Gone are those days when traveling means sightseeing only. Yes, sightseeing and escaping boredom are the main objectives while going on a trip. But adventure activities now often occupy a place in thrill seeker’s tour plans too.
Snow-covered lofty mountains, seas stretching to the horizon, fast-flowing rivers, deserts, cliffs, gorges, forests enrich India’s topography. This much versatility of landscape all over India makes perfect ground for adventure sports and activities.
Favored by the youths, these activities can be carried out by anyone from teens to young olds.
There are numerous adventure places in India operating different kinds of thrill sports for daredevils. Here, in this article, I am introducing you to the 10 most popular among all.
Riding on an inflatable raft, sailing through the downstream of a turbulent river is river rafting. The gradient of riverbeds, big boulders, tricky turns along the way a river flows, make rapids of different grades which host this adventure sport.
This is one of the most daring and riveting adventure activities which demands physical exertion and a joint effort of all team members. This recreational outdoor sport arouses fun, awe, and a sense of inclusion within its participants.
River rafting in Rishikesh is one of the world-famous water sports in Uttarakhand. The river Ganga in Rishikesh offers multiple stretches like Shivpuri, Brahmapuri, Kaudiyala as routes for rafting. Other than this, rafting in Zanskar river in Ladakh, Brahmaputra river in Arunachal Pradesh (18 days long rafting expedition from Tuting to Pasighat), white water rafting in the Kundalika river of Kolad, Maharashtra, and the Kali river rafting in Dandeli, Karnataka offers unmatchable rafting experience.
Bungee is a strong and robust nylon cased band made of rubber. Bungee jumping is an adventure activity where the bungee rope is fastened in the ankle of the person partaking in the activity and he or she then jumps from a platform fixed at a large height. Bungee jumping can also be performed from moving helicopters or air balloons.
The experience of free falling from a height is fear inducing initially but at the same time, insanely rewarding as your adrenaline rushes down your vein and you feel like a shooting star.
In India, Rishikesh is famous and most known for bungee jumping adventure sports. Besides Rishikesh, New Delhi, Goa, Bangalore, Jagdalpur, Lonavala in Maharashtra are some places where this sports facility is available.
Trekking and Camping
Trekking is a well-known adventure sport that involves walking along a rough hilly trail to explore the area and enjoy natural bounty.
Trekking routes often lead to snow-covered mountain peaks, high altitude lakes, and valleys, or remote areas. From a greenhorn person to an expert, this activity is suitable for everyone depending upon how difficult the trail actually is.
Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Ladakh where the great Himalayan range stands- are home to most of the trekking trails in India. Some of these trails are less arduous and some of them are risky and strenuous. The Nilgiri hills and the western ghats of South India are the other two places where trekking takes place.
Camping is an outdoor activity often followed after a whole day of trekking, rafting, hiking, or kayaking. Camping is setting up a tent under the open sky to spend the night generally away from the hustle-bustle of city life. It allows connecting soul with mother nature and heals it in the process. The closeness camping offers us with nature and wildlife is incredible.
Paragliding is smoothly gliding through the air with the help of a specially designed parachute. Flying free like a bird in the sky is everybody’s childhood dream. Paragliding may help this dream come true.
The person flying with the paraglider sits on a harness suspended from the edges of the parachute (Paraglider) and the paraglider is controlled by the wing lines connected with the seat from the glider itself.
Anyone can do paragliding if he or she is in shape and is well trained because this recreational sport is physically and mentally demanding.
The most famous spot for paragliding is Bir Billing in Palampur, Himachal Pradesh. Nandi hills near Bangalore is another location. Paragliding is one of the best adventure sports in Manali for the spectacular view of the surroundings while floating in the sky. Kamshet near Mumbai, Gangtok in Sikkim, Mussoorie, Nainital, Ranikhet, and Bedni Bugyal on the trail of Roopkund trek in Uttarakhand also offers paragliding.
Skiing is an ice sport and a competitive activity. A thin, long, and flat piece of fiberglass or plastic called ski is attached with the heels of the skier which helps to slide on the ice. Earlier a mode of transportation in the cold arctic area of Northern Europe skiing has gained worldwide popularity now.
Pahalgam, Gulmarg in Jammu & Kashmir, Solang Nallah, Kufri, Narkandai in Himachal Pradesh, Munsiyari, Auli, Dayara Bugyal of Uttarakhand are the best known as skiing spots. Skiing as snow sports in Manali, Himachal Pradesh attracts lots of tourists to the region.
Rappelling is climbing down a steep rock or cliff by fastening a rope tightly on the top of the cliff. Rappelling is useful to cover those parts of a mountain trail which cannot be walked or trekked.
Rappelling is surely not for the faint-hearted as here one needs to trek to the top of a rock face or cliff and then descend straight while hanging on to the rope.
However, rappelling is done across waterfalls too, known as water rappelling. Chelavara waterfalls in Karnataka, Bekare waterfalls, Kondana caves waterfalls, Madap waterfalls in Maharashtra are some of the places offering water rappelling.
Rappelling is one of the adventure sports in Rishikesh, where mountain and water rappelling both are performed. Sikkim has several locations with waterfalls for this activity. Rappelling is one of the Manali water sports too. The jogini waterfalls in Manali is a spot revered for this adrenaline-pumping activity.
In this strange yet fun sport two transparent and robust plastic balls are mounted one inside another and the whole set up is inflated to accommodate one to three participants. Operators then push the ball with passengers inside and it rolls down the slope. Water zorbing is another version of zorbing where the ball floats on water and the person taking part can walk, jump, dance, or run on the water surface.
Zorbing is one of the best adventure sports in Kullu Manali, especially in Manali. The Della adventure park near Lonavala, Maharashtra offers water, aqua, and roller zorbing, respectively.
In New Delhi, India Gate and Purana Qila are the two famous zorbing destinations. Pahalgam in Kashmir also offers zorbing.
Rock climbing is another adventure sport of ascending or descending a naturally formed rock face or artificially structured rock wall. It takes place with ropes and special tools crafted exclusively for the activity.
The sport needs a climber to be physically fit and mentally strong cause it tests the climber’s endurance and nimbleness.
Malshej ghat- a mountain pass in the Western ghats of Maharashtra is an apt site for rock climbing. Hampi in Karnataka is a world heritage site and has a perfect rock structure to host this sport. Jammu and Kashmir’s Shey Rock, New Delhi’s Lado Sarai are two sites where beginners can give it a try. Miyar valley and Parvati valley of Himachal Pradesh are other two well-known locations.
Like in paragliding where one experiences flying like a bird, zip-lining also makes one feel the thrill and excitement of flight in the open air. Two destination points on different heights are set up and are connected with a cable and pulley system. The pulley and a harness attach and secure the person with the wire. The journey is by sliding from the higher point to the lower point under the influence of gravity.
Generally, these two points are set up on the two sides of gorges, between a forest or canyons which make the experience one of a kind with breathtaking panoramic views.
Shivpuri near Rishikesh, Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, Munnar in Kerala, Kerwa Dam in Madhya Pradesh, Kolad in Maharashtra are some of the adventure places in India for zip lining.
Canoeing and Kayaking
Canoeing and kayaking are two interesting watersports in Uttarakhand and some other Himalayan states in India that recently developed popularity. Both of these two use almost similar looking boats with a slight difference in structure. Canoe boats are pointed towards both sides and have open and uncovered decks whereas Kayaks have closed and covered decks. Kayaks are lightweight and faster while Canoes offer more stability and are suitable to be paddled over slowly moving water.
Whitewater canoeing and kayaking are no less adventurous than the rest of the sports mentioned here. Like rafting, Kayaking maneuvers the speed and navigation with a double blade and Canoeing with a single blade. Open to more flexibility kayaking and some modern canoeing takes place in white water rapids, rivers, waterfalls, and even seas.
Rivers widely known for water sports such as Zanskar in Ladakh, Ganga in Rishikesh, Mandvi in Goa, Teesta in Sikkim, the Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh, and backwaters of Kerala are the Canoeing and Kayaking destinations of India.
Author’s Bio: Deepabali Saha is a content writer at Moxtain. She lives in a beautiful town in West Bengal and is an Electronics and Communication Engineer from MAKAUT, Kolkata, West Bengal. Her passion for doing something creative and appealing with words has led her to be a content writer. She has learned and practiced Indian classical music and Rabindrasangeet for a decade starting from her childhood.