Top 10 Adventure Sports in Uttarakhand

Among the seekers of thrill, the top adventure destinations in India is Uttarakhand is a treasure. Also referred to as the ‘dev bhoomi’ which literally means abode of gods, Uttarakhand is high on adventure. Owing to its towering Himalayan peaks, deep gorges and gurgling rivers, it offers some of the best opportunities to indulge in an array of adventure sport activities.

Owing to the unique topographical variety and natural abundance, Uttarakhand is one of the most popular holiday destinations in India. Here you have the excitement of paragliding, skiing, white-water rafting, mountaineering and trekking. In recent times, bungee jumping, zip flying and cable car rides have become new rage among the thrill seekers. Mentioned below are some of the adrenaline pumping activities for those looking forward to the thrill of adventure sports in Uttarakhand.

A Checklist of Adventure Sports Activities in Uttarakhand and Where to do it

Trekking: Footloose in Himalayas

Tungnath Chandrashila Trek

Trek to Chandrashila Summit from Chopta or Deoriya Tal is one of the popular winter treks in Uttarakhand

With some of the most spectacular Himalayan peaks and mountain trails varying from easy to tough grade, Uttarakhand is one of the most popular trekking destinations in India among the adventure seekers. Trekking in Uttarakhand Himalayas is also popular as it is as much an adventure as it is a spiritual experience.

Undulating valleys sprinkled with lush forest, cascading water streams and snow capped peaks that are reached through thrilling yet enchanting trails is what makes trekking in Uttarakhand one of the most popular adventure activities in India.

The World Heritage trail of Valley of Flowers combined with spiritual Hemkund Sahib is popular during monsoon.  While the snow laden Nag Tibba summit is famous during winters, there all-season treks to Deoriatal – Chopta – Tungnath – Chandrashila. In fact, there is no dearth of trekking routes in Uttarakhand for those looking forward to adventure combined with bliss.

Popular trek routes: Bedni Bugyal, Kauri Pass, Har ki Dun, Deoriatal-Chandrashila, Dodital, Roop Kund, Hem Kund – Valley of Flowers and Kedarkantha.

Also Read

Paragliding: Flight of Fantasy

Tandem Paragliding, Mukteshwar

Adventure enthusiasts could go for tandem paragliding in Mukteshwar from September till March

Flying has always been an obsession since time immemorial be it the Icarus whose wing failed in flight to the Wright brothers who finally did managed the first modern flight by human. Experience the thrill of flying along with eagle eye view of the lush surrounding and mountainscape as the adrenaline rush takes over as you paraglide in Uttarakhand.

No wonder soaring high like an eagle is an obsession among the adventure enthusiasts. Although not one of the most popular places for paragliding in India, Uttarakhand offers ample ops for paragliding for those seeking the thrill of flying.

The best thing about paragliding in Uttarakhand is that you don’t require prior knowledge of paragliding as tandem paragliding flights are offered by trained experts at Mukteswar and Ranikhet, 2 most popular places for paragliding in Uttarakhand.

Skiing: Glide over Snow

Skiing in Auli

Auli is an important ski destination in the Himalayan mountains of Uttarakhand

Skiing requires a flood of passion and energy to slide over vast expanses of snow. The almost perfect snow line and mountains-cape in Auli in Uttrakahand makes it one of the finest skiing destinations in India. Take of the wonderful challenge of gliding down the mountain or take of classes to master the art of skiing. The classes are offered by GMVN Uttarakhand that span across 7-14 days.

Best time to visit:  November till February

White Water Rafting: The Rush of Adrenaline

River Rafting in Rishikesh

Rishikesh has now become a main center of white water rafting in North India

Perhaps the most popular adventure sports in India – be it the youth or even families nowadays – is white water rafting in the gushing rapids of Ganges and Tons river in Uttarakhand. Whereas the white water rafting and camping near rapids from Shivpuri to Rishikesh have become the most popular weekend getaways activities of denizens of Delhi, visitors and thrill seekers from around the globe head to Uttarakhand for river rafting in India. Recently white water rafting is also gaining popularity in the rapids of Tons river near Mori.

Also Read

Top 10 places to go for River Rafting in India

Camping: Back to Nature

Deoria Tal, Uttarakhand

Deoria Tal is a very beautiful lake situated amid dense forests of Rhododendron and Oak making it an ideal place for camping in Uttarakhand

Camping – especially for a city person – is an experience that is not just enlightening but a mentally and spiritually uplifting experience and a way to reclaim your ‘self’. It’s like going back to nature and set oneself adrift surrounded by wilderness and tranquility of nature only to rediscover oneself.

Away from the din of the city and from the technologies like mobile & cell phones, camping lets you escape the crutches of hectic city life and observe things and attain perspectives in a new improved way. It also lets you appreciate Mother Nature and see and appreciate the beauty of outdoors.

With its dense jungles, lush bugyals and alpine lake, Uttarakhand tucks some of the finest natural camping sites in its bosom. Be it the magical Deoria Tal with its densely forested surrounding and panoramic view of more than 5 Himalayan peaks or the lush meadows of Chopta dotted with pine, deodar and rhododendron forest flanked by towering Himalayas, there are some out of the world and magical places in Uttarakhand that makes it one of the top destinations for camping in India.

Yet another top place for camping in India is Rishikesh. It is especially popular for family holidays in India.  Rafting, hiking, temple visits and nature walks along with camping by the sandy beaches of Ganges.

Popular camping destinations: Kanatal, Dhanaulti, Deoria Tal, Padamapuri, Chopta, Corbett National park, Sattal, Pangot, Binsar Sanctuary, Bhimtal, Rani Chori, Chokuri.

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Elephant Safaris: Beauty & the Beast

Elephant Safari in Corbett National Park

Undisturbed by the mechanical roar of a car or jeep, open to surrounding, Elephant Safari is the best way to explore the Corbett National Park. Photo source

Uttarakhand happens to be one of the best places for Elephant safaris in India. One could indulge in the adventure of these rides at either Corbett National Park near Ramgarh or Rajaji National Park near Haridwar. Riding atop the mighty beasts offers great vantage point to observe the beauty as well as spot wildlife up close. The elephant safaris at both of these national parks are available on first come first serve basis.  Costs starts from INR 500 for Indians and INR 1500 for foreign visitors.

Best time to visit: December to February
Ideal for: Nature enthusiast, photographers

Also read

Top 10 Jungle Resorts near Jim Corbett

Bungee Jumping: The Gravitational Pull

Bungee Jumping, Rishikesh

Probably the most famous thrill-seeking activity in Rishikesh is the bungee jumping

Nothing pumps the adrenaline to the level as does the bungee jumping. Feel the blood rushing to your face and pounding of heart. Bungee jumping is – so to say – mother of all adventure sports.

One of the best places to go bungee jumping in India is Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. At 83 feet, Jumpin Heights – with jump masters from New Zealand – is India’s highest Bungy. With its abundant natural beauty, the bungee jumping in Rishikesh beats the experience of jump from tall crane or malls any day.

Popular Spots: Mohan Chatti near Rishikesh

Best Time to Go -October to mid November and early March – April.

Zip-line Activities: The Flying Fox

Zip Line by Flying Fox at Rishikesh

Fly High across Ganges with breath-taking views as you fly down a series of ultra-strong steel zip line in Rishikesh

Zip-line is yet another adventure sport activity that is gaining popularity among visitors from overseas. Uttarakhand with its suitable topography and remarkable natural beauty offers some of the best options.

The thrill of jump which will make you fly at speed of 140-160 kilometers per hour. It is a thrilling experience not to mention the sight of rolling hills, cascading waterstreams and dense forests. One of the best places for flying fox activities in Uttarakhand is once again Rishikesh where you could undertake tandem flying across the zip line spanning over the length of 1 kilometer with 2 companions to share the thrill.

Popular locations– Rishikesh, Mussorie, Nainital

[Check out Top 10 Best Adventure Activities in Rishikesh]

Canoeing & Kayaking: Paddling the Rapids

Kayaking in Rishikesh

The adventure of kayaking in Rishikesh have gained much popularity among tourists from all corners of the world

Also referred to as the F1 of water paddling, kayaking and canoeing are 2 most sought after adventure activities in Uttarakhand, especially across the challenging rapids near Shivpuri and Rishikesh. Kayaking and Canoeing are often used synonymously but what differentiates Kayaking from Canoeing is that whereas Kayaking is an individual activity in a closed boat with single peddler rowing with double bladed paddle, canoeing could be done by 1 or more person.

Originated as paddle boat used by Eskimos for the purpose of fishing & hunting through narrow and turbulent water channels, Kayaking in rapids these days has become a thrill seeking activity to negotiate the tumultuous rapids of Ganges in Uttarakhand.

The only catch however is that Kayaking and canoeing could not be undertaken by beginners to negotiate rapids. The prior experience or lessons are mandatory to undertake this adrenaline rushing activity. Read More

Popular sites: Rishikesh

Best Time to Go – Early March – April

[Check out Top 20 Things to do in Uttarakhand]

Cable Car Ride: Up & Above

Om Parvat from Nainital

If one is lucky, sight of Om Parvat as in pic can make the ropeway ride a thrilling experience however most of the Himalayan peaks are occasionally visible because of cloud covers. Source

Cable ride from one mountain vantage point to another; with sweeping view of the densely forested valleys and  snowcapped mountain peaks of Himalayas, makes cable car ride exciting. It is one of the thrilling adventure activities to undertake when you are touring Uttarakhand. The best place for cable car ride in Uttarakhand unarguably is Auli. Moreover, on a clear day, the view of Himalayan peaks especially Bandarpunch, Trishul and Om Parvat is a sight to behold. Mussoorie and Nainital are not far behind.

That said its adventure enough!

So which one will you choose? Did we miss out on any or is it many. Do let us know through our comment section  what you think about our compilation of adventure sports in Uttarakhand.

[Discover Uttarakhand with our comprehensive travel guide or explore packages]

​Nikhil Chandra is a freelance travel writer, blogger and photographer based in New Delhi. He loves to go on long rides on his bikes, is an avid listener of rock, blues and country music, and could read any book he lays his hands on. He travels because it stretches his perspective in unexpected ways. Nikhil also loves to explore historical buildings and believes that the crumbling remains of old structures and monuments are as romantic as love poems of Pablo Neruda. Through his writing and photography, he endeavors to paint a canvas redolent of the scents, sights, textures and vibrancy of life and nature.

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21 Responses

  1. Amrindra Pal says:

    You people shared awesome places of Uttarakhand to enjoy adventure sport. Really enjoyable.

  2. sc negi says:

    I’m a little late reading this blog, especially some of the posts, but got to say… everything here is so great and so true. As someone who’s originally from the area, I get a chuckle out of many things here.

  3. Neha says:

    Blog is really nice one and informative and most of Activity like Canoeing & Kayaking: Paddling the Rapids is really once we havce to do!
    Thanks for Sharing Article like this keep sharing

  4. Tonya Kampani says:

    Hey Nikhil,
    Your blog was very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing it. I am planning a trip to Uttarakhand in about 2 weeks. March 17- 26 or so. I am travelling with my 9 year old. What are the sports you think will be safe for him to try and where are the places? Can I combine Hrishikesh, Corbett and valley of flowers all in one trip? We would also like to see and play with snow. Any place where I could? looking forward to a reply. Thank you

    • Debashree Chakraborty says:

      Hey Tonya,

      Glad to know that you follow our blog. About your upcoming trip to India, you can cover Rishikesh, Corbett and the Valley of Flowers only with a well-crafted-itinerary. As all of these places are in different corners of the mountain state, one needs a proper plan to cover these. For snow where you have a thrilling time Gulmarg in Kashmir is where you should head to. The valleys of Kashmir have abundance of pristine snow in the last week of March.

  5. kanhaiya says:

    Thanks Nikhil,
    These are such a great information you share with us. Rishikesh riverside camping , white water rafting, bungee jumping, flyingfox Etc are the best adventurous activities in Rishikesh. In weekend I try to reach Rishikesh because it is my all time favourite destination. Whenever I got chance, I reach there.

  6. Anjulika says:

    You are an exceptionally well writer , the photographs are mesmerizing too, and your profile description is something I dream to be my profile, you may say from this day,m I Idolize you. #InspirationalSoul!

  7. Shajar says:

    Please tell me places in uttarakhand where i can find a lake near forests and we can do campig and fishing but not like a picnic spot like deoria tal and other famous known places.. but it needs to be thrilling and unfamous.

    • Nikhil Chandra says:

      Why don’t you try Dodital near Uttarkashi. A great place to trek, camp and fish. When I went there I tried my hand at angling using makeshift fishing rod but alas I coudn’t catch one. May be you’ll have better luck 🙂

      By the way the lake Dodital is composed of two words … dodi which is local for trout and tal which means lake. You see it is a lake full of trouts. You do need permission though for angling here.

      Hope this help. I know of more but then you don’t want to go to some place which is easily accessible.

      Let me know if you require any more information.

  8. Shantanu says:

    Jumping Heights, located in Mohan Chatti village, has been rated as one of the most preferred bungee jumping destinations in India. It is the only place in India where bungee jumping can be done from a fixed platform. A Cantilever platform is built over a rocky cliff which is 83 meters above ground level, making it the highest and the most thrilling bungee jumping location in India. Jumping heights is well known for its safety measures and experienced staff. It costs around Rs 2500 per jump, a bit expensive, but totally worth the experience.

  9. Khushbu says:

    Hey guys, i am planning a trip to uttarakhand this july. Nikhil, thank you soo much foe sharing all the thrilling adventures. I guess i will try everything except kayaking and trekking. Do you think its possible in one trip? How many days should i ideally plan if i wish to cover them all? Don really have an idea of the distance between places. So your guidance will be very helpful.

    • Nikhil Chandra says:

      It is possible but not in July. Skiing is definitely out of question and national parks are also closed during monsoon meaning elephant safari too is out of question. In the monsoon even paragliding is difficult.

      What you could definitely do is rafting, camping, zip lining and bungee jumping all of which could be done near Rishikesh itself. Rishikesh is around 250 kms from Delhi. Beware though that July is the time of monsoon and you could face heavy rain.

      Camping could be done at many places in Uttarakhand and ideally I would suggest Kanatal near Mussorrie for camping. If you do Delhi – Rishikesh – Kanatal – Mussorrie – Delhi, it is possible to cover these in 3-4 days. Total distance traveled would be approx 850 kms. I just returned from a motorcycle trip on this very same route. IF you do this, I’d recommend that you stay in Landour instead of Mussorie. Landor is quieter and more scenic than Mussorrie.

      In Rishikesh, you should camp at Shivpuri which is the base for white water rafting. There are many camps there where you could stay.

      I hope this helps!

  10. Jennifer Martin says:

    I am a frequent visitor to Uttarakhand. That’s why I really like this blog which is concentrating on the various adventure sports in Uttarakhand. Whenever I gave a visit to Uttarakhand, I make sure that I visit Rishikesh to do Zip lining which I think is conducted by some company Flying Fox. The instructors were very supportive and the most memorable thing was flying over the Ganges.

  11. Vivek says:

    Hello Nikhil,
    Thanks for sharing each information with us. Basically we are from uttarakhand but unaware of these activities. Please add a share link in your post so we can share same information with other facebook or social sites users.


    • Nikhil Chandra says:

      Thanks Vivek,
      I am glad you liked it. I hope you will try these activities soon to get that adrenaline rush.
      But we do have floating share button on the left bar which you could use to share the post on Facebook, Twitter and other social channels.

  12. Geetika Handa says:

    I have always visited the Uttarakhand state for its scenic beauty but never thought of trying my hands at such thrilling adventure activities. Your blog gives every single detail about all the activities offered here and has inspired me to partake in some of these during my next trip to Uttarakhand.

    • Nikhil Chandra says:

      Hey Geetika!
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂
      It is always encouraging to know that what I have written has made the readers aware of something new. That you are going to partake in some of these adventure sport activities in Uttarakhand is all the more heartening. I am glad that I could familiarize you with some thrilling activities that you haven’t tried before. So what is gonna be your call…rafting, bungee jumping or trekking? Camping and river rafting in Rishikesh that I’d strongly recommend if you haven’t tried it before 🙂

      All the best!

  13. Rekha says:

    Thanks Nikhil Chandra for this post, its awesome. You explained each activity very well.

    I have heard about Rafting and Paragliding in Uttarakhand, but I can see some other adventurous activities in your post that are completely new for me.

    • Nikhil Chandra says:

      Thanks Rekha,
      I am glad that you found my post useful. I am glad that you found some unheard of adventure sports activities. And I also hope that my post have motivated you enough to undertake a few of them.
      Cheers and happy travelling!

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