Himachal govt sets up highest gym at Kaza in Spiti valley

Published on Jul 16, 2022 10:55 PM IST

Part of initiative to improve facilities for residents, particularly youngsters, in remote Lahaul-Spiti district

The gym, with equipment worth <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>10 lakh, has been set up at the sports complex at Kaza and is aimed at promoting fitness among local youngsters. (HT Photo)
The gym, with equipment worth 10 lakh, has been set up at the sports complex at Kaza and is aimed at promoting fitness among local youngsters. (HT Photo)
By, Shimla

The Himachal Pradesh government has set up a gym at Kaza, the headquarters of the scenic Spiti valley, at an altitude of 12,000 feet, claiming it to be the highest gym in the world.

The gym, with equipment worth 10 lakh, has been set up at the sports complex at Kaza and is aimed at promoting fitness among local youngsters.

“The gym is the highest in the world. We are in the process of getting it verified by the Guinness Book of World Records,” says state tribal development minister Ram Lal Markanda.

“Youngsters of the area will get an opportunity to spend time in physical activity rather getting drawn to an unhealthy lifestyle, including addiction to electronic gadgets and substance abuse. Besides keeping residents fit, it will help visitors get acclimatised to the high-altitude region,” said the minister.

Over the past few years, the tribal regions of Himachal Pradesh have seen all-around development but reduced physical activity. Local residents complain that lifestyle diseases, such as heart ailments, blood pressure and diabetes, that were earlier unheard of in this cold desert are now surfacing.

“The setting up of the gym is good. It will channelise the energy of youngsters, who are otherwise addicted to electronic gadgets,” says a 65-year-old local resident, Dolma, who goes by one name. “The government is encouraging women also to use the facility,” she adds.

The government hopes that better facilities in the tribal district will bring down the incidence of winter migration. For decades, residents of Lahaul and Spiti district used to remain cut off from the rest of the world due to snowfall at Rohtang Pass that connected the valley with the outside world. With the opening of the Atal Tunnel at the pass, the trend has reversed. The government organised a winter carnival at Spiti last winter apart from national ice-skating and ice hockey championships to promote winter sports among tribal youngsters.

Record reckoner

*Atal Tunnel under the Rohtang Pass on the Manali-Leh highway is the world’s longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet. It is the longest highway single-tube tunnel above 10,000 feet with a length of 9.02km.

*The world’s highest post office, housed in a letterbox-shaped building, was recently renovated at Hikkim village in Spiti valley at a height of 14,567 feet.

*Situated at 15,500 feet, Komic in Spiti is the highest village in the world to be connected with a motorable road.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gaurav Bisht heads Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. He covers politics in the hill state and other issues concerning the masses.

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