Himchal Pradesh plans to become the adventure tourism hub of India in the years to come. According to General Manager Himachal Pradesh Tourism Corporation Vijay Sharma,“HPTDC is going promote adventure tourism potential of the State in a bigger way during the coming year . We expect greater influx of adventure lovers in 2018.”
The geographic variety and diversity of the state, he said, is something seen to be believed, rivers in deep gorges and placid mountain lakes, thick forests, green pastures all provide innumerable possibilities for a wide range of outdoor activities, sports and adventure. “We will offer comprehensive packages that will include tourism with adventure activities. The package will be all inclusive of accommodation, food, transportation, adventure activities and local sightseeing . We will target student groups, corporate and professional agencies like Army, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy,” he added.
During the last few years HPTDC has been partnering and promoting professional agencies undertaking adventure activities in Himachal and offering tailor made packages that included adventure activities like paragliding, skiing, rock climbing, river rafting, mountain climbing, mountain biking, Jeep Safari, trekking, camping among others.
HPTDC has successfully conducted adventure tours for Indian Navy and Indian Air Force teams. Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh is one site which offers excellent world class facility for Paragliding and is one of the best gliding places in the world, Mr Sharma said.
This place has hosted many National as well as International level paragliding events. It is also known to have organised the very first Paragliding competition as per the rules of the Federation Aeronautique International in India.
Mr Sharma said, “The other most popular spot for skiing from the British time onwards ‘Hatu Peak’ is located amidst the snow capped peaks of Himalayan Ranges at Narkanda.” Located at an altitude of 2725 meters-3100 meters Hatu Peak, is one of the oldest skiing destination of the country. The north facing skiing slopes of Narkanda offer best conditions for Ski in India.
Recently HPTDC organised Basic, Intermediate and Advance paragliding training courses for more than 50 Air Force Officers during October-November, 2017. Equipment, training, instructions are all made available to the sports persons. And then all this comes at a fraction of what it would cost elsewhere in the world. A six night seven day paragliding package would cost just around Rs.17,000, in Himachal.
Mr Sharma said that the number of adventure lovers visiting Himachal Pradesh is increasing every year because of better available facilities and suitable conditions for adventure sports. As a proactive organisation, he said, looking at the fragile environmental conditions of Himachal Pradesh we would also launch programs to educate the adventure tourists to adopt eco friendly habits.