Blessed with unparalleled beauty, Sikkim is truly a land of nature, culture and adventure, richly empowered by traditional Sikkimese hospitality. Apart from being a perfect tourist destination for the laid back traveller, the Himalayan state is also a haven for the adventure buff – be it paragliding, hiking through its gorgeous villages, climbing a vertiginous peak or mountain biking on its edgy roads, this ancient land is a wonderland of adventure. The state offers a wide array of adventure sports including mountaineering, trekking, mountain biking, zip line, rope course, traversing, camping, yak safaris, helicopter joy rides and so much else.
Home to the third highest mountain in the world Mt Khangchendzonga, Sikkim’s landscape is also adorned with peaks like Lama Wangden and Frey’s Peak, which have been conquered by many mountaineers over the years.
When the talk comes round to trekking, one is truly spoilt for choice, as the state has a huge number of trekking routes to choose from. Then there are the new-age adventure activities like Zip Lining and Mountain Biking which have gained immense popularity among adventurists around the country.
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Over the last few years, Sikkim has also emerged as a hub for people who want to take up courses in mountaineering, trekking, eco-tourism, jungle survival and other adventure activities. Institutes like the Indian Himalayan Center for Adventure and Eco Tourism in South Sikkim’s Chemchey village offer world-class facilities and training for adrenaline junkies.
Located at the base of the Tandong Hill and surrounded by beautiful tea gardens, rhododendrons and cherry trees, the Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure and Eco-Tourism (IHCAE) was started in September 2009 in South Sikkim’s Chemchey village. It was inaugurated with an aim to create a National Level Adventure-cum-Mountaineering Institute and its purpose is to spread awareness on preservation of Himalayan ecology, environment and also to create opportunities in the field of mountaineering, trekking, tourist guides and knowledge regarding the basic essence of tourism anywhere.
The institute offers various courses such as Basic Mountaineering Course, Advance Mountaineering Course, Mountain Biking, Trekking, Paragliding and Parasailing. The highlight of the institute is, however, the training on sport wall-climbing, which is the latest technique in climbing and is most preferred by the youth all over the world. The institute takes a maximum of 40 students in every course. For admission in the institute, an individual needs to submit his or her medical certificate given by the government doctor of his region.
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IHCAE has now become a well-known hub throughout North Eastern states to have world-class sport wall-climbing. The institute has successfully conducted All India level sport climbing competitions where 267 competitors took part in the championship from all over India in the month of September. The institute is 100 percent solar illuminated and houses separate hostels for boys and girls with an occupancy of 100 each. The institute also conducts Paragliding Training (P1 and P2) in Gangtok.
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