Monsoons mean staying in, right? Wrong. There are so many places and activities that are at their best during the rains – either because of a stunning view and cool weather, or because they add just that extra pinch of adrenaline to an already-exciting day. So if you’re done with that cup of chai {it’s gone cold anyway}, join us for some adventures.

White-Water Rafting

Rafting in Rishikesh is wonderful, but it’s limited to rafting season only. You know what advantage we have here in Maharashtra? We raft on dam water, so we can go rafting any time of the year, and the monsoons might be the most epic time to do so because of the ferocious currents.

Photo source: Brahmand Hikers & Explorers via Facebook

Photo source: Brahmand Hikers & Explorers via Facebook

One minute the Kundalika is flowing along peacefully, little fishes swimming about, and next thing we know, Bhira’s gates open and a surging mass of water thunders down. The river turns into a rampaging beast for about two hours, churning around rocks and boulders and seething under our raft. Rafting in Kolad is a fantastic experience – you’ll get lifted by the Grade II-IV rapids and tossed along, but you’ll also have some peaceful stretches where you can practice your rowing techniques. After it’s all over, of course, you’ll get to jump into the water and swim about.

Brahmand hikers & Explorers are leading a Kolad white-water rafting trip on Sunday, July 24. Check out the Facebook event page here.

Trekking

We’re blessed to live in the Sahyadris: one of the world’s ‘hottest hot-spots’ for biodiversity. The next few months will be ideal to see them. Take a weekend hike into the Western Ghats around Mumbai.

Photo: Deepak Gopalakrishnan

Photo: Deepak Gopalakrishnan

There’s forts to be explored, difficult rocky patches to negotiate, rain clouds that drift in and soak us, and spectacular views from the top. Treks around Mumbai vary from easy walks up rock-hewn steps to thickly-wooded trails. Pack your sandwiches and energy bars and get going.

Check out Facebook group, Trekking in Sahyadris, which curates trekking events as well as helps members find others to trek with, here.

Waterfall Rappelling

What kind of people look at a waterfall and think “I wonder what it’s like to rappel down that”? People like us, and hopefully you. During monsoons, the waterfalls in our state are overflowing and a beautiful sight.

Photo courtesy: Rohan Kshirsagar

Photo courtesy: Rohan Kshirsagar

Essentially, you’ll be strapped into a harness and lowered over a rocky outcrop. The water gushes around you, and the surface under your shoes is slippery and wet, but the hardest part is the first bit. Every instinct screams to stick as close to the rock as possible, but you let your body slope 90 degrees away from safety, until you’re hanging in the air, walking down the wall like Spiderman.

Trekking group Nisarga Bhraman are organising a waterfall rappelling trip to Bekare waterfall on Saturday, August 6. Check out the event’s Facebook page here.

Octopush

This high-octane underwater game arrived in India recently, and if we’re going to be drenched anyway, we might as well embrace it.

Photo courtesy: Finkick

Photo courtesy: Finkick

Devised as a way to keep scuba divers fit during off-season, Octopush is basically hockey with snorkel masks. You’ll play in about six feet of water, coming up for breaths and diving beneath the surface again to get the puck away from your rivals. Get a team together and head off to try out something totally new.

On your next trip to Pune, check out the Divisional Sports Complex in Yerwada, where they host classes every Sunday at 11am for INR 500.

Feature photo courtesy: Finkick