Winter holidays: Outdoors

Winter holidays: Outdoors
Auli is known as the skiing capital of India, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Winter is a great time for some outdoor adventures - from skiing in Auli to cycling in Goa to hot air ballooning in Rajasthan to name a few

OT Staff
December 03 , 2020
06 Min Read

Snow Sports
Yes, we have ski slopes and they’re already covered with snow. Both Gulmarg and Auli offer everything: skiing, snow boarding and sledging. Auli has a skiing area of only 5-7sq km but, at 9,500-10,500ft, offers excellent views. (09555088000, 011-46520000,

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In Gulmarg, a new cable car takes you from 8,800ft up to the Apherwat ridge at 13,000ft. There are groomed trails and baby-slopes, but also many uncharted trails. Rent equipment, arrange for guides and book a cottage at the Kashmir Alpine Ski Shop (08803025269). 

Cycling Tour

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Everyone’s going to Goa, so why don’t you too—on a cycle. This reinvention of the classic journey veers off the main highway, meandering closer to the coast, passing through dense patches of forest, small villages, rarely-visited beaches and ghat sections. A 6N/7D journey is organised by Countryside Outdoor Programmes (22 24011655, The average cycling distance per day is 80-90km, and you’re provided mountain bikes and gear.

Snow Walking Holiday
Want a relaxed family holiday with a bit of snow adventure thrown in?

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Head to the Whispering Pines Camp (011-43539195,, a tented camp set in the middle of dense pine and rhododendron forests in Dhanaulti in Uttarakhand. The camp’s gentle ‘snow walking’ circuits, each 3-4hrs long, take you through the forests of the area.    

Hot Air Ballooning

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The gentlest adventure you can imagine: rise up through the air in a hot air balloon. Winter is the best time to take to the skies with Skywaltz (09560387222,, which organises balloon flights over Jaipur, Pushkar and Ranthambhore. You’ll land gently in the middle of a field, and amuse the villagers greatly. The flight is about 1hr long.

 Rafting The Alaknanda

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This rafting season, hit the Alaknanda with Himalayan River Runners (011-26852602, Their 8D, 130km trip starts at Nandprayag, down to Karanprayag, and to Rudraprayag. You camp at secluded beaches, eat picnic lunches by the river, go swimming and body surfing en route. The trip ends at the Himalayan River Runners camp near Rishikesh.

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