Are you part of that mystical tribe of travellers that seek the elusive adrenaline, chasing stars and snowy mountain peaks? If not, then shake your inhibitions loose and plan a getaway riddled with adventure, extreme sport and oodles of fun.
Travel has morphed into many facets, be it leisure or solo, group or culinary, while the everyday traveller too has undergone a paradigm shift. Today, no one is a mere tourist, checking off a must-visit list at every destination but people now yearn to be a traveller in a true sense. And yet many others are willing to throw caution to the wind and embark upon experiential trips, ensuring one comes back with a head full of memories and a heart warmed by nature.
Some experiences cannot be merely narrated; they must be experienced. Like sleeping under the stars and waking up at first light and to the cacophony of birds, peddling along winding roads and over rocks and boulders, soaring over a cityscape, silent and numb with sheer fascination or even crawling into the depths of the earth- there’s much to explore.
For those who like the wind on their face and the sun on their back, who trail-blaze through unknown territories following their own inner compass – Go-getter shares the perfect adventures to explore.
Mountain Biking in Bir
The sheer magnificence and unique landscape of Kangra Valley has attracted many travellers and artists to explore its surreal and beatific topography. Involving a lot of bumpy, off-road tracks, this extreme sport is gradually becoming a much-loved sport in India and biking tours are avidly being organised. With adventurous rugged mountain ranges and serpentine tracks, the mountainscape of Himachal Pradesh offers a dream-like biking destination for every freerider.
For serious mountain biking enthusiasts, there are almost weeklong biking trips near Dharamshala and Bir-Billing, aiding the pedal pumpers to enjoy the fresh air of the Dhauladhar range, while exploring the forests and meadows, swooshing past rivers and across bridges. Bicycles can easily be rented, offering travellers a fantastic way to truly delve into the beauty of the state. At Bir, pedal through lush tea gardens while sniffing the crisp air, green valleys, deep gorges, and rugged terrain, local villages and even past Buddhist monasteries; biking here does not just include a stunning visual feast but also an opportunity to sleep under a million stars.
A biking trip in the Himalayas will not just satiate the inner adventureseeking soul, but allow you to absorb the environ of the region, understand the lay of the land and experience the local culture. While biking through McLeodganj and Dharamshala, do not miss the picturesque spots nearby, such as Dal Lake; and if time permits, stop by the church St. John in the Wilderness and the many Tibetan monasteries.
SCUBA DIVING IN PORT BLAIR
paradise that offers pristine sandy beaches and lush forests, Andaman islands have a prolific marine life. And it’s no doubt that scuba diving has lured locals and foreigners alike to this archipelago with much gusto. Scuba diving hails as a must-try activity and is said to leave a participant as a changed person post a session. The quiet world below the surface of the sea is fascinating, colourful and always in flux.
There are many dive sites along Havelock and Neil Island, and many groups offer certified courses and guided diving experiences. Right from the basic briefing session to actually donning the wetsuit and strapping on the oxygen cylinders and mask, scuba diving is indeed an experience of a lifetime. Paddle past the tangerine corals, swaying seaweed, schools of fish, turtles and groupers, to even spotting parrot fish, white-tip reef sharks and rays; it’s an amazing world down here.
The best part about tropical waters is that the temperature is mostly moderate, 26 degree Celsius to around 28 degree Celsius. This makes diving not just comfortable but also easy for participants to learn.
Looking for sunken treasure? Tourists can opt for wreck diving, going a step beyond the regular diving courses. Once instructed accordingly and accompanied by experienced divers, travellers can enjoy this unique recreational activity.
HOT AIR BALLOONING IN JAIPUR
This may ‘seem’ as a leisure sport, but floating 4,000 mt above sea level, enjoying a bird’s eye view of the world, staring deep into the spherical horizon and feeling on top of the world – a ride on a hot air balloon is a fascinating and daunting experience. Right from lift off to touch down, the world seems like a different place from high up in the sky.
A hot air balloon ride over the scenic cityscape of Jaipur brings to light the beauty of the pink city, highlighting the sheer grandeur of Amer Fort, palaces, jaw-dropping vistas and vibrant villages. Tourists can opt for a morning or evening ride, and guests can even witness the entire process of the balloons being inflated for the ride. Many groups offer guided hot air balloon tours in Jaipur, and each ride begins with a briefing session. With every short blast of the burners, the balloon expertly swoops upwards, and once a desired height has been achieved, the pilot allows the hot air balloon to glide smoothly across the sky. The pilot can even alter the altitude in between a flight, allowing guests to enjoy a scenic view at a short distance or far enough to appreciate the beautiful mosaic of everyday life in the city.
Each ride is different. Even though the starting point is the same, the flight path of the chariot in the sky depends entirely on wind directions.
Written by: Mia Gandhi