On an average travel agent 25 to 30 inquiries daily about prominent trekking routes, adventure sports, mountaineering, rock climbing and camping sites. Now, not only professional trekkers but also amateurs and children are trekking and climbing in the state,’ as per the report from travel agents. According to the tourism department, over 65,000 tourists, mainly from north and south India, have been travel to the Himalayan state over the past two months. Popular tourist town Manali is in the middle of a heavy rush of adventure seekers. ‘This season with heavy summer rays is actually responsible for quite good traffic as more than 20,000 tourists have reached Manali for adventure-related activities. The arrival of adventure tourists will continue till the onset of winter,’ disclosed by a prominent travel agent in Manali “Mehar Chand Thakur”. Manali has over 40 travel agents who specialize in adventure tourism India. ‘Most tourists, particularly foreigners, prefer to tread the lofty slopes in Kullu, Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts,’ he said.
The Manali-based Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, which conducts mountaineering expeditions, high-altitude treks and white-water rafting, are also getting good response from professionals and amateurs. ‘A large number of enquiries have been received from trekkers and mountaineers from all over the world regarding trekking routes, mountain peaks, camping sites and climatic conditions,’ said Rajeev Sharma, a senior mountaineering instructor at the Institute. The institute, set up in 1961, is also conducting special activities for corporate executives, students and families in adventure sports – mountaineering, backpacking, skiing, soft adventure, trekking, rafting, kayaking and paragliding. ‘The response (to adventure activities) is good. A number of camps are under way in the mountains,’ Sharma said.
Some popular treks include Tirthan-Sainj that passes through the Great Himalayan National Park in Kullu district. Blessed with magnificent glaciers, lofty mountains and gurgling streams, the five-day trek is an ideal getaway for professionals. It takes one from an altitude of 1,700 metres to about 5,800 metres. Rohit Sood, who runs a rafting centre in Kullu town, said: ‘White-water rafting in the Kullu valley is gaining ground by the day as an adventure sport activity.