A few years ago, I overheard a couple of travellers talk about their adventure travels all around the world. They discussed the hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia, Turkey, sky diving over the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai and exotic scuba diving adventures in Australia. Without a speck of doubt, these are amazing adventures all over the world and a number of people flock to tick them off their list. And being an adventure traveller, I would love to do them all myself, if possible in India. But to be honest, that’s not realistic. Most of us have jobs bound to a location with monetary constraints. Hence the hunt for adventure travel destinations in India.
So, I started thinking if it is possible to do all those adventures in India. Considering the impressive range of geographical features in India, we should already have most of these adventures in India. And that’s how my hunt to unravel the adventure travel in India started. After reading and researching about adventure travel in India, I can assure you that you can tick off all the adventures affordably and without losing a lot of your leaves in India itself.
Yes, you read that right. From scuba diving to paragliding, from dune bashing to high altitude treks, all the adventures an adventure traveller looks for are available within India. So, pick up a pen and paper and start preparing your bucket list, because it’s gonna be one hell of an adventurous read ahead.
Trekking In India
Himalayas, Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats are home to some of the most incredible trekking trails in India. From the fortified hillocks around Bangalore and Pune to the high altitude treks in Uttarakhand, there is a trail for every kind of trekker and adventure lover. But there is one trek that is totally out of this world. One where you walk on a frozen river surrounded by a thick blanket of snow and canyon shaped valleys. Talking about trekking in India without talking about Chadark trek is a sin.
Chadar trek in Ladakh is one of those once in a lifetime adventures that will leave you speechless.
While I have done a handful of treks in western Ghats, I intend to scale more Himalayan peaks this year. Along with that, my dream trek after Kailash Mansarovar trek is definitely Chadar Trek. Which one is yours?
Wildlife Safaris In India
Riding into the jungle has never been easy, thanks to the jungle safaris organized in all major wildlife sanctuaries in India. Perhaps, jungle safaris are only second in line to trekking if you’re looking for ways to explore the wild.
And what’s a jungle safari if you didn’t have a close encounter with national animal of India (Tiger) or a black panther. Tiger spotting during a jungle safari reminds me of the Jim Corbett Safari in Uttarakhand.
Home to some exotic wildlife animals, this 13184 sq. km national park is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand. You can take a jeep safari that would take you to the entire national park. If you’re lucky enough, then you would encounter the royal Tiger of Jim Corbett. I have heard so many stories from travellers about the Jim Corbett national park and the wildlife encounters that this tops the list of Safaris I want to do in India.
Perhaps the second one would definitely be a safari ride into the Nagahole tiger reserve and spot more tigers. And if I am lucky enough, spot the elusive Black panther.
Bike Trips In India
Eyes glued to the road, wind in my hair, hands spread apart on a metallic rod and a thumping bike. For those of you who have been reading my blogs, my love for bike trips needs no introduction. But if there is one trip that I am so desperate to ride, that would be the Manali to Leh bike trip.
Until now, I’ve ridden through narrow ghat sections surrounded by lush green mountains. I’ve even ridden on roads that pass right by the beach. But the bike trip from Manali to Leh beats the other trips hands down. Imagine riding your bike through some of the most pristine mountain ranges in the WORLD. Imagine riding through the highest passes in the WORLD. And not just that, you’re constantly surrounded by snow-capped mountains, that it never gets boring. Such is the magic of the ride from Manali to Leh in India.
Every summer, many adventure travellers like myself, look forward to this epic travel adventure in India. And I just can’t wait to explore it myself and pen down the experience here on the blog.
Caving in India
Caving in India is one of the most under-explored adventures in India. Caves aren’t just some holes dug on the earth. They’re home to ancient culture and some impressive natural art. I’ve been to the Belum caves during my trip to Gandikota and I was surprised beyond words. Caves just make you realize that nature indeed is the greatest artist of all, perhaps second only to God (If he/she exists for you).
But the tales I heard about caving in Meghalaya are next level. Nestled in the Khasi and Jaintia Hills, these caves are some of the longest cave systems in the entire world. The Krem Mawmluh cave has a pool inside the caves and the spellbound beauty of rock formations and the stalagmites have no matching words to describe. It’s one of those magical places that you gotta experience all by yourself.
After hearing all the stories, am sure as hell excited to explore these cave systems. Are you?
Skiing In India
Ah! Winter is one of the most beautiful seasons on Earth. Covering the entire landscapes with a thick blanket of snow, it creates the perfect platform for a completely different sport. Although the Ski parks in Switzerland and France are some of the best in the world, the ski parks in India are no less.
One can experience the adrenaline rush of Skiing on the slopes of mighty Himalayas. Gulmarg in Jammu & Kashmir and Auli in Uttarakhand offer the best Skiing experience in India. The ski terrain offers panoramic views of the glacial slopes and a skiing adventure experience to amateurs and professionals alike.
To up the adrenaline rush a notch above, there are heli-skiing sports available on demand. In this, you get to jump out of a helicopter and ski down the slopes.
Isn’t that something you want to do? I can’t wait to do it.
Rock Climbing in Satpura & Badami
I remember talking to an avid rock climber based in Bengaluru. I told him, I’d much rather walk up to the peak of a mountain rather than risk my life climbing one with bare hands. He promptly replied, Inju not all mountains are created equal. There is a special breed of mountains that are accessible only by rock climbing and offer some impressive views of the landscapes around. Moreover, rock climbing is one sport that teaches you discipline, determination, strength and patience.
To my utter surprise, rock climbing has a dedicated association and adventure activity operators along with the Satpura ranges. What more? they also offer certification courses for you to become a professional and pass on the skill.
I mean you don’t even have to travel to Satpura or Badami, you can attempt rock climbing around Bangalore as well. How cool is that?
Dune Bashing in Jaisalmer
I’ve seen a number of video songs where an SUV just zips past sand dunes in Dubai. While I am impressed by the traction the vehicle is able to generate (troubles of being a mechanical engineer), I always wondered how the sand is able to provide so much traction. These puzzles make Dune bashing in a 4×4 SUV an exciting and must-do adventure for me.
And I thought I have to wait to go to Dubai to do this, but fortunately not anymore. In the middle of Thar Desert, near Sam dunes of Jaisalmer, there are Dune bashing rides available for adventure travellers. What’s best? Not only you get to do this in India, but you also get to do it at a lesser cost and time.
Now, this adventure sport is at a stone throw away from me but I still can’t wait to take some time off and explore this puzzling adventure travel activity in India.
Water-Based Adventures in India
Touted as the river rafting capital of India, Rishikesh is one of the most sought after River rafting destinations in the world. Experiencing the furious Ganges up close has never been possible until the rafting expeditions at Rishikesh.
In addition to Rishikesh, Manali in Kullu Valley and Dandeli down south in Karnataka are also some of the adventure travel destinations in India famous for river rafting.
So if you’re up for literally going with the flow, then head to any of the three destinations above and tick river rafting off your bucket list.
If you have done river rafting in Kullu or Dandeli or Rishikesh? Tell me all abbout it on Instagram.
Surfing in India
Crystal blue coasts, tanned bodies holding giant surfboards in hand. Did the image of a tropical paradise in South America or Hawaii flash in front of your eyes after reading it? Then you’ll be glad to find out that you don’t have to rush to South America or Hawaii for surfing the waves.
Certainly I was surprised to find out that the the first surf school in India was setup at an overnight journey from Bengaluru. The Mantra surf school in Mangalore is the first surf school in India and is home to some of the best surfing guides and professionals in India.
They have programs for amateurs and professionals looking to learn Surfing. For me, this is one of the most exciting adventure travel trips to target in 2021.
What are you waiting for? Check out this site for more details.
Kayaking In India
If you’re not interested in the super-aggressive river rafting or Surfing but still love water sports adventures, then Kayaking is for you. The self-paced adventure is perfect if you want to spend a day out in the stillness of a river or a lake. You can go as fast as you wish to or just stop paddling and let the river take you to your destination. It was definitely one of the most relaxing adventure sport I did in my life. While there are a number of Kayaking spots in India, the most prominent ones are in Kerala and Karnataka.
Scuba Diving In India
All thanks to finding Nemo, it popularized the underwater adventure sport of Scuba Diving. With specialized equipment and guidance from professionals, this adventure sport takes you closer to the unwater wonderlands.
From spotting exotic fishes to drowning in the beauty of the corals, Scuba diving is bound to leave you speechless.
But you don’t have to wait till you save enough money for that trip to Australia to dive into deep seas. There are scuba diving spots in India along the southern coast. Malvan and Tarkarli in Maharashtra, Goa, Netrani Islands in Karnataka and the Andamans are some of the most sought after scuba diving spots in India. What are you waiting for? Dive right in.
Paragliding in Bir-Billing
Before attempting the paragliding adventure in Bir Billing, I wasn’t even remotely familiar with how it would be. But from that initial run down the hill, the sudden take off, the still flight surrounded by majestic Himalayan peaks to landing in Billing, it was truly a magical experience.
The houses, roads and vehicles become so tiny from up there that I wondered why we take so much pride in possessing them. For they’re nothing in front of the majestic mountains surrounding them.
Bir-Billing Village is located in Palampur district of Himachal Pradesh and offers a great adventurous experience of paragliding. Paragliding in Bir Billing is considered as the safest destination for paragliding in the world.
Hot Air Ballooning Adventure in Jaipur, India
Ever since I saw a picture of my colleagues rising up in Hot air balloons in Cappadocia, I wanted to do it. One, it is such a slow activity that gives enough time to let the surrounding views sink in. Secondly, you’re not too high nor too low, it is just the right height to give you a feel that you’re out in the middle between the heavens and the Earth.
So, I immediately started searching for an Indian alternative and thankfully, found the hot air balloon rides in Pushkar. So the next time, I crave for a hot air balloon ride, I know where I need to head to without burning a huge hole in my pocket.
Flying Fox Adventure – Kerala, India
This adventure is relatively unknown but most of us saw in one or the other Hollywood movies. You’re tied to a high lying rope that’s tied to the two opposite mountain tops. You swing from one end and reach the other and bingo! You’ve saved the world. 😛
This adventure sport is sure to pump up the adrenaline rush to an otherwise calm and laid back trip to Kerala. So, what’s stopping you from packing bags and saving the world? Let me know in the comments below.
Bungee Jumping in Rishikesh
Many of us dream of turning the world upside down, but only a few actually do it. oh! No am not talking about achieving something world-bending. Am talking about bungee jumping. And Rishikesh, my god, has one of the most adventurous bungee jumping spots in India. You’ll jump from more than 83 meters and experience the free fall.
You’ll have no other support except an elastic cord tied to your legs. But it is definitely worth giving a shot if you’re fit enough. So this year head over to Rishikesh and take the plunge and experience free fall.
Skydiving In India.
Ah! perhaps this is one of my surprising finds in my research to collate the adventure travel destinations in India. I thought the sky diving over Palm Jumeirah was spellbinding, but imagine falling freely over the Sahyadri mountains or the mystic Mysore palace, or exploring the eastern coast in Pondicherry. All of these are possible now in India as these are the most popular locations for skydiving in India.
So, what’s stopping you from flying high and diving right in.
So where are you planning to go this year? Hope this adventure travel guide gave you enough to put on your bucket list of things to do in India. Let me know in the comments below.
That’s all for today folks. Thank you for sticking through to the end.
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This is post no.34 in the weekly blog post series. You can write to firstname.lastname@example.org for any feedback or collaboration. Alternatively, you can drop me a DM on Instagram.