With an aim to provide tourists with a unique and eco-friendly adventure sports experience, Himachal government has established a “sky cycling” park at an altitude of 9,300ft at Gulaba, just below Rohtang pass.
Officials believe tourists will make a beeline to experience cycling at the park which is perhaps the world’s highest sky-cycling park at such an altitude. Tourists would be able to run the bicycle on 350m-long metal cable while getting a 360 degree view of Rohtang pass, snow-clad Dhauladhar, and Pir Panjal range and Beas river. To ensure maximum safety of the visitors, the activity is being developed under the supervision of Manali based Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (ABVIMAS).
The government is developing a “Prakriti Vatika” at Gulaba where forest department is spending lakhs of rupees. The vatika (garden) spread over a vast area has hundreds of trees of different species including pine, deodar, maple and Himalayan horse chestnut. Forest department is planting more species to make the garden unique and beautiful. The sky-cycling trek is being developed inside the prakriti vatika.
ABVIMAS director Col Neeraj Rana on Thursday did a successful trial of sky cycling here along with the divisional forest officer Dr Neeraj Chadha. The cycling cable at some points is over 70f above the ground. Some local youth are being trained to operate this activity by the institute. The activity is expected to open for tourists by October.
Officials said a 450m-long zip line, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trek, kids play area, picnic area, walking trail, yoga and meditation area, a waterfall, shopping area, camping site, snow games, rappelling, toilets and many other activities are also being developed inside the prakriti vatika. While some activities will be operated in winter season during snowfall, others can be enjoyed in rest of the time of the year.
Gulaba remains out of reach between December and May due to very heavy snowfall. Over 10ft of snow accumulates here. No activity would be possible during this time. However, the lucky tourists can enjoy cycling in the sky while it would be snowing in the area between October and December.
Gulaba is 23km from Manali on Manali-Rohtang pass road. Gulaba is a famous tourist destination and a picnic spot.