India is a land with diverse climates and terrain, adventure sports, although not that old to this country are slowly gaining popularity because of the varied terrain and climatic challenges this country has to offer. Many states have been promoting various adventure sports thus giving birth to a new breed of adventurers. These hotspots are not just popular in India but among adventure seekers all over the world. We have made a small list of adventure sport hotspots around India.
Rafting in modern sense is an outdoor recreational activity which is done by using an inflatable raft to navigate around a river or other bodies of water. Rafting is often done on White waters or rough waters to make it more challenging, thus it is also called “White water rafting”. The various white water rafting locations in India are Rishikesh, Zanskar, River Indus, Bhagirathi River, Teesta River, Brahmaputra River, kali/Sharda River, Tons river, Kolad, Barapole and Dandeli.
Usually done on top of snow covered terrains, skiing is an outdoor sport played by attaching long runners or skis to their boots, and sliding down the slopes of a snow covered hill. India being a host to a number of snow covered mountains including the monolithic Himalayas has various skiing spots to offer, located in Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Manali, Kufri, Narkanda, Solang valley, Chamba, Shoja, Triund, Auli, Munsiyari, Dayra bugyal, Mundali, Lachung, Yumthang and Tawang.
3. Hang Gliding
Hang gliding refers to an air sport which involves a pilot who flies a light weight, non-motorized, foot-launched aircraft called a “hang glider”. Usually done from the top of a hill, India has various sites which have various organisations that promote and make this sport available to the new adventure seekers. The spots are mainly located in Kasauli, Dharamshala, Shimla, Satara, Sinhgarh, Pune, Kamshet, Mysore, Ooty, Shillong, Yumthang and Jorethang.
A commonly known adventure activity, mountaineering began as an attempt to scale the highest peaks in the world. Now days, it has evolved into a form of recreational activity done by adventurers who like to experience the various challenges bought forth by the nature. India offers such various challenging mountaineering spots, the famous ones of them are located in Ladakh, Kufri, Dunagiri, hanuman tibba, Kamet, Nanda devi, Kanchenjunga, Talung and Rahtong.
5. Ice Climbing
Ice Climbing involves scaling features such as icefalls, frozen waterfalls, and cliffs and rock slabs covered with ice refrozen from flows of water. Ice climbing was formerly a technique used during mountaineering expeditions which has now evolved into an exclusive adventure sport. The various ice climbing spots in India are Manali, Zanskar, Ladakh, Gulmarg, Deo tibba, Hanuman tibba, Pir pangal range and Dhaulandar.
6. Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a self contained breathing apparatus allowing a greater freedom of movement. The term SCUBA is simply an acronym for self contained underwater breathing apparatus. The various places that offer thrill seekers both old and new, scuba diving services are based in Andaman & nicobar, Lakshadweep, Islands of netrani and Goa.
7. Sky Diving
Sky Diving or parachuting is an action/adventure sport which involves exiting from a flying airplane, being in freefall and then slowing down midway with the help of a parachute and returning back to the ground. Said to be done only by the most extreme and overly thrill seeking adventurists. India, being the 2nd largest population in the world is not without such thrill seekers who possess nerves of steel, as required by this sport, there are various places in India which offer the experience of this sport. They are Mysore, Dana, Deesa, Pondicherry and Aamby valley.
8. Bungee Diving
Another adventure sport which is sure to pump up your adrenalin to its max is bungee diving or bungee jumping. It involves jumping from a great height, which is usually from a tower, building or a bridge while being attached to a long elastic chord which keeps you from hitting the ground by pulling you back in a rebound. There are various places in India where thrill seekers can try out this sport; these are Rishikesh, Bangalore, Delhi and Goa.
9. Water Skiing
Like skiing, the individual wears long footboards or just one on his feet and is pulled behind a speedboat on a body of water, skimming the surface. Water Skiing involves more endurance than regular snow skiing as the practicing individual has to hold on to the harness and is pulled by a motorboat at a high speed. There are various places in India which offer this sport; they are Asan Barrage, Dal & Nagin Lake, Manasbal Lake, Goa and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
10. Rock Climbing
Rock climbing refers to an outdoor sport which involves the participant scaling up a vertical rock surface. The goal is to climb up the wall/rock formation without falling, although the fall is broken by a safety rope. It’s one sport that tests the participants both physically and mentally, as one has to maintain his stamina and balance along with a huge degree of mental control. There are various rock climbing sites in India, such as Shey rock, Miyar River, Parvati valley, Malshej ghat, Savanaduga, Madhugiri, Ramanagara and Pithalmala.
11. Hot Air Ballooning
It refers to the activity of flying a hot air balloon while seated in the capsule under it; hot air ballooning is one of the oldest human carrying flight technology, since the balloon lacks proper steering controls and moves with the wind, it is one sport that will test your brains and ingenuity. India hosts various festivals dedicated to the promotion of this sport, the various hotspots are Jaipur, Pushkar, Ranthambore, New Delhi and Manali.
Kite-surfing or kite-boarding is an extreme surface water sport which combines, surfing, paragliding and waterskiing together. It involves the surfer being propelled by a large controllable power kite which is similar in design to a parachute across a body of water on a wakeboard with or without foot straps. Proficiency in gymnastics is also required in this sport as one can do various aerial maneuvers and acrobatics while being airborne during surfing, as he/she is propelled by the strong winds. It’s not that popular in India; nevertheless, Goa offers its visitors a try at this extreme sport.
While India hosts and features only a few activities from the big list of adventure driven sports, the scenario is slowly changing with the increase in the number of people who are willing to experiment with new and more daring sports, like stunt biking, skateboarding, inline skating and many more and we hope to soon see such sports being promoted like the aforementioned activities.