Vacations are no longer checking off ‘touristy’ spots in a brochure, isn’t it? Are you the restless type for whom thrill is the perfect antidote to bust the stress out? Gone are the days when you had to head to the expensive overseas locales to experience safe and fun-filled adventure! The ancient spiritual and naturally pristine Himalayas are also this century’s hotbeds for the best adventure filled activities. Amateur or more seasoned, from first-timers to repeat masters, Uttarakhand, the abode of Gods, with its cragged nooks and corners, has many spots where adventure awaits those who would like to test their mettle!
For a quick roundup of some of the top adventure activities that you can enjoy (and the oh-so-important-where!) in Uttarakhand, read on…
1. Own a pair of wings – The awesome paraglide
Feel like an eagle with wide open wings on a paraglide What a lovely way to see the lush mountainside from up as you soar with your spirits free! Abandon all levity, and just glide away!
Uttarakhand has many portrait-like scenescape with certified trainers and operators to help you. Bhimtal, Ranikhet and Mukhteshwar are on the hit-list for adventure enthusiasts for a paragliding thrill!
2. Muscle power – Kayaking!
The waters, both still and gushing, beckon you to test your endurance and strength, as this one is all about pushing yourself in the water the old way. The oars have been a boatman’s best friend since times immemorial. The kayaking oar is the modern version with a sport tag!
Paddle away for a serene tete-a-tete with nature in the placid lakes of Bhimtal and Sattal. You can hire smart kayaks for a relaxed rise either alone or with a trainer.
Master the basics and then head on to rapids of Garhwal for a chilling experience. You would need to get professional lessons though to confront the raging Ganga River.
3. Explore on your two feet – Trekking
Head for a leisurely trek with a picnic basket happily packed by your hotel. As you wind your way amidst lush forests of tall pines along ragged and steep slopes, watch out for loose muds and plunging ditches! Some trek routes lead up to a lovely peak with sumptuous views or down to a hidden river where you can enjoy your picnic, take a dip or even cook a meal the rugged way!
Serious trekkers can take the backpack mode to explore the longer trails of Himalayas. From the green lower ranges to harsh snow-clad peaks, there are enchanting routes all over the state.
4. The vertical adventure – Rock climbing and rappelling
Test your risk-taking and agility, pulling yourself up against gravity along cragged natural rock walls in the hills. The search for the next possible foothold requires your estimation skills! From angular to steep, rough to smooth surfaces, these are playing fields for those who love to scrape and scourge!
The reverse is equally daunting – rappelling! Walking down against a cliff when you can’t see below, hanging from a harness, is quite a task! But the excitement is incomparable!
There are experts who have tested numerous edges and slopes of the regions for a rocking experience! Mukhteshwar, Binsar, Nainital, Rishikesh, Sheetlakhet, Ranikhet, Mussoorie… the list of spots is endless!
5. Slide over the expansive snow – Skiing
For those with a passion and enthused with energy, skiing is more than just a sport! It is how they challenge their own limits and fine-tune their skills of coordination, presence of mind and speed control. No need to head to New Zealand or Europe to conquer the snow slopes. Uttarakhand’s Auli is the best skiing destination in India! The magnanimous snow peaks and white slopes are so enthralling and exciting!
6. Be a Flying Fox – Ziplining
Let the blood rush to your face as you zip over deep valleys or rush over rippling cascades and dense green growth. Amalgamate the thrill of flying and heady speeding! Uttarakhand’s topography offers zip lines of varying lengths and heights for a gushing ride! Hills above Rishikesh are very popular for these. You can find smaller zip lines set up at campsites that dot Kumaon as well!
When you beat your own fears, ooooh the sweet taste of success is unbeatable, isn’t it? The oodles of self-confidence and self-esteem you gain are a priceless treasure indeed!
How about planning your next weekend trip for some of these action filled enterprises? Charge yourself up and simply have a swell time! You will surely never have enough of it!