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Best Adventure Activities and Destinations in Uttarakhand

Best Adventure Activities & Destinations in Uttarakhand

At a Glance :

  • Region : Himalaya’s northern western region
  • Regional Language : Kumaoni, Garhwali
  • Capital City : Dehradun
  • Perfect Visiting Time : Month of October till June

Along with natural beauty, Uttarakhand state has been blessed by adventure structure. More than just a holiday spot, it is majorly renowned as the best place in India to practice adventure sports along with the company of adorable and refreshing nature. The majority of tourists of Uttarakhand visit this thrilling place to refresh their minds, body and add some spicy thrill to their exhausting life. At the green mountain, you can see extensive wildlife which is hidden, deep gorges, the meadows all these factors are enough to attract adventure and nature freaks to explore this exotic place. Glaciers, covered peaks, rich flora and fauna, and valleys all these elements have made this state a perfect place to try adventurous sports. The popular adventure activities are such as safari, trekking, rafting, and skiing and there are some more fishing, angling, mountaineering, rock climbing, nature camps, canoeing, etc. Apart from these, trekking in Uttarakhand has a massive following among the young adult and is also popularly called Trekking Paradise of India. Following are some popular adventure spots, where you can enjoy your holiday thoroughly.

Dayara Bugyal Trek

Second in the list is Dayara Bugyal Trek with originating point in Uttarakhand. Counted amongst the most beautiful regions in India, it takes you to the elevation of around 10,000 ft. above sea level. Offering breath-takingly beautiful views of some of the high mighty Himalayan peaks; the trek is considered easy and interesting for trekking in India. Best season to enjoy trekking here is May to November. In winters, the region enjoys heavy snow fall that gives travellers another reason to explore white natural beauty.

Adi Kailash Trek

This is a nice place to enjoy trekking for about twenty three days. it is also famous as Chotta Kailash. The entire area is adorned with serenity, natural beauty and peace. During Adi Kailash trekking, you will get a chance to get a sight of the snowy peak, huge forests, Annapurana and wild flowers. You will really feel that it is an imitation of mount Kailash , due to a number of features, it is also very near to the border of Indo Tibetan. At each foot of mount Kailash, you will find Gauri Kund, here you can see the reflection image of Mt. Kailash. From this location, you can easily reach Parvati Sarovar, it is also popular as Mansarovar, but the size of this sarovar is not as broad as the real one. This place also has religious beliefs, due to the presence of Lord Shiva’s temple, over Sarvovar’s bank, local people have built this temple. Once you put your foot inside this Temple, you will get an idea why God has chosen this place for stay.

High Trekking Altitude

If you are in the mood to experience the extreme thrilling and adventurous trekking then suppose that this place is only made for you. It is located on Nandanvan’s eastern side, that goes towards Ghastoli. The height of this place is about 5967 meters. You can get an interesting trekking experience in Arwa Tal.

Kedarnath & Vasuki Tal

The altitude of this location is around 3584 kilometers. This place is very beneficial because at this one place, you will not only enjoy the breathtaking trekking but you will also get a chance to worship God. It is renowned due to both the features. The temple has been built at the base of Kedarnath’s peak; it has been constructed through the Pandvas. The point from where you have to start your journey is Gauri Kund.

Yamunotri

This is a very holy place which is famous due to its spiritual epics and huge interest towards devout pilgrimage. It is a sacred spot for the Hindus, people come to this place to put their prayers in front of Yamuna Goddess . After reaching here, pilgrim first take a divine dip in the holy river water, here you will also get to see the natural hot water springs.

Gangotri Kedarnath

After reaching here, you will fall in love with this place’s beauty, because the entire trekking route of Gangotri Kedarnath is surrounded by picturesque beauty, which attracts a huge number of adventurous people and tourists from many years. It is hugely connected to spiritual Hindu pilgrimages; Kedarnath and Gangotri are the two prime attractive spots of the devotees.

Kempty  Fall Trekking

The capital city Dehradun is a very large place, which has been spread over 1880 sq. kilometers. Dehradun’s farmers are attracted towards this part of Himalaya, due to suitable alluvial soil and climate, at present this place has been developed as educational institutions and research like Public Schools, Military academy and Forest Research Institute and many more educational organizations.

Mussoorie

It is located on the foothills of the Garhwal range’s ; at this place Nag Tibba is located, on the northern eastern side Mussoorie is placed. The place where Mussoorie is located is about three thousand eighty four meters. This is a favorite place of mountaineers, trekkers, photographers and nature lovers, Mussoorie city is itself a very renowned hill station. It is situated over saddle and, the best moment which you will spend here would be sunrise, the whole look of Mussoorie city is unbelievable, it is not less than any shining diamond.

Kedarnath:

Getting a chance to trek over Kedarnath would be definitely one of the dreams of trekking freaks, because it is amazing and breathtaking. The adventurous structure and beauty of this place are attracting a number of trekkers. If you are in the search of trekking spots then you won’t get a perfect spot than Kedarnath.

Hemkund Trekking:

Hemkund is a very spiritual place, because it includes holy Sikh religion’s shrine, it is situated on the foot part of Hemkund Lake; its height is about 4320 meters. It is very popular due to the presence of holiness; Sikh religion’s tenth Guru Gobind Singh’s divine shrine is located at this place. After a long time of meditation, he was joined to God, which he had done in his previous birth. The mention of Hemkund can be found in Guru Gobind Singh’s autobiography; this autobiography has inspired 2 spiritual Sikhs.

White Water Rafting:

Uttarakhand state’s Garhwal and Kumaon Rivers is the perfect Rivers to try River rafting. If you love water sports and wish to add some thrill into your life, then visit this place. Himalaya’s altitude is a center of origin; a number of Indian Rivers have been born here along with icy winds. All these Rivers are coursed through a number of streams. The whole view of rivers when they run from the mountain’s top the over rocks by cutting gorges is just marvellous. There are big and strange rocks which increase the breathtaking beauty of this place.

10 Adventure Destinations in Ladakh

Ladakh – is a largely celebrated winter wonderland and adventure paradise for every kind of traveler. The incandescent beauty of this union territory is alone enough to provide various range of scenic views, a heavily snowed environment, a great reach of Himalayan landscapes, a snow-adorned walk through an alpine forest area, deep Buddhist traditional festivities, a gorgeous look into the wildlife culture. Ladakh is not just a scenic ride for millennials but instead, it evokes a certain kind of emotion – an emotion that is filled with a feeling of freedom and liberation among the millennials and that may be the reason why the people of today’s generation seek a vacation or adventure journey in Ladakh.

Apart from harboring various lengths of scenic travel sites, Ladakh is more recently being honored as a base point that heartily opens several trekking destinations for any kind of traveler i.e., a seasoned or an adventure traveler. From letting you experience a swift walk on a Zanskar River to letting walk to the arms of Mount Nun, Ladakh has been blessed with every kind of adventure that a traveler seeks.

So, following is the list of 10 famous adventure journeys a traveler can enjoy in Ladakh

  1. Chadar Trek (8 Days)

Chadar trek or also popularly called a Zanskar Gorge Trek is a 106-km long trekking journey and is famously traversed as a winter trail by adventure travelers. The trek is famous for giving its visitor an inexplicable experience of walking on a frozen river of Zanskar and feeling mesmerized after realizing the surreal beauty of this place.

The trek is very much related to testing one’s determination and survival instinct in walking down a journey that gives you immense pleasure after winning it.

2) Markha Valley Trek (9 days)

Markha Valley is a 9-day long trekking journey that is usually attempted from the month of May to September and is walked to witness the natural green beauty filled with thousands of watering streams. One needs to walk about 75 km of leveled path crossing through the waist-deep river of Markha to finally reach a gorgeous Buddhist village situated in the middle of towering mountain ranges.

Many of you who undertake this easy level trekking journey get to witness the spellbinding peaks of Zanskar Ranges, Kang Yatse, Stok Kangri, etc.

3) Nubra Valley Trek (6-10 Days)

Nubra Valley – famously enjoyed by the millennials for being the one-time gateway to the ancient Silk Route of India where one can easily witness the heavily perched purple mountains, double-humped camels, and cold breeze swirling upon the white sand dunes. This is a 6-10 days long walking journey where the traveler gets to traverse through lush green meadows and anciently built Buddhist shrines.

Upon reaching the mountain top of Nubra Valley, you also get a chance to witness the mesmerizing ranges of Karakoram, K2, etc.

4) Stok Kangri Trek (9-10 Days)

A snowy, razor-cut peak perched atop the rough mountains of Ladakh – Stok Kangri is like a journey for experienced trekkers who climb up to this mountain to test their limit and also to define the walk towards a tough ascent to themselves. By heartily starting their journey from Stok Village, the travelers make a walk for about 9-10 days through a steep path and a carefully led walk on frozen water.

The distance to be covered during the Stok Kangri journey is about 240 km to finally reaching a top perched at an altitude of 20,180 ft above sea level. And thus, by making its difficulty level in your mind, the journey to its top will only keep rolling in your mind.

5) Nun Peak Climbing Expedition (21-22 Days)

Almost always traversed by the experienced traveler or by the travelers who have some basic technical mountaineering knowledge – the Nun peak climbing expedition is one of the highest peaks of the Himalayan region lying on the Indian side of LOC in Ladakh. The desolate and uninhabited mountain stands at a staggering height of 7,135 m above sea levels in the Suru region.

Every traveling group takes around 21-22 days to reach the mountain top of Nun Peak and be mesmerized by its virgin beauty. You can also witness the peaks of many different ranges like Zanskar, a panoramic view of Leh-Ladakh, etc.

6) Kun Peak Expedition (22-23 Days)

Believing in a similar journey like its twin peak – Mount Nun, Mount Kun is the second highest peak of the massif and is generally traversed by aspiring mountaineers or sometimes by ordinary travelers who seeks brief supervision from travel companies. The snow-covered, green fog-enshrouded mountain stands at a towering height of 7,077m above the ground near Suru valley.

The trek to the top of this massive peak usually takes around 22-23 days while walking on rough terrain towards a tough ascent, hugely covered in snow. The peak offers an unprecedented view of Mount Kun, Mount Barmal, White Needle, etc.

7) Sham Valley Trek (3-5 Days)

Also widely pronounced as ‘Baby Trek’, by the locals of Ladakh is a beautiful trekking journey along with the traditional sites of the Buddhist religion. Letting you walk through the poplar-lined path and small traditional settlements; the Sham Valley trekking journey will be a great experience for the first-timers or it will work as a primer for polished travelers.

The 3-5 days trek to the Sham Valley takes its travelers through a scenic hike to the 11-century Buddhist Monastery where a towering gold statue of Lord Buddha worshipped ardently.

8) Kang Yatse II Trek (12 Days)

Kang Yatse II Peak – a journey filled with rough terrains and tough straight-line ascent is an aspiring mountaineer’s paradise who pick up this journey to train themselves for another harder journey in the Himalayan region. The incredibly tall and slender mountain stands at a towering height of 6,400m above the ground at the end of Markha Valley that requires an extremely technical walk across various knife-cut ridges.

The travelers can traverse this massive peak in and around 12 days where they get a chance to walk through the cultural Ladakhi region.

9) Digar La Trek (8 Days)

Instead of making you walk towards a mountain top, the Digar La trek takes you through a journey to the several mesmerizing landscapes of Ladakh until it reaches the cold desert in the Nubra region. Digar La Trek also locally called ‘Leh Nubra Pangong Circuit’ that connects the Indus Valley to the green fog-enshrouded Nubra Valley.

The trekking distance is about 30km and is generally traversed during the course of 8 days while taking some brief enjoyable stopover at the famous Monasteries of Ladakh.

10) 6 Passes Trek

6 Passes Trek is not about traversing a single mountain range but instead starting from Rumtse village, the traveler follows a unique journey of traversing six high-altitude passes perched atop the height of more than 5000 meters above the ground.

The 106-km long Gargantuan hardly-traveled trekking journey, makes you pass the six high-altitude regions incorporating 3 lakes in the path named Tso Kar, Tso Moriri, and Startsapuk Tso and beautifully adorned with meandering river, lush green meadows, barren terrains, mesmerizing landscapes.

10 Surfing Spots in India

Though it may not be a very good time to go surfing in these days of COVID 19, we could plan it for the future.

There are tons of top surfing spots in India, most remain undiscovered. The surfing culture arrived a bit late in the country. Despite the impressive Indian waves, most beaches in India are not developed or marketed as surfing spots.

However, over the years, more and more beachside companies start offering surfing lessons. Now, the sport has become one of the common activities during weekends and free times. One of the advantages of going to India for surfing is that there aren’t a lot of surfers flocking the beaches.

Top Surfing Spots in India

India isn’t known for the biggest waves in the world. However, you can ride some impressive ones depending on the season. The country usually has calmer tides that would fit beginner surfers, especially from April to May and October to November, or before and after the wet season. If you are looking for more extreme tides to ride on, the best time to surf in India would be during the monsoon season.

If you are looking for the top surfing spots in India, here’s the top ten list that should be in your bucket list.

#1. Mulki, Karnataka

If you are looking for the top surfing spots in India, the number one spot would be for the birthplace of the surfing culture in the country. Mulki is the home of Indian surfing, which is on the west coast of Karnataka. You can experience a wide range of waves and difficulty levels on the beaches of Mulki.

The Mantra Surf Club in Mulki hosts up to a thousand surfers every year. courtesy ravi shankar paranjpe / mantra surf club. Mulki surfing
The Mantra Surf Club in Mulki hosts up to a thousand surfers every year.
Image courtesy Ravi Shankar Paranjape / mantra surf club

Most of the time, the tides in the area are great for beginner surfers. However, if you visit Mulki before and during the monsoon season, you’ll mostly get challenging and intense waves. During this time, not a lot of surfers will go to the area since the tides can be very tricky, and only daredevils try to charge the swells.

#2. Goa Beach

If you are an experienced surfer, one of the top surfing spots in India for thrilling waves would be the Goa Beach. If you visit the area during the best season, you can ride massive waves that range from five to ten feet in height. Goa Beach is famous as the land of magic and adventure for a reason.

The best time to visit Goa Beach for its giant waves would be between May and June. Other times, you’ll still get good waves but much calmer ones, which are ideal for newbies with their funboards or for practicing your wave riding skills.

#3. Kovalam Beach, Kerala

Situated in the southern part of India, Kovalam Beach is one of the popular and top surfing spots in India. There is a beach break in the area where you can get both right and left waves, and both are extremely powerful and fast. Although the tides can be pretty intense, the surf spot can usually cater to both beginner and intermediate surfers.

There are also local surfing schools in the beachside if you want to learn the sport. The best time to visit Kovalam Beach would be during mid and high tides.

#4. Vizag, Andhra Pradesh

Vizag is the only surf city in India, and for good reasons. Right at the heart of the city, you can find empty line-ups and a lot of scenic bays that produces a wide range of waves. Surfing is yet to catch popularity in the area, so you’ll mostly have the surf to yourself.

Most of the time, it is where you can find pro athletes go surfing because it’s less crowded. The area experiences occasional storms and cyclones, which usually brings a lot of massive waves.

#5. Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Mahabalipuram or Mahabs is another one of the top surfing spots in India. It’s not only popular for its iconic and majestic temples, but its right-hand point break as well. It provides an impressive series of waves for power surfing and tube riding.

Mahabalipuram surfing
This photo of Mumu Surf School is courtesy of Tripadvisor

If you are looking to ride big swells, the best time to visit Mahabs would be between May and November.

#6. Varkala Beach

One of the advantages of going to Varkala Beach is its impressive landscape. It has a gentle atmosphere and waves as well. It’s one of the best spots to go to if you want to try your hand at surfing. The waves in Varkala Beach are not intense, which is ideal for newbies.

The best time to visit Varkala Beach would be between December to March, although the waves are perfect for newbies all year-round.

#7. Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Situated on the east coast, another one of the top surfing spots in India is Chennai. It’s a great place for you to learn how to surf. You can enroll in various courses from beginners to more advanced lessons.

There’s a famous right-hand break in Chennai, the Covelong Point, which produces some of the best waves in the country. It’s also home to some of the best Indian surfers and attracts waves riders from all over the world.

#8. Gokarna Beach, Karnataka

Gokarna Beach is one of the top surfing spots in India for beginner surfers. The area is famous for its scenic views and relaxing atmosphere with coconut trees in the foreground and the Sahyadri Mountains in the background. Meanwhile, the waves on the beach are a bit easy to predict and not very strong. Plus, there are also tons of surf schools in the area.

The best time to visit Gokarna Beach for surfing would be between October and May.

#9. Pondicherry

Pondicherry is where the east and west coasts meet. It’s popular for the colonial buildings and tree-lined streets. However, Pondicherry has also become quite well-known for both local and tourist surfers in recent years. It provides some of the best waves in the country, which can hold wells between three to six feet.

You can usually get the best quality waves in Pondicherry between August and December.

#10. Kodi Bengre, Udupi

Kodi Bengre is a famous fishing village in Udupi, India. Aside from the fresh seafood that you can find in the place, it is also an interesting spot for surfing. The beaches in this village are well-known for its stable weather, with around 30 degrees temperature, which is ideal for newbies and intermediate surfers.

However, if you are looking for more challenging waves, the best time to visit Kodi Bengre would be before and after the monsoon season.

The surfing culture in India is yet to pick up big. So, you’ll mostly see non-crowded surfing spots in the country, although it’s home to some of the best waves that can cater to both newbies and seasoned surfers. These ten top surfing spots in India should be on your travel bucket list if you visit the country. Also, don’t forget to pick up on your surfing gear – surfboards, fins, wetsuits, and traction pads!


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Run up a mountain

Both inspiring and intimidating, a mountain marathon can be a great way to find your stride.

Everyone has a different connection with the mountains. Some find it by slowing down and picking up a book while others prefer to get their soles dirty and scale its heights. There is something elemental about scaling a mountain on foot.

While the tribe of trekkers and campers keep spiralling every year, one can also see a steady rise of athletes and marathoners taking to such unforgiving terrain and lung-searing attitude. When, and how, did the call of the wild green terrain become so irresistible?

Mountains are unpredictable. Even the same run twice won’t give you the same experience.

The weather might suddenly change, the track might disappear.

It is this lure of seeing more, experiencing more which is pulling people towards these runs

~ Akshay Appu, digital media professional who has done runs in Manali, Bir Billing, and Mawkrywat, says city runs do not offer much in terms of views, challenges, different routes or terrains.

Call of the wild

All runs in the city are done on tar roads. Mountain runs on the other hand, come with the promise of a new challenge with every run, different topography, beautiful views, no pollution, and peace and quiet. No marathon in the hills is the same. Even the same run twice won’t give you the same experience, “

~  Appu.

Humbling experience

The world of trial and ultra-running is becoming big because it’s not just athletes but track and road runners and even amateurs- after a good training- are signing up for these races to test their body and mind.

run up a mountain Image by skeeze from Pixabay

“Many a time you may be faced with situations that you can’t really train for a wild animal crossing your trail or a sharp incline that will make you dig into every little bit of strength and energy you have left. And just when you think you can take no more, you go ahead and do it.”

~ Gauri Jayaram, founder of a leading marathon touring company, such marathons give you the chance to connect with nature at a personal level

A lot like real life, except that we have forgotten these most simple lessons.

Our age of excess and 24*7 connected lives has pushed us far from nature- not just physical nature but our own inner selves. We have forgotten to tap our own potential and push our boundaries because we live and think in tiny little boxes. A run in the mountain is a perfect therapy for our tired souls. You are stripped to the barest of essentials- good running shoes, minimal clothing, a bottle of water, just enough food to get you through a day on the ridges, and a clear mind that sees the glory of nature.

Climb every mountain

Hills are all about incline, elevation, altitude. Priti Zaveri, a Pinkathon ambassador, believes mountain running teaches us that the obstacles we face everyday must not dampen our spirits or deter us from moving forward.

“Running up there is all about conquering the distance, and let me tell you, every distance is a challenge. It is all about endurance.”

Mountain climbing
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Experiences like these teach us humility- and the fact that everything is competing, but the real battle is to conquer our own fears and compete with our own selves.

What mountain marathons and trekking teach us about life

  • There is no finish line:

Somewhere while going up and down the slopes, you realise life is much like that. It is not about getting there, it is about reaching new heights with each step, because when you get to the top of any mountain, you are simply at the bottom of another greater climb.

  • Inhale the present:

Being out there in the wilderness of mountains tells you that things happen in their own time. There is a time to let go, time to shut off the phone, turn away from the computer and leave the camera at home. All we ever own is the inhalation of the present.

  • Best things in life are free

Clean air and water, unfiltered views, abundant greens and nature’s produce.

  • You can’t control everything:

You can’t predict nature’s moods, the challenges of the terrain, the supply of food and the night you spend in a tent. You are at the mountains’ disposal and they overpower you. The best you can do is be humble.

*/ The above article was written by Supriya Sharma and was published in Times Life…rev up your life dated May 26, 2019. */

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