West Bengal, with its diverse topography, offers plentiful opportunities for adventure tourism. This is particularly true for the northern part of the state, which is home to snowclad mountain peaks, fast flowing rivers, dense forests and beaches, all of which offer several opportunities for adventure tourism.
While there are many brilliant treks in the region, the Sandakphu Trek is by far the most famous. Besides offering unbelievable views of Mt. Everest and Mt. Kanchenjunga, the route of this trek traverses the famous 'Singalila National Park', which is home to rare and exotic Himalayan fauna and avifauna like Black Bear, the Barking Deer, Long-Tailed Pangolins and the endangered Red Pandas. The Tiger Hill Trek in Darjeeling is also famous. The summit is well-renowned for its magical sunrise and an awe-inspiring beauty of the Kanchenjunga range veiled under hues of the rising sun. Besides trekking, river rafting is another famous adventure sport in West Bengal.
Darjeeling and Kalimpong are two most sought after destinations in the state, offering tremendous scope of white water rafting in the torrential waters of ‘River Teesta’ and its eminent tributary, 'River Rangeet'. Graded on an international scale of 2 to 4, the two gorgeous rivers have been recognized for their series of rapids with varying intensities that cater to both novice and experienced rafters. It would be interesting to note that many nature camps and local outfitters also combine a range of other enthralling activities like kayaking, canoeing, river rappelling, jungle walks and birdwatching with rafting.
You can also try mountain biking during your holidays in West Bengal. The hills in and around Darjeeling are criss crossed with innumerable trails that are great for this adventure activity. In fact, Darjeeling boasts India’s first-ever ‘Biking Park’ that stretches over 20 km through the 'Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary' and has its main entrance gate installed at Jorebungalow near Ghum. Sightings animals like wild boars, Himalayan black bear, barking deer and even clouded leopards is not uncommon. The bike trail ends at a small village of Chatakpur. Bikers can either return from here to Darjeeling or opt for an overnight stay. While there are a lot of state run cottages, there are options for homestays too.
Rock Climbing has also gained a rapid popularity over the years in West Bengal. ‘Susunia Hills’ of the Bankura District, and ‘Mathaburu Hills’ of the Purulia District, host this adventure activity. The site is also popular amongst mountaineering trainees, who can be often seen learning the tactics of crack climbing, anchoring, belaying, rappelling and free hand climbing.
List of adventure activities in West Bengal remains incomplete without the mention of paragliding. The charming hillocks of ‘Kalimpong’ with thick forest covers are ideal for this activity. One can paraglide between 9.00 AM to 4.30 PM, depending on weather and wind conditions. Visitors get two categories to choose from - a medium flight joyride, which lasts 15 to 20 minutes, and a high flight that provides for a 30 to 45 minute thrill. Both the flights take-off from the scenic point of Dello Hills and offer magnificent vistas of the sloppy tea gardens, flowered meadows and an amazing wildlife beneath.
You can also enjoy a variety of water sports in West Bengal. 'Digha Beach', 'Sagardwip Beach' and 'Mandarmani Beach' are famous for water-skiing, water zorbing and snorkelling.