Canoeing / Boating
Canoeing is a sport that has been around for many years. Canoeing began to meet the simple needs of transportation across and along waterways. The great thing about canoeing is that it can be done in lots of different places such as rivers, lakes and also water-parks. Canoeing is a paddle sport in which you kneel or sit facing forward in an open or closed-decked canoe, and propel yourself with a single-bladed paddle, under your own power.
Skydiving is an extremely popular and most visually stimulating aero sport amongst adventure enthusiasts. Skydiving is different from parachuting. Sky Diving involves a jump from an aircraft that is at high altitude and fall freely in the air without using the parachute upto a certain altitude. One can perform aerial maneuvers before opening the parachute to halt free fall, allowing a gentle landing. It requires some serious training and safety drills before one can enjoy this heady adventure sport. There are three sky diving methods to choose from: Tandem skydiving, Static Line and Accelerated FreeFall (AFF).
White Water Rafting
Rafting is a thrilling adventure activity, which uses a raft to navigate a river or other water bodies. Rafts do not have engine. It is propelled by the flow of the river water. This adventure sport has become popular since the 1980s and is now an industry in itself. Conditions suitable for rafting are mostly (but, not exclusively) restricted to the north India, with Himalayan rivers offering the most stunning views and wild waters moving across steep gorges, sharp gradients and breathtaking dips. White Water Rafting attracts travellers from all walks.
Born in New Zealand, Zorbing is actually a somewhat simple adventure sport that involves no skill whatsoever and can be enjoyed by people of all ages: Climb inside a giant see-through plastic, air-cushioned inflated ball and come hurling down a hill. The plastic ball is double walled, hops around, but protects the occupant from the full impact of repeatedly hitting the ground. It can be compared to being stuck in a giant washing machine.
The first ascending / gliding parachutes were developed in 1961 as a training tool for parachuters. For starters, parasailing allows you to effortlessly glide hundreds of feet above the ocean, being towed behind a high speed boat while attached to a specially designed wing, enjoying an interrupted view of the water beneath. Parasailing is a popular recreational activity and is visually similar to a bird flight.
Rappelling (also known as abseiling) is technique that allows doing a controlled descent using a rope from a cliff or mountain. It requires skill and training to perform this activity and must be done under expert supervision. Rappelling uses tools such as specially designed harnesses and ropes to ensure safety. Waterfall rappelling is another variant where the climber descents a cliff fighting against the distraction and force of a gushing waterfall.
Mountain biking is the sport of riding bicycles over rough terrain, using specially designed mountain bikes. Mountain bikes look like other bikes, but have more durable features and performance. This sport requires strength, endurance, maneuver and balance. Mountain Biking challenges riders on difficulties that require stamina and perseverance to negotiate. One can ride a mountain bike on off-road trails, slosh through mud, move through ice, in all weather conditions. Mountain biking packs it all – thrill, fitness and freedom. Biking is kinder to the nature, costs less to operate and maintain. All of these factors contribute towards making cycling a fun and enjoyable activity – solo as well as group.
Hot Air Ballooning
As a kid, most of us have imagined floating in the sky holding on to our rising helium balloons. Hot Air Ballooning fulfils that fantasy albeit in a different way. A large sized, specially designed balloon is lifted up using buoyant hot air. Passengers are carried in a basket (also called as gondola). The balloon is controlled by a trained pilot. This activity offers a calm experience, with spectacular views, a privilege which only the birds are entitled to. A hot air balloon can hold as many as 10 people, and can be enjoyed by people of any age group.
Trekking / Hiking
Being a soft-adventure sport, anyone in reasonably good physical condition can go for trekking / hiking. A basic knowledge of map reading, terrain and first aid is essential before one can undertake a trek. Trekking / Hiking are activities, in which people may take multi-day trips through rural, often rugged territory. Many people who are professional trekkers engage in longer trips through entire regions of the world, using trekking as a way of getting from place to place. It also can be incorporated with other outdoor sports, such as rock climbing, mountaneering or backpacking. Himalayan and Shayadri ranges are full of friendly as well as challenging treks of different durations.
Wildlife safari previously used to be recognized as big-game hunts. Thankfully now, safaris are meant for observing animals in their natural surroundings. There are various types of safari experiences – starting from guided safaris and jeep safaris to more specialized ones like elephant safari. An adventurous way to study wildlife is atop an elephant. Most of India’s wildlife parks have their fleet of elephants which can be hired for to go into areas that are inaccessible to jeeps. On an elephant safari, you may find yourself just meters away from a growling Tiger. Elephant safaris are much less intrusive to wildlife than jeeps.
If you want to witness the unique and rustic essence of India, you should do it the way the ancient traders did. On a camel back! Known as the “ship of the desert”, camel treks are popular in the sand-dune deserts of western Rajasthan, especially Jaisalmer, also known for its forts or in the vast expanse of Nubra Valley in Ladakh, where safaris are conducted on the rare double-humped Bactrian camel. Ensconce yourself contentedly on the back of an ungulate and admire the sand dunes around you extending for miles – as far as your eye can see. However, remember to carry a hat & sunscreen to protect yourself from heatstroke.
Bungee Jumping is arguably the most splendid jump. Bungee jumping involves taking a leap from a natural or artificial platform tied at the ankles to a large elastic cord. This is as enthralling an activity as any can be. And one that both young and old have delighted in over the last few years since it started in Indian sub-continent. As the jumper falls freely from a height, the cord stretches and recoils several times. This smooth trapeze like movement continues until the elastic cord loses its energy. Safety record of Bungee Jumping is good; it still makes one feel like taking a leap of faith.
Also known as ‘Flying Fox, a zip line is made up of a pulley affixed to a strong steel cable. The cable is attached between fixed points of differing elevations – to enable ‘zipping’ from the top to the bottom of the cable. For gravitational force to pull the user downwards, the zip line must be inclined to a certain degree. Besides their obvious functional value for military personnel and villagers in remote areas, zip lines have become a popular activity, well-received in resorts and adventure camps.
The dream of flying in the sky just like a bird is the most common dream everyone had as a child. Paragliding comes very close to that fascinating reverie. This sport is considered by some to be risky; however, the safety record of this sport is quite better compared to other adventure disciplines. For travellers looking for a few minutes of that awesome feeling, tandem paragliding (accompanied by an instructor who controls the glide) is the answer. For solo flights, one has to undergo extensive training. There are numerous paragliding schools that you can join in Himachal and Uttaranchal to learn this sport.
Nothing better sums up the human spirit to scale challenges than the centuries-old human endeavor to climb deceitful peaks. Mountaineering entails advancing across different terrains – glaciers, ice or naked rocks. It demands a combination of skills – hiking, climbing or simply walking, with or without the help of technical equipment and support. The feats of legendary mountaineers like Edmund Hilary have contributed to making this activity a popular one all around the world. One has to be physically fit and agile to climb mountains. Training, conditioning and preparation are necessary besides the grit to withstand extreme climatic conditions. But in the end, all of this is worth the while. There is no better feeling than being out in the nature’s playground, breathing in the unspoilt mountain air.
Sailing / Cruise
The sport of sailing is about managing a sea-borne craft with the help of a sail (made out of a special fabric). The function of the sail, which is supported up by a mast, is to propel the craft helped using wind. A sailor uses the wind on the sails to guide the vessel by adjusting the rudder. A good sailor is able to navigate the boat in challenging wind and sea conditions. There’s nothing more enlivening than pitting oneself against the elements of raw nature.
Scuba diving is undoubtedly the perfect way to survey the incredible underwater world, up close with the wonders this marine universe, with its breathtakingly diverse & colorful inhabitants. Floating below the clean waters, you are in other-wordly environment, with a limited supply of air and only fellow divers as your lifeline. Over the years, scuba diving has grown into a non-competitive but a very exciting adventure sport. India, with its vast coastline offers limitless avenues for scuba-divers. The Andamans and Lakshadweep offer unmatched quality of scuba diving and appeal to domestic as well as foreign tourists.
Skiing / Snowboarding
If you don’t know when to stop, Skiing is not for you! It is a recreational activity as well as a competitive sport. The skier uses boards (also called runners) and specially designed boots to travel on firm snow. Skiing is a recreational activity as well as a competitive sport. Snowboarding is a similar snow-sport which uses one wide board instead of the two thinner boards that skiers use. Skiers use skis and poles to control their speed and direction. Weight, Balance and Speed Control are the key skills needed in Skiing.
Also known as paddling, kayaking involves travelling on calm or gushing water using a kayak, a narrow boat maneuvered by a double-blade paddle. A kayak loosely resembles a fishing boat, and usually comes fitted with a covered deck. There are two types of kayaking – white water kayaking, where the paddler negotiates rapids and waterfalls, and ocean kayaking, where the kayak is navigated in open water. White water kayaking requires a great degree of training and skill (and is a lot more thrilling than white water rafting). There are numerous training centers in Uttaranchal to learn Kayaking.
Angling / Fishing
Fishing or Angling, is catching fish by using a fish hook (‘angle’). The hook is attached to a fishing line, which is connected to a fishing rod. Professional fishing rods also have a fishing reel. Angling is pursued usually for pleasure (recreation) or for food. Once ‘hooked’, the ‘bait’ of angling (pun unintended) is difficult to elude. No other sport offers you hours of peace and reflection, in the great outdoors? If there’s one fish that India is renowned for, it is the Mahseer, a species found in Himalayan Rivers.
Para Motoring or Air Safari or Microlight flying involves piloting a lightweight aircraft, either a one- or two-seater, and with fixed wings. It entails gliding in air for a short duration as in Paragliding, however the substantial difference being that it is motorized and does not depend on wind for gaining escape velocity. To fly a Microlight in India, one must have a Microlight Pilot License, and also be at least 18 years old. Travellers can enjoy tandem flights where the controls are operated by instructor.
It’s a motorbike. It’s a boat. Motorbikes that can ride on water—how cool is that? Jet Skis are among the fastest and most maneuverable boats of all. In the hands of an experienced driver, a jet ski can provide hours of excitement. It can accommodate two or more riders, and have enough towing power. They are popular with travellers and lifeguards alike. Riding a jet ski is probably one of the most exciting things you can do on the water, however it should be done under expert guidance and any kind of unwarranted heroism should be kept at a barge pole distance.
Snorkeling is a popular recreational activity, especially at tropical resorts and scuba diving locations. The main appeal is the chance to observe underwater life in a natural setting without the complicated equipment and training required for scuba diving. It attracts people of all ages because of its simplicity. Although not every one may want to dive, but the only requirement for snorkeling is an ability to swim, good fitness as it a arduous activity, and the ability to laugh at yourself when you first don the funny-looking snorkeling gear. If you have not snorkeled before, give it a go and you will surely be enriched by looking at the mesmerizing beauty below you.