Adventure sports are different from traditional sports as they are not performed in 100% controlled environment. People who like to push themselves to something exciting and to extreme conditions enjoy adventure sports. Some like it purely because it provides opportunity to travel to new and exciting places and experience the sport in a different way. They are also called extreme sports, action sports and aggro sports, and most of these sports involve speed, height, a high level of physical exertion, and highly specialised gear. Physical fitness and mental well-being are crucial before taking on any adventure sports. One must consult with a medical practitioner for any health conditions before venturing out. While mountaineering, rock climbing and river rafting are popular and safe adventure sports in India, other extremes like sky diving, mountain biking, and surfing are also catching up.
Mountaineering or mountain climbing began as an attempt to reach highest unclimbed mountains and has been in existence for years. India has two distinct mountaineering types – one is high-altitude Himalayan climbing and the second is non-high altitude type of climbs. Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) is the governing body for mountaineering, skiing, rock climbing and trekking at high altitudes in India. They organize, support and provide a base for Himalayan mountaineering expeditions. Besides Himalayan expeditions, there are many mountaineering clubs in Western and Southern India. Mountaineering as a term is often clubbed with complex trekking and hiking. The base level fitness is extremely important to get started with this adventure sport. The best way would be to find a local institute and start building the core skills.
Rock climbing can be considered as an offshoot of mountaineering. It has been around in India for a long time. The foothills of Himalayas, the Western Ghats, Deccan and South of Vindhyas are known to be prime locations for rock climbing in India. While the nature of sport is non-competitive, it is extremely healthy for physical and mental well-being. Rock climbing is fulfilling and reinforces a sense of accomplishment and self-belief in a person.
Rock climbing is gaining popularity rapidly and artificial climbing set-ups are becoming a part of adventure sport locations all over India. There are artificial climbing walls available at both indoor and outdoor places. Schools, colleges and various organizations have started organizing rock climbing expeditions as well. One can get started by joining a local club or training institute and become a pro rock climber in no time.
River rafting or white water rafting is a challenging recreational adventure sport. While rafting is more popular in the Northern states of India because of the rivers at great Himalayan heights, it is also gaining popularity in exotic locations in the rest of the country. There are spectacular places like Kolad in Maharashtra and Dandelli in Karnataka that offer thrilling rafting experiences in this part of India. One needs to find out trainers and clubs that give great importance to safety techniques while considering to learn river rafting.
Quote: It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves.
-Andre Gide, a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947