Adventure Tourism in India takes you to a world where fear and adrenaline rush go hand in glove! From river rafting down some of the most ferocious rapids in Rishikesh, to enjoying a camel safari in the Thar desert or scuba diving in the colorful world of coral reefs underneath the blue waters of Andaman and Lakshadweep. From enjoying a bike ride on Khardung La in Ladakh; one of the highest motorable roads in the world to trekking the Himalayas or paragliding and wind surfing, India’s diverse topography and geography offer some of the best adventure sports that can test and stimulate your senses and determination to challenge and conquer your fears! Adventure holidays in India are not only meant for die-hard fans of adventure and excitement, but can also be experienced by those who wish to try out something different from the regular vacationing.
Some of the popular adventure activities in India are listed below:
Trekking in India is phenomenal with the kind of topography that the country is blessed with. The stretch of the Indian Himalaya from the great lakes of Jammu and Kashmir to the oldest monastery in Arunachal Pradesh, bring forth a celestial territory taking you into a world of beauty where towering snowcapped peaks, shifting moraines, crystal blue lakes, untamed rivers, pre-historic traces, remote villages and vast ecospheres lie. Some of the popular trekking trails are listed below:
Ladakh – Frozen Zanskar river trek (Chadar trek), Stok Kangri trek, Markha valley trek, Snow leopard trek, Nubra valley trek, Sham valley trek
Himachal Pradesh – Chandra Tal Trek, Bhrigu Lake Trek, Beas Kund Trek, Malana Trek, Miyar Valley Trek.
Uttarakhand – Roopkund Trek, Nanda Devi Base Camp Trek, Dodital Trek, Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib Trek, Malari-Milam Trek.
Sikkim and North Bengal – Dzongri Goechala Trek, Sandakphu-Phalut Trek.
Meandering roads and abundant scenic beauty makes India a famous motorbiking destination in South-East Asia. India has a variety of circuits for motorbiking. One can ride on the craggy paths of Ladakh or down the classic heritage dunes of Rajasthan or better still down to the dreamy coastline of south India. Himalaya, Rajasthan, Goa, Kerala, Uttarakhand and North-East India are some of the famous circuits to motorbike in India. Biking allows you to explore the length and breadth of the country, your way! Passing ancient roads, mingling with the locals in different states of India and witnessing timeless, cultural celebrations, life styles and languages, can be a very intriguing life time experience.
Nothing can compare to the adrenaline rush one gets, gushing through the rapids on a raft. The turbulent waters of ferocious rivers flowing down from the high altitudes of the imposing Himalayan Range, can be counted among the best destinations for river rafting in the World. There are myriad destinations, which serve as a haven for rafting freaks such as Rishikesh, Zanskar, Ladakh, Sikkim, Darjeeling, etc. On the contrary, the major rivers rendering a perfect rafting expedition are Ganges, Alaknanda, Satluj, Brahmaputra, Indus, Tons, Sharda, Teesta, Zanskar, Bhagirathi, and Barapole. India’s rapids range from Grade I to Grade V. Rishikesh is known as the rafting capital of India as it offers rapids varying from easy to strenuous. This destination suits all types of rafters from experienced to novices. Brahmaputra river also offers enthralling opportunity to rafters. However, the expeditions like Zanskar river rafting expedition or Brahmaputra river rafting expedition requires sound expertise, as the rivers consist of challenging rapids.
Peak and Mountain Climbing
The delight of climbing high peaks and mountains is a resplendent experience of a lifetime. India offers an imperative array of mountaineering opportunities for peak climbers. Apart from the excitement and challenges thrown up by the terrain, the picturesque surroundings and pleasant weather make India’s peak climbing a popular and fun activity. Peaks and mountains like Shivlinga, Mt. Nanda Devi, Satopanth, Kamet, Bhagirathi Peak, Bandarpunch, Chaukhamba, Kedar Dome, Trishul, Deo Tibba, Indrasan, Kharcha Parbat, Frey Peak, Dom Khang, Nun Kun, Kang Yatse, Saser Kangri, Padmanabha and Tughmo Zarpo are some of the peaks in India for trekking enthusiasts to explore. Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Jammu and Kashmir act as great places for climbers to kick-start their adrenaline rush. Each of these peaks offer a perfect setting and topographical condition that every mountaineer can hope for. The Himalayas are however what mountaineers always dream to conquer. The Himalaya is divided into three categories, each section offering different geographical challenges and degrees of strenuousness for climbers. Greater or the upper Himalaya is a home of the largest mountains, with an altitude of more than 6100 m. Lesser or lower Himalaya is a home of mountains that range from 3700 m to 4500 m. Lastly is the Outer or Sub Himalaya, generally lie in the range of 900 m -1200 m. The outer sub-Himalaya forms an arc shape that has a width of 250-400 km, covering a portion of Pakistan, India, China, Nepal and Bhutan.
While Mountaineering, the following things are essential for your safety
- Map, compass in order not to get lost
- Matches (fire starter)
- Knife or multi-purpose camp tool
- Sunglasses,first aid kit, sunscreen
- Headlamp and whistle as a crucial security item to keep handy when exploring unpredictable terrain.
Jeep safaris not only refresh and revitalize but also helps one connect with nature while driving through the quiet and beautiful countryside, the jungle trails in various national parks or the sand dunes of the Thar desert. Drive through rugged trails, challenging terrains and stop wherever your heart desires. Some of the favourite destinations to indulge in jeep safaris are Ladakh, Dharamshala, Lahaul, Spiti, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Rajasthan. The average daily travel is about 150 km, approximately five to six hours of jeep driving.
India, the land encompassing the majestic Himalayas, is a paramount destination for ski lovers. India has ample ski destinations that are popular all over the World for ski adventure holidays. Gulmarg and Pahalgam in Jammu and Kashmir are a paradise for skiing enthusiasts. Many other places in the country like Manali, Solang Nala, Auli, Kufri, Narkanda and Rohtang are some of the awe-inspiring ski destinations. The gigantic open areas, snow covered mountains and the breathtaking elevation of skiing gradients in India are sufficient to drive up the adrenaline in every ski aficionado.
Camel Safari In India
Deserts have an irresistible charm, the landscape inspiring different emotions in different people. A novel way to discover the desert, this is certainly a unique experience that one will remember a lifetime. Camel safaris trace their origins to the time of trade between India and China, when camel caravans would journey along established trade routes laden with spices, herbs and jewels. They provide an opportunity to get a glimpse of traditional Indian life in the desert, with all the hardships, the beauty and the desolation. Camel safaris can be done in Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. The desert circuit can vary from one day to two weeks. Route navigation in the desert is an acquired art, and caravans must be manned by riders who not only know how to study the stars, but also recognise the shifting sands of the terrain. A camel safari is exciting, but is not exactly a relaxing vacation. Always remember to cover your whole body in light cotton clothes as the desert is scorching hot and carry sufficient water to avoid dehydration.
If you’ve ever had the desire to fly like a bird, then Hang gliding is one of the most exciting solutions. A hang glider is a non-motorized, foot-launched wing. A hang glider has a rigid frame maintaining the shape of the wing, with the pilot usually flying in a prone position.
Hang gliders are controlled by shifting the pilot’s weight with respect to the glider. Pilots are suspended from a strap connected to the glider’s frame. By moving forward and backward and side to side at the end of this strap, the pilot alters the center of gravity of the glider. This then causes the glider to pitch or roll in the direction of the pilot’s motion and thus allows both speed control and turning. Hang gliding in India can be experienced in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Shimla, Devlali and Kalaheti. India has good thermal soaring effects during the summer months, and offers hill soaring almost round the year, the soaring in the winter months-although too static-is also good for hang-gliding.
Polo owes its origin to the British, even though it was first played in India. An erstwhile passion of the royal families – some, like the former ruler of Udaipur, still patronise it – the game is now largely a preserve of the men in uniform, played in metres and cantonment lawns. Matches are usually organised in the winter season.
Fishing & Angling
With plenty of coastline, lakes, ponds, rivers and other inland waterways, India is an ideal destination for all kinds of angling and fishing holidays. Expanded over a distance more than 7500 km long, the clean and clear Indian coastline offers excellent opportunities to anglers who are looking for places to fish all year round. The clean water of raging rivers and their tributaries provide a perfect angling and fishing place surrounded with abundant natural beauty. Right from the splendid Himalayan valleys, high altitude lakes, snow-fed streams to the wide coastal stretches of the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, the country has a wide range of adventurous setting to meet the growing demands and expectations of the anglers. India is home to a wide variety of fish, like trout, shark and the mahseer. The mahseer is the hardest species of fish to find in the world and is only found in India.