Wednesday, 23 May 2012

No sign of summer in Lahaul Spiti, Keylong records 3.7 degrees C

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: With temperature soared to 42 degrees Celsius, summer has started scorching Una district of Himachal but Lahaul-Spiti district, at other part of the state, is still freezing at 3 degrees Celsius. Temperature at high altitude uninhabited areas are still below the freezing point.
Suraj Tal lake
Waters of Dashaur lake, Surajtal, Chandertal and other lakes situated at height above 13,500 feet are still frozen. The day temperature too is below 10 degrees Celsius. Residents of Lahaul valley said they are wearing heavy woollens even on a sunny day and are resorting to fire during nights.
Resident of Darcha village, Amar Angrup, said that summer has a long way to cover before knocking at the doors of their valley as there are no signs of rise in temperature for a month. “We are heating water before drinking it,” he said. Residents say the clothes are taking considerable time to dry as cool winds from mountains have dipped the temperature.
Keylong, the district headquarters, on Wednesday recorded minimum temperature of 3.7 degrees Celsius which was 3 degrees Celsius below the normal temperature for this time of season. The maximum temperature was 17.9 degrees Celsius. Manali recorded minimum and maximum temperature at 8.2 and 24 degrees Celsius respectively.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Summer skiing catches fancy of tourists

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Summer skiing on unmaintained slopes of Rohtang pass is a new crowd puller, with thousands of tourists enjoying short term ski courses with the help of local instructors who have been booked in advance for the season.
Tourists enjoy skiing at Rohtang pass near Manali

Hundreds of winter games enthusiasts, mostly students and youths, from plain areas are thronging here to learn the basics of skiing every day. Of the total 25 lakh tourists who visit Manali annually, about 20 percent tourists of all age group enjoy amateur skiing for some hours but a large part of tourists are opting for ski courses for days. Besides the various courses offered by Atal Bihari Vajpayee institute of mountaineering and applied sports, dozens of local ski instructors are earning good by teaching ski to the tourists.
A group of 17 persons, including 6 girls, from Reliance chemicals Mumbai, are undergoing 5 day-long skiing course below Rohtang pass. A learner Abhishek Samantray, who is confident of learning full skiing strategies till the end of the course, said, “It is unmatched feeling to ski under blue sky when day temperature is close to 20 and we are surrounded by snow mountains. I’m however a good skater but skiing has different techniques.” For Sahaj Mishra, skiing on wild mountains is amazing moment as she had witnessed this game only in sports TV channels. “We work together and were looking for a break. We had spent last summer camping in Uttarakhand and this time we chose skiing in Manali and we love it very much.”
A skier performs stunt near Rohtang pass in Manali
Newbies are being charged Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,500 for a day including instructor and skiing instruments. Youths of the region, including national and international level skiers, are earning good money by sharing their talent with the learners. As the skiers are needed to be taken close to Rohtang pass every day, ski lovers are asking only for short term courses.
“We have enough snow around the Rohtang pass and beginners and professionals can enjoy skiing till the end of the June here,” an instructor Enam Thakur said. He added that more than hundred ski instructors of the area are earning their livelihood by teaching skiing to the tourists and learners. He adds, “Many tourists are now showing interest in week-long ski courses. Camping along with skiing is a new trend here.”

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Tourists face problem booking rooms in Himachal

Himachal Vacation Travel News
SHIMLA/MANALI: Tourists planning to visit Himachal for summer vacations without advance booking may face problems finding rooms in desired hotel as most of the hotels have already been booked to their capacity till mid June.
Be it hotels, resorts, homestays or rest houses, booking procedure is going on at full pace in Manali, Shimla, Dalhousie, Dharamshala, Kinnaur and Kasauli. Travel agents say more than 70 percent of the hotels have been fully occupied and they are not able to serve their customers well as rooms are not available in quality hotels. Summer season is picking up the pace slowly in the state and May and June months are expected to remain fully jam packed with lakhs are tourists.
“Almost 70 percent of the star category hotels in all hill resorts are showing full occupancy for May and booking is at full speed for June,” a travel agent in Manali, Ramesh Kanwar, said. He added that lakhs of tourists have booked their hotels 2-3 months prior to their arrival to avoid any problem. “Though some hotels have blocked some rooms to let them to customers directly on the desk at full tariff cost but estimates say finding room in good hotels would not be an easy task for them,” he said.
Tourists are facing problem in hotel booking in Himachal
The frequent snowfall and rains on mountains that have maintained cold in neighbouring states of Himachal was causing delay in peak summer season here. Himachal Pradesh tourism development corporation (HPTDC) assistant general manager in Manali Mohan Lal Sharma said drop in temperature is preventing tourists feel like summer vacations and their hotels are recording occupancy up to 70 percent. “We have a good number of online booking for May and June and occupancy rate would definitely rise after May 15,” he adds.
Around 20 percent visitors to Himachal are only from Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi who frequently visits hill stations of the state. Travel experts say these visitors don’t believe in advance booking and expected to wander hotel to hotel in search of room. “Number of hotels in Dalhousie, Dharamshala, Shimla and Manali has almost doubled in last 10 years but number of visitors too has increased many folds. Most of the hotels have opened their booking offices in metro cities from where they get booking done many weeks before tourists’ arrival. In such conditions, those who are looking for star category hotels may have to be satisfied with budget hotel,” another travel expert, Dhani Thakur, said.
Himachal attracted more than 1.5 crore tourists, including 4.85 lakh foreign tourists in 2011.