Uttarakhand, which is often referred to as Devbhumi (Land of Gods) due to numerous Hindu temples and pilgrim centres located here, is not only a destination for religious devotees, but also for adventure seekers. White water rafting, trekking, mountain biking, bungee jumping are few of the popular adventure activities that one can indulge in Uttarakhand.
The state offers some of the most scenic vistas with a panoramic view of the Himayalas, the gushing waters of River Ganga, the majestic slopes of Auli and the lush greenery of hill stations like Nainital and Mussoorie. Whether you are a water baby or love to explore a place on foot, Uttarakhand has something for every adventure enthusiast. The state is full of opportunities and with operators realizing its potential and customizing packages for tourists keeping their safety and budget in mind, there is no reason why you shouldn’t give these a try. If you love an adventure, here’s what Uttarakhand has to offer to all you thrill seekers.
Bungee Jumping in Rishikesh
Rishikesh is as much a religious destination for pilgrims as it is an adventure hotspot for thrill seekers. White water rafting isn’t the only thing that Rishikesh has to offer, among other sports, bungee jumping is also one of the things that it offers. So for all you adventure seekers who want to take a leap of faith and jump from a height with the wind gushing past you as you go upside-down in a vertical fall and stop just in time before you hit the ground, this one’s for you. The activity isn’t for the faint-hearted and people with heart ailments or pregnant women should consult their doctors before trying this sport. For the rest of you, this is one of the things that should be on your wish list the next time you are in Rishikesh.
Jumpin Heights is the sole organizer that offers bungee jumping in Rishikesh along with other activities like flying fox and giant swing. It is operated by a professional team from New Zealand and takes all the necessary precautions and safety measures. The jump is from a fixed platform, 83m above sea level and overlooking the River Hall, a tributary of Ganga. Participants can also see videos and photos of their jump after the activity.
Where: The activity is conducted in the village Mohan Chatti which is 15 km away from Rishikesh’s Laxman Jhula. They even offer pick-up and drop services at an additional cost.
Cost: Bungee jumping is for Rs 3500 per head but it can also be combined with other activities. If you want a repeat jump, the cost is lesser. It is best to book your activity in advance on their website.
Address and contact: Village Mohan Chatti, Rishikesh. For more information, call them at +91 7830404067.
Cable car ride in Auli
A cable car ride is one of the best ways to soak in the breathtaking beauty a place has to offer. With views of the alpine peaks and lush greenery, the cable car ride in Auli is something that shouldn’t be missed. The district Chamoli is known for adventure activities like trekking, skiing and this cable car ride. It is also famous for its temples and devotees both locals and tourists flock from different parts of the country to pay their respects.
Where: The ride is the best way to admire the beautiful landscapes of the town. Auli has a 4 km cable car ride that gives you a bird’s eye view of the place and connects it to Joshimath in a 20-minute ride. You can head to either Joshimath or Auli to board the cable car. Joshimath is well-connected by road.
Cost: The cable car costs Rs 750 per person and there is also a chair lift available for Rs 300. You can book your ride once you reach the destination as advance booking isn’t available online.
Safari at Jim Corbett National Park
The oldest national park in the county, Jim Corbett is primarily known for its royal Bengal tigers apart from other species of flora and fauna. The wildlife sanctuary is home to animals like wild elephants, leopards, jackals, barking deer and more. When here, one of the best things to do is go for a safari. Jim Corbett offers both elephant and open jeep safaris.
The national park is open 365 days of the year but the best time to go for a safari is from mid-November to June when you can spot tigers and other wild animals take a stroll in the open. The safari takes place either early morning or in the noon and you need to book a slot at least 30 days prior to your actual visit. Jim Corbett is divided into different tourist zones and booking in advance gives you the option of choosing a zone of your choice. It is also one of the few national parks in the country that offers living in the wild overnight.
Where: Jim Corbett is 15 km away from Ramnagar which is well-connected with major cities by road and rail. It also has a railhead. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the national park from Ramnagar.
Cost: The national park offers several packages to suit your budget and time. The jeep safari that lasts for three hours costs Rs 4,000 per head for Indian nationals and Rs 7,000 for foreigners. A maximum of six people are allowed in one jeep and the cost mentioned includes the driver’s fee, guide charges and service charge. You can book online on the national park’s website.
Address and contact: Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar, Nainital, Uttarakhand. For more information, call them at +91 8826678883.
Mountain biking in Rishikesh
Mountain biking is finally catching up in India and the adventure destination Rishikesh is where all the fun is. If the thrill of riding your cycle offroad and through mountainous passes is something that interests you, this sport is for you. The trip will be of at least two-three days and will test your endurance, stamina, core strength and biking skills. But in return you will see the splendid beauty of the Himalayas.
Where: Mountain biking is offered by different organizers in Rishikesh and you can choose one depending on your skill level and the number of days you have in hand. Red Chilli Adventure is one operator that conducts this activity. It offers a 2N/3D tour of the Pauri Loop where you cycle 50-60 km every day. Ganga Valley Adventure is another one offering the same activity on a different route. Mountain biking isn’t for everyone and you may want to talk to their instructors before booking. The terrain is rough and requires more skill than just cycling. You will be briefed about dos and don’ts before the start of the trip.
Address and contact: Ganga Valley Adventure Tour and Travels, Kailash Gate Munikireti, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. For bookings, contact them at + 91 9897996881. Red Chilli Adventure offers bookings directly on its website.
Paragliding in Mussoorie
Mussoorie which is a popular hill station in Uttarakhand is known not just for its natural beauty but also for the range of adventure activities it offers. Don’t get fooled by the quiet bylanes and the slow-paced life of the people here because Mussoorie is much more than that. If anything comes close to flying like a bird, it is paragliding. The sport offers a breathtaking view of the hills, lake and valley and also is an experience that is unforgettable. With your legs dangling in the air and the pilot taking you to heights of over 6,000 ft in the sky, you can be sure of having the time of your life.
Mussoorie has paragliding options near the lake where you can go and book a tour for yourself. There are also some operators that offer online advance booking. The activity does not require any major skills from the participants as you will be flown by an experienced pilot. But if you have a fear of heights or flying, paragliding may not be for you.
Where: The Mussoorie Lake is one place you can go to for paragliding. Adventure Nation and Paragliding in Mussoorie & Himalayas are two operators who offer this activity and take advance booking.
Cost: The cost of paragliding will vary on the duration of the activity and also from one operator to the other. However, a ballpark amount is Rs 10,000 for a one hour ride. Remember, sometimes due to wind conditions, the activity may get cancelled. Talk to your operator about refund policy in such a case beforehand.
Address and contact: Adventure Nation’s head office is in Gurgaon. You can contact them at 0124 4983580. Paragliding in Mussoorie & Himalayas is in Buranskhanda, Mussoorie. Contact them at +91 9412973448.
Aerial ropeway in Nainital
Nainital’s beauty can be best explored on an aerial ropeway that is a short 2-minute ride from Mallital to Snow View Point. From snow-covered peaks to the lake and the city below, expect some breathtaking vistas on this ride. The aerial ropeway is one of the safest and is developed by Swiss technology. You may want to get there early as it is a prime tourist attraction of Nainital. There are only two trolleys available to take people to and fro and each can accommodate about 10-11 people.
Where: Head to Mallital from where you can take the aerial ropeway to Snow View Point. The ropeway will also take you back after an hour at the point. Cabs are available to reach Mallital.
Cost: The cost for the ride isn’t much and is Rs 150 for both ways for adults and Rs 100 for children. The ropeway is accessible from 10 am to 4 pm.
Address and contact: Ropeway Road, Mallital, Nainital, Uttarakhand. For more info, contact them at +91 5942237476.
Ropeway to Gun Hill
The second highest point in Mussoorie, Gun Hill lies at an altitude of 2024m above the sea level. It is only 400m above the Mall and can be reached by foot also but the ropeway ride to reach Gun Hill is a fun activity that you can do when in Mussoorie. The ride is a short one and is available from the Mall itself. The ropeway ride showcases the beauty of Mussoorie giving you a panoramic view of the hill station. Once you reach Gun Hill, you will get a 360 degree view of the Himalayas. Don’t forget to take your camera and capture some amazing shots of the peaks.
Where: The ropeway to Gun Hill begins at the Mall. If you want you can even walk from the Mall to the hill as it will take you only 20 minutes as it is only 400m away. But the ropeway will showcase the beauty of Mussoorie.
Cost: The ropeway ride costs Rs 60 per person and is open from 10 am to 6 pm.
Address and contact: The Mall, Mussoorie, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
Skiing in Auli
One of the finest skiing slopes in not just India but the world, Auli is the place to be if skiing is on your mind. The sport is perfect for snow-lovers who want to leave a white, powdery trail behind their every step. Skiing does look like a lot of fun but isn’t an easy sport to master and you will need at least four-five days to master the basics. Auli offers slopes that are suited for novice as well as professional skiers. The rush of zooming past the snow in your ski boots is something that will send an adrenalin rush like no other. Skiing in Auli takes place in the months of January to April and each batch has limited seats available so if you are keen on trying this sport, it is recommended that you book in advance.
Where: Even though you may find one-day ski packages, if you really want to hone your skiing skills, it is best to enrol for a longer duration package. There are many tour operators that conduct skiing courses where they also provide pick up and drop facilities along with accommodation. Trek the Himalayas and Skiing in India are two organizers that conduct such workshops. From three days to a week to 10 days, you can pick a course that suits your budget and time.
Cost: The cost of the course will vary depending on the number of days and the operator you choose. However, an approximate amount is Rs 13,500 for a five to six-day course. You will have to shell out more money for additional cost such as hiring ski gear, clothes, etc.
Address and contact: India Ski Adventure Club, Lower Auli, Uttarakhand. Contact them for packages at 0091 1389222609. Trek the Himalayas has their head office in Rishikesh. You can contact them +91 1352442627.
White water rafting in Rishikesh
When you think of white water rafting, the first destination that comes to mind is Rishikesh. Apart from drawing pilgrims and yoga enthusiasts, Rishikesh also attracts adventure seekers who love the thrill and adrenalin rush you get during any such activity. White water rafting in Rishikesh is not just for amateurs but also for those who are pros at it. The gushing waters and the rush of wading through it is something you can only experience here. Ganga tests your endurance, skills and grit as she charges at you in full force.
From half-day tours to 3-4 day packages, you can avail what suits you best. The rafting experience is also based on grades and you can pick one depending on your skill level. Even though rafting is a team activity, you do not require a group to try it. Once you enrol, they will assign you a group that you can join for the activity.
Where: White water rafting takes place on the Ganga River and the location changes depending on your grade and level of the activity and the distance covered. Many tour operators conduct river rafting courses in Rishikesh. Red Chilli Adventure offers different packages of different days. Adventure Nation also has day packages as well as longer duration trips.
Cost: The cost varies depending on the package you choose. A day trip can be as less as Rs 900 per person which only has rafting while a one-night package with camping and rafting can be about Rs 6,000.
Address and contact: Adventure Nation has its headquarters in Gurgaon but you can contact them at 0124 4983580. Red Chilli Adventure packages can be booked on its website.
Trekking in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand is a trekker’s paradise with a number of trails to offer. The treks here are some of the best and range from easy to moderate to difficult ones. No matter if you are a first-timer or a regular trekker, Uttarakhand is a great place to go on a trek. The journey will take you through some of the best scenic beauty nature has to offer and landscapes that range from tiny villages, meadows, alpine mountains, valleys, lush greenery and rivers. The bounty of nature is at its best in Uttarakhand and exploring it on foot as you trek forward is one of the best ways to explore it.
Trekking options in Uttarakhand are aplenty ranging from short 3-4 days of trekking trips to longer ones that require 12-15 days also. Some of the places you can trek to in Uttarakhand include Guano Hills, Valley of Flowers, Chandrashila, Har Ki Dun, Roopkund, Nag Tibba, Khatling glacier, Kedarnath, etc. Since trekking is so popular in the region, there are a number of operators who organize it. Adventure Nation, The Great Next, Red Chilli Adventure and Thrillophilia are some of the top ones.
Cost: The cost will vary according to the trek you choose and the number of days it involves. For instance, a 2-3 day trek can cost between Rs 5,000-6,000 while a 8-9 day trek can cost Rs 20,000 or more.
You can book these treks on their websites where the complete itinerary and cost of the package is mentioned along with dates and the nature of the trek.