The new age traveler doesn’t just want to see pretty sights – he wants to experience the destination as completely as possible. And that’s what makes adventure travel so popular – travel to a place, do something fun which you wouldn’t have gotten to do elsewhere, and live your life to the fullest.
If you’re planning to visit India, why not consider having a bit of an adventure holiday out there too? Here are some of the most popular destinations for having a thrilling adventure holiday in India:
Skiing in Auli
Located in the state of Uttarakhand, the Auli valley offers terrific slopes ideal for skiing enthusiasts. The good thing about Auli is that isn’t as popular as Manali and Shimla, and offer you some respite from the crowd of tourists. Imported snow beaters ensure that the snow here is always smooth and comfortable for skiers.
The Auli Ski Resort is maintained by Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN). GMVN has a wide range of ski equipment that you can purchase or hire, including ski sets, ski goggles, gloves and other protective gear. Skiing festivals are also hosted at Auli by the Winter Games Federation of India and attract many skiing enthusiasts from around the country and the world.
Chair lifts connect the lower slopes to the upper ones at Auli, making it easier for you to move across ski slopes and experience more skiing. A must-do is to travel in Asia’s longest cable car or Gondola here, starting from Joshimath all the way to Gorson located above Auli. Get down at Gorson and take a 24km trek up to Kauri Pass.
Auli’s wonderfully thick forests of oak and coniferous trees offer splendid, panoramic views of the majestic Himalayas too. For those who want to try their hands at something other than skiing, you can sign up for biking, hiking or trekking trips and enjoy the sights and sounds of the wilderness. The Gorson Reserve Forest and the Nanda National Park are must-see places at Auli.
The nearest airport is at Dehradun, about 179 km from Auli. From here, take a cab to get to Auli and enjoy your skiing holiday!
Scuba Diving off Netrani Island
If skiing isn’t your cup of tea, and you’d prefer the waves and the beckoning of the ocean, head down south to Karnataka. The Netrani Island in the state lets you explore the underwater life of the Arabian Sea through scuba diving. You can spot whales, turtles, Great Barracuda, stingrays and many other exotic kinds of fishes in these waters. You can dive up to a depth of 40m in these blue waters or even go snorkeling here.
However, for security reasons, make sure that you get consent for diving from the coastal guards and the local police on the Netrani Island. The island is about 30km from Honnavar and is accessible through motor boats from here.
Head to Murudeshwara Beach, where professional diving instructors from Dive Goa can help you go scuba diving in the waters. The Netrani Island is a couple of hours away from the beach. Keep your eyes out for the entrance base of the island, which is in the shape of a cave.
If you’d like to take your love for scuba diving a step further, Dive Goa also offers an opportunity to get diving certifications here. Underwater photography is permitted, but you will have to shell out an extra amount to do so.
Apart from scuba diving, there’s also a temple on the island where devotees donate animals in order to get their wishes granted. However, the climb up to the temple can get a tad arduous because of the sharp stones around the island – be careful not to get scrapes or scratches during the climb. Just like for scuba diving, you will require consent from the local authorities if you’re planning to visit the temple.
Paragliding in Bir-Billing
If snow and sea don’t offer much enticement and you’d much rather take to the skies, head to Bir Billing at Himachal Pradesh and sign up to go paragliding. Nestled in the Kangra Valley, the twin towns of Bir and Billing feature among the top 10 paragliding destinations of the world. Bir-Billing is also famous for hosting a pre-World Cup paragliding event every year.
The paragliding launch point is located at an altitude of about 8,000ft, and on good weather days, you can paraglide for up to 100 km. The best time if you’re looking for a great paragliding experience is during the autumn months of October and November.
In addition to paragliding, Bir-Billing is a great place to go trekking, hiking or camping, and offers many sightseeing opportunities as well. Breathe in the fresh mountain air, revel under clear blue skies, and visit the numerous monasteries for a completely refreshing break!
Billing is located about 22 km from Dharamshala, also its nearest railway station, and about 85km from Pathankot – a major railway station. If you’re planning to travel by air, book your tickets for the Gaggal airport in Kangra valley to get to Bir-Billing.
Motorcycle tour to Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh is also known as the “Hidden Land” of India and is tucked away in the north eastern part of the country. Mostly unexplored and untouched by the modern world, the north east offers steep hills, dense forests, snowcapped peaks, lush rivers and a significant amount of tribal population.
If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, looking to get away from the entire din in urban spaces, head to this part of the country. Rickety wooden bridges, dirt tracks through the jungles, rocky river beds and slushy paths make this motorcycle tour a heady experience.
If you plan to start from Delhi, it could take at least 14 days to travel to and from Arunachal Pradesh, which shares its borders with Tibet and China. Ride up to a height of 9,000ft over sea level and pay a visit to Lower and Upper Dibang Valleys.
You will fall in love with the simplicity of the native lifestyle and the warm and friendly people of the state. You must also keep some time aside to visit the Namadpha Tiger Reserve during your trip to catch a glimpse of the majestic big cat. If you have more time on your hands, park your motorbike on the side and go river rafting along Dibang, Kameng or Siang too.
India offers a number of opportunities to the motorcycle enthusiast. Sign up for motorcycle rides up to the mountains to places like Manali and even up to Leh. Explore the high peaks of the Himalayas, or sign up for more mellow routes down south.
Take your motorbike down the west coast of India, explore the backwaters of Kerala, tea and coffee estates, spice plantations and serene hill stations along the Western Ghats. Or head down the scenic East Coast Road to Pondicherry, along the seashore.
About the author: Abby Clark was hit by wanderlust as a teenager and has since visited well-known as well as remote little corners around the world. She also writes blogs and guest blogs for Best Quote Travel Insurance