Top 10 Destinations For Adventure In India
India, for many tourists, international as well as domestic, comes across as exotic, unique and sometimes unbelievable! This vast land with different landscapes in different regions, the beautiful sights, interesting cultures and so much to do and take in, make India a very tourist-friendly country in all aspects.
One can choose any or various types of holidays from the varied range that India has to offer. Whether just plain luxurious or budget holidays with sight-seeing, pilgrimage, heritage, wildlife or adventure holidays, India has it all. Owing to its marvelous, varied topography, there is no limitation to the kind of adventure activities on offer in this country and this is what we will attempt to cover in our article here.
Below are some recommendations for the best adventure holiday places in India:
1 – Ladakh: Trekking and Motorbiking
This land of high passes and isolated mountain beauty presents a challenge and delight on different fronts for avid adventure lovers. From the easy Sham Valley Trek, to the strenuous Stok Kangri Trek and the most unique of all – the Chadar Trek in the Zanskar Valley, these are trekking trails one must experience for the pure unadulterated thrill and joy to overcome difficulties on this course. Everything about this frozen trail trek (Chadar Trek) is unique: the scenery, temperature, atmosphere, the frozen river, sledges, unusual camp sites, caves and the ever changing Chadar. At the end of the day, it’s a test of the trekker’s pure grit and endurance.
Motorbiking to Ladakh is another adrenalin-gushing sport that one can indulge in. One such incredible motor biking destination here is Khardung La, the highest motorable road in the world. Situated at a height of 5359m above sea level, this high pass is enough to get the blood pounding in your ears!
How to reach Ladakh :
By air: The airport in Leh connects the region to Delhi, Chandigarh and Srinagar by air.
By rail: Jammu Tawi Railway Station (700 km from Ladakh) is the nearest rail head. From here, one can hire a cab or board a JKSRTC bus to Ladakh.
By road: The most popular means of reaching Ladakh is by road. Travellers can go on a bike/jeep ride to the destination. Bike trips from Delhi, Chandigarh, and Manali are most popular.
2 – RISHIKESH : Bungee Jumping, White Water Rafting etc.
This is the only destination in India where die-hard fans of adventure can experience the heart-stopping thrill of Bungee Jumping. To drop down or free-fall from a platform placed 83m above the ground and hang upside down in the middle of nowhere, is only a feat for the dare-devil and strong-hearted adventure junkie.
Rishikesh holds the distinction of being one of the top adventure destinations in India in every aspect. One can also take delight in other adventure activities like white water rafting, kayaking, cliff jumping, rock climbing, rappelling, paragliding and many more.
How to reach Rishikesh :
By air: Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport to Rishikesh which is approximately 35 kilometres away. The second nearest international airport for Rishikesh is in New Delhi which is well-connected with different cities across the globe.
By rail: The nearest railhead to Rishikesh is in Haridwar which is approximately 25 kilometres away. Haridwar, in turn, is linked to major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Varanasi. From Haridwar, one can take either a bus or hire a taxi to Rishikesh.
Being a popular tourist destination, Rishikesh has a good network of buses connecting it with important places such as Haridwar, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Mathura and New Delhi. Driving up to Rishikesh is also worth considering, as it is connected to other cities via the National Highway 58, which is in a good condition for most of the year.
You can book your bus tickets online at abhibus.com as they offer bus services from Delhi to Rishikesh.
3 – BIR-BILLING : Paragliding
Mostly referred to as the “Paragliding Capital of India”, this region offers an unbelievable opportunity to glide over rolling, lush green mountains and meadows and witness incredible landscape. While Billing is the takeoff site for paragliding and Bir for landing; collectively it is known as “Bir-Billing”. This region of Himachal Pradesh is considered as one of the finest paragliding destinations in the world and what amazes you is the innumerable paragliders soaring in the sky. Bir Billing has a league of trained instructors that ensure proper training for solo flights without having to miss out on fun.
How to reach Bir-Billing :
By air – There is no direct flight connectivity for the city of Bir. Kangra Airport, which is 67.6 km away from the destination, is the nearest airport that connects Bir to the rest of the world. Other airports close to Bir are in Chandigarh, Amritsar and New Delhi.
By train – There is no direct rail connectivity to Bir. The nearest narrow gauge station is in Ahju, barely 3 km. from Bir.
By road – Regular bus services ply to and fro the city of Bir. They operate on a daily basis, whether day or night, from places like Shimla, Dharamshala, etc. You can also take shared taxis or cabs for the same route.
4 – RAJASTHAN : JAIPUR & JAISALMER : Hot air ballooning and Dune Bashing
Hot Air Ballooning and Dune Bashing are a relatively new craze on the Indian adventure tourism scene, but these activities carried out in different locations of Rajasthan are fast gaining popularity with adventure enthusiasts in India. Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Pushkar, Jaipur and Ranthambore National Park are the major points to enjoy these rides. A 4X4 is led out in the desert only to destroy the sand mound coming its way. A little over the top but completely safe, dune bashing can best be enjoyed at the SAM Dunes of Jaisalmer.
How to reach :
One can get to Jaipur directly by air or train or road. Ahmedabad, Baroda, Kota, Udaipur, Ajmer, Indore and Surat are some places from where AbhiBus offers bus services to Jaipur.
5 – MYSORE : Skydiving
If given a chance, who wouldn’t like to spread their wings and fly high in the sky? One can only imagine and visualize the feeling of completely letting yourself go and surrendering to the wind……unless you’ve got the guts to undertake an adventure activity that helps you experience this feeling in reality. Skydiving is one such sport ! Go with an expert. Mysore is the best place to undertake this adventurous trip in India with a fascinating view of blue sky and lush greenery sprawled across the valley.
As far as skydiving in India is considered, Mysore is the name that tops the chart. Offering best facilities and amenities, the skydiving camps provide the option of tandem jumps, static jumps and accelerated freefalls prior to professional training for 2 – 3 days to ensure all kinds of safety. So, suck in your breath and enroll yourself for this experience of a lifetime at Mysore.
How to reach Mysore :
By Air: The nearest major airport to Mysore is the new Bangalore International Airport, which is about 170 kms away. Bangalore itself is very well-connected to all major cities in India. It takes about three hours by road to reach Mysore from Bangalore. You can take a KSRTC bus, a train or a taxi from Bangalore.
By road: You can also take the bus from Kempegowda Bus Station in Majestic (near the Bangalore City Railway Station) to Mysore. There are several options of state transport buses as well as private tour operators.
If you want to drive to Mysore from Bangalore, take the Mysore Road (SH 17) all the way till Mysore via Kengeri, Ramnagaram and Mandya. Alternatively, you can go from Jayanagar, Bangalore on the Kanakpura Road (NH 209) via Kanakpura, Malavalli and Bannur.
AbhiBus also offers bus services from Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Coorg, Bangalaore to Mysore.
6 – MEGHALAYA : Caving
Different parts of India are well-known for its famous caves, cave-art and cave history. Meghalaya, with its enchanting and lesser frequented caves is one such adventure spot and probably the best place to go caving in India. Nestled among the waterfalls and green forests, these caves will definitely enthrall you. Be ready for an out-of the-world experience. Once inside the caves one can only marvel at the opulent formations created over thousands of years – stalagmites, stalactites, candles, cave curtains and cave pearls to name a few. Most of the cave passages are live, meaning one would either have to walk through waist deep water or even swim to navigate the deep dark caves. Proficiently trained and experienced cavers guide clients through the caves to ensure their safety.
How to reach Meghalaya :
By train: Nearest railway station from Meghalaya is located in Guwahati (Assam), at a distance of 180 km. Guwahati Junction is connected to New Delhi, Amritsar, Jammu and Kashmir and Bangalore. To reach Meghalaya from Guwahati you can opt for buses or can hire a cab.
By Air: Major airport from Meghalaya is located in Guwahati (Assam) at a distance of 159 km (Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport). The airport is well- connected to Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta. There are no direct bus connection form Guwahati Airport to Meghalaya, but you can hire a cab to reach your destination.
By Road: Meghalaya is easily accessible through roads. The roads are mostly smooth and well-frequented with traffic
7 – MANALI : Mountain biking
Mountain Biking is one of the most interesting and exciting adventure activities in India and one can’t dethrone Manali from its top position of being the best destination to start biking expeditions in the country. This is one adventure activity that is both physically challenging and mentally stimulating offering the enthusiastic biker unending opportunities in the Indian Western Himalayas. There are several exotic routes from Manali to enjoy the untouched beauty of the Himalayas.
How to reach Manali :
By air: The nearest airport is at Bhuntar, located approximately 50 kilometres away from Manali.
By road: Manali is very well-connected to important tourist destinations like Leh, Shimla, Kullu, Dharamshala and New Delhi by means of a network of state-run as well as private buses.
You can book your bus tickets from Chandigarh or Delhi to Manali, online at abhibus.com.
8 – KARNATAKA : Rock climbing
Amidst the ever-changing and vast landscape of India, sheer rock faces can be found in several regions. However, passionate rock climbers are mostly captivated by the challenge and ruggedness of those that can be found only in Karnataka. This South Indian state is gifted with several marvellous rock climbing sites like Madhugiri, Savandurga, Ramanagaram, Hampi, Badami, Thuralli, Kabbal and many more.
How to reach Karnataka :
By Rail: The state is connected to all parts of the country by rail. It is easiest to get a connection to Bangalore and from here you can easily reach other parts of the state.
By Road: The border of Karnataka is linked to Maharashtra and Goa in the north, Andhra Pradesh in the north east, Tamil Nadu in the southeast and Kerala to the southwest. There are many entry points from all of these states, and interstate buses are frequently run by the government and private coach services at cost effective rates. You can also hire a cab or rent a car to explore this captivating tourist destination.
AbhiBus offers bus services to several cities in Karnataka. You can log onto their site www.abhibus.com……. Enter your origin city and destination city on the date you wish to travel and find out if they ply the route. It’s as simple as that !
9 – GULMARG : Skiing, Heli-skiing, Snowboarding
This is the ultimate winter adventure in India for you. Gulmarg, which gets covered with snow during the winter season, becomes a hotspot for skiing in India. This destination is known to have some of the best inclines for powder skiing as well as snowboarding. New-comers are ably guided and advised by experts who are available to make the experience enjoyable and exciting for you. There are separate slopes for the novice and the veterans.
And if you really want to experiment with the dangerous, then Heli-skiing is one such activity that you should try. High velocity wind furiously hitting your face and body hard while you step out of a helicopter to jump on the white carpet of snow for skiing, is one heart-stopping feat !!! And so is the location. Yes, Gulmarg is the ultimate place to enjoy heli-skiing activity in India. Added to this adventure is the ride on Asia’s longest cable car project called Gulmarg Gondola that operates in two phases. Truly an experience to cherish, skiing in Gulmarg is like a dream come true.
How to reach Gulmarg :
By air: The nearest airport to Gulmarg is in Srinagar which is 56 kilometres away. It is a domestic airport and is well connected to major cities in India by regular flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Amritsar. One can opt for a taxi or shared taxi to take you from there to Gulmarg.
By train: Jammu is the nearest railway station, at a distance of 290 kilometres. Jammu railway station is well connected to the most of the railheads in major Indian cities.
By road: Gulmarg is 57 kilometres from Srinagar and although it can be reached in 1-2 hours, it takes more time due to the winding high altitude roads. Gulmarg is well-connected with regular bus services from Srinagar, Sonmarg and other neighbouring towns in Kashmir. You can choose from regular, deluxe and luxury buses operated by both government and private companies.
10 – GOA : Parasailing, Jet-skiing, Water-skiing, Flyboarding
As we’ve said in several of our articles before, Goa is a tourist’s delight! There is so much more than just beaches – sun, sand, sea and parties. Water-sports lovers revel in this paradise as it is one of the best destinations to enjoy jet-sking, water-skiing, parasailing and a relatively newer sport called Flyboarding.
Parasailing gives one the opportunity to enjoy the aerial beauty of Goa while being tied to a parachute and elevated into the sky with the help of a speed boat. Jet-skiing and water-skiing antics can be thoroughly enjoyed by the brave-hearted water babies. And flyboarding, a comparatively new watersport in India, is made available in Baina Beach of Goa. The sport most enjoyed by youngsters is done on a jet ski that seems to be attached by a hose that pumps water to send it as high as 15 metres in the air, enabling the rider to make dolphin-like maneuvers and dive under water from a great height. Allowing swirling, flipping and rising high in the water, fly board is indeed a great way to have fun in the waters of Goa.
How to reach Goa :
Goa is easily accessible from all metros and major cities by flight, train and by road as well. The international airport is at Dabolim, at a distance of 29 kms from Panaji and the 2 railway stations in Goa are at Madgaon and Vasco da Gama.
Abhibus offers you bus services to Goa from Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai etc.!
Not only adventure, but all these destinations also offer some comfortable or luxurious stay facilities to give that much needed dose of relaxation after you undertake some nerve-wracking activities.
Picture Credits: Ladakh: Www.Frozenhimalayas.Com, Rishikesh: Www.Jumpingheights.Com, Bir-Billing: Www.Paraglidingbirbilling.Com, Rajasthan: Wedstreet.In (balloon); Holidayiq (dune Bashing), Mysore: Tour My India, Meghalaya: Tripoto – Neelima V, Manali: Shikhar Travels, Karnataka: Treklocations – Goutam, Gulmarg: Conde Nast Traveller India – Syed Shahriyar Demotix Corbis, Goa: Peak Adventure Tours Pvt. Ltd – Sudip Dey