Razi Shaikh explores some funactivities if you’ve got wanderlust and adventure running through your veins..
Scuba Diving- Rs. 3,500 onwards
If you are crazy about underwater sports and love exploring marine life, try scuba diving. India, with its vast coastline and scenic beaches offers many spots for underwater enthusiasts. This sport is gaining popularity, thanks to the many diving schools that offer scuba diving, snorkelling and underwater photography. You get to explore marine life in all its beauty and swim with a herd of Manta Rays and see Barracudas, Butterfish, Sea Cucumbers, coral, turtles and Bottlenose dolphins up, close and personal! For the sake of precaution, you are bundled along with a substantial amount of gear. You’ll also need to train before you actually go scuba diving. Snorkelling is an alternative to scuba diving since it is easier, requiring less equipment and training. However, if you wish to enjoy the fascinating underwater life for a longer period, you will need to go through the rigours of scuba diving!
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Goa, Netrani Island (Karnataka) and Angria Bank (off the coast of Maharashtra) are the places to head out for scuba diving.
Paragliding- Rs. 9,500 onwards
Fancy making the sky your playground? Then strap yourself to a harness, foot launch your glider aircraft and after running along the ground, you’ll be off into the skies! Man has forever been enchanted with the skies and yearned to fly high above the ground. Thanks to adventure sports such as paragliding, this wish can be satisfied. If you love the skies, jump aboard! If the thought of heights scares you, the best thing to do is paraglide. No kidding! You’ll have the time of your life and by the end of it, your fear will be left in the skies. It’s a sport that is well worth your time and effort. Once you get the hang of the basics- launching, turning and landing you’ll be set to hit the skies! Of course, during your training period, you will fly tandem with an instructor. But after training, you will be able to take in the beautiful bird’s eye view of the mountains, hills and lakes all by yourself!
Check out Kamshet near Lonavla (Maharashtra), Billing in Himachal Pradesh, Solang near Manali (Himachal Pradesh) as well as Jaisalmer and Jaipur in Rajasthan.
Hiking – Free!
If you are fit with health on your side and have a penchant for adventure, try your hands at hiking. It’s one of the easier sports out there and gives you plenty of recreation as well. Hiking is pure joy to someone who loves walking as it allows one to enjoy in the lap of nature as well as to explore the scenic terrains. Before embarking on a hiking trail, you will need comfortable clothing, a trustworthy pair of shoes, a trail map and compass, should you ever get separated from your group. Of course, getting lost in the mountains can be a different adventure altogether, but that’s only the case if you want it! Otherwise, hang by your group and stay on the trail!
Kullu and Manikaran (Himachal Pradesh), Darjeeling, the Doon valley, Leh-Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir), the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri hills in particular are ideal spots to go hiking in India.
Water Skiing- Rs.2,500 onwards
Skiing on water? Yes, you read that right. A relatively new sport in India, water skiing is different from snow skiing in the sense that instead of gliding on snow, you’ll be skimming on water. It’s a lot like surfing, except that your hands aren’t free and unlike surfing, it can be done in lakes too. This water sport is tough, so you will need to brush up on your basics. Needless to say, you need to know swimming just in case you want to free your hands from the tow-rope attached to the boat. As a beginner, balancing the whole act may give you pangs of anxiety and a bit of sea sickness, but once you get the hang of it, it will be a piece of cake. The best method is to first try it on a dry land, besides getting thorough with the balancing act on water.
Dal, Nagin and Manasbal Lake (Kashmir), Goa and the Andaman and Nicobar islands are perfect for this sport.
Camping – Free!
A stress-filled city life demands a break! There’s no better way to do this than to escape from the city chaos and spend some quality time in the midst of nature. Camping is perhaps the most versatile activity out there since there are no rigid rules as such. It’s just you, your group, nature and tons of fun! Light a bonfire, enjoy an all-night party in the middle of a forest and enjoy fishing and bird watching during the day. It’s the best way to unwind after a long week or when time’s short and you still want to enjoy a getaway from the urban, concrete jungle. When the body needs a break and the mind is in a state of disarray, you can either allow it to pile up or you can treat yourself. So pack your bags and head out into the wilderness now!
Corbett National Park (Uttaranchal), Kaudiyal (Uttaranchal), Mussoorie (Uttaranchal), the Kerala backwaters and Samode Bagh offer pristine camping spots.
Volume 2 Issue 1