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Monday, 21 November 2011

ice Skating Starts in Shimla


With the onset of winter, ice skating enthusiasts in Shimla are rubbing their hands in glee. They can start skating sessions in Shimla’s natural ice skating rink, the onely one of its kind in Asia. The Ice Skating Club was founded in 1920. This year it is planning to conduct more sessions by starting earlier than in previous years. Dropping Temperatures : The dropping temperatures have led to the formation of a thin ice sheet in the rink, which has a natural clay surface. The club officials sprinkle water on this surface which freezes naturally. The sky needs to be clear for the temperature to plummet down to the desired levels. High humidity is required for the water to start freezing quickly.Origin of the Rink : The natural ice rink was set up by an Irish military official called Blessington. He discovered a frozen bucket of water outside his house, which gave him the idea of creating a skating rink. So, he created a small rink of his own. Blessington also taught his Indian servants how to sprinkle water on the rink’s natural clay surface, so that it freezes in cold weather.Skating Charges and Timings :The club record for hosting sessions is 165 in 1960-61. Last year, there were77 sessions. Ice skating enthusiasts are warming up to the prospects of skating again in this famous rink. The clubcharges a nominal fee of Rs 600 for a child and Rs 1,200 for an adult for the whole season. Tourists can also skateby paying Rs 100 for a single session. Skates are provided by the club.There are two daily sessions. The morning one is from 8 to 11 a.m. The evening hours are 5.30 to 8 p.m. But, these sessions depend on the formation of ice. In 2000, the first national ice skating champ

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