Adventure sports have always been an escape from mundane life. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a worldwide lockdown as restrictions forced people to stay indoors. The global health crisis had a huge impact on the adventure sports market, as the aviation and hospitality sectors also bore the brunt. However, with the adventure sports activities gradually opening now, it is time to set yourself free!
India is home to some stunning destinations, which in the last few years have been developed to house some thrilling adventures. Niharika Nigam, Director, Business Development at Jumpin Heights shares adventure sports activities that will help you beat the pandemic blues and get your adrenaline pumping while exploring some gorgeous landscapes in the most novel ways possible!
Bungy jumping: Quite popular among adrenaline junkies, this extreme adventure sport will make you forget all your worries as you see the world 'upside down' (literally!).
Rishikesh in Uttarakhand touted as the adventure capital of India is home to India's highest Bungy platform standing mighty tall at a height of 83 meters. After operating over 1 lakh jumps there - a global record for adventure tourism in India, they have recently opened their second location in Goa with a whole different vibe of bungy jumping over Mayem Lake in North Goa.
Run by ex-Army officers, and with jump masters trained extensively under experts from New Zealand, they follow Australia and NZ safety standards for Bungy operations. Besides, Rishikesh and Goa offer safe and professionally conducted bungy jumping amidst breathtaking views. So explore the valleys of Rishikesh or the azure lake of Goa while jumping into their infinity! Take that 'leap of faith' and earn some serious bragging rights!
Giant Swing: This is another extreme adventure, and it can be done solo as well as with two people in tandem. You can try this exhilarating activity with your friend, spouse, sibling, or family members and have once in a lifetime memory to be cherished for a long time! Jump is done from the same Bungy platform in Rishikesh. This is India's most extreme Giant Swing. You are fitted with a seat and chest harness which is connected to the fixed wire ropes.
On jump, after an initial free fall, the ropes will smoothly swing you like a pendulum as you are left suspended in the mid-air. This adventure sport allows you to enjoy double the freefall of the Bungy, with considerably more speed, and almost as much fear.
Flying Fox: Imagine yourself taking in the bird's eye view of the scenery around you, while being harnessed to the wire on a zip line. Asia's longest flying fox is in Rishikesh where you can fly at 140kph. Accelerate up to speeds of 160 kmph and feel the air gushing past, while you are lowered down to just 7 meters above the river level.
River rafting: Summer is here, with scorching heat increasing day by day, and what would be better than river rafting in white waters at Rishikesh or Manali! The excitement and adrenaline rush you get while riding and tumbling down the white waters is simply unmatched! Since it is a team sport, it is great for mental health as well as overall well-being. And basically having a splendid day out in the river!
In addition to this, there is paragliding, skiing, and trekking - all available in the country - which can help rejuvenate your senses.
These adventure sports can be enthralling but physically demanding as well. It is advised you do not go for these activities under peer pressure or in questionable settings. Ensure your safety by researching the organisation handling these sports. Make sure they have solid rescue operations and safety procedures in place. Be certain of the expertise of their experts and know your own limits. It is also important to do your own research and see what criteria each of these sports demands.
The pandemic took a toll on overall physical and mental health as lockdown meant a sedentary and restricted life for most of us. Adventure sports can make you feel alive again and help you challenge yourself as these activities are a true test of mental strength. After all, "A life lived without adventure is a life wasted."