When you say India, our mind jumps to culture. Food. Religion. Rivers. Beaches. Melas. We think of elephant rides and extravagant weddings and marble-carved temples and huge brass plates filled with food. And that is all great if you’re docile who likes sightseeing and shopping in a new destination. But what is lesser known about this magnificent country is that it is as much a haven for adventure sports lovers just as much as the sightseer. Over 20 types of different levels of adventure sports can be enjoyed at multiple locations in India. Intrigued? Follow up!
Paragliding is a competitive as well as a recreational free flight sport. It is the closest humans can get to flying, simply speaking. If you break it down, what you need to do is run along a long, flat stretch of land which inflates your parachute-type contraption and the next moment, you’re flying! The pilot can then increase and maintain altitude using wind currents. This is a sport where the rush builds up as you go through the activity, hence the chances of backing out in fear are relatively lesser. Yet it is one of the highest adrenaline rushing sports you can do, and right here in India. The best locations for paragliding in this country are in hill stations such as Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Kunjapuri in Uttarakhand, or even Yelagiri in Tamil Nadu.
- Sky Diving
If you have seen the Bollywood movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, you must have developed a taste for adventure sports, and more specifically, skydiving, where the three protagonists of the movie literally jump off a plane into the open air, with their parachutes opening more than halfway through the flight. Well, you don’t have to visit Spain for that experience. Though skydiving in India is a relatively new concept, India does have a number of locations that provide excellent services for skydivers. The best you can get is at Mysore, Karnataka. Other locations include Dhana in Madhya Pradesh, Ambey Valley in Maharashtra and Pondicherry. Although this is a slightly expensive sport, rest assured you won’t regret spending all of it.
- Scuba Diving
Scuba diving is possibly the most enthralling water sport you can ever indulge in. If you love the aqua flora and fauna, if the underwaters intrigue you and make you want to swim to the depths of the ocean to experience everything first hand, scuba diving is the perfect adventure sport for you. This sport does require certain training for a few days prior to the actual activity, but for the non-swimmers, the good news is that you do not need to be a swimmer to perform this amazing sport. India has plenty of water bodies with extremely rich vegetation and some places have enabled enthusiasts to get access to this beauty. Some of these places are islands in Andaman and Nicobar (Fish Rock, The Wall, Cinque Island), Lakshadweep Islands (Aggati Island), Goa (Uma Guava Reef, The Jetty), Pondicherry, etc. The best part is, scuba diving won’t drill a hole in your pocket!
- River Rafting
River rafting is one of the most popular adventure sports in India, mainly due to its easy availability and the adrenaline rush that it gives. Wading through rough waters with tremendous speed of the flow, with only a raft and a life jacket to hold on for life, river rafting is probably the most adventurous water sport of them all. Since India has plenty of mountainous rivers at high altitudes, river rafting naturally becomes a popular choice among enthusiasts. The Ganges in Rishikesh is considered as the best location for river rafting, all year round, barring the monsoons. Teesta river in Sikkim, the Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh, Kundalika river in Maharashtra, Indus river in Ladakh, Beas river in Manali, Alaknanda river in Uttarakhand are a few other popular destinations for river rafting in India.
- Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping as a kid used to be jumping on a stretched piece of elastic cloth suspended on a platform and repeatedly bounce on it. The real, adult version of the same is being suspended by your ankle to an extremely strong, stretchy cord of rope and leaping from the jumping point of a cliff or a mountain, whatever you decide. It is literally jumping off the edge of a mountain but with the assurance of safety, what sport could give a bigger rush than this? The highest location in India in Rishikesh, in a village called Mohan Chatti, and it is also the only one with a fixed platform to jump from. You can also visit Della Adventures in Lonavala, Ozone Adventures in Bangalore, Jagdalpur in Chhatisgarh. However, this sport is not for the weak-hearted. Plenty of enthusiasts back off at the last minute due to the height, mostly. But for those who do go through with it, are never disappointed.
- Waterfall Rappelling
Waterfall rappelling, or canyoning, is the least known but extremely enjoyable adventure sport in India. But what makes it one of the best is that it combines two forces of nature together to create one highly adrenaline-inducing sport. Essentially, one climbs a mountain, or rappels, with the added feature of a waterfall gushing down on you as you do so. This sport is best enjoyed during the monsoon season when the waterfalls around the country are at their peak. Waterfall rappelling, however, is a slightly risky sport, as the speed and current of water makes it very difficult to climb to the top well, but that is the entire challenge of the sport. Places such as Vihigaon Waterfall, Kondhana Caves, Ulhas Valley and Kundalika river in Maharashtra, Neer Gaddu in Uttarakhand, Jogini Waterfall in Himachal Pradesh, etc provide this sport for enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies.
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