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India- the land of snake charmers and cultural coherence, intriguing wilderness and rich heritage is fast turning out to be a coveted haunt for adventure aficionados from all across the globe. The magnificent mountains, cascading waterfalls, ravishing rivers, sizzling deserts and azure oceans allow adventure buffs to explore and experience them to the fullest and get their adrenaline pumping in myriad ways.

No doubt the country has witnessed a burgeoning number of adventure tourists flocking to its soil to feel the thrill through a mélange of activities. Here are the top adventure sports which are gearing up the momentum and seeking to make India a significant name in the global tourism platform.

1. White Water Rafting/ River Rafting and Kayaking

From the highest peaks of the awe-inspiring Himalayas arise a number of rivers travelling down the mountain slopes through gargantuan boulders, thus creating some massive rapids. Whether you choose to go down the Ganges in Rishikesh, the Teesta in Sikkim or you find the Indus in Leh more alluring; your white water rafting experience is surely going to be worth a lifetime. The most popular stretch for White Water Rafting in Rishikesh on the Ganges in is from Kaudilya to Rishikesh where rafting enthusiasts can navigate through as many as 12 major rapids or even go kayaking for that extra thrill. The best months for kayaking and river rafting in India is from October to April, the official rafting season commencing from the 15th of September and continuing till the 30th of June every year.


1. Rishikesh
2. Zanskar
3. Teesta river, Sikkim and Darjeeling
4. River Indus on Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir
5. Brahmaputra River Rafting Expedition
6. Barapole in Coorg

2. Trekking

The sheer numbers of mountains and the mesmerizing panorama of waterfalls, gorges and rapids that they nestle are enough to lure nature buffs and adventure lovers to traverse through the rugged terrains of India making trekking one of the top adventure sports of the country. The cryptic pathways of Ladakh, the fascinating moon lake trekking routes of Manali, the magnificent panorama of the Western Ghats or the scintillating scenery of the Kumaon region are all meant to bring you in close communion with Mother Nature’s pristine purity. For those looking for some summer thrills, traversing the Chembra Peak of Kerala with its tantalizing tea plantations or the valley of flowers in Ladakh in all its psychedelic colours can endow trekking enthusiasts with the ultimate experience for body, mind and soul.


Chadar Trek, Ladakh
Roopkund Trek, Uttarakhand
Kudremukh Trek, Karnataka
Araku Valley Trek, Andhra Pradesh
Siang Valley Trek, Arunachal Pradesh
Rajmachi Trek, Maharashtra

3. Paragliding and Hot Air Ballooning

Nothing can render your adventurous spirit with greater satisfaction than that feeling of exhilaration while soaring high in the skies above the lush mountains and valleys, the dense forests and rolling plains. No doubt paragliding and hot air ballooning have emerged as one of the hottest Indian adventure sports. Biling and Solang in Himachal’s Kangra and Kulu valleys, Kamshet in Maharashtra as well as in Manali and the recent addition of Darjeeling are coveted spots to go paragliding and hang gliding adventure sports in India. The adrenaline rush that one feels aboard a mammoth hot air balloon can be enjoyed throughout the expanse of the nation although Rajasthan remains the hotspot for this adventure sport.

Top Paragliding Spots

Nandi Hills, Bangalore
Bedni Bugyal, Uttaranchal

Top Hot Air Balooning Spots

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Jaipur, Rajasthan
Hampi, Karnataka

4. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

While the sky and the mountains provide you with a good dose of adventure, the underwater ecosystems promise a stunning world of cryptic, unfathomed beauty manifested in its marine flora and fauna. The exotic coral reefs, turquoise blue waters and the shimmering shores untainted and unsullied by human intervention present a grandiose visual that can only be appreciated from up close. The areas around the Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as Bay of Bengal bestow water sport lovers opportunities to delve and dive deep inside the ocean’s depths and enjoy the marvelous sights they have to offer.


Islands of Andaman and Nicobar
Lakshadweep Islands

5. Heli-Skiing

The only way to get atop these snow-capped mountains is in a helicopter. Once you’re up there on top of the world, the sun reflecting off the impeccably white slopes, it’s truly an amazing feeling. And then comes the rush of blood to the head, as you come whizzing downwards on your skis, the cold wind nipping at your face. While Rohtang Pass and Kufri close to Shimla are the two oldest destinations for skiing and Heli-skiing, it is Uttaranchal’s Auli that remains the undisputed leader in giving expression to this Indian adventure sport in its true spirit. The smooth undulations of the Himalayas and Kashmir’s Gulmarg are two emerging hotspots for heli-skiing.


Pahalgam – Jammu and Kashmir
Gulmarg – Jammu and Kashmir
Manali – Himachal Pradesh
Auli – Uttaranchal
Kufri – Himachal Pradesh

These are only a few of the best adventure sports in India that you might get to entertain yourself with during your travels within the nation. India has always been more of a destination for culture buffs, not adventure sports enthusiasts. But now, the times are a ‘changing!


Satarupa is a chatterbox always on the move. While Amritsar is her personal favorite, she aspires to visit any place that can be romantic! A word-monger addicted to all things travel and to the awesome food she gets to lick on each trip.
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