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This article first appeared on Little Black Book Delhi.

For some, riding a speed boat in Goa or a shikara in Srinagar may be thrilling enough, but for those who need that exhilarating rush, a pumping heart and a kick of adrenaline, only some good old adventure sports can deliver.

Here we give you a quick rundown on 10 awesome destinations for adventure sports in, yes, India. Who knew!


Skiing in Kashmir

SKier on a slope in Kashmir

Photo: Skigulmarg

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 that it’s a walk to the top if you want to start again.

Our pick of mountain 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.

Best time to visit: Mid-Jan to end of Feb.

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

Nearest airport: Srinagar (59 km)

In town: Check out houseboats or a fabulous boutique hotel in Srinagar

Find out more about skiing with Ski Gulmarg here.


Mountain climbing in Uttarakhand

Mountaineer in Uttarakhand

Photo courtesy Adventure Nation

There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as climbing the Himalayas, is there? However, before setting sights on the Everest Base Camp 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+

Nearest airport: Pantnagar (188 km) but Delhi is better connected.

Find out more about mountaineering with Adventure Nation here.


Whitewater rafting the Zanskar river

Raft on the Zanskar river

Photo courtesy Philip Larson via Flickr

Bleak and beautiful, this is a fantastic run along the Zanskar river in Ladakh. Possibly the only place you can see deep gorges, towering snow-capped peaks and ancient monasteries from the comfort (?!) of a raft.

Your 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 widest. 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+ per day per person

Nearest airport: Leh (450 kms)

Accommodation in Leh and Ladakh.

Find out more about rafting with Zanskar Trek here.


Trekking in Bomdila

Mountain view in Bomdila

Photo courtesy Traveloearth North East India

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 en route.

We recommend a 10-12 day trek to get a real feel for 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+ per person for 12 days, including accommodation.

Closest Airport: Tezpur, Assam (151 km)

Find out more about trekking with TravelOEarth here.


Scuba diving in the Andamans

Divers in the Andaman Islands

Photo courtesy Barefoot Holidays

There’s no better place to go scuba diving in India than Havelock in the Andaman Islands, especially since the islands are protected. Sign up with Barefoot Scuba (although there are other diving schools too) and get a beginners licence before you explore the unimaginably gorgeous azure waters and all that lies beneath the surface. Don’t forget to take an underwater camera along.

Best time to visit: October to May.

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

Closest Airport: Port Blair (67 km away, accessible only by sea)

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


Bungee jumping in Rishikesh


Photo courtesy Jumping Heights

If falling off a cantilever with nothing but mountains above you and the Hyul river below sounds appealing, then head off to Rishikesh (Mohanchatti, 25 km 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, 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 km)

Find out more about bungee jumping with Jumping Heights here.


Skydiving in Panchgani


Photo courtesy India Skydiving

Step onto a plane, suit up, and once you’re in the air, close your eyes and JUMP. Opt for a video package so you can 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+

Closest Airport: Pune (100 kms)

Find out more about skydiving with Skydiving India here.


Rock climbing in Orchha


Photo courtesy Snow Leopard Adventures

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. The Betwa and Jamini rivers flow below; if you’re a pro, feel free to explore on your own.

Best time to visit: September to March.

Price: INR 1,000+ per climb.

Closest Airport: Gwalior (125 km)

Find out more about rock climbing with Snow Leopard here.

Canyoning in Dandeli


Photo courtesy Panther Jungle Stay 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+ per person

Closest Airport: Dabolim, Goa (135 km)

Check out boutique accommodation in Goa.

Find out more about canyoning with Panther Stay here.

Dune bashing in Jaisalmer

4WD on a dune in Rajasthan

Photo courtesy Panther Jungle Stay Dandeli

Fasten your seatbelt (tight!) and get ready to kick up some serious sand. Rajasthan’s Thar desert has lovely, high dunes, and the best place to 4WD 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!

Best time to visit: September to February.

Price: INR 3,000 per person.

Closest Airport: Jodhpur (250 kms)

Stay at the incredible Suryagarh hotel just outside Jaisalmer.

Find out more about dune bashing with Camp Paradise here.