Now, we know how much an American loves adventure sports and activities; who wouldn’t if the surroundings that he has been raised in are so appropriate to participate in at least one outdoor sport. Therefore, it is not a surprise to see a number of American adventure lovers wandering across the world to try a new adrenaline rushing activity. Since India has been boasting a lot about its diverse landscape and opportunity of several heart-racing activities ranging from white water rafting to deep sea diving and from paragliding to spelunking, it sure does make for an incredible adventure destination. Here are some of the best Indian sites that as an American adventure lover you would love to visit.
Beginning from north of the country, India is blessed with a destination that is ideal for skiing enthusiasts. Some 53 km from Srinagar (the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir state) is Gulmarg, the de facto skiing capital of India. Gulmarg has some of the finest gradients that are perfect for alpine, chutes, cornices and glacier skiing. There is also provision for heli-skiing but one has to check its availability. This scenic destination in Kashmir also flaunts one of Asia’s highest and largest cable car projects, the Gulmarg Gondola. So, along with an incredible skiing experience at a 4390 m, you can also relish riding on one of the largest cable projects in the world. Also, if you are interested, Gulmarg Ski Club organizes annual skiing competitions that you can participate in.
Like in the US, there are a number of places for camping, India is also dotted with excellent camping locations in each cardinal direction. However, there are a few places that have an extra edge to them, something that makes them special in their own way, and Dzukou Valley in Nagaland in Northeast India is one such place. Dzukou is particularly charming in terms of its unexploited landscape; it is an emerald paradise adorned with bamboo thicket and a cluster of oak and rhododendron forest. The trek’s difficulty level is moderate but sometimes climbing the steep ascents can be challenging although the beautiful views will make you forget about it quickly. You can camp at the natural caves but make sure to carry along your sleeping bag and other gears for cooking and sustaining on a cold night. The experience of camping here is different and something worth giving a try.
Back in North India, Ladakh, one of the best adventure destinations in India invites you to its least inhabited region, Zanskar. The perk of being here is there is an uninterrupted thrill. Zanskar is known for rendering a plethora of opportunities for adventure activities, amongst which the two most popular ones are the Chadar trek and white-water rafting. The fact that one will be trekking over a frozen river, on a thick sheet of ice makes it a must-do adventure in India. However, the trek is seasonal and can be done only in the winter season when the ice is at its thickest. On the other hand, white water rafting in Zanskar can be enjoyed at its best in the summer season when the ice melts and the water level in Zanskar river increases. Zanskar River has Grade I to Grade IV rapid that makes rafting here quite exciting.
Think of any possible water sport and Goa will offer it to you. The western India jewel, Goa is a paradise for beach lovers, and for adventure aficionados, it is indeed a blessing cloaked in blue. This party state in India has both aerial and water sports activities packed for you. From parasailing to jet skiing, from scuba diving to paragliding, and from snorkelling to flyboarding, Goa spoils you for choice and caters to all your adventure need. The best beaches in Goa for adventure sports include Calangute, Sinquerim, Baga, Dona Paula, Anjuna, Majorda, Mobor, and Colva.
Had fun exploring the underwater life in the Arabian Sea? Well, you are going to love the white sand beaches and turquoise water of Andaman Islands. Located on the eastern side of mainland India in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman is going to cast a spell of magic on you with its mesmerizing beauty and unperturbed ambiance. This tourist destination in India is an ideal place for that impeccable snorkelling and scuba diving experience. It is known as the habitat for some exotic fishes and underwater creatures, which makes it a truly compelling destination to plan your adventure holiday. There are other water sports in Andaman like jet skiing, parasailing and speed boating that you can enjoy along with snorkelling and scuba diving but the experience of exploring the underwater universe here is unparalleled.
One helluva a place, Bir Billing is where all the action happens. Situated in Himachal Pradesh, one of the northern states in India, Bir Billing is quite popular amongst paragliders and why shouldn’t it be, after all, it is one of the highest places in the world for paragliding (4000 m). Bir is a small town where the landing site is situated, Billing, which is situated some 16 to 18 km away from Bir is the place where the cliff from where paragliding is done is located. Even though you can enjoy paragliding at several places in Himachal like Solang Valley and Dalhousie, in Billing the feeling is different altogether. For an amateur or a first-timer, there are tandem rides available, but an experienced person can go solo as well. In fact, the place is perfect for solo gliders who can fly over the entire Dhauladhar Range of the Himalayas.
Some of you must be of the opinion that the Himalayas are the best when it comes to rock climbing but let me just take you on a virtual tour of Hampi in the southern state of Karnataka. Primarily known for its ancient ruin of Vijayanagara Empire, Hampi is also an excellent destination for rock climbing in India, the reason being, the existence of massive boulders. This UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site is stretched in an area of 25 sq km and is replete with boulders and rocks of different shapes and sizes. The scintillating Tungabhadra River runs through this ancient place and also offers a beautiful view that will keep you motivated when you are attempting to climb that big rock on a hot day at Hemakuta Hill, Matanga Hill, Tiruvengalantha Temple or Malyavanta Raghunatha Temple.
Sikkim boasts one of the best mountain biking experiences in India. This Northeastern state that sits next to Bhutan and shares boundary with Nepal and Tibet is still a lesser ventured destination and this is why it makes the best biking destination in the country. You can expect to bike through some of the most beautiful valleys and rural settlements that are situated at an altitude of 3500 or more. You will also be challenged by extremely narrow dirt roads, steep ascents as well as descents and unpredictable weather conditions during your mountain biking adventure in Sikkim. But you will have the company of the tall Himalayan peaks including the majestic Kanchenjunga (8586 m) to keep you motivated.
There’s nothing better than to be able to walk/trek inside a national park. And this opportunity in India is available in a UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site, Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP). This wildlife reserve is one of those few wildlife destinations where trekking is allowed and so is camping. The altitude of the park ranges from 1500 m to 6000 m with a total area of 754 sq km. The park boasts 375 species of fauna and a large number of avifauna which makes it an ideal destination to visit for nature and wildlife lovers. There are four major trekking routes in GHNP – Sainj Valley, Sainj to Tirthan Valley, Gushaini to Parvati Valley, Crossing to Pin Valley. On each trek route, there are wonderful camping sites where you can lie under the starlit sky after a pleasant day of trekking. Carry your own stove or a barbeque and you’ll have the best of the camping experience in this amazing wildlife destination in India.
The 1600 km long chain of mountains, Western Ghats can give the mountains in North India a good run for their money. This UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site is amongst the eight topmost hotspots of biodiversity in the world. The range runs through six states in India and is an abode of 7402 species of flowering plants, 1814 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species, 6000 insects species and 290 freshwater fish species and 325 globally threatened species. Some of the most venomous snakes can also be found in the Western Ghats. Since the stretch is quite long to be done in one go, you can choose your trek as per your interest. Kudremukh Trek, Tadiyandamol Trek, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary-Mainapi-Savari Waterfalls Trek, Ravan Dongar Peak Trek, Dudhsagar Falls Trek, and Kodachadri Trek are some of the treks that you can consider to have a fair idea of what the Western Ghats are all about.
Rishikesh in the northern India state of Uttarakhand is a popular river rafting destination. However, the city has made its mark as a destination for extreme adventure activities like bungee jumping, giant swing as well as flying fox. In fact, Rishikesh has the highest bungee (83 m) and giant swing (83 m) in India and it has Asia’s longest flying fox (length: 1 km; Speed: 140-160 kmph). An incredible view of India’s holiest river, Ganga can be relished while giving these three adventure activities a go. Truly, there can be no other place better than the scenic Rishikesh where you can get your share of adrenaline rush in India.
Want to explore the deepest and longest caves in South Asia? Yes, then Meghalaya is the destination in Northeast India where you should be heading to. In every district of this state, there are natural caves, giving you ample to explore. Siju, Mawsmai, Mawsynram, and Syndai are some of the most popular caves for spelunking in Meghalaya. But then there are also caves like Krem Liat Prah, which is India’s longest cave (25 km); Krem Mawmluh, India’s fourth largest cave where you need to do some belly climbing and vertical climbing; Krem Chympe, India’s fifth largest cave which has to be partially explored by swimming over a 3.5 km stretch; and Krem Ri Blai, one of the most challenging caves with plenty of vertical climbing but it also offer rewarding views of waterfalls.
How does skydiving at 10000 ft sound? Cool? Well, indeed it is. If you are in India and want to enjoy any adventure activity that is miles away from the Himalayas, then it has to be skydiving in Mysore. The popular city is situated in the southern India state of Karnataka and is one of the earliest hubs for this truly enthralling adventure sport. You have the choice to opt for a tandem jump (with an instructor), static jump or accelerated freefall for which of course you have to be either experienced or have to get 7-8 days training.
Here is an adventure that is less dangerous but equally fun, Mahaseer fishing is something you do not want to miss out on your adventure trip to India. And when we are talking about the catching a Mahaseer for adventure then we are not considering any small fish which is hard to catch, we are talking about an Indian river fish that has thick scales and powerful jaws, a fish which can attain a maximum size of some 2 m (6.5 feet) and can weigh about 90 kg. It is not for nothing Mahaseer is called a game fish. This queen of a fish inhabits the rivers of Ramnagar, a small town in the northern state of Uttarakhand mainly famous for being home to Corbett National Park. Here in the Upper Ramganga River, the adventure of angling and fishing is possible, however, the rule is the same and only one, catch the fish, take a picture with it and then release it in the river.
Another adventure in the Himalayas but this time in the more unbridled and unadulterated region, where everything is related to spine-chilling moments. Spiti is situated in the north-eastern part of the northern state of Himachal Pradesh and unlike the otherwise green state, it is a land of bare mountains and dirt roads, so obviously, it is a lesser-frequented destination where the weather is moody. Most of the adventure lovers head to Spiti for a motorbike adventure, the reason being the challenging landscape. Expect dirt roads, surreal landscape, and streams of water crossing your path every 10-15 minutes and washing away the road ahead of you. Spiti is a paradise for some rough adventure and it will feed your adventurous soul just right.
Hope you are convinced that India too has some great adventure activities that are worth trying. And the ones in the blog are few amongst many that the country has in store for anyone seeking an enthralling experience. So, if you are visiting India, there is plenty of adventure activities that will ensure you have the best experience in the country. In case, you need help with planning your adventure trip to India, we at Tour My India can be of great help. We have experience of assisting international clientele for varied adventure sports across the country. You can reach us by call at +91-9212553106 or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our varied adventure packages in India.