5 Himalayan Adventure Sports You Need To Try Before You Die


Mehak Srivastava Travel ,,,
“Great things are done when men and mountains meet”

William Blake

The rugged Himalayan backdrop with its high altitudes, snow-capped peaks, and fascinating wildlife sets the stage for an overwhelming adventure. The hill stations nestled in the lap of these great mountain ranges offer some of the most exciting sports that will leave you with the pleasant rush of adrenaline, and a thirst for more.

Here’s a compilation of some of the best Himalayan Adventure Sports spots in Northern India that ought to be on every adventure seeker’s bucket-list:

1) Dharamsala: A rock climber’s delight!                                                                                                                                                                                                    


Your heart rate will climb with you at that view.
Your heart rate will climb with you at that view.

A city located in the upper locale of the Kangra Valley, Dharamsala is best known as the centre of the Tibetan exile world in India. Dharamsala-Nayagroeon is the most popular trail for rock climbing here. Free rock climbing, that involves the climber’s own physical strength and skill to accomplish the climb is the most popular here. With one rope tied to the climber’s belt, the goal is to reach the summit.

For those who find climbing difficult, rappelling is another option. Rappelling involves descending from a height by sliding down an anchored rope. Friction helps you control your speed. Fancy yourself as a daredevil? Then let go and surrender to gravity in a thrilling free fall.

Average cost: INR ₹ 1000

You just can’t miss:

The Dharamsala Cricket Stadium, Bhagsunag Waterfall, the Kangra Valley tea gardens, the monasteries and the momos that are to die for. Ladies, don’t forget to check out the market in Mcleodganj for some beautiful jewellery and handicrafts that are pocket-friendly.

Best time to visit:

Visit between late February and March to experience the unique Losar Festival (the Tibetan festival celebrated to mark the beginning of the Tibetan New Year). If you don’t mind the rain, visit during the monsoons (July to August) and you’ll be rewarded with scenic views of the freshly washed forest around.

2) Paragliding in Nainital

Fly, soar, glide!

Known as the lake district of Uttarakhand, Nainital is a popular hill-station located in the foothills of the Kumaon Hills. Since the city itself is set within a valley, it is the perfect place to kick-start your flying adventure.

Paragliding makes your most vivid childhood dream come true, literally! The pilot jogs down a gentle slope and glides away from the mountain. There is no free-falling or jumping off of cliffs. Once in flight, the pilot steers the paraglider and controls where he wishes to go. If done through a reputed agency, paragliding is a sport that is as safe as swimming or cycling.

Don’t be disappointed if you’re an inexperienced flyer. Fly in tandem with a certified pilot who will steer the equipment and guide you as you fly like a bird over the beautiful town of Nainital! One of the most popular sites for paragliding includes Bhimtal, a town in the Nainital district, situated at an altitude of 1450 meters above sea level and at about 22 kilometers from Nainital.

Average cost: INR ₹ 1000 to ₹ 6000, depending on the duration of the flight (ranges from 2-3 minutes to 30 minutes).

Best time to visit:

Nainital is a year-round destination, but the ideal time to visit is between the months of March to June. If you’re on a tight budget, travel during the monsoon to benefit the off-season discounts. For those seeking snow, December-January is ideal.

3) Skiing in Shimla

Swoop, swoop, swoop. Brrr.
Swoop, swoop, swoop. Brrr.

The capital of the state of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla is hands-down the most popular tourist hub in Northern India. Snow-capped peaks and smooth slopes make Shimla the ideal location for indulging in skiing.

Some of the best spots for skiing include Kufri, Mashobra, and Narkanda. Out of these, Kufri is the most popular, located about 13km away from Shimla and comes alive once it starts to snow. For the more professional skiers who seek haven away from the crowd, Narkanda, about 60km away from Shimla, is recommended.

Average cost: HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation) organizes ski courses of 7 days and 15 days duration at Narkanda every year during the month of January to March. The facilities include boarding, lodging and equipment. Cost for 7 days INR ₹ 1500/-, for 15 days ₹ 3000/-

Best time to visit:

March to June: Great for outdoor activities like camping, trekking, paragliding.

July to September: Monsoon and off-season; lush flora and great discounts.


Other attractions: The annual Shimla Summer Festival, the State Museum, Wildflower Hall, Naldehra Golf Course, Lakkar Bazaar, Kufri Ski Resort, and Tatta Pani or the Sulphur Springs.

Did you know?

Shimla is also home to South Asia’s only natural ice skating rink. The Shimla Ice Skating Club, which manages the rink, hosts a carnival every year in January.

4) Manali & Rohtang pass: Snow-scooter riding

Rohtang Pass
Vroom vroom.

Located near the northern end of the Kullu Valley, Manali is about 270km north of the state capital Shimla and is often referred to as the Valley of Gods.

For those who watch History Channel’s Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads, Rohtang Pass, a high mountain pass about 50 km from Manali, is a familiar name. It is deemed as the ‘highest jeepable road’.

It is not particularly high or difficult to cross on foot by Himalayan standards, but it has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms and blizzards and is open for travellers only from May to November. Once winter sets it, the road becomes highly difficult to traverse.

Rohtang Pass offers snow scooter (snowmobile) adventure tours at Rohtang La Snow Point. You may either drive snow scooter with an experienced snow scooter driver or drive by yourself, alongside a guide. Don’t forget to bundle up- it’ll definitely be nippy up there!

Average cost: INR ₹ 800 to ₹ 1500, depending on the duration of the ride.

Did you know?

Rohtang literally translates into ‘pile of corpses’ and the name was given owing to the high number of deaths occurring on the pass due to horrible weather conditions.

5) Rishikesh: Where the pious and the adventurous flock


Situated in the northern state of Uttarakhand in India and scenically located where the Ganges River comes down from the Himalayas, Rishikesh is rightly called as the Gateway to the Himalayas. The Char Dham Yatra (Four Shrines Sacred Journey) ideally begins from Rishikesh and so do numerous rafting adventures.

In white-water rafting, participants guide and paddle a raft through whitewater, or a river’s rapids. While an expert instructor takes on the brunt of the work, the team-focused exercise also amps strength and endurance levels for all rafters (usually eight per raft). Just a few hours scaling turbulent waters can burn some serious energy (over 300 calories per hour on average), and work the arms, abs, and core. Experts classify the water rapids on a scale of 1-6. Class 1 rapids are small with a slow current and low waves, and no obstructions in the water (child’s play), while Class 6 rapids feature large, frequent waves (read: you will fall out and lose your shorts on the way).

Average cost:

For kids and senior citizens: INR ₹ 300 to ₹ 350
For amateurs and beginners: INR ₹ 500
For thrill seekers and professionals: INR ₹ 800 to ₹ 1200

Best time to visit:

For rafting enthusiasts, September to mid-December and February to April are the best months to visit. Rafting is halted during the monsoons. May to November is also a great time since yatra routes open up and trekking is possible in the upper reaches.

Did you know?

In 1968, the Beatles visited an ashram in Rishikesh to attend a Transcendental meditation session. This catapulted the destination’s popularity in the west and even today, it remains a popular destination for foreign tourists.

[box]How many of these exotic destinations have you been to? Did you ever experience that heady rush of adrenaline? Share your exhilarating, extreme adventures with us in your comments![/box]