India is a superb destination for a trekking holiday, offering everything
from short and effortless excursions to the long difficult challenges
of the snowy peaks. The highest mountain range on earth –
the Himalayas – comprises 3,500 kilometres (2,200 miles) of
India’s northern and eastern frontiers. The beauty of the
snow-capped peaks, glaciers, pine-forested slopes, rivers and lush
meadows of wild flowers is truly awesome.
Peninsular India offers natural splendor of another kind, clothed
in green woodland and aromatic orchards. (For additional details
on the main trekking locations, see Trekking
in the Resorts & Excursions section.)
No method of issuing trekking permits exists in India. Trekkers
are, however, advised that it is forbidden to enter Restricted and
Protected Areas without proper documentation. Contact India Tourism
prior to departure or local tourist offices on arrival in India
to confirm what restrictions and documents may be required.
The trekking season varies from region to region; contact
India Tourism for additional information (see Contact
section). Generally, it runs from April to June and September
to November. It is possible to trek in the valleys of
Lahaul, Pangi and Zanskar and in Ladakh during
the rainy season (June to August), as these areas receive
Board and lodging accommodation can be found on all trekking routes.
Crucial equipment includes a Sleeping bag, tent, foam/inflatable
mattress, rucksack, umbrella (doubles as a walking stick), dark-glasses,
sun-hat, and toiletries.
Recommended clothing is a windproof jacket, trousers, shirts, woolen
pullover, gloves and woolen underwear (for high altitudes). Be sure
to take a flexible, light and comfortable pair of trekking boots
(2 pairs should be taken for longer treks) and a minimum of 3 pairs
of woolen socks. Talc should be used to keep feet dry.
A first-aid kit is recommended, as well as sun block, morphia
salt tablets to avoid cramps, a torch, thermos/water bottle, mirror,
insect repellent, cold cream, lip-salve, spare boot laces, walking
stick, sewing kit, tinned and dehydrated food.
India has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world,
the best ones are located in the southern states of Goa and
Kerala. Even though the beaches are beautiful, the waters,
particularly in the south, can be quite dangerous, with strong currents
and big waves creating treacherous conditions for inexperienced
swimmers. To make up for the rough seas, most large hotels have
swimming pools, and there are facilities for a wide variety of water
sports including sailing, rowing and water-skiing.
(For additional details on beach resorts, see Beach Resorts
in the Resorts & Excursions section).
The Andaman Islands and Lakshadweep Islands off the
southern coast are known for their white-sand, quiet beaches and
brilliant swimming and scuba diving (but visitors may require
a special permit to visit, please see Passport/Visa section).
Whitewater rafting is a new sport in India; the snow-fed
mountain rivers of the northern Himalayas cause them to be 1 of
the best regions in the world for this sport.
Fishing is also available, especially in the Kangra Valley
and Shimla, in Darjeeling and Orissa and throughout
the Himalayas. Tackle can usually be hired from local fishing
authorities. Please contact the local tourist office for details
of seasons and licenses.
Camel safaris can be taken in the Thar desert and
vary from 1 to 15 days’ duration; a superb way to visit this
Delhi is India's centre
for rock climbing, also available in the Aravalli Hills
and the Western Ghats.
Authorization for mountaineering is required from
the Indian Mountaineering
Foundation, 6 Benito Juarez Road, New Delhi, 110 021 (telephone:
(11) 467-1211; facsimile: (11) 688-3412; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Hang gliding, ballooning and gliding are
also becoming increasingly available for those who would enjoy a
bird’s-eye view of some of the landscape.
is rapidly becoming a popular sport, and facilities are available
in some resorts in the north of the country (including Gulmarg
and Kufri), situated in some of the most beautiful mountain
landscape on the planet. Horse riding is also available in
Cricket is One of the great Indian sports.
Attention to the game reaches almost fever pitch, particularly during
the winter test season when the national team plays in all the major
cities. Club matches can also be attended in almost every town.
Additional popular spectator sports include polo and hockey,
sports at which the Indians have long excelled, winning numerous
Olympic gold medals in the latter. Interest in football is
Golfers will find several courses open to visitors throughout India;
contact major hotels for information of temporary membership.
Calcutta Amateur Golf Championships attract many serious
golfers in the east; the standards are high, and, temporary membership
is available from the Royal Kolkata (Calcutta) Golf Club.
Srinagar and Gulmarg have good courses and host
tournaments in the spring and fall, with Gulmarg enjoying the status
of being the highest golf course in the world. The course
at Shillong is widely known as being one of the most beautiful
in the world.