Tag Archives: backpacking
Adventure Holiday Idea
Want to stay in a place which is closer to nature and away from all the chaos then head to Khati Village. Khati is a Village in Kapkote Tehsil in Bageshwar District of Uttarakhand State, India. It is located 20 KM towards East from District head quarters Bageshwar. 216 KM from State capital Dehradun.
Stay: Khati has PWD guest house and homestays
Best time to Go: April to Sep even Monsoons are amazing. Picture is in the month of August.
Khati is the last village on Pindari Glacier Trek and Sunderdhunga Trek
How to reach: You can hire a cab from Kathgodam Railway Station and takes around 7 – 10 hours to reach Saung Village from where one can start the trek to Loharkhet and next day trek to Khati village via Dhakuri pass and reach Khati and if road is opened then you can drive to Khati instead of trekking.
Saung to Bageshwar 36 km.
Saung to Almora 109 km.
Saung to Kathgodam 199 km.
Trek to Khati Village Base Camp Saung
Saung to Loharkhet 3 km trek,
Lohaekhet to Dhakuri 11 km,
Dhakuri to Khati 8 km,
When we were on our way back from Ladakh after Stok Kangri’s successful summit, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant and this beautiful old woman was the owner. She reminds me of Mother Teresa although I have never seen her. After our lunch we sat with her for almost half an hour and had discussion about her looks, family and when we were leaving asked to pose for this photograph.
The eagerly anticipated second edition of Mahindra Adventure will take place in June 2012
India’s leading SUV manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra’s second season of Mahindra Adventure will be held in June. This series that showcases the off-roading potential of Mahindra vehicles includes categories like Great Escape, challenges, Monastery Escape, Royal New Year Escape, besides three new adventures, viz, the 14-day Tri-Nation Escape that traverses Bhutan, India and Nepal, and the six-day Authentic Goa Escape and Wildlife Escape. Primarily designed for Mahindra vehicle owners, those who do not own one can also participate by paying a nominal fee.
The Great Escape participants can participate in an ‘Off-Roading Trophy’ later in the year.
“After the successful run of Mahindra Adventure Season 1, we are all geared to unveil the new season that promises even more thrills for the adventure seeker. The ‘Off-roading Trophy’ and international events make season 2 even more exciting and will go a long way in showcasing the tough and rugged capability of our range of vehicles,” said Vivek Nayer, Vice President, Marketing, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
Mahindra Adventure has also featured in the motorsport arena. After roping in drivers Gaurav Gill and Lohitt Urs, it has also got 2012 Dakshin Dare Rally winner Sunny Sidhu on board. The team will compete in India’s most popular motorsport events including Mughal Rally, Raid de Himalaya and Desert Storm.
The company also unveiled ‘Get Lost’, India’s first online adventure magazine.
|July||Monsoon Challenge||South to West||July 19 – July 22|
|July – August||Monastery Escape Classic||North||July 26 – August 5|
North to East
|Sept 7 – Sept 9
Sept 15 – Sept 29
|November||Wild Escape||Central||Nov 16 – Nov 21|
|December – January||Royal Escape Classic||North||Dec 27 – Jan 1|
Great Escape Calendar
|June||Kottayam – GE 90||South||June 23|
|July||Mumbai – GE 91||West||July 7|
|August||Goa – GE 92
Chandigarh – GE 93
Saklespur – GE 94
|October||Kohima – GE 95||East||October 20|
|November||Jaipur – GE 96||North||November 24|
|December||Off Road Championship||Mumbai||December 7 to December 9|
|January||Kolkatta Challenge – GE 97
Hyderabad Challenge – GE 98
|February||Coimbatore Challenge – GE 99||South||February 3|
Three years ago, Preeti Ralhan, a 41-year-old homemaker from Gurgaon, was holidaying in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with her family. While they had no plans for adventure, their guide insisted they try a 5-km zip line tour atop the rainforest. “Suspended from cables, zipping past trees and cliffs, we had the time of our lives,” says Ralhan.
They wanted to zip-line again, but didn’t want to go all the way to Thailand. And then, they heard of Flying Fox, a service that offers zip-lining tours in Neemrana, 100 km from Delhi. So, last month, the family drove to the heritage town for a zip-lining tour that cost just Rs 1,500 per person. “Three years ago, we thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But now, we know we can afford to do it twice a year,” says Ralhan. She adds that the Neemrana zip line was more picturesque than the Chiang Mai one because of the view of the heritage fort and the rocky terrain around it.
If you are an adventure junkie, you needn’t pack your bags and take a flight out of India. You can now go zipping at Neemrana, Jodhpur and Kikar Lodge near Chandigarh, or scuba diving off Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Goa and at Angria Bank in Maharashtra; paragliding at various places in Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Rajasthan; hot-air-balloon-riding in Rajasthan; parasailing in Haryana, mountain biking at Jalori Pass in Himachal, Manali and Narkanda, heli-skiing in Kashmir, or skiing in Manali.
Even though adventure tourism has been around for at least a decade, lately, it has seen several new companies offering tours in offbeat sports like sky diving, zip lining, and heli-skiing to consumers that include corporate managers, youngsters and families. Mukul Ronak Das, CEO of Bangalore-based Waltair Escapade Thrills, the company that launched commercial sky diving for the first time in India in October 2011 (in Madhya Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra late last year and Punjab in February), says that five years ago, adventure sports contributed not more than 35-40 per cent to the tourism revenue, and most of it came from conventional sports such as skiing and rafting. Now, new and sophisticated sports such as sky diving, heli-skiing, and zip lining are also doing well. And the government realises the potential of promoting the country as an adventure destination. “Out of the 48-second recent Incredible India ad on TV, 60 per cent time is devoted to snapshots of adventure activities,” says Das.
While there were already around 35,000-40,000 big and small adventure operators in India, the last six months have seen them getting more organised and professionally managed. Flying Fox, which began in 2007 in Neemrana, has, over the years, spread to Jodhpur and Chandigarh. Delhi-based Wanderlust Camps and Resorts, which claims to be “the first company to bring bungee jumping to India (in 1999), hot air ballooning in 1989 and sky-walking in 2005” and is run by ex-Army officer Captain SK Yadav, has been organising camps for companies and now even families. Their camps are priced between Rs 999 and Rs 1,999 per person per night. “Adventure activities were first brought into the Indian corporate culture as part of team-building exercises. They used activities, such as valley crossing and flying fox, which the army uses to train its officers and jawans,” says Yadav. One of the most unique activities they have organised so far is sky walking. Participants were harnessed and made to walk vertically on the exteriors of some tall office buildings in Gurgaon.
Trained adventure professionals from abroad have also set up shop in India. India’s first 83-metre-high bungee jump, in Rishi-kesh, has been designed and is run by a team of bungee experts from New Zealand, and the Flying Fox zip lining tours are run by two British nationals. “Since these are not native adventure activities, you need to bring in foreign skills because there’s no domestic expertise to draw upon,” says Flying Fox Asia director Richard McCullum.
Obviously, commercial interests are driving the adrenaline boom in India. Manmeet Ahluwalia, marketing head at travel portal expedia.co.in, says, “Indians travel overseas a lot, and consume a lot of adventure there. Even foreign tourists, who come to India mainly for cultural and spiritual consumption, end up indulging in adventure activities here, especially in Manali and Ladakh.”
Ajeet Bajaj, the first Indian to have scaled both the North and the South Pole, and who runs one of India’s oldest adventure tour companies, Snow Leopard Adventures, agrees: “There are no exact figures but estimates say that there are no less than two million adventure consumers in India every year — domestic as well as foreign.” Vikas Arora, administrator, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, pegs that number to be increasing at a rate of 20-25 per cent annually, thanks to “corporate getaways and family tourism fuelling the demand.”
Women, he says, are big drivers of adventure tourism. “More than 25 per cent of adventure travellers are women in the 35-60 age group,” says Arora. Chandigarh-based Kanika Khanna and her four college friends, for example, celebrated their graduation by bungee-jumping in Rishikesh, offered by Jumpin Heights, which also organises an 83-metre-high swing and a 1-km-long zip line. “The first sight of that sky-high platform from where I was supposed to jump off , even though the coach had harnessed me well, gave me butterflies in the stomach. I almost chickened out but when I saw another girl my age jumping off the platform without any inhibition, I took heart and gave it a shot. The next day, we took the combo package and enjoyed all three activities in one day for Rs 4,000 per person,” she recalls.
India’s vast terrain makes it an ideal adventure spot. Says Das, “We have the mountains with snow-clad peaks, beaches and coasts, rocks and plains — each state has something to offer,” he says.
The topography apart, affordability lures domestic tourists. Arup Bhowmick, a 32-year-old investment banker from Delhi, went scuba diving in Goa last May, after his “very expensive” adventures abroad, including bungee jumping in Poland and scuba diving in Mala in 2008, and sky diving in California in 2010. “I wouldn’t say that the Goa experience was better than Malaysia — the marine life is equally divine at both places, but we saved a lot of time and money. My Goa trip cost just 25 per cent of my Malaysia one,” he say
Layering is the tried and tested method for comfortable outdoors by Mountaineers for long time. The beauty of this simple concept is that it allows you to make quick adjustments based on your activity level and changes in the weather.
So, lets understand what exactly layering for comfortable outdoors really means. While wearing clothes for outdoors they are used in three basic layers
1. Base Layer – near to the skin, manages moisture
2. Insulation Layer – protects from cold
3 Shell or Outer Layer – protects from Wind or Rain
This Layer is next to your skin and helps in regulate your body temperature by moving perspiration away from your body. Keeping dry is important for maintaining a cool body temperature in the summer and avoiding hypothermia in the winter. If you have ever used a cotton T under your rain cover while hiking or trekking, you will get wet not from outside but from inside.
Cotton is not the good material for this clothing layer instead synthetic fabrics like MTS, Capilene, PowerDry and CoolMax polyester or Silk.
Insulation Layer – protects from cold
The insulating layer helps you retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Fleece vests, jackets and tights are classic examples of insulation ideal for outdoor activities and for more extreme conditions feather jackets are most appropriate. Down has a very good warmth:weight ratio, and can be packed down (squeezed) to take very little room but are very costly.
They not only trap air but are also made with moisture transferring fibers to help keep you dry.
Shell or Outer Layer – protects from Wind or Rain
The outermost clothes are called the shell layer, they block wind or water and have good mechanical strength. Ideally the shell layer clothes are breathable i.e they lets moisture through to the outside while not letting wind and water pass through from the outside to the inside.
Gore Tex is extensively used for outer layer and it is Waterproof and breathable made of the very strong fabrics. It is founded by W. L. Gore & Associates and they are best known for their this product which is used in various world leading brands.
Any adventure trip to Himalayas requires preparedness, but in the winter when weather is harsh and days are shorter, your margin of error is even smaller.
Here are some tips from the experts for staying safe and getting rescued when things go wrong:
1. IT’S NOT “JUST A DAY HIKE.”
Jai, Owner of Renok Adventures, says day hikers should dress and pack as if they are going on an overnight backpacking trip. Be prepared to deal with Harsh and always changing weather conditions “Plan for the worst.”
The Ten Essentials – Plus. “The Freedom of the Hills,” written by experts from The Mountaineers of Seattle in 1960, was updated for the eighth time in 2010 and lists the following as the 10 essentials:
1. Navigation: Map and compass and the skills to use them
2. Sun protection: Sunglasses and sunscreen
3. Insulation: Extra clothing
4. Illumination: A headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries
5. First-aid supplies
6. Fire: Firestarter and matches or a lighter
7. Repair kit and tools including a knife
8. Nutrition: Extra food
9. Hydration: Extra water
10. Emergency shelter