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Snow Skiing in Dharamshala
Dharamshala is not only of the most sacred pilgrimage spots in the country, but also the most adventurous spots. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks all around, Dharamshala offers unlimited scope for tourists who are interested in adventure sports like skiing. This scenic hill station is located at a height of 4550 feet above sea level and is perfect for activities like paragliding, skiing, ice-skating, golf and many more. Surrounded by Buddhist monasteries all over, Dharamshala has a certain serene feeling about it and this, when coupled with the thrilling winter sports activities, make the place purely magical. This is also the residence of Dalai Lama, who is currently staying in the Namgyal Monastery.
How to reach Dharamshala
By Air: One cannot find any airport at Dharamshala. The nearest airport is at Gaggal, which is located at a distance of 13km. Through this airport, Dharamshala is well connected to Delhi by regular flights from various flight operators. If you are travelling from other locations, you can take a flight to Chandigarh first and then reach Dharamshala through taxis or cars. The distance between Chandigarh and Dharamshala is approximately 275 kms.
By Rail: Pathankot railway junction, which is at a distance of 85km from Dharamshala, is the nearest railhead here. Most of the trains that go to Jammu & Kashmir have a stopover at Pathankot. From this railway junction, you can reach Dharamshala through taxis or buses depending on your budget constraints. One of the smaller railway stations near Dharamshala is the Kangra Mandir railhead, at a distance of 22km, but, it is not used these days as most of the trains do not halt here.
By Road: The Haryana State Road Transport Corporation and many private agencies operate many buses that ply from and to Dharamshala mostly from Delhi and other North Indian states. The distance between Dharamshala and the national capital is close to 520 km and many buses are available in this route to pick and choose from. You can get down at lower Dharamshala or at McLeod Ganj in these buses. From Delhi you can catch an overnight bus to Dharamshala and the duration would be approximately 13hours.
Snow skiing charges in Dharamshala
When you are booking a travel package, the tour operator would have also included skiing, paragliding, mountain climbing and other adventure sports activities charges in the package cost. You can check with your respective tour operator for the breakdown of costs to know exactly about the cost of skiing charges in Dharamshala. If you wish to do skiing on 4550 feet high slopes of Dharamshala for more time than mentioned in the package, you will need to pay extra charges. You can check with your local ski resorts for the same.
Top service providers of skiing in Dharamshala
Chrysaid Outdoors is one of the pioneers when it comes to adventure sports activities in the mountain areas. They offer various skiing packages to different parts of Himachal Pradesh and Dharamshala is one of them. They offer separate services for novices and experts so that both the classes of tourists get a good experience. Apart from skiing, they also cover a wide range of activities like trekking, para gliding, white water rafting etc. Beas Himalaya is yet another service provider that specialises in adventure sports. They charge anywhere between 550INR for 2 hours and 950INR for a day for one person.
Best time to visit
The period between mid-September and early February is the best time to visit Dharamshala if you want to go skiing. This is the peak of winter season and the climate gets really cold during this time. Temperatures dip to minus zero degrees Celsius most of the times; hence you must come prepared with adequate winter-wear so that you can enjoy the game of skiing without feeling numb with cold. Dharamshala receives reasonable amount of snow as well during this time, making it the most ideal time to come here for skiing enthusiasts.
Public buses are the best modes of local transportation in Dharamshala. There are lots of buses available from McLeod Ganj to Dharamshala on a daily basis with a ticket fare of just Rs.10. If you are ready to spend a lot for your travel, you can hire chartered auto- rickshaws or taxis that would cost Rs.100 and Rs.200 respectively.
Dharamshala has different kinds of hotels to suit your affordability levels. If you want high quality of stay and excellent comfort, you can opt for four star hotels like Fortune Park Moksha, Aveda Hotel, Club Mahindra, Sterling Holidays Resort or Villa Paradiso. Three star hotels like Hotel Gandhi Paradise, Asia Health Resorts or Himgiri Resort offer excellent services at slightly lesser costs than the 4 star accommodations. If you want budget accommodations that provide full value for your money, you could try out Pong View Hotel, Welcome Heritage Grace Cottage or Anupam Resort.