• July 21, 2024

Year-end travel: 10 adventure hotspots in India | Travel

For those who love the adrenaline rush, holiday is not about getting away from everyone and everything. It is about conquering fear and believing in the derring-do. And one needn’t be an pro at adventure sports, there are enough options even for beginners. Here are 10 adventure hotspots in India.

Embark on a thrilling year-end escapade as we unveil 10 adventure hotspots across India.(Unsplash/Anoof Junaid)

1. Rishikesh (Uttarakhand): Sitting by the river Ganges, Rishikesh is a major pilgrimage centre. For the adventure lovers, the holy city is a great draw for river rafters and bungee jumpers. Known for: River rafting. Bungee jumping (jump from 83 metres, the highest in India).

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Best season: October to April. There are options for beach camping with rafting, there’s a rafting camp in Shivpuri, few hotels also offer free river rafting experience as part of the stay package.

Price estimate (per person): Varies between 1,000 and 3,000 for rafting. 3,000+ for bungee jumping.

Tip: Lifejackets & helmets mandatory for rafters. Check safety credentials of companies offering bungee jumping.

2. Munnar (Kerala): A hill station and former resort for the British Raj elite, Munnar is known for the tea estates that were first established in the late 19th century.

Known for: Hiking & trekking. The popular ones being Meesappulimala (difficult) – the second highest peak in the Western Ghats and a trekking trail via Rhodo Valley; Chummar Trek (easy) – a trek around the tea plantations; Chithirapuram (moderate) – along the Chithirapuram bridge and the Ramaswamy Dam waterfalls; Chokaramudi (easy up to Level 1&2, then difficult); Kannan Devan Hills trek (difficult); Mathikettan Rainforest trek (moderate).

Best season: October to March

Price estimate (per person): Varies on the trek chosen.

Tip: Hiking shoes and wind-cheater is recommended as it can get slightly chilly. Remember to carry salt with you as you may encounter leeches while walking through the forests.

3. Andaman & Nicobar Island: Most of the scuba diving at the Andaman Islands takes place in the south from Havelock Island or Neil Island. Some highlights include Dixon’s Pinnacle, walls and channels off Havelock Island, and various manta ray cleaning stations around Barren Island.

Known for: Scuba diving. You can also do a short scuba-diving course.

Best season: October to April

Price estimate (per person): 3,000-4,000. Few hotels offer diving packages.

Tip: Check difficulty level. Never head to the dive site without an instructor.

4. Cherrapunji (Meghalaya): Once the wettest place on earth, Cherrapunji is home to unusual living root bridges – the bridges, as the name suggests, are made of living roots of the ficus tree, some more than a 100 years old – few grow as long as 170 feet, and soar 80 feet above the streams they cross. The popular living root bridges in Cherrapunji are Ummunoi Root Bridge, Ritymmen Root Bridge, Umkar Root Bridge, Mawsaw Root Bridge.

Known for: Trekking to the unusual Living Root Bridges

Best season: October to March

Price estimate (per person): Depends on the trek & package

Tip: Good trekking shoes, wind cheater & acclimatisation

5. Auli (Uttarakhand): A Himalayan ski resort and hill station, Auli is surrounded by coniferous and oak forests, plus the Nanda Devi and Nar Parvat mountains. Here, you can learn the basics of skiing here and try your skiing skills on powder snow for the first time.

Known for: Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing. Ride world’s second longest and highest cable car. Kurari Trek Pass and the highest man-made Artificial Lake.

Best season: Late November to March, January is the best month for skiing.

Price estimate (per person): Depends on the trek & package

Tip: Acclimatisation. Carry warm clothes, sunscreen & sunglasses. If you are a beginner, do not try skiing without an instructor.

6. Nimo (Ladakh): Located 35 kilometres from Leh, Nimmo is a small village.

Known for: River Rafting. Meant for hardcore adventure lovers, this is a 3-hour stretch on the Zanskar river with plenty of Grade 4 + rapids. Rafting starts from Chilling by the Zanskar river and ends at the confluence of Zanskar and Indus river before Nimo village, also known as Sangam point.

Best season:Mid-May to September

Price estimate (per person): 2,600

Tip: Lifejackets & helmets mandatory

7. Alleppey (Kerala): Also known as Alappuzha, Alleppey is known for intricate network of backwaters, serene beaches, and lush green landscapes and is a haven for cycling enthusiasts.

Known for: Kayaking & Cycling. The popular cycling routes are Marari beach, Alappuzha beach, Alleppey Lighthouse, Backwater Canals, Pathiramanal Island. Kayaking routes include Long Island Circle, Chill Route,

Best season: October to February

Price estimate (per person): Cycling: 3,500; Kayaking: 1,000-1,500

Tip: Cycling gear & helmets mandatory. Carry water, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent.

8. Bir Billing (Himachal Pradesh): A village located in the west of Joginder Nagar Valley, it is the paragliding capital of India.

Known for: Paragliding. Launch or take off at 8,000 feet from sea level and landing site at 4,500 feet from sea level. The flight lasts 15-20 minutes. Minimum age is 12 years.

Best season: October to December

Price estimate (per person): 3,500 for 15-20 minute flight, 5,000 for 30-45 minute flight.

Tip: Inform the instructor about any medical conditions.

9. Lakshadweep: A tropical archipelago of 36 atolls and coral reefs in the Laccadive Sea, off the coast of Kerala, Lakshadweep is India’s smallest Union Territory.

Known for: Snorkelling. Can be done by anyone who is above 10 years old and without any major health issues. Although children from 10 to 14 years are only allowed with their parents’ or guardian’s consent.

Best season: October to May

Price estimate (per person): 1,000 for 30 minutes.

Tip: Requires snorkel, diving mask, fins (optional), and life jacket.

10. Aamby Valley (Maharashtra): Located on the outskirts of Pune, Aamby Valley is the first place in India that offers skydiving packages for year round as a membership.

Known for: Skydiving, specially tandem diving.

Best season: All year, avoid the monsoon season from mid-June to late September due to strong winds

Price estimate (per person): Tandem skydiving starts at 20,000.

Tip: Avoid wearing loose clothing & open-toe footwear. Eat a normal meal a few hours before your jump and drink more water so that you won’t feel light-headed during the experience. Carry your photo id.

(Source includes Intrepid Travel – India)

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