The lush green beauty of Manali is reason enough for visitors to travel to this scenic area year after year. However, this popular hill station now has another added attraction to experience the best of its scenic surroundings.
To give a boost to tourists with an eco-friendly adventure sports experience, the Himachal government has established a “sky-cycling” park at an altitude of 9,300 ft. at Gulaba located 24 km. from Manali, just below Rohtang pass. Tourists will be able to run the bicycle on 350m- long metal cable with a 360 -degree view of the Rohtang pass, Pir Panjal range, Bees river and snow-clad Dhauladhar range.
This is India’s first-ever sky cycling park and will be accessible to tourists within a period of 15 days. The activity is being developed under the guidance of Manali based Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports(ABVIMAS) to ensure maximum safety measures. ABVIMAS director, Col. Neeraj Rana did a successful trial of the activity this week along with the divisional forest officer Dr Neeraj Chadha. The cycling cable at some points is almost 70 ft. above the ground. To generate employment opportunities for the youth, locals will be trained to provide service to the tourists.
The sky-cycling park is being developed inside “Pratika Vatika” at a cost of 13 lakhs. An initiative of the forest department, the Pratika Vatika is spread over a vast area with hundreds of trees including pine, maple, deodar and Himalayan horse chestnut. This park will also have a 450m- zip line, All-Terrain Vehicle(ATV), picnic area, kids play area, yoga and meditation area, walking trail, shopping area, campsite, snow games, rappelling and other essential facilities.
While some activities will be operational in the winter season during snowfall, others will be available in the rest of the year. With massive snow accumulation every year, Gulaba largely remains inaccessible between December- May and no activities are possible during this time. However, tourists can experience this during October-December when it starts snowing in the area.
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