Gangtok, 06 Feb:
Adventure activities at the SGMI Rock Area at Selep Tank here under the ongoing Adventure Tourism Festival 2020 have been attracting a good number of adventure-seekers, especially students from schools and colleges.
The ten-day long festival, which was inaugurated by Tourism Minister, BS Panth, on 31 January, is being organized by Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure & Eco-Tourism [IHCAE], Chemchey, under Tourism & Civil Aviation Department.
Adventure activities like Tree Top Rope Course, Natural Rock Climbing, Zip Line Crossing, Hill Climbing and day and night camping have been underway at the SGMI Rock Area under the guidance of a team of instructors and experts from IHCAE.
More than 300 participants, mainly students from schools and universities, have registered for the various activities on offer.
Speaking to media persons at SGMI Rock Area on Thursday, IHCAE Deputy Director, Kazi Sherpa mentioned that ten activities under tree top canopy have been organised.
“These activities have been designed especially for disaster preparedness and safety during emergencies. Such activities are very important for young children and also to stay fit and healthy,” he said.
Mr Sherpa informed that activities like ladder climbing, traversing, commando bridge, zip line, net climbing, Burma bridge, swing, up ladder and suspension bridge were started on 02 February and will continue till 09 February.
“Such adventure activities are necessary for school students as most of the colleges here have already started adventure tourism in their curriculum and their students have to do at least 20 days of adventure activities,” he said.
He pointed out that children are occupied with electronic gadgets and unhealthy activities nowadays and this makes them physically weak hence such activities were necessary to make them stronger and more confident.
Mr Sherpa mentioned that the festival also includes a 14-day skiing course at the best skiing slope of the country at Gnathang in East Sikkim and an 80KM mountain biking expedition from Ganesh Tok to Luing in two categories - joyride and a two day ride which includes an overnight camp.
Thus far, eleven participants have registered for mountain biking and 28 of the 30 seats available for skiing have already been booked. He expressed that IHCAE plans to make this festival an annual event.
Sharing their experience of the adventure activities, students said that this has been a fun learning experience.
They added that these activities have helped them overcome their fears and build confidence. “We enjoyed ourselves and learned a lot and will definitely enrol again in future as well,” they said.