When it comes to adventure sports, most of us picture gut wrenching activities at difficult geographical conditions and situations. People tend to tag adventure sports with the young and daring.
They often forget that if these activities carried on under the limits of safety, can turn adventurous and exciting even for a regular family. Breaking the cliché of the usual sightseeing trips, here is a list of 10 ideas for a refreshing and adventurous family vacation in India.
Trekking is a sport of exploring new places on foot. It is simply not travelling to destinations, but a journey that makes a traveler engage deeply in his surroundings and environment. Most of the people when head towards a destination, usually do not notice the attractions or splendors that come in the way. But, this is not the case with trekking. The thrill of scaling the distances on foot is altogether a different experience.
Over the years, trekking has evolved into one of the most sought after adventure sports in India. The country has various trekking options across its lengths and breadths. Be it the north of India, which is ruled by the Himalayas or down South, which has Nilgiris to welcome, trekking options are everywhere in India. Besides, states of the east and west also provide various options for the same.
Landforms in India can challenge the best of the trekker, but if on a family trip, there are trek routes for that as well. Prominent ones for a family trekking trip in India are Valley of of Flowers trek, Har ki Dun trek, Bhimashankar trek, Chembra peak trek, Chandrashila trek and Dongri trek. These trek routes are close to famous tourist places in the country. The mystic landscapes on these trek routes are sure to make the family trip an exciting one.
Quite different from the usual family trips to hill stations, which is mostly limited to sightseeing, trekking is high on adventure. However, it is to be noted that trekking at high altitudes must be avoided when travelling with family.
Quite a popular adventure sport in the west and Europe, River rafting has found its place in India as well. The joy of sailing over untamed rivers which flows through rocky terrains and steep slopes is an intense rush. India has a decent share of rivers, which create the best of rafting expeditions in the country. Top in the list of these rivers is the mighty Ganges, which originates high up in the glaciers and flows downward to the ocean. In its course of length, the river crosses various landforms and boundaries in different paces.
One of the best river rafting sites in India is Rishikesh, which is utterly blessed by this Himalayan river. At Rishikesh, the flow of the Ganges is simply amazing, although some tend to commence their rafting journey from Shivpuri, a region, little before Rishikesh up north. Similarly, Uttarkashi and the Garhwal region in India are also favourable for river rafting.
Besides the regions of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, families can enjoy white water rafting at Ladakh. Indus and Zanskar rivers flow across this region of India. Similarly, the south and northeast of India also provide excellent opportunities for river rafting. Teesta river in Sikkim, Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh and Barapole river in Coorg are renowned for carrying out rafting expeditions.
River rafting is a group activity and families with more than 4 members can actively indulge in this activity. Although one must keep in mind that rivers with low grade rapids are suitable for families.
[Also check out top 10 adventure sports in Uttarakhand]
Away from the urban life, camping gives a chance to breathe free and pure in nature. The serenity of nature not only rejuvenates body and mind, but it also gives time and space to devote to the family, which most urban people complain about lacking in their busy schedule. India’s bio-diversity is such, it has nature spots scattered all over. Hill stations of the north, which are visited many a times by every second urban family, can be excellent camping spots. Mostly people go for hill stations which are actually towns in high altitudes. Rather than making a visit to the town, one must take his family to the nature spots. Away from the hustle and bustle of cities, camping can provide a perfect vacation to families.
The north of India is packed with various camping sites that are highly favored by nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Hill stations like Shimla, Mussorie, Manali and Dharamshala are some of the best places for camping in Himachal Pradesh. Likewise, Sonamarg and Solang valley also provides excellent opportunities to live amidst the splendid Himalayan nature.
‘Glamping’ is also an adventurous alternative for urban dwellers. Glamping, which simply means glamorous camping, provides a unique experience of camping. In this, the luxury factor is attached with camping amidst nature. Family vacationers can travel to Jaisalmer to enjoy this unique experience of glamping.
[Checkout Top 10 Best Places for camping in India]
India has an abundance of flora and fauna to flaunt to the world. The topography is so vivid, one can get to face a whole new form of natural habitat at every corner. Owing to the country’s rich bio-diversity, there is a gamut of wildlife reserves, in the form of National Parks and Sanctuaries established amidst its boundaries. So much so, that one can find one in each and every state.
World renowned wildlife reserves in India are Corbett National Park, Ranthambore National Park, Kanha National Park, Kaziranga, Bandhavgarh National Park and Rajaji National Park. All these National parks have proper arrangements to carry out wildlife safaris.
Wildlife safaris are a great way to understand nature’s diversity. Plus the wild animals, which most of the people have seen either in the zoo or on their tv sets, can be seen strolling open in the wild. Watching a full grown tiger, prowling in the bushes, and then suddenly going for the kill, or the sight of the big cat lazing under the shade of a tree with her cubs. Such sights are common on the National Geographic channel, but what if you get to have a real experience of it? Thrilling, isn’t it?. Well, the basic idea behind wildlife safaris revolves around this thrill. Be it a safari on an elephant back, or on a jeep, such wildlife expeditions are gaining huge popularity among urban families. To add on to the excitement, family vacationers can even choose to stay at jungle accommodations provided by the National park authorities.
Till how long will you be admiring the exotic marine life, shown by the people of discovery and Nat Geo on your TV sets? It’s time you get into the real picture and give your family an underwater treat. Known as Snorkeling, the activity is one of the famous adventure sports in India. Indian coastline is blessed with so many beaches, it has become a hub of coral sea beds.
Places like Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshwadeep and Goa are renowned for carrying out snorkeling activities. Especially the Andaman group of islands, which is a highly favored holiday destination for families in India. The blue, green turquoise water cover of the island group has some of the most exotic coral reefs and sea creatures that are vivid and rare. Owing to such aquatic conditions, the island group is a paradise for snorkeling.
Snorkelling is an amazing way to explore the underwater, and over the time it has grown highly popular among urban families. However, it comes with certain limitations. Snorkeling lovers or scuba divers must know swimming and kids below 10 years of age must be prohibited from getting indulged in such kind of activities.
Amongst the safest adventure sports in the world, Paragliding is a way to feel the never ending freedom of skies. The adventure sport lets someone to imagine himself like a bird, ascending to heights, right over mountains, valleys and streams.
The hill stations of India in the Himalayan towns prove excellent as Paragliding spots. This adventure sport is a new one in the country, but is quickly gaining remuneration from thrill seekers. In India, Manali, Billing, Nandi hills, Pithoragarh, Yelagiri, Munnar, Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar, Tapola, Vagamon and Pavana Dam near Pune.
Paragliding spots or camps usually have an instructor or a professional, that will fly with you. Thereby, for families, the adventure sport is the safest bet. Some centers also teach the fundamentals of the sport through introductory courses.
[Check out Top 5 Paragliding Destinations in India]
Yak and Camel Safaris
Ladakh, the cold desert of India, has so much to offer to people. Out of the gamut of adventure sports activities carried on in this part of India, desert safaris on the back of a Yak are perfectly suited for family vacationers. Yak is the largest animal in Ladakh and a safari on the back of it is a wonderful experience.
Trekking through the Hunder valley or Nubra in Ladakh is bound to come across sand dunes, glaciers and snow peaks. This has given the locals one more reason to raise yaks in high numbers. Other than that, camel safaris in the deserts of Rajasthan is also gaining huge popularity. The sand dunes of Jaisalmer are excellent for this purpose. To add on to the excitement, families can get to stay at desert accommodations also.
Skiing is a fun filled activity, which has gained tremendous popularity in the hill stations of India. The country is blessed with such destinations, it often competes with the best skiing spots in the world. Places like Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Solang Nala and Manali receives a huge influx of tourists every winter. This comprises a big chunk of families in it as well.
Not only for the adults, skiing is also suited for children. Proper training for advanced skiing is also available. Other skiing destinations in India which are perfectly suited for a family trip are Dayara Bugyal, Kufri, Mundali, Narkanda and Munsiyari.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
Just like Paragliding, hot air balloon rides are amongst the safest adventure sports for the families. A hot air balloon is attached to a big basket, which ferries people to great heights. These rides are known for the aerial views. Sailing over beautiful landscapes, valleys, mountains and gorges, the balloon ride is surely the best way to explore the surroundings. This makes it a must add on activity in a family trip.
Highly safe, the adventure sport has gained tremendous recognition in India. Owing to this, there are various destinations for Hot Air Ballooning in the country, which include Mysore, Kashmir, Jaipur, New Delhi, Jaisalmer, Pushkar, Ranthambore, Hampi and Pushkar.
Angling and Fishing
Quite different from the above mentioned activities, Angling and Fishing is a more relaxing affair. Imagine spending a day by the riverside, listening country songs and catching fishes, amidst nature and peace. Just like we see in any American country movie, presenting the regions of Colorado and Alabama.
Certainly a great way to relive childhood memories and bonding with families. Plus, it puts no bar on the age group as fishing and angling is enjoyed by everyone. Best places for angling and fishing in India are Pahalgam, Srinagar, Pancheshwar, Beas Ghat, Ramganga river, Ranikor, Tirthan valley and Bheemeshwari.