01: Trekking and Mountaineering
India’s mountain ranges provide plenty of trekking and mountaineering options for all fitness levels, whether you’d prefer a leisurely day hike or a challenging walk along the frozen Zanskar River (the Chadar Ice Trek). These top treks in Ladakh are popular. In addition, the Indian government recently announced that the Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram range north of the Nubra Valley is now open to experienced mountaineers. The states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand in northern India also offer excellent trekking opportunities, such as the delightful Valley of Flowers. For a pristine mountain trek in Uttarakhand, head off the beaten path at Kalap. If you really want to get away from it all and like a challenge, try a remote trek that’s still under the radar. For guided treks of all descriptions, some of the best companies are Ibex Expeditions, Peak Adventure Tours, Garhwal Himalayan Explorations, and Himalayan Frontiers.
Where: The Himalaya region.
02: Rafting and Kayaking
Going on a rafting expedition in India combines picturesque scenery with exciting thrills and spills. Raft down renowned rivers, such as the holy Ganges, by day and camp at pristine beaches by night. If you have a real adventure on your mind, there’s nothing like the extra adrenaline rush from whitewater kayaking. Companies providing these activities include Splash Ladakh, Mercury Himalayan Explorations, AquaTerra Adventures, and GoaRafting.
Where: The Himalaya region including Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand (Rishikesh), and Sikkim. Also in Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to fly like a bird, paragliding is the answer! There are two ways to go about it — learn how to do it yourself or take a tandem joyride with a professional. Companies offering paragliding joyrides in India include Billing Paragliding Association, Fly Bir Billing, Nirvana Adventures, and Indus Paragliding. For those wanting to learn how to paraglide, Nirvana Adventures is the oldest and most reputed paragliding school in India. Temple Pilots is also highly rated.
Where: Bir Billing in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Kamshet, between Mumbai and Pune, in Maharashtra.
04: Water Sports
Traditional water sports such as parasailing, jet skiing, water skiing, windsurfing, and banana boat rides have been popular for many years in India. Newer activities, such as kite surfing, are now catching on as well. Imagine the rush from surfing while hanging onto a kite high up in the sky! Lessons are available for those who are inexperienced. It’s possible to learn in 12-14 hours. Atlantis Water Sports is the most well-established provider
Where: Water sports are offered all along Goa’s beaches. In north Goa, particularly around Candolim, Calangute, Morjim, and Arambol beaches. Also selected beaches in south Goa, such as Benaulim.
Touring India on a motorcycle is the ultimate way of exploring the countryside if you have a love of traveling and motorbike riding. Enjoy the freedom to discover and experience India in a way which isn’t possible using other forms of transport. Here are some of the top motorcycling destinations and tours in India. For the ultimate adventure, consider joining the annual Himalayan Odyssey, in July, from Delhi to Leh. It involves traversing some of the most challenging trails and highest mountain passes in India.
Where: All over the country, including the Himalaya region, Rajasthan, and south India.
06: Hot Air Ballooning
Hot air ballooning is a relatively new adventure activity in India, but one that’s fast growing in popularity. It’s a thrilling way to experience India and get a different perspective of the country. Imagine calmly floating high above the crowds and chaos.
Where: Goa, Rajasthan, Lonavala in Maharashtra, Neemrana near Delhi, and the Araku Valley of Andhra Pradesh.
07: Heli Skiing
Take skiing to a whole new level and explore pristine, normally inaccessible terrain. You’ll be airlifted by helicopter to slopes and mountain tops that are impossible to reach otherwise. Marvel at the virgin environment, and be the first to leave your tracks in the snow. Be warned, the thrill doesn’t come cheap though! Himalayan Heli Adventures offers various heli-skiing trips. The season runs from January to April.
Where: Himachal Pradesh (based in Manali) and Kashmir (based in Srinagar).