Ice Skating

Ice skating is a popular recreational sport in many cold places. In India’s cold places too, in the northern part, ice skating was and is still popular. And it is from these places that indoor ice skating rinks also permeated into the urban cities. Though a majority of people in India may consider ice skating a novelty, it is actually a very common activity during the winters in the cold places of India. The cold and freezing weather during winters in places like Ladakh, Kashmir and the snowy places in Himachal Pradesh, creates an environment that is conducive to ice skating. India’s tropical climate in the rest of the country hinders the pervasiveness of ice skating all over the country.

Outdoor ice skating rinks of Ladakh, Kashmir and Shimla are very popular among locals tourists as well as ice skating enthusiasts. These outdoor skating rinks have one of the most breath-taking views. Situated at far above from the sea level, these Himalayan locations give a panoramic view from the top of the hills. These outdoor skating rinks are also one of the highest outdoor skating rinks in the world.

Shimla can be considered the most popular destination for ice skating in India. An ice skating festival is held every year in Shimla during the winters.

Ice Skating in India

Outdoor Ice Skating

There are four outdoor ice skating rinks that are maintained by state governments’ tourism departments. Though there will be several frozen lakes on which one can skate, not all are safe and hence not recognized as outdoor skating rinks by the government. Being recognized as outdoor skating rinks means that they are absolutely safe and there will be other safety arrangements made for skaters. Those who are novices in skating must only go to these official skating rinks.

All in all, there are four recognised skating rinks spread over in two states. In Jammu and Kashmir, the skating rinks are located in parts of Kashmir- Gulmarg, Leh (Ladakh) and Kargil. In the state of Himachal Pradesh there is only one skating rink- in Shimla.

Best Time for Outdoor Ice skating

The season for outdoor ice skating is relatively short in India compared to other places. Even the cold temperate climate zones in India are not suitable for year round ice skating. The ice skating period lasts two months- in December and January. Kargil, being a strategic area, is only open to tourists at specific times. Here too, the ice skating season lasts from December to January.

Indoor Ice Skating

There are more indoor ice skating arenas than there are outdoor ice skating rinks in India. Cities like Mumbai, Kochi, Delhi and the prosperous Himalayan valley town of Dehra Dun are the locations that have indoor ice skating arenas. In Dehra Dun there is a 3000 seating capacity arena that is made according to Olympic regulations. This is the largest indoor ice skating arenas in India. Ice skating rinks in Mumbai can be found in two malls- Millennium mall and Neptune Magnet mall- and in one amusement park- Essel World. There are ice skating rinks in the national capital region of India. One is in Gurgaon’s Ambience mall and another is in Delhi’s Ambience mall. In Kochi, there is a small ice skating rink in the Lulu International mall.

Best Time for Indoor Ice skating

There is no best time for indoor ice skating. These ice skating rinks are open throughout the year.

Precaution During Ice Skating

Skating depends on four factors- roughness of the ice, the way the skating blades are made, skills of the skater and experience of the skaters. An inexperienced ice skater must always have an instructor in tow while skating.

Ice skating injuries are not very common in places where ice skating is very popular. However, it is always advisable for beginners to wear helmets and knee pads to prevent any concussion or facture after a fall. More serious injury is possible only during aggressive and complicated skating, like in ice hockey.

The real danger in outdoor ice skating is the breaking of ice and falling inside the freezing water below. It is very difficult for people to rise up from the water and out of the hole because of the fragility of the ice and the heaviness of the clothing. One can drown and freeze in the water. To prevent such accidents, one must avoid skating in the dark or even alone during the day. Other arrangements of nails and ice-claws will be made by the management team of the ice skating rink itself. Thus, it is better to go to a recognised ice skating arena.

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Ice Skating
Ice Skating
Ice Skating
Ice Skating
Ice Skating
Ice Skating

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