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Adventures



GOLF: At Naldera, 23 km. from beyond Shimla is one of the oldest golf courses in India. The course, whose topography is absolutely natural, was originally placed by the British Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, at the turn of the centuary. He was so enhanted by the spot that he named one of his daughters 'Naldera' after the spot. This is a par 68, nine hole course which is regarded as one of the most challenging in the country. In the repeat nine, the yardage some - what increases. The links are maintained by Himachal Tourism and accomodation is available at Hotel Golf Glade. There are other hotels in the private sector near Naldera.

Annandale, in Shimla has nine hole course managed by the army and there is another at the exquisite glade of Khajjiar, 22 km from Dalhousie and 24 km from Chamba. Putting greens are available at several resorts and hotels. Golf courses are also coming up elsewhere in the state.

TREKKING: The main trekking areas in Himachal are the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges, routes over the passes between the Shimla region and the Kullu valley, the numerous treks out of Kullu and select tracks in the Trans-Himalyan regions of Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti. Most trekking areas are between 1500 metres and 6000 metres.

With well over two hundred and seventy defined trails, the variation in terrain is also enormous. Low scrub-land and paths through paddy fields, give way to trails strewn with pine needles. Then come woods of oak and flowering rhododendron, which merge into forest of Himalayan cedar - 'deodar' - and spruce. On most trails, small pastoral hamlets dot the way. Cunningly hidden between the high mountains are passes which were once known only to migrant shepherds and dare all traders. These lead to the fabulous wastes and swift rivers of the arid Trans-Himalaya. A host of combinations and variations take the trails through changing countryside. The degree of physical output can also be changed to suit your requirements. For example, the same trek can be developed from a week to last longer. Or, the two ends of a trek can be the same, but the trails can be designed to be taxing, or gentle.

There are several agencies that conduct treks. Guides, equipment, porters, pack animals and maps are available at major starting points. The old Forest 'dak bunglows' that are strategically placed along many trek routes, add a considerable measure of nostalgic charm and convenience for trekkers. Practically all have an aura of the past, and lie nestled in deep woods. In addition, the State Electricity Board and the PWD also have rest houses. Most of these are marked out on trekking maps and advance booking is possible. The Forest Rest Houses are booked by the area's Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) and the PWD and Electricity Board ones are booked by the concerned Executive Engineer.

Training facilities, with basic and intermediate courses are available at Manali's (Kullu) Mountaineering Institute and at its Regional centre at Dharamsala (Kangra) and Bharmour (Chamba). Excellent camping facilities exist at