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10 Extreme Sports Destinations In India For The Adrenalin Junkie

    There are exciting holidays and then there are extreme holidays. And for some, riding a speed boat in Goa or a shikara in Srinagar may be thrilling enough, but for those of you who need that exhilarating rush, that pumping heart and the kick of adrenaline, nothing other than some good old extreme adventure sports can compare. After all, jumping off bridges and walking on ice aren’t for everyone, are they?

    For all you daredevils, here’s a whole lot of places to put on your bucket list. Now close your eyes, and just let go!

    Skiing In Kashmir

    Most of the skiing in Gulmarg is off-piste, which means it’s not a ski trail. So if you’re up for some heli skiing {meaning you’ll get off a helicopter and hit the slopes as opposed to a ski lift}, this is the place for you. From gentle rollovers to steep slopes of about 55 degrees, intermediate, advanced and expert skiers will love this. Bear in mind, though, that it’s a walk to the top if you want to start again.

    Our pick of mountain to ski down on? The Gulmarg and Mt. Apharwat Ridge. First-timers, make sure to stay with your trainer until you’re given the go ahead.

    Best time to visit: Mid-January to end of February

    Price: INR 15,000 upwards for 8 nights, including pick up and drop from Srinagar

    Nearest airport: Srinagar {59 kms}

    Find out more about skiing with Ski Gulmarg here.

    Mountain Climbing In Uttarakhand

    There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as climbing the Himalayas, is there? Before setting sight on the Everest Base Camp, however, we recommend checking out climbing trails in Uttarakhand. Trishul and Kedarnath are top options, as they are open peaks. But keep your eyes on the prize; Nanda Devi, towering at a grand 7,816 metres.

    In the Chamoli District, most climbs start at Munsyari through Lilan, Bogudiar, Martoli, Nasanpatti and Bhadeligwra if you want to attempt the summit. In addition to ice, glaciers and cliffs, this one takes you through the dreamy Valley Of Flowers, too. Are you sold?

    Best time to visit: Summer

    Price: INR 60,000 upwards

    Nearest airport: Pantnagar {188 kms} but Delhi is better connected.

    Find out more about mountaineering with Adventure Nation here.

    White Water Rafting Zanzkar

    Bleak and beautiful, this is a fantastic run along the Zanzkar; a Himalayan river. Possibly the only place you can see deep gorges, towering snow-capped peakes, monasteries and wildlife of Ladakh, you’re in for a wild treat.

    Your rafting expedition is likely to start in Remla with softer grade II rapids around the confluence of the Markha and Zanskar rivers, and you can hit grade IV rapids as the mighty rivers squeeze through gorges 20 feet at their wides! We wouldn’t advise this one for noobs. If you’re a beginner, though, just ask the guide to skip out the last leg. Routes are customisable and range from a few hours to a few days.

    Best time to visit: May to September

    Price: INR 1,500 upwards per day per person

    Nearest airport: Leh {450 kms}

    Find out more about rafting with Zanskar Trek here.

    Trekking In Bomdila

    It’s a tough choice to make when it comes to trekking in the North East, but we’re picking Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh for the sparkling Jia Bhoroli river, tribal villages and people, and the views of Himalayan peaks along the trek.

    We recommend a 10 – 12 day trek to get the real feel of things, and also so you get to experience the varying difficulties of the climb; from gentle slopes to ice climbs. This one takes you through the famed Tawang monastery, Nameri National Park and one of the oldest tribal villages in the region; Monpa—a win-win situation all around!

    Best time to visit: October, November, February to May

    Price: INR 40,000 upwards per person for 12 days, including accommodation

    Closest Airport: Tezpur, Assam {151 kms}

    Find out more about trekking with TravelOEarth here.

    Scuba Diving In Havelock

    The world really is your oyster at the Andaman Islands, and there’s no better place to go scuba diving than Havelock, especially since the islands are protected and you can’t just roam about. Sign up with Barefoot Scuba {although there are others diving schools, too} and get a beginners licence before you explore the unimaginably gorgeous azure waters and all that lies beneath the surface. It’s really awe-inspiring and spell-binding. Also, don’t forget to take an underwater camera along. We insist!

    Best time to visit: October to May

    Price: INR 4,500 upwards per dive; INR 17,500 upwards for a course

    Closest Airport: Port Blair {67 kmsaway, accessible only by sea}

    Find out more about diving with Barefoot Scuba here and here.

    Bungee Jumping In Rishikesh

    Don’t you dream of simply falling free off a cantilever with nothing but mountains above you and the Hyul river below? If the answer is yes, head off to Rishikesh {Mohanchatti, 25 kms away from Rishikesh, to be precise} for India’s highest free-fall bungee. With experts from New Zealand available to monitor the 83 metre jump, you’ll be lowered all the way down to the river. Don’t forget to get your photographs and video {remember, jump head first; it’s so much more graceful on camera!}, and, oh, your Dare To Jump certificate to show off!

    Best time to visit: February to October

    Price: INR 3,500 per person

    Closest Airport: Dehradun {45 kms}

    Find out more about bungee jumping with Jumping Heights here.

    Skydiving In Panchgani

    Step onto a plane, suit up, and once you’re in the air, close your eyes and JUMP! Make sure to open them, though, as there are a few experiences that are as breathtaking {out of fear at first}. It can be scary at first, but once you realise you’re free falling but with a safety parachute and trainer, you’ll start to enjoy. The view is spectacular, and we’re sure that you’ll never look at Earth the same way again.

    Do opt for their video package. It’s great fun to relive the moment—from looking terrified to cool as a cucumber! When you’re done, we urge you to go to the sky diving school and try jumping alone next.

    Best time to visit: November to April

    Price: INR 18,000 upwards

    Closest Airport: Pune {100 kms}

    Find out more about skydiving with Skydiving India here.

    Rock Climbing In Orchha

    Sure it’s a paradise for kayaking, but that automatically means it’s stellar for rock climbing, too! With deep ravines, narrow gorges and rock faces that are a climber’s dream, you’ll be spoilt for choice. With smaller rock formation to suit a novice to almost vertical faces for the advanced climber, make sure you take photos with the The Betwa and Jamini rivers flowing below. If you’re a pro, feel free to explore on your own.

    Best time to visit: September to March

    Price: INR 1,000 upwards a climb

    Closest Airport: Gwalior {125 kms}

    Find out more about rock climbing with Snow Leopard here.

    Canyoning In Dandeli

    Oh how fun it is to chart the course of a river! If you haven’t before, you must check this one out. Bringing elements of hiking, climbing, swimming and rappelling together, you can literally walk through the gorges. There’s water you can dive in, cliffs you can rappel can down off and tough slopes to brave; bring out those gluteal and upper arm muscles.

    Best time to visit: October to May

    Price: INR 1,650 upwards a person

    Closest Airport: Dabolim, Goa {135 kms}

    Find out more about canyoning with Panther Stay here.

    Dune Bashing In Jaisalmer

    Fasten your seatbelt {tight} and get ready to kick up some serious sand. The Thar desert has lovely high dunes, and the best place to do this is at the Sam village near Jaisalmer. In collaboration with Life in India Holidays, Camp Paradise regularly organises SUV vehicle rides to take you up and down the sand. Make sure you eat light before this session, as it will be topsy-turvy, alright.

    Best time to visit: September to February

    Price: INR 3,000 per person

    Closest Airport: Jodhpur {250 kms}

    Find out more about dune bashing with Camp Paradise here.