Life is either a great adventure or nothing. Most of us go on this adventure, travel and make enough memories that last a lifetime. Some of us travel to relax and go on holidays. Some of us just want to experience the unusual. In a diverse country like India, we come across various adventures, from the north to south, the east to west and all of them have to be lived at least once in a lifetime. For all the wanderlusts out there, we have made a list of top 10 adventures in this diverse land.
1. A trek to the land of Skeletons - Roopkund Lake, Uttarakhand
A heaven for trekkers, but with a horrific twisting trek at the mighty Himalayas. Horrific because the path of this trek actually has hundreds of human skeletons scattered all over. YES! You read it right! Locally known as the “Mystery & Skeletons Lake”, it attracts a lot of adventure lovers especially the ones curious to unlock the mythological, spiritual and scientific theories of this place.
A frozen lake home to hundreds of remains of men in the higher reaches of the Himalayas at 5029m above sea level. 52 hairpin bend climbs, 108 zigzag climbs, endless meadows, undisturbed bed of oak and rhododendron forests, pure blue sky with soft pristine cotton-like clouds, nature’s untouched beauty is found here.
The Himalayan beauty has contrasting views and weather as one reaches higher altitudes. A speechless experience of walking in between the misty clouds at the snow capped mountains will dismiss the thought of using your gadgets here. This rustic beauty tests your physical endurance, will power, determination towards Mother Nature and the rewards are innumerable.
Best time to visit: Mid June to Mid October
2. Bike ride on the Leh, Ladakh highway to Spiti Valley
Ladakh is undoubtedly one of the best destinations for an adventure trip in India. If you really wish to explore the countryside with your best mates then motorcycle tour is the best option. This could be one of the most memorable moments of your life. It involves crossing some of the most spine-chilling destinations and puts your endurance to test. Spiti meaning the middle land (the land between India & Tibet) is a blissful land of Buddhist. The unvarying culture of this place, the sun-kissed snow peaks; scenic landscapes, suspended glaciers and the lush green valleys undoubtedly make it an exceptionally picturesque place. You sure will be left with a thrilling experience to ride on the Asia’s greatest road trips. The Spiti Valley located at an altitude of 12,500ft above sea level with a blend of arid and lush landscapes make the place breathtaking. In this road bike, you will take the less traveled roads, explore the unexplored to see the other side of India.
Best time to visit: Late May until Late September
3. A holy dip in the Ganges, A fall in nature - Rishikesh
A place that’s high on adrenaline & enlightenment – a unique blend of adventure and spirituality. Don’t miss taking a dip in the holy Ganges for Rishikesh, considered one of the holiest places in the country. White water rafting here is famously known along with other adventures being Bungee Jumping, Flying Fox, Zip line, Jungle Camping, and Trekking.
The rafting excursion will last for about 2 hours where you will encounter all grades of rapids. The cold water splash will keep you refreshed and energetic throughout. Paddling your way with the mighty water is an exotic experience that is not to be missed. A cliff jump from a 20ft height here is recommended. Want to experience a chill in your spine, then take a jump from this platform, specially built on a cliff at 83m height for a surreal experience.
Best time to visit: Early March until May
4. An island with Asia’s best beaches, The Pearl of Andaman - Havelock Islands
A perfect reality of your childhood dream painting – the clear blue sky, silky white sands & lush green forests around. This is the first sight of this gorgeous island. The island can be easily reached by ferries or a private cruise located 41km away from Port Blair. The island is also accessible through Seaplane. The beaches here are popularly known by their numbers.
The Radhanagar beach being the No.7 is the most prominent beach which has also received “Asia’s Best Beach” award. Other notable beaches include the Elephant beach. This is best known for a divine dive for snorkeling & scuba diving. From corals to turtles, the glass bottom boats help you marvel the aquatic life. This beach can be reached either by trekking or by a ferry. This destination offers beautiful white sands, sea walk & an amazing coral reef which starts at a depth of just 5ft. Wondering how? Well, it happens only in Andaman. The water here is crystal clear and looks splendid in luscious shades of blue and green! And the sands, they turn golden every time the sunrays gently caress its pure white surface.
Sunsets at Havelock Island are what picture-perfect postcards are made of. If you happen to be an adventure junkie, you could probably trek to the southernmost tip of South Andaman to soak in the beauty of breathtaking sunsets at the Munda Pahar Beach in Chidiya Taapu (Bird Island). On the contrary, the massive bleached trunks of fallen trees along its fringes add an exquisite charm. Make this underwater experience a memorable one. Also you can add nearby non-polluted islands to your journey. Some of them being the Ross Island, Neil Island, Barren Island, Long Island, Little Andaman, etc.
Best time to visit: Andaman is an island with a weird tropical climate and can be visited throughout the year. Suggested travel period from November to May.
5. The Abode of Clouds, Wondrous world of limestone caves – Meghalaya
The southern slopes of Meghalaya are gifted with abundant deposits of limestone. Coupled with the high level of precipitation and an elevation in excess of 1000m, it affords ideal conditions for the formation of caves. With more than 1200 caves, Meghalaya boasts of the largest network of caves found on the Indian sub-continent, stretching over 300kms.
On the Meghalaya Caving Adventure, one gets to explore the different caves in the Shnong Rim area, which gives an out of the world experience. Once inside the caves one can only marvel at the opulent formations created over thousands of years. Who wouldn’t want to walk through waist deep chilling waters, crossing slippery rock surface, maneuvering through sharp rock edges or even swim amongst the longest and deepest caves in the world? This place renders about 1580 caves out of which 980 have been fully or partially explored for a stretch of 427km. Limestone mining for cement industry is a major threat to the caves of Meghalaya.
Caving is a truly thrilling experience one should have fun with but by following the guidelines strictly. The paths are quite stressful as they are steeper. You need to be confident to tread in these paths. The intricate formations of limestone exploring the dark interiors, the golden river sure makes it a palace of limestone. So get ready for a memorable experience in the caves
Best time to visit: Blessed with a moderate climate, every season has a reason to visit. The best being October to April.
6. The land of salts - Rann of Kutch
The Great Rann of Kutch is the seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar desert. Reputed for the largest salt deserts in the world, one can enjoy the view of the clear blue sky merging with the crystal clean white salts. You can experience contrasting weather conditions in this place. The temperature goes up to a peak of 49° C and in the winters it drastically reduces to around 0° C.
As it is located in the most culturally abundant state of Gujarat, one should visit the Rann Utsav here which is held between November and February. It’s a festival of dance and music, celebrating nature’s beauty and abundance. The full moon makes this place an enchanting landscape giving a moonlit shimmer effect. You can also take part in the Golf cart ride, camel cart excursion, paramotoring, meditation, and yoga. Not to miss tasting the delicious Gujarati Thali.
Also famous for wildlife and desert safari, one can spot rare species of wildlife like Blue Bull, Wild ass, Desert Fox, Blackbuck, rare species of snakes. Inherent with rich culture, the Kutch people are widely known for their numerous handicrafts. The ethnic style embroidery, patchwork, terracotta, block printed textiles are some of the must-have souvenirs from Kutch.
Best time to visit: November to February
7. Bird’s eye view of Royal Rajasthan
Rajasthan – Literally meaning the land of kings. A vast land with numerous Jain temples, beautiful palaces, mountain ranges, National Tiger reserves & desserts with a rich history of The Indus Valley civilization.
Hot Air Balloons are probably one of the best ways to explore the royal beauty of the capital city, Jaipur. Getting a bird’s eye view of this royal masterpiece is probably one of the best feelings that you can relish forever. The excitement of flying over this pink city’s hidden palaces, spectacular forts and breathtaking terrain & traditional local villages is quite special. You could capture these fantastic sights in your camera to cherish them later.
These rides are arranged early in the morning and late afternoon as the winds are quite favorable during this period for this activity. Exploring the majestic glory of this rich state is surely mesmerizing. Also do not miss the famous Pushkar Camel Festival in Rajasthan.
Best time to visit: October to April
8. Paragliding in Bir-Billing – Himachal Pradesh
For years, paragliding in India had not been a popular choice. In the recent years, there is a tremendous surge in the paragliding opportunities, and people looking for this wonderful adventure sport that allows humans to live their most longing fantasy of flying.
Bir-Billing has the most adventurous sports in India. The world cup of paragliding is hosted here, the first of its kind in the world. It’s referred to as the Capital of Paragliding in India and also noted for eco-tourism, spiritual studies and meditation due to the large no of Tibetan settlements in the colony. While Billing is for takeoff site & Bir for landing, its collectively called Bir-Billing. One of the cheapest & most convenient flying styles, paragliding relies upon the pressure difference created by air currents. Taking off from the top of a hill like a bird with controlled flying sure must be on your adventure list.
Best time to visit: March to May & October – November
9. Trekking in the frozen lake of Himalayas – Zanskar valley
The Zanskar valley is a perfect place for your adventure destination if you want to cut off yourself from the rest of the world. Northern sections of the gorge are popular and quite crowded in summer with tourists rafting in this river. On the other hand, in winters the road to Zanskar is closed by the snow. The only way to reach is by walking and trekking on this frozen lake.
Popularly known as the ice sheet trek, the Chaddar trek is perfect if you can get accustomed to sub-zero temperatures. Wearing a lot of layers is a necessity to keep you warm and energetic for the trek. Also at certain points of the trek one can get a spectacular view of the frozen waterfalls. The ferocious river flowing beneath the frozen layers amidst the mighty mountains on either side forms the awe-inspiring Zanskar gorge. Staying in camps during the trek and walking on ice daily is a challenging experience and one needs to be physically fit and brave to face the temperature drop from -5°C during the daytime to -15°C to -25°C during the nights.
Best time to visit: January & February
10. Dive into the active volcano beneath the waters of Andaman – Barren Island
An active volcano which is about 1.8 million years old under water is not to be missed in the islands of Andaman. Scuba diving and snorkeling are the major adventure activities of Barren Island. An earlier eruption here has covered almost everything underwater with a thick layer of black sand, creating an unusual magnificent underwater landscape to explore.
The solidified lava flow makes spectacular underwater cliffs and canyons with black walls which plunge to over 500 metres. Visibility can exceed 50 meters and hammerhead sharks have been seen here. The contrasting vivid colors of bright fish against the jet black walls are almost psychedelic. The rare species of flora including the corals and fauna comprising of Manta Rays, Tunas, Sea Snakes, Turtles, Reef & Oceanic sharks are guaranteed. If you’re lucky enough you might also see dolphins & whale-sharks. Barren Island is reputed as one among the top locations for Scuba diving destinations.
Best time to visit: November to April
From experiencing the varying seasons at the Himalayas, riding through the snow valleys, trekking on the frozen lake further down towards a dip in the gushy waters of holy Ganges with mesmerizing birds eye views of the enticing nature blending with the royal palaces, to experiencing the shimmering turquoise water and pristine sugar white sands, the glorious flame of golden rock caves, the serene full moon night in the land of crystal clear salts, living the fantasy of flying to diving into the only active volcano in South Asia giving different kinds of adventure experiences makes our country truly . . . INCREDIBLE INDIA!
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