Go where you feel most alive.
Majestic snow-capped peaks on one end and vast seas on the other bookend a land with mighty rivers meandering through it; India offers a rich diversity of landscape, which can be enjoyed by means other than sightseeing. For thrill-seekers and adventure sports lovers, these destinations offer the best indulgence. #DSSCRecommends the various places one can go to to give the upcoming summer holidays an adventurous spin.
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving
Dive into the mysterious world of the sea, and experience the flora and fauna up and close. The best places for snorkeling in India include Havelock Island, Neil Island, and Cinque Island in Andaman and Nicobar, where one can find colourful coral reefs and sunken ships. Netrani or Pigeon Island off the shores of Karnataka is a haven for rich marine life, and can be accessed via the temple town of Murudeshwara. If you’re up for a bigger adventure, swim with octopi and stingrays off the coast of Lakshadweep’s Kadmat Island. All the destinations are open to amateurs and certified divers alike, and one can obtain a license before taking the plunge.
Best time to visit: October–April
Have wings? Will fly! Harnessed to a pilot, paragliding enables one to soar through the sky like a bird. One can enjoy the lightweight and free-flying thrill of paragliding in several places in India, even Delhi-NCR, but this adventure sport becomes an incredibly memorable experience in the lap of the Himalayas. Head to Manali or Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh and enjoy spectacular bird’s eye views of the mountains.
Best time to visit: March–June and October–November
Mysore, in Karnataka, is a well-known hub for skydiving enthusiasts in India. One has the option of skydiving tandem, where one jumps out of the aircraft attached to the instructor who controls everything; doing static jumps, where one is trained to exit solo; or accelerated free-falling, a skydiving training method where two instructors assist one diver. If one is a novice, but is keen on soaring like a bird, experienced skydiving professionals can provide two days’ training at the base camps of Chamundi Hills, located 13 km to the south-east of Mysore. Learn about the prices and prerequisites before taking the plunge and register beforehand for the training camp here.
Best time to visit: October–May
Kashmir, popularly known as heaven on earth, offers the most spectacular snowy landscapes that can be traversed on skis. Head to Gulmarg, where you can give your inner adrenaline junkie free reign. From the summit, one can explore over 1,500 m of vertical, whereas the largely untapped terrain of Apharwat, standing tall at 3,979 m, provides a wondrous experience as one takes in the scenic beauty of the mountains, which stretch all the way into Pakistan and China. One can also hike to the reserved-for-experts-only summit of Looker’s Right.
White Water Rafting
Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is a fertile ground for adventure sports. The mighty Ganges gushes forth with rapids ranging from Grade I to IV, which can be enjoyed by children, beginners, and experts alike. The various rafting camps guide you through the unforgettable experiences that range in distances of between 9 and 34 kms, with certain stretches open to non-swimmers.
Best time to visit: September–November and February–June
Originating in New Zealand, this adrenalin-pumping sport is now popular across the globe. Bungee jumping involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to an elastic cord. In India, one can go bungee jumping in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, particularly in Mysore, or at Mohanchatti in Rishikesh, where one can plunge from the highest platform in the country at Jumpin Heights, which stands at an elevation of 83 metres, and is run by former army officers and jump experts from Australia and New Zealand.
Best time to visit: October–May