8 Most Amazing Adventure Sports In Jammu And Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir has long been the idyllic destination for most of India for a serene, nature getaway. With the Hindu Kush, Zanskar and Himalayan mountain ranges decorating the nook and crannies of this state, and rivers like Chenab, Jhelum and Tawi winding across its mesmerising valleys, with knee-deep snow blanketing the higher region of Kashmir and the beautiful lakes adding a charm to its beauty, there is immense scope for adventure sports in Jammu and Kashmir. Be it land, air or water, J&K has always excelled in adventure tourism, and how! Let’s have a look at the top adventure sports that should be on the list of every adventure enthusiast while visiting this land of culture, of smiling people and breathtaking vistas.
Home to some of India’s tallest and mightiest mountains, it is of little surprise then that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is frequently visited by experienced as well as beginner mountaineers to summit peak after peak. With the famous Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering located in Gulmarg, mountaineering in Jammu and Kashmir is an extremely popular sport. Some of the most common mountaineering expeditions here include Sickle Moon, Brammah I and II, Kolahoi, Mount Apharwat and Harmukh amongst others.
Best time to visit: The best time for mountaineering in Jammu and Kashmir is from June to November.
To be able to rush down a snowed out mountain slope, all the while balancing yourself on a board, is a very powerful feeling. Snowboarding may not be the most popular sport in India, but it is definitely gaining pace in some parts of the Indian Himalayas. While Himachal Pradesh is one of them, snowboarding in Jammu and Kashmir has also most definitely picked up speed and snowboarders from both India and abroad are travelling to this piece of heaven to try their hands at the sport. Some of the most popular snowboarding spots in J&K include Gulmarg, Khilanmarg, Kongdoori and more.
Best time to visit: The best time for snowboarding in Jammu and Kashmir is from December to March.
With pristine, glacial lakes, tall mountains, endless grasslands and thick alpine forests, Jammu and Kashmir is a paradise for those who like to put their hiking boots on and wander in the vast wilderness for days on a stretch with just a backpack to keep them company. While the Kashmir Great Lakes and Tarsar Marsar Lake treks are some of the most popular in the state, some other treks in Jammu and Kashmir that are worth looking at include Doodhpathri Trek, Gangabal Trek, Tulian Lake Trek and Kolahoi Glacier Trek and Rohil Basmai Valley Trek. J&K is also famous for its pilgrimage treks like Vaishno Devi and Amarnath Yatra.
Best time to visit: The best time for trekking in Jammu and Kashmir depends on the trek. Usually, April to October is a favourable time.
If there’s one place that brought about a skiing revolution in India, it has to be Jammu and Kashmir. With its verdant slopes being nothing but white come winter, ski resorts across the state have established gondolas and chair lifts to make skiing in Jammu and Kashmir an unforgettable experience. Some of the most popular skiing spots include Kongdoori, Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Madha Top. For beginners, the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering in Baramulla is a great place to start.
Best time to visit: December to February is the best time for skiing in Jammu and Kashmir.
5. Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is an extreme adventure sport that requires unbeatable hand-eye coordination. To think and act fast is the key principle of this sport, and with the natural obstacles placed perfectly in the forests and meadows of the state, mountain biking in Jammu and Kashmir is definitely a must-do! Some of the most popular MTB trails in J&K include Srinagar to Gulmarg, Sonamarg to Wular / Manasbal Lake and back, Pahalgam to Srinagar, Gulmarg to Pahalgam and Srinagar to Sonamarg. The Srinagar to Leh Highway is another stretch where mountain bikers can test their physical and mental endurance by passing through some of the most dangerous mountain passes in the world.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit is from March to May and September to October.
6. River Rafting
Jhelum, the lifeline of Jammu and Kashmir, has some of the most ferocious river flow in India, making river rafting in Jammu and Kashmir all the more adrenaline pumping! Flanked by mighty tall mountains on both sides, rafting through the strong currents of Jhelum can be an exhilarating experience. Other spots for rafting in J&K include Langabal to Ganeshpora on Lidder River with grade 1 to 4 rapids and River Sind with grade 2 to 4 rapids.
Best time to visit: The best time to go rafting in Jammu and Kashmir is from April to October.
The annual J&K Kayaking and Canoeing Championship really took kayaking in Jammu and Kashmir to a whole new level. Moreover, with Bilquis Mir, India’s kayaking champion and Asia Game 2018’s watersport judge hailing from the beautiful Kashmir, this sport has started coming to the forefront in the state’s adventure tourism department. With such pristine lakes and rivers lining J&K’s every nook and cranny, there is immense potential for kayaking to flourish here. Some of the most common kayaking spots in J&K include Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake in Srinagar.
Best time to visit: The best time for kayaking in J&K is from May to October.
The beauty of the valleys of Kashmir is known to people far and wide. With beautiful pine forests covering every inch, and the mountains of the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas lining the verdant meadows, it is a sight to sore eyes to be able to witness such virgin beauty from a high point above. Paragliding in Jammu and Kashmir is not only limited to Kashmir but is also quite common in Jammu. Sanasar, Nathatop, Kud and Batote are popular paragliding spots in Jammu district and as for Kashmir, Sonamarg, Hajan, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Srinagar are the go-to spots for paragliding.
Best time to visit: The best time for paragliding in J&K is from April to June and Septlember to November.
For a state that has seen endless political turmoils since independence, the tourism in Jammu and Kashmir has flourished far better than other states in India. With such virgin natural beauty as far as the eye can see, and such undulating mountain slopes perfect for winter sports, it is of little surprise that adventure sports in Jammu and Kashmir are some of the most sought after in the country. So the next time you plan to get your adrenaline game going, think of J&K first before anywhere else!