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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|
Himalayas are the youngest and tallest mountains on earth. Indian Himalayas spread from northern most part of India i.e. Jammu and Kashmir to Eastern most part Assam. The design or spread of Indian Himalayas makes them home to variety of flora and fauna. Northern most part is barren land and known as cold desert while eastern Himalayas receives highest rainfall and are kind of humid subtropical. The lower Himalayas called Shivaliks fall in the category of subtropical climatic zone.
Valley of Flowers trek is located in Chamoli Garhwal in the state of Uttarakhand, in NDBR region (Nanda Devi Bioshpere reserve). About 595 kilometres from Delhi, the altitude of valley of flowers Uttaranchal varies from 3,200 m to 6,600 m.
The stunning landscape of The Valley of Flowers National Park in northern India’s state of Uttarakhand, bordered by Nepal and Tibet, comes alive with the monsoon rain. This high-altitude Himalayan valley has around 300 different varieties of alpine flowers, which appear as a bright carpet of color against a mountainous snow capped background.
Here are the pictures from my last visit.
Top 5 Mountain of Indian Himalayas
The arc-shaped Himalayas extend along the entire northern boundary of India from the state of Jammu & Kashmir in west to Arunachal Pradesh in east. The term “Himalaya” from Sanskrit meaning the “The Abode of Snow”. For centuries Indians have been fascinated by these mountains for pilgrimage in early days now for trekking and other adventure sports (fast picking up in India).
The Indian Himalayas cover a vast area along the northern frontiers of the country and span five Indian States — Jammu and Kashmir , Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh — from west to east. The true divisions of the Indian Himalayas are based on the mountain ranges rather than the state boundaries. From west to east, the Indian Himalayas can be divided into
- Kashmir (Jammu & Kashmir)
- Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir)
- Zanskar (Jammu & Kashmir)
- Lahaul and Spiti (HP)
- Chamba (HP)
- Kinnaur (HP)
- Kumaon (Uttarakhand)
- Garhwal (Uttarakhand)
- Sikkim (Sikkim)
- Arunachal (Arunachal Pradesh)
Top 5 Mountain of Indian Himalayas
Khangchendzonga / Kanchenjunga
Kanchenjunga gets its name from the the Bhutia and Tibetan languages which means “The Five Treasures of Snows” as it contains five peaks. Kanchenjunga is the third highest peak in the world and 1st in India. Kanchenjunga stands tall with an elevation of 8,586 meters (28,169 ft). Goechala Trek and Dzongri Trek are famous trek from where one can have majestic views of this mighty mountain.
Nanda Devi (25663 ft, 7824 m)
Nanda devi is the second highest mountain peak in India. This is the highest peak (entirely) in the country, as Kanchenjunga lies on the border areas of India and Nepal. It was the highest known mountain in the world until 1808 when western surveyors discovered Dhaulagiri. The mountain stands tall at an elevation of 7824 meters (25663 ft). The Nanda devi peak is the part of Garhwal Himalayas and lies in the state of Uttrakhand. Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is home to many famous treks like Roopkund Trek, Kuari Pass Trek, Valley of Flowers Trek, Har etc
Climbing is not allowed on Nanda Devi as it is declared as holy peak. During my discussion with Mr. Kushang Sherpa (Climbed Everest from all side including Kangshung face and other 8 thousanders) he said that Nanda Devi is the toughest to climb.
Kamet (25446 ft, 7756 m)
Kamet is the second highest mountain peak in Garhwal Himalayas. It lies in the Chamboli District of Uttrakhand. It is the third highest peak in India (according to India however, the rank is much lower as it includes in its list of mountains all those in Pakistan occupied Kashmir).
Saser Kangri (25172 ft, 7672 m)
Saser Kangri (or Sasir Kangri) is the highest peak in the Saser Muztagh, the easternmost sub-range of the Karakoram range in India. This massif lies toward the northwestern end of the Saser Muztagh, at the head of the North Shukpa Kunchang Glacier, a major glacier which drains the eastern slopes of the group.
Mana (23860 ft, 7273 m)
Northeast of Badrinath is another impressive cluster of mountain peaks. The mountains rise almost on the Indo-Tibetan border with Mana and Kamet as the principal peaks. Mana itself marks the eastern extremity of the Zanskar range. It lies between the pass of the same name and the Niti Pass.
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
The UN agency that looks after children, Unicef , is organizing an adventure motorcycle trip in India.
Planned for November 2012, 20 odd adventurers will be setting out on classic Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycles (plus vintage Ambassador cars) to discover parts of India.
The week long itinerary will see you go past several Unicef projects in the country, so you can see the good work they do.
This is a quote on part of their program:
|The 1,000 km route takes you along Kerala’s coast, inland to Mysore, through the tiger reserves of Bandipur and Mudumallai and up through 36 hairpin bends to a vast expanse of tea plantations. The trip ends back in the serene backwaters of Kerala – an exquisite conclusion to a remarkable adventure.|
The trip is planned for 30 November to 9 December. It’s not cheap, since it the trip supports the Unicef work, so it’s worth it.
Cost: UK£4,995 (including flights, accommodation, most food and bike rental). The trip will be accompanied by mechanics and a doctor. Unicef will give you plenty of ideas how to raise money to fund the trip.
So if you are in for a motorcycle adventure holiday, and eating loads of Indian food, this is your chance. On top of that, you are contributing to one of world’s leading children aid agencies.
Chandigarh, Jan 17: One of the biggest Indian air carriers, Air India has launched a traveller centric scheme for the customers who propose to travel often across the country. According to the newly introduced scheme, the carrier has offered a 15 day travel across the country at a low-price of Rs 35,000.
Sources from Air India said that the proposed scheme will be implemented from Apr 30, 2012. The carrier will offer two plans in place to the need of the customers. As per the scheme, a commuter can enjoy 15 days of travel across India in economyclass for just Rs 35,000. However, those customers who want to travel in business class will have to pay Rs 75,000 for 15 days.
Meanwhile, the airline will provide two plans for scheduled planned booking according to the customer’s convenience. Moreover, a travelling pass will be provided to the customers which will help in the booking process under the two schemes.
Furthermore, to get up-to-date information, customers are asked to visit the official website of Air India at http://www.airindia.com. Customers can also speak with the customer care associates at the toll free number 18001801407 or at the land-line number 0172-2624941, 2624943 to get detailed information of the scheme.
Attractions of Markha Valley
The trekking routes
The place is a hot destination for trekkers, while the mighty valleys and passes are also covered in the itinerary of these trekkers. Starting from Zhingchan Valley, moving on to many villages and to the mountain pass of Kanda La, the trip will be an exciting trek. Many other major sites like Nyimaling Plains, Gongmaru La, form the major tourist destinations in these valleys. While roaming around on an adventurous trek here, you will come across many Tibetan monasteries, every now and then.
A trip to Markha valley is incomplete, if you do not cross the various small but authentic villages of the area. A throng of villages are here, where you can also enjoy the cultural ethnicity of the people. The trip will cover villages like, Zhingchan Village, Rumbak Village, Yurutse Village, Shngo Village, Skyu Yokma, Skyu Gongma Villages, three villages situated close by, which are Nakdi, Sara and Chalak villages, and many other pleasant villages. Also interact with the local people here, and witness their hospitality.
The valley, being a major tourist trek route, provides various areas for campsites, where amazing locations and convenient accessibility can be seen. These campsites are nice places to relax with clear and amazing views to enjoy as well. While on a trek in Markha, you will come across many campsites, like Lartsa campsite near Rumbak, Pentse campsite, then Lhatho campsite and Da amo campsite. Some other good camp areas are Tsigu and Nyimaling. Enjoy the serenity of these sites and adventure of the trek on a Markha trip.
Adventurous Activities in Markha Valley
An adventure trip to the Markha valley, will lead you from many mountain ranges, plateaus, exciting passes, rivers, tributaries and settlements, and you can have a time of your life in these places. Trekking through these wild and wacky places, meeting the tribal nomads in their villages, exploring an unexplored wilderness, would be some ideal things to do in Markha.
Also make sure to visit the Tibetan monasteries here, where butter lamps are lit by the elderly nuns, giving an aura of a unique culture. You get to have a rafting and camping experience also near the Markha river.
Also try these:
In Markha valley, an adventure trip not only includes fun and thrill, but you can also try the Kashmiri, Tibetan Cuisine, handicrafts and cultural authenticity. The people, show you such a unique style of living and eating, that it becomes interesting on an Indian trip to explore these. You must also shop for their local outfits, antique jewelery and crafts from the village markets, and keep something for memories.
So enjoy this top adventure spot in India, and get surprised with the marvelous and adventurous places.
When bone-chilling winds sweep through its vast expanse and snow blocks it off for five months, the mountain district of Lahaul and Spiti comes to life with its people gathering together to celebrate, eat and drink.
“Summers are for making money and winters for making merry. It’s the time when nothing germinates, but social culture blooms,” Geeta Devi, an octogenarian in Keylong, the district headquarters located at an altitude of 3,156 metres, about 350 km from the state capital Shimla, said. Read the rest of this entry »