from him: Can compel him to be fittest in body, a lei-test in mind and firmest in soul, so he is drawn to the mountain and the mountain makes a man out of him".

Sir Francis Young husband, himself a great wanderer in the Himalayas, who conquered the Kamet peak.

The challenge of the snow covered terrain. And a streak of adventure in man. That is what combines together in the realm of skiing—the fastest and most fascinating winter sport.

When the white mantle of snow covers the lush green meadows and the firs and pines are sprinkled with silver, its skiing time in the Himalayas. Some of the world's most popular winter playgrounds are here, known for their interesting undulations and fine gradients.

Gulmarg in Kashmir: Auli In Uttar Pradesh: Kufri, Narkanda, Manali and Rohtang in Himachal. Each one of these skiing locales is exquisitely distinct, offering a veritable treat of its characteristic slopes to the skiing enthusiasts.


52 kms. from Srinagar, at a height of 2730 metres (8750 ft), Gulmarg has been rightly described as a paradise for skiers. In winter it is a white wonderland offering some of the finest ski gradients anywhere in the world. Girdled by pinnacles of white, the air seems to sparkle against the snow and whisper, as skiers flash past. There is an intimate contact with nature in the grandeur of coniferous mountains. Gulmarg in winter is a complete Himalayan experience. The resort has one T-bar lift, three very modern ski-lifts and a chair-lift. The beginners' slopes make learning easy, with perfect Gulmarg
snow conditions and a gen-tle gradient. The Indian Institute of Skiing and mountaineering conducts training courses of 10 and 21 days duration. Trained instructors are available and equipment can be hired from govt. owned ski shop. Instructors are also available for casual skiers.

Now heli-skiing at Gulmarg has opened up new vistas for enthusiasts. Using some of the most advanced facilities for sports, helicopters lift the heli-skiers to the peak of their choice from where they weave their way down through what has. been described as the best powder snow in the world.

For a change, you can enjoy a pony ride on any of the trails that lead out from this saucer-shaped valley. Or if you opt for a day out trekking, there are a number of picnic spots to choose from—all within a few kms. radius : Alpather lake and Ningal Nullah. (Basically for cross-country skiers). At the end of a fun-filled, thrill-packed day skiers can stretch out before a log fire in a variety of accommodation.

By Air : Srinagar is linked by Air to Delhi, Amritsar, Jammu, Chandigarh, Leh, Ahmedabad and Bombay
By Road : Srinagar is connected to Jammu and other neighbouring areas by road. In winter, the buses operate upto Tangmarg (8 kms. from Gulmarg) the remaining distance being covered by Jeep.
By Rail : Gulmarg is not directly approachable by Rail. Jammu Tawi is the nearest Railway Station, connected by train to all parts of the country.

Gulmarg has ample accommodation for tourists in a broad tariff range, for hotels, you have a wide choice—from the luxurious Highland Park to the economical Yumberzul. Besides, there is other accommodation available Insulated Huts managed by J&K Department of Tourism vary between 1 bedroom to 4 bedrooms. New Tourist Bungalow run by J&K Tourism Development Corporation has over two dozen rooms.

One can choose from Indian, Continental, Chinese and Kashmir! cuisine at most of the hotel restaurants. There are bars at the Government club and in some hotels.


Manali In winter is a fairy-tale town holding out an irresistible invitation to the skiers and snow-lovers. Located at a height of 6,000 ft. to 7000 ft., it offers breathtaking ski gradients at Solang Nala. Between December and May ski enthusiasts from all over the world are attracted to this Himalayan resort.

Its smooth-curved ridges and escarpments promise unmatched exhilaration both to expert skiers as well as beginners. Those on a maiden adventure can learn the exciting sport on some of the gentle slopes and gradients with the help of experts.
The Mountaineering Institute at Manali provides basic and advanced learning in skiing. Training courses are also available in other exciting winter sports. All basic skiing equipment is available on rent. Skiers would be well advised to bring extra woollens to cope with extreme climatic conditions. A winter carnival held around the middle of February is a major attraction for the skiers.

If and when you feel like an outing of a different kind, there are many picnic spots. Solang valley, Rahia Falls, Vashisht springs and Bhrigu Lake—all within a few kilometres. Tramping into Manali town itself could be very interesting. The friendliness and hospitality of the people is really heart-warming.

By Air : Kullu is connected by Vayudoot flights from Delhi and Chandigarh to Bhuntar airport, 10 kms. away.
By Rail : Convenient railheads are Chandigarh, Jogindernagar (narrow gauge with a change at Pathankot), Shimla and then by road to Kullu.
By Road : Kullu is connected by road with Delhi (798 kms.) and linked by National Highway via Ambala (606 kms.). Chandigarh (556 kms.), Ropar, Bilaspurand Mandi. Regular bus services ply between Mandi, Kullu, Chandigarh, Dharamshala, Jogindernagar, Pathankot, Manali and Shimla. Manali can be reached from Kullu by road. 56 kms.

Hotels, Tourist Bungalows and Guest Houses are available in Manali, on rent, all through the year. Log Huts an exquisitely different experience-ethnic yet very comfortable. Between the Ashok Travellers Lodge and Piccadily Holiday Resort, you can choose from a good range of comfort and economy.


Nestled in the picturesque ranges of Himachal, Narkanda (3143 mts.) is a quiet town, 64 kms from Shimla. In winter it coats itself with thick, soft snow turning its gentle slopes into an excellent playground. The pleasure of skiing makes Narkanda an attractive destination for many during the winter months. Some of the very steep and smooth slopes hereafter a different kind of skiing experience. These slopes especially appeal to the cross country skier for. Narkanda is set amid fine coniferous forests.

Skiing equipment is available on hire at nominal charges. By enrolling in the Government-run classes beginners can learn to ski with the help of expert coaches.

Narkanda lies astride a ridge. An evening stroll may reveal stars twinkling in distant skies below you — the lights of Shimla, Chail and Solan to the south, and of Rampur Bushahar and Kotgarh in the east.

HOW TO REACH : Approachable from Shimla 64 buses or taxis.

WHERE TO STAY : Hotel Himview is recommended for a comfortable stay.


Kufri At a height of 2501 ms, girdled by awesome pinnacles, Kufri is a scenic hill resort 16kms, from Shimla. From December to March it wears its white winter garb, with snow trimmings on its tall green pines and deodars. Its undulating slopes are fashioned by nature to exhilarate lovers of winter sports.

Skiing facilities and training for beginners are available during the best part of winter.

HOW TO REACH : Kufri is connected to Shimla by road. To fully savour the scenic views between Shimla and Kufri nothing could be better than trekking the 16 kms, way.

WHERE TO STAY : Hotels and Holiday Homes are available on in Kufri. Especially worth mentioning is Wild flower Hall. Once a royal residence, this beautiful old mansion surrounded by pine forests is now a hotel. A well stocked bar is available here. Kufri Resort Hotel also offers a comfortable stay with a choice of cuisines and a bar.


Commands an awesome height of 3978 mts. and is 51 kms. from Manali, Recently a new ski terrain developed here has fired the imagination of ski lovers, as it offers a new challenge to their spirit of adventure. This is the only place in the country where the skiers can indulge in their favourite sport in summer as well as autumn. With the onset of summer, the skiers begin arriving here—dotting the silver-white backdrop with vibrant colours. The steep descents here are truly inspiring. The setting is just perfect both for the beginners and the seasoned. Skiing equipment is available and can be hired from the club.

HOW TO REACH : Frequent road service is available from Shimla and Manali though ' many enthusiasts prefer to trek to Rohtang from the latter.

WHERE TO STAY : Tourists would be advised to plan their base camp either in Manali or Keylong. Skiers can also be taken to the slopes of Rohtang.


Auli In winter is invigorating. Despite the bracing cold there is enough excitement of the winter sports to keep the spirits warm. At a distance of 16 kms. from Joshimath. Auli is fast emerging as a premier ski-resort in the country. Lined with stately deodar forests that cut the wind velocity to the minimum, it offers perfect siding conditions, Seasoned skiers have a clean stretch of 10-20 kms of absolutely virgins lopestosporton. These slopes provide excellent opportunities for cross-country, slalom and downhill skiing events. A 3 kms. long slope ranging from a height of 2519 mts. to 3049 mts. is a major
attraction, A ropeway is being constructed to lift the visitors from Joshimath (1800 mts.) to the slopes of Auli and Gorsain near the Kurari Pass (3600 mts.). Training is imparted by the instructors of the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Gulmarg. Special training courses are also conducted for beginners. An all-Indian open championship held annually, attracts great skiing talent to Auli. When not skiing, visitors can feed their eyes on breathtaking views of peaks like Nanda Devi (7873 mts.), Kamet (7756 mts.). Mana Parvat (7273 mts.) and Dunagiri (7066 mts.), without being aware that their seeming closeness is a mere illusion. Time loses all meaning while these panoramic sights engross you.

By Air : Vayudoot services between Delhi & Dehradun (Jolly-Grant Air- port, 19 kms from Rishikesh) and an additional afternoon service everyday, during the season, are available.
By Rail : Haridwar,24 kms. from Rishikesh is connected by Railway to Calcutta, Delhi and Bombay.
By Road : State transport vehicles ply regularly from Joshimath to Rishikesh (235 kms) Haridwar (277 kms), Dehradun (298 kms) and Delhi (500 kms).

WHERE TO STAY : The Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam's Rest Houses at Dehradun, Rishikesh. Auli and Joshimath offer a comfortable stay while being economical. They run throughout the year. A Youth Hostel also rents boarding and lodging.

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