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Srinagar To Havelock: 10 Adventure Sports Destinations In India For The Adrenaline Junkie

    There are exciting holidays and then there are extreme or adventure 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 else can compare to this list. After all, jumping off bridges and walking on ice, it’s not for everyone, is it? So 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} then this is the place. From gentle rollovers to steep slopes of about 55 degrees, intermediate, advanced and expert skiers will love this. But bear in mind it’s a walk to the top too before you start. Our pick of mountains to ski down? The Gulmarg and Mt. Apharwat Ridge. First-timers, make sure to stay with your trainer until you’re given the go ahead.

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

    Nearest airport: Srinagar (59 kilometres).

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

    Find out more about skiing with Ski Gulmarg here.

    Mountain Climbing In Uttarakhand

    Nothing quite as exhilarating as climbing the Himalayas, is there? But before setting sight on Everest Base Camp, there’s so much Uttarakhand has to offer. Trishul and Kedarnath are top options as they are open peaks. But keep your eyes on the prize – Nanda Devi, towering at a grand 7816 metres. In the Chamoli District, most climbs start at Munsyari through Lilan, Bogudiar, Martoli, Nasanpatti, Bhadeligwra before you attempt the summit. In addition to ice, glaciers and cliffs, this one takes you through the dreamy Valley Of Flowers. Are you sold?

    Price: INR 60,000 upwards.

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

    Best time to visit: Summer.

    Find out more about mountaineering with Adventure Nation here.

    White Water Rafting Zanskar

    Bleak and beautiful, this is a fantastic run along the Zanskar, a Himalayan river. Possibly the only place you can see deep gorges, towering snowcapped peaks, 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 then by day four, around the confluence of the Markha and Zanskar rivers, you’ll hit grade IV rapids as the mighty rivers squeeze through gorges 20 feet at their wides! We wouldn’t advise this one for noobs. But if you’re a beginner, just ask the guide to skip out the last leg. Routes are customisable and range from a few hours to a few days.

    Price: INR 1,500 upwards per day per person.

    Nearest airport: Leh (450 kilometres).

    Best time to visit: May to September.

    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 a range of climbs – from the gentle slopes for a few snow and ice climbs too. This one takes you through the famed Tawang monastery, the Nameri National Park and the oldest tribal village Monpa – win-win situations all around!

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

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

    Closest airport: Tezpur, Assam (151 kilometres).

    Find out more about trekking with TravelOEarth here.

    Scuba Diving In Havelock

    The world really is your oyster at the Andaman Islands and no better place to go scuba diving than in 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 what lies beneath the surface. It’s really awe-inspiring and spellbinding. You simply must take along an underwater camera, we insist.

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

    Best time to visit: October to May.

    Closest airport: Port Blair (67 kilometres away, 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 free falling off a cantilever with nothing but mountains above you and the Hyul river below? If the answer was yes, head off to Rishikesh {Mohanchatti, 25 kilometres away from Rishikesh to be precise} for India’s highest free fall bungee. With experts from New Zealand monitoring the 83-metre jump, you’ll be lowered all the way down to river. Don’t forget to get your photographs and video {remember, jump head first, it’s so much more graceful on camera!}. Oh! And your Dare To Jump certificate to show off.

    Price: INR 3,500 per person.

    Best time to visit: February to October.

    Closest airport: Dehradun (45 kilometres).

    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. There’s few experiences that are so breathtaking {out of fear at first}. Once you realise you’re free falling but with a safety parachute and trainer, then you’ll start to enjoy. The view is spectacular, and you’ll never look at the earth the same way again. Do opt for a video package. It’s great fun to relive the moment — from looking terrified to cool as a cucumber! We urge you to go to skydiving school and then try jumping alone next.

    Price: INR 18,000 upwards.

    Best time to visit: November to April.

    Closest airport: Pune (100 kilometres).

    Find out more about skydiving 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 climbers dream, you’ll be spoiled for choice. With smaller rock formation to suit a novice to steep almost vertical faces for the advanced climber, make sure you take photos with The Betwa and Jamini rivers flowing below. If you’re a pro, feel free to explore on your own.

    Price: INR 1,000 upwards a climb.

    Best time to visit: September to March.

    Closest airport: Gwalior (125 kilometres).

    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 then you must do this! Bringing elements of hiking, climbing, swimming and rappelling, you literally walk through the gorges. If there’s water you dive in, if there’s a cliff you rappel down it and if there’s a tough slope up, then bring out those gluteal and upper arm muscles and climb.

    Price: INR 1,650 upwards a person.

    Best time to visit: October to May.

    Closest airport: Dabolim, Goa (135kilometres).

    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 organises SUV vehicle rides that take you up and down the sand. Make sure you eat light before this session as it will be topsy-turvy, alright.

    Price: INR 3,000 per person.

    Best time to visit: September to March.

    Closest airport: Jodhpur (250kms).

    Find out more about dune bashing with Camp Paradise here.