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This article was first published 8 years ago  » Getahead » 12 incredible travel experiences in India

12 incredible travel experiences in India

By Sindhu MV
September 28, 2015 15:15 IST
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Why get bottled up in a hotel room when you can sleep under the starry sky in the middle of a desert?

Young India is moving away from just lazing in a resort or going to touristy places, snapping a few pictures and getting back to the comfort of the hotel rooms.

With travelling becoming just more than a hobby, youngsters across India are exploring off-beat destinations and new experiences.

If you believe travelling is a soul-searching experience where you learn as much about yourself as you learn about the new place, culture and nature's wonders, here are some experiences you should give it a shot sometime soon.

Did you say, it's already in your bucket list?

1. Rafting

River rafting

Photograph: Courtesy, Jacopo Nordera/Folomojo

The rush of gushing water, the tremendous force you must exercise to manoeuvre the water currents, the team spirit and the adventure that come along -- make this water sport a must try.

If you are a beginner, you could opt for rafting in Dandeli and Coorg in Karnataka, and Kolad in Maharashtra.

If you are a little more sporty and adventurous, you could try rafting in Ganges in Rishikesh and the Tons river in Garhwal, Teesta in Sikkim, Brahmaputra in Assam, and the Zanskar valley.

Depending on the length of route and the intensity of the rafting, it costs anywhere between less than a thousand bucks to about four thousand rupees.

2. Scuba Diving

Scuba diving

Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

The experience is like seeing live an episode of marine life on National Geography channel.

Diving a few meters into the sea, you are transported into what feels like a different world all together.

From corals to schools of fishes to other species which you probably never heard before -- is all amidst you.

For many one diving experience makes them craving for more.

If you are among those, you can get PADI certified and dive anywhere in the world.

So a single dive generally costs about Rs 4000 and the PADI certification course will cost between Rs 25,000 to 30,000.

The places you could opt for scuba diving are the Andamans, Goa, Pondicherry and Netrani island in Karnataka.

3. Trekking

Trekking in Himachal Pradesh

Photograph: Chandramohan B V/Creative Commons

Seeing the golden glow on the snow-capped Himalayas as the first rays of the sun shine upon at Sandakphu, feeling the vastness of mother nature at the flower valley in Uttarakhand, seeing the clouds enveloped like a blanket below you when stand on top a cliff, treading on frozen rivers -- is a peek into what is awaiting you.

India has numerous trekking destinations with varying difficulty levels.

For beginners or even seasoned trekkers, the options are unlimited.

There are numerous trekking expeditions organised by experienced trekking clubs like YHAI, India Hikes, Bangalore Mountaineering Club, Mumbai Hikers, Great Hyderabad Adventure Club.

You could join one such trek and get to experience the real fun of trekking and trekking responsibly.

The cost is affordable and depends on the number of days involved in the trek.

From treks that last a less than a day to more than a week, from snow-laden mountains to rocky terrain to green cover -- you have choices galore.

4. Jungle trails

Jungle trails

Photograph: Prasad NP/desitraveler

From learning to identify footprints of animals, spotting wild birds, squirrels, insects, reptiles, etc and knowing more about the ecosystem -- jungle trails are your best introduction to wildlife.

You will walk miles through the jungles which would mean walking through slushy paths or deciduous cover or thick green canopy, sometimes battling mosquito bites as well.

Many forest reserves offer guided jungle trails and it's something you shouldn't miss.

Just trust the guide and enjoy an experience of being "in the wild."

5. Outdoor camping

Set up an outdoor camp in Ladakh, India

Photograph: McKay Savage/Creative Commons

Rent tents, camping equipment and drive to the nearest open space that brings you close to nature as much as possible.

Wake up hearing to the tweets (of birds, of course), laze around, munch on some snacks that you might have brought, and explore the outdoors.

At sunset, enjoy a chat with your buddies -- about future, life in general, relationships, spirituality, and crack some silly jokes.

As the night transcends, enjoy star gazing, the sound of crickets and other little insects, and slowly drift to sleep.

I am lost in thoughts writing this description. The real experience is too good to be paraphrased in a few words.

6. Cycling trails


Photograph: Courtesy Unventured

Once a childhood passion, cycling is now becoming 'cool' again among adults.

Cycling is becoming a sought-after sport with many enthusiasts hitting the road in the weekends pedalling more than a hundred miles to and fro.

The most popular adventurous cycling tours include Manali -- Spiti valley -- Kinnaur valley, Shimla -- Jalori pass -- Manali, Manali -- Chandertal Lake -- Lahaul Valley, Nilgiri mountains, among others.

Also most metros have a number of cycling tours close to the city ideal for a weekend plan.

Even if you don't own a good sporty cycle, you could rent one and join the enthusiasts who organise cycling tours.

Come on, no excuses. It's time to pedal your way!

7. Motorcycle expedition

Motorcycle expedition

Photograph: Courtesy Enfield Riders/Facebook

Motorcycle expedition have become the symbol of free spirit.

A number of motorcycle clubs organise bike trips -- from unheard rural villages to the highest motorable road in India.

They are not only well-organised but they also ensure that you follow all the road safety rules throughout ride.

What's more, there are also women-only rides organized by groups such as Bikernis.

Enjoying lunch at a road-side dhaba, asking a villager whom you see walking to hop and drop him at the nearest destination to taming the roads is all part of a motorcycle expedition.

You get to meet new people, learn more about different places and enjoy what life has to offer. Put on your helmet, start your motorbike and vroom away!

8. Bungee jumping

Bungee jumping


Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters 

While a number of places offer bunging jumping from cranes and tall towers, you could give them a pass.

But, you ought try bungee jumping at the Mohan Chatti village in Rishikesh.

A platform built over a rocky cliff, 83 meters above the ground, it's probably the only place in the country which offers bungee jumping from a fixed platform.

Why you should try this?

Well, it helps you get over your fears. The jump costs a little more than 2k.

9. Safari in 4X4

Enjoy a desert safari in Rajasthan

Photograph: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

Explore the salt flats of the Great Rann of Kutch on a full moon night or the abandoned town of Dhanushkodi in Rameshwaram or the deserts of Thar.

The experience of the safari in 4X4 to these places will be more than just an unforgettable memory.

10. Kayaking

Kayaking in Uttarakhand

Photograph: Graham Bland/Creative Commons

Learn a little bit of kayaking and explore the virgin backwaters of Kerala or Goa or the numerous rivers and tributaries that India is blessed with.

The Himalayan rivers are great for expert kayakers, however beginners could try kayaking in parts of the river which flow smoothly and the currents manageable.

Sadly, not many takers for this sport so far except for recreational kayaking.

11. Exploring hidden or unknown waterfalls

Dudhsagar waterfalls

Photograph: Kumaresh Rajarajan/Creative Commons

India's green cover is blessed with numerous waterfalls -- unheard and magnificent ones.

For some, you have to trek a few kilometres until you get to see the waterfall in its real splendour.

There's much more to see than the Jog falls in Karnataka, Dudhsagar falls in Goa or Nohkalikai falls in Meghalaya.

Heard of Vantwang falls in Mizoram, Lodh falls in Jharkhand, Teerathgarh falls in Chattisgarh? No?

And you were secretly feeling jealous of those Facebook posts of your buddies in front of Niagara falls?

These majestic falls are in your country, so forget Niagara for now.

12. Walk to rural villages on foot organises barefoot expeditions in rural India

Photograph: Courtesy

There are numerous city walks that helps you learn more about the city you live in than what google tells you. However, there's one more walk too that you should give a try.

Called 'Shodh Yatra,' it seeks to learn more about creativity and innovation at the grassroots and also about traditional knowledge which is often unwritten but passed on through generations.

Participants walks about 250 kms in a span of a week covering areas that usually don't have regular road and transport connectivity.

It's organised twice a year by SRISTI, (Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions).

If you are interested in developmental issues, this 'yatra' is definitely for you.

It's not just a travel experience but something beyond.

Note: All photographs used for representational purposes only.

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Sindhu MV
Source: source