MANALI: Those who are bored of staying in conventional hotel rooms and want to experience some thrill and adventure can stay in a room entirely made of snow and ice. Available only in a few countries, the stay in an igloo is now available in Manali as well.
This is the third consecutive year that tourists will be able to enjoy their stay in igloo in Manali. Two youth – Tashi and Vikas – who introduced igloo concept in the country for tourism purpose have again built the igloos near Sethan villae in Hamta valley next to Manali, at an altitude of about 9,000ft. Heavy snowfall in the area and dip in temperature offered positive environment to make igloos.
A large number of snow lovers and adventure enthusiasts made beeline to get chance of staying in igloo in last two seasons. Not only tourists but also local residents are thronging Sethan forest to see the igloos. Abnormally high temperature in winters had posed some challenges before the youth as snow was melting very fast. As mercury is perfectly indicating freezing temperature, igloos are of great quality.
Tashi Dorje, owner of Manali Igloo Stay, said the temperature is favourable for igloos which will not melt until end of February or mid March. “We expect to get more snow so that tourists get chance to stay in igloos till end of March. We had a great response from tourists in the very first year of introduction of igloos in the country. The booking is open and we are ready to welcome the adventure enthusiasts this year too.”
The igloo is equipped with bedding, table, lightings and all other essentials required to make stay cozy and memorable.
As nobody knew the technique of building igloo, Tashi and his friends took help from youtube videos. Tashi says he has not got expertise in the technique. “We make blocks of snow and join them to give shape to structure. The inside temperature is much higher than outside. We have made the structure stable which is quite safe,” he said.
The tourists can also enjoy skiing, snowboarding and other snow activities just outside the igloo. The guests are provided with blankets, sleeping bags, special snow dresses, meal and skiing kit. Tourists can also try building their own igloo. The beautiful road and path to the igloo site itself mesmerize the visitors.
The concept of igloo had come into my mind many years ago but I could not execute my plan, Tashi said, adding that this is third year in row that he has offered igloo stay in Manali. “We gave it a try in 2017 and we have received an extraordinary response. This is completely eco-friendly concept and foreigners are promoting igloo stay for years. It does not require timber or any construction material. Everywhere is just snow which will melt away itself. Person staying in igloo finds itself so close to the nature.”
Igloo stays are generally available in countries like Finland, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Canada. The youths here are the first to promote igloo stay in the country. The location is also beautiful. The only problem is that the road to the site generally gets blocked after snowfall and only four-wheel drive vehicles can reach there.