Adventure Sports in India

For the unwavering adventure seeking Indian traveler.

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Zip lining over river Beas

Our big beautiful country offers us opportunities to indulge in quite a few adrenaline pumping adventures ! We are blessed with rivers, mountains, jungles and so much more, we just have to look beyond the regular touristy things to savour them. I have tried a lot of adventure sports all over the country and am recommending the ones I have personally done as you can see from the pics and not simply by googling 🙂

River rafting

River rafting in the very turbulent Beas river

One of the best adventures possible with mighty rivers in our country is river rafting. The rapids are enough for your heart to jump to your mouth and still make you want more ! There are quite a few rivers where rafting is done, I can’t recommend one over another as I have done it in 4 places and loved them all equally.

  • River Ganges – Rishikesh, Uttaranchal
  • River Beas – Manali, HImachal Pradesh
  • River Zanskar and Indus – Leh, Ladakh
  • River Teesta – Sikkim
  • River Brahmaputra – Assam
  • River Alaknanda and Bhagirathi – Uttaranchal

There are others rivers where rafting is offered but these in my experience offer the best rapids. There are plenty of rafting operators sitting besides the river near the best available stretches and you can strike a bargain with them. Alternatively there are many small tour operators online and offline which arrange for the rafting and can be booked in advance.

COST – It costs usually Rs 800- Rs 1000 per person, you can negotiate if you have more people in your group or want to do it more than once.

POINTS TO REMEMBER – Do check the water levels before embarking on this adventure. It’s not a good idea to go rafting in rainy seasons with chances of rivers flooding very high. Also check the safety jackets and ensure they are fastened properly. I have seen rafts overturning and the whirlpools sucking in the best of swimmers !

PARA GLIDING 

My kids kitted out for their jumps

There is nothing more exhilarating than running and jumping off a mountain with the parachute bellowing behind you providing you with the safety net you need to enjoy the flight and breaking into Una Paloma Blanca, I’m just a bird in the sky ! There are many places to do para jumping but the best is undoubtedly in Bir, Billing at a majestic 8500 ft with views of snow clad mountains.

  • Bir, Billing – Himachal Pradesh – Known for the first ever para gliding world cup, this should be on top of the list.
  • Solang Valley – Himachal Pradesh
  • Nainital – Uttaranchal
  • Panchgani – Maharashtra
  • Kamshet, Pavana – Maharashtra

COST – The higher and longer flights at Bir, Billing start at Rs 3000 and the tamer ones at Pavana or Kamshet vary from Rs 800 – Rs 1000.

POINTS TO REMEMBER – This requires complete co-operation by the weather Gods. Some destinations offer para gliding through out the year but the ones in Himachal Pradesh depend on the season and the wind conditions. The best season for paragliding is from February to June, and from September to November.

PARA SAILING

yup, that’s me !

The opposite of paragliding is equally exciting ! Many people confuse paragliding with parasailing but one involves jumping from a higher place to the ground and another involves sailing off the water into the sky and coming back down. I have done it in the wildly popular Goa as well as the exclusive Pykara lake in Tamil Nadu and they are at par if not better than the international destinations I have tried !

  • Goa (mostly Baga beach)
  • Kovalam – Kerala
  • Pykara lake – Tamil Nadu (Exclusively for the Armed Forces)

COST – Varies from Rs 600 to Rs 1000 depending on the duration and number of people.

POINTS TO REMEMBER – This too requires ideal wind conditions and can be done only in non-monsoon seasons so plan accordingly.

ZORBING

Zorbing in Khajjiar

I was first introduced to the concept of zorbing around 8 years back after seeing a documentary on zorbing in New Zealand and dismissed it as something I would never get to do in India ! To my surprise I did find the sport in India, some very simple, almost lame and some truly exhilarating ! Imagine the thrill of being strapped inside a huge ball and then being pushed down a slope on a hill 🙂 .

  • Khajjiar – Himachal Pradesh – Very slow and unexciting, try it only if you have never tried it before and will not get a chance to do it again
  • Solang Valley – Himachal pradesh – The best I have seen so far in India !
  • Malls all across the country have the aqua zorbing which is pretty rubbish in my opinion and only for kids !

COST – Varies from Rs 100 for the mall variety to Rs 800 for the truly adrenaline pumping adventure.

POINTS TO REMEMBER – Do not do it if you have any serious back or neck ailments.

ZIP LINING ( FLYING FOX)

My son zip lining in Solang valley

Zip lining or flying fox has become pretty popular now and is available at many places. Mountain states are full of these adventures as the views are breath taking and many pass over rivers where you get the chance to dip in the water.

  • Solang Valley – Himachal Pradesh
  • Nainital – Uttaranchal
  • Neemrana – Rajasthan
  • Mussoorie – Uttarakhand
  • Rishikesh – Uttarakhand
  • Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur – Rajasthan
  • Dawki – Meghalaya (This is probably the best in the entire list ! )

COST – Varies from Rs 200 – Rs 400

POINTS TO REMEMBER – Do look into the safety equipment as I have seen a child getting smashed into a tree at full speed in Solang Valley ! Inquire and understand the stopping mechanism in case you need to stop.

TREKKING 

After a day long trek at Gaumukh glacier, me behind the lens clicking my trekking partner, my husband.

Trekking has become a popular activity in India with mighty Himalayas, Sahyadris, Nilgiris and many more offering the perfect opportunity to connect with mother nature away from the trappings of the city life we are chained to. There are many popular treks all across India, am listing a few I have done personally and enjoyed.

  • Gangotri to Gaumukh and Tapovan – Uttarakhand
  • Triund – Himachal Pradesh
  • Valley of flowers and Hemkund Sahib – Uttarakhand
  • Kedarnath – Uttarakhand
  • Remote valleys in J & K

There are many more which I haven’t done yet but are on my ‘To Do List’

  • Roopkund – Uttarakhand
  • Hampta Pass – Himachal Pradesh
  • Chadar Trek – Ladakh

COST – Varies greatly from Rs 3000 – Rs 30000 depending on number of days, the type of tents/accommodation/tour company chosen.

POINTS TO REMEMBER – Check the level of difficulty if you are trying trekking for the first time and your level of fitness. It’s difficult to turn around and come back midway, so ensure you are physically and mentally fit to undertake a multi day trek. Do carry AMS medication for high altitude treks.

UNDERWATER SPORTS

Yours truly !

Our country having a huge coastline and crystal clear water of the Indian Ocean offers amazing under water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving and under water walks. Though the truly spectacular ones are limited mostly to the Andamans and Lakshadweep Islands, they are worth trying for sure !

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • Lakshadweep
  • Tarkarli – Maharashtra
  • Varkala – Kerala
  • Goa
  • Cochin – Kerala

COST – Starts from Rs 4000 and varies depending on number of dives and certification if any.

KAYAKING

My husband teaching the kids how to Kayak.

Kayaking can be a relaxing sport if done in a calm lake or can get adrenaline pumping sport if done in turbulent waters of a gushing river. It’s a delight to see the oars moving in unison and cutting across the flow of water.

  • Palolem beach – Goa
  • Kerala backwaters
  • Rishikesh
  • Rivers like Zanskar in ladakh, Brahmaputra in Assam, Teesta in Sikkim and Beas in HImachal pradesh
  • Andamans

COST – Varies from Rs 100 per person in let’s say a lake in Nainital to Rs 500 in Andamans.

THINGS TO REMEMBER – Remember to put on a secure safety jacket as the kayak is very narrow and can overturn while maneuvering turns especially for first timers.


I hope this inspires to embark on one or two adventures 🙂 .

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