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Rock Climbing Himalaya
Apart from the superb opportunities on offer in the Himalaya, there are several good climbing sites all over India. However, the sport is not commercially well-developed, and few foreigners travel to India to climb. The best source for information is the Indian Rock and Sport Climbing Federation in New Delhi, tel: (91-11) 579 4367, fax: (91-11) 579 8004.
Unsurprisingly, the best climbing sites in India are in the Himalaya. As the weather is cooler here, you can climb during most of the year, except in the rainy season from July to October. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, located at Darjeeling, is the ideal starting point. Two other institutes located at Manali and Uttarkashi also offer near-endless climbing possibilities.
One of the oldest mountain ranges in the world — the Aravali Hill Range – runs through Rajasthan and has some fabulous volcanic rock formations. The warm-up climbs here are a convenient two-hour drive from Delhi.The State Mountaineering Institute at Sadhna Bhawan at Mount Abu offers basic training in rock climbing safety and skills.
There are also a host of climbing opportunities in the south of India. In Karnataka there’s good rock around Bangalore, but the best sites are the magnificent granite outcrops in Hampi. The boulders here range from 4m to 100m and are spread over an area of 14sq km. Along the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra two sites in particular Mumbra Boulders and Manori Rocks — are great for beginners.
Climbing in the south of India is best attempted during the winter months, as the summer heat can be unbearable and climbing during the monsoon is pretty much impossible.