There are many, who consider winters too cold and summers too hot to do anything. Then there are those, for whom weather is not a factor in deciding when they want to go out and enjoy life. One of the best ways to do so is unleashing your inner adventurer. There are hordes of places in India, where you can try adventure sports. But, which place to pick among the hundreds in the country?! If you are short on time, yet want to have an amazing amount of fun, I would advise you to visit Rishikesh. Like a lot of people, I too, until 3-4 years ago, thought that it is visited for its temples, ashrams and the Ganga River. True, but not entirely, as I found out gradually.

Rishikesh is often called the Adventure Capital of India! There are so many adventure activities and places to visit in Rishikesh that you will never be bored. The main reason I am leaning towards Rishikesh is that the thrill-inducing sports can be tried here in summer as well as winter. Want to know about the various adventure sports in Rishikesh that are sure to give you an adrenaline rush? Read ahead…

1. Rafting

Rafting in Rishikesh,adventure sports in Rishikesh

White water rafting on the Ganga River is among the most sought-after activities in Rishikesh. The transition of the river from the mighty Himalayas to the plains via the Shivalik Hills results in several rapids and drops that are challenging and fun to manoeuver. Rafting sessions start from various points upstream from Rishikesh and terminate at the famous Lakshman Jhula. The shortest run is around 9 km long, whereas the longest requires rafting for about 34 km. As you move upstream towards the starting points, the difficulty level increases, so keep in mind your prior rafting experience, and how much challenge you can safely take on before deciding which stretch to navigate. If you are planning to start your run from Shivpuri, then you can stay at FabHotel The Narayana Palace, which is less than 11 km from the site.

  • Season: October to May.

2. Bungee Jumping

Bungee Jumping in Rishikesh,adventure sports in Rishikesh

At 83 metres, the bungee jumping platform in Mohanchatti village is the highest in the country. This is for real daredevils as it involves jumping off that platform with a stream flowing beneath and boulders all around. Your feet will be fastened to an elastic cord by an experienced overseer, who has flown in all the way from New Zealand. All you have to do after being fastened and listening to the safety briefing, is calm your mind, admire the view from above, take a deep breath and jump! As the cord stretches beyond its maximum limit, it retracts and pulls you up. The cycle continues till the cord loses all its potential energy (converted to kinetic energy as you fall). You then come to a halt and are carefully lowered to the river floor. The thrill that a free fall induces is inexplicable.

  • Season: October to May

3. Giant Swing

Giant Swing in Rishikesh,Adventure sports in Rishikesh

The bungee jumping platform is also used for the giant swing experience. It also requires jumping from 83 metres above the river floor; the only difference is that you are not attached to a cord, rather made to sit in a harness. As you fall to the lowest permissible limit, the harness, connected to a string on both ends, starts acting like a swing, swaying left and right or front and back. This is a great activity to try with your friends or partner as two people can sit on the harness at once.

  • Season: October to May

4. Zip Lining

Zip Lining in Rishikesh,Adventure sports in Rishikesh

Originally the only way for people in several remote valleys to cross a river, zip lining or flying fox has gained immense popularity as an adventure sport. A point is chosen on either bank of the river; one being higher than the other. These points are connected by a sturdy rope to form an incline. On this rope, rolls a pulley, to which you are connected by a harness and cord. You will be fastened to the harness and pushed from the higher of two points. Now, you just have to let gravity do its job. You will travel down the incline at speeds of over 160 km/h, which is higher than that of the fastest train in India. The strong wind at your face will combine with the downward g-force to create an unforgettable experience. Once you reach the other side, you will be pulled back by means of another string attached to you.

  • Season: October to May

5. Rock Climbing and Rappelling

Rock Climbing and Rappelling in Rishikesh,Adventure sports in Rishikesh

These two are evergreen mountain activities that you must try when in Rishikesh. There are several travel agents and campsites in the city that make arrangements for these two activities. Rock climbing requires ascending a near-vertical cliff with just your feet and hands while being fastened to a safety rope. While ascending the cliff, feel the hill with your hands and feet. Grab and step on only those rocks that you feel are firm and won’t slide down. Rappelling is just opposite as it involves descending the cliff. Fastened to the rope, you lie in such a way that you make a right angle with the cliff face. You then use the cliff face to push yourself away; the person handling the rope will start loosening it so you gradually come down with every push.

  • Season: October to May

6. Air Safari

Air Safari in Rishikesh,Adventure sports in Rishikesh

The surroundings of Rishikesh are extremely scenic; hills, farms and river…If you really want to enjoy the views, then there is only one way…air safari. The activity consists of a pilot and participant sitting in a harness, connected to a parachute and motor. Its take-off and landing site is Rajas Airfield in Doiwala. The speed of the parachute will be between 40 km/h and 60 km/h, so you can aptly admire the views. You will fly at a maximum altitude of 1500 feet, which doesn’t sound like much, but is enough to get your heart racing.

  • Season: Year round

If you are a little less adventurous, yet want to have fun, then you can always indulge in trekking and camping. These are good ways to appreciate the beauty of the region, get some much-needed peace and quiet, and relax away from the loud cities. So what are you waiting for? Get your troupe and head to Rishikesh today to experience the Adventure Capital of India.