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A week of zorbing, skydiving, bungee jumping and more

Last updated on: January 7, 2013 12:45 IST

A week of zorbing, skydiving, bungee jumping and more

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A Ganesh Nadar

Sandeep Mittal of Delhi is going to skydive for the first time. This 37-year-old businessman has earlier done bungee jumping, paragliding and scuba-diving. "I will skydive two times, maybe six times, and the last one I would like to do alone without the instructor."

To fall free and accelerate at 11.2 km per second, then float gently down to earth, is the stuff of dreams.

Want to live that dream? Then head to Raigarh in Chhattisgarh for a week of thrilling adventure.

There, as part of Udaan 2013, the adventure sports festival, some 26 outdoor activities are available over seven days, from January 8 to 14.

Retired Major SK Yadav of Wanderlust Adventure, who is one of the organisers says, "Never before have so many sports been clubbed together at one place like this. I don't think it has happened anywhere in the country, it's the first time something on this scale has been attempted."

The event is being promoted by Chhattisgarh Tourism.


Photographs: Courtesy Friends Foundation

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Major Yadav says that all the equipment is manufactured in Germany and also certified by TUV, the German technical inspection association. All necessary precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of participants, he avers.

For bungee jumping, he said, there will be two harnesses, one on the foot and the other a body harness. Secondly, the rubber chord has a rope chord inside. Even if the rubber breaks the rope will hold and there are air bags on the ground for additional safety.

In skydiving one is tied to the instructor and no one can jump alone.

All the instructors are trained in safety aspects in Germany, he adds.

Ajay Srivastav, the press relations official of the Chhattisgarh government says they are promoting adventure sports tourism as no one else is doing it. "Last year the Friends Foundation conducted Udaan 1 without our support. This year they are doing it again. We are providing support only where the government is needed. We give them necessary permission and the tourism minister will inaugurate the carnival. The Friends Foundations is a group of NGOs who are interested in adventure sports. We are just supporting them."

 


Photographs: Courtesy Friends Foundation

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Atul Prakash Mundhra of Friends Foundations said, "Last year was our first festival, we had five major sports and a few minor ones and we still managed to attract 7000 participants and 13,000 spectators. This year we are hoping to see 20,000 participants and 30,000 spectators."

Last year they had also invited 1700 school children from the surrounding villages and treated them to food and free rides. This year 5000 school children have been invited to share the excitement.

The list of sports and other activities is mind boggling -- skydiving, paragliding, bungee jumping, parasailing, paragliding, flying trapeze, zorbing, rock climbing, trampoline, static line solo jump, etc

 


Photographs: Courtesy Friends Foundation
Tags: Mundhra

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The entry fee to this carnival is Rs 10. Most of the rides and activities are prized at Rs 50, Rs 100 and Rs 200.

However, paragliding is prized at Rs 4,000 and skydiving is the costliest at Rs 50,000.

Bhawani Somani of Nagpur is not your ordinary housewife. This 30-year-old has gone snorkelling and underwater diving. "I love adventure," she laughs. "I will be rock climbing in Chhattisgarh and also skydiving. It is not available anywhere else in the country and so paying Rs 50,000 is worth it. I will be there for five days. Last year I wanted to but could not go. My husband Deepak will be coming with me and also participating."

Among those expected to be at the sports festival is member of Parliament Naveen Jindal, whose Jindal Steel is among the sponsors.

How to get there?

Raigarh railway station is well connected to other parts of the country.

The nearest airport is at Raipur (200 km) from where it is a four-hour drive. Cabs will charge you Rs 7 per km. The city has 200 hotels, with around 1000 rooms available in all for adventure sports enthusiasts.

 


Photographs: Courtesy Friends Foundation

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