Enjoy these adventures as you gear up to begin the year with adrenaline rush and on high note.
SURFING IN GOKARNA, KARNATAKA
Indulge in some Baywatch-style action on the crashing waves along Gokarna’s beautiful coastline, and learn the basics of what is clearly the newest adventure sport to hit India’s shores.
Until a few years ago, surfing was virtually unheard of in India. Most concluded it was a sport best enjoyed on foreign shores, and that the Indian coastline didn’t boast waves that were good to ride on. Well, they were wrong. In recent times, surfing as an organised activity has caught on with aquatic adventure seekers, and Gokarna is one of the many places in India where the sport has made a mark.
CHADAR TREK, JAMMU & KASHMIR
Unknown to the world until a few years ago, the Chadar Trek in Ladakh is currently a raging favourite among hardcore adventurers. This is one of the riskiest walks in the mountains. It literally sees you walking on thin ice as you trace the course of the frozen Zanskar River!
Being one of the most secluded regions in these highlands, your route will seldom see you come in contact with humanity. Apart from a few hibernating villages with residents snoozing away the winter, your only human touch will be in the form of fellow trekkers and all urban amenities and conveniences will be worlds away. Needless to say, this outing requires not only physical fitness, but oodles of mental resolve as well.
ZIRO–PASIGHAT ROAD TRIP, ARUNACHAL PRADESH
Passing through a most pristine landscape marked by forested hills and quaint tribal settlements, the highway linking Ziro to Pasighat via Along offers great photo-ops of dizzying suspension bridges and thatched Adi and Apatani hamlets. Attractions along this rough and remote route are low-key in the touristy sense of the term, and villagers around Along can prove to be much less welcoming unless you visit with a local driver or guide.
However, despite the xenophobia, it’s a route almost custom-made for intrepid travellers willing to stray off the beaten track. Throw in a possible detour to isolated destinations such as Mechuka, and you’ve got a whopper of a road trip ahead of you.
ANGLING AROUND MYSORE, KARNATAKA
Adventures of the piscean kind is the mantra in the forests east of Mysore, where the Cauvery flows through a virginal landscape blessed with nature’s bounties. Imagine tussling with a 40kg mahseer at the other end of your fishing line! Don’t be fooled by the apparent lack of action in angling, which mostly seems like a lazy boat ride out on the waters with a fishing rod in hand. Veterans anglers will tell you that there are few other experiences in the outdoors that give you a greater adrenaline rush than a giant fish battling it out with you even while being hooked to the fishing line.
KAZIRANGA FOREST SAFARI, ASSAM
Experience rhino-mania at its peak in the windswept expanses of this national park in Assam, which is home to India’s largest population of the one-horned beast. Soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the enchanted savannahs at this Unesco World Heritage Site.
No prizes for guessing, a date with the rhino and the elephant is more than certain in Kaziranga, and the tiger – though as elusive as in any other park – can suddenly make a cameo appearance out of the wilderness. Due to its high rate of spotting animals, the park scores very well with children.
Kaziranga National Park consists of three ranges – popularly earmarked as the western, central and eastern ranges. The central range has a marginally higher density of animals than the other two, and thus sees the most number of tourists. Besides, it also doubles as the venue for the thoroughly enjoyable elephant safari – a must-do for anyone visiting the park.