This diverse and vast country conjures up many images in the prospective traveller’s mind, from streets and markets teeming with colourful products and joyful people, to expansive and remote jungles, forests, and deserts. The impressive Taj Mahal, bustling city of Bombay, beautiful beaches of Goa, and stunning backwaters of Kerala are just a few of the well known tourist hot spots. But what about the more adventurous highlights of India? The colossal Himalayas are just waiting to be explored by budding mountaineers, and there are plenty of treats for hikers inland, as well as a wide variety of water sports available on the coast.
One of the most intense and lengthy, but rewarding, hikes in the Himalayas is the route along the frozen river of Zanskar, known as the ‘Chadar Trek’ which takes around 22 days at extremely high altitudes. The difficulty of this challenging and gruelling hike is surely made up by the spectacular views and nights spent at cosy local guest houses. Beginner hikers may want to start with a comparatively easy trek around the aptly named Valley of Flowers National Park where, depending on the time of year, stunning exotic flowers bloom against the dramatic backdrop of the snow-capped mountains. Both of these trips are easy to book using Indian credit cards with tour operators based in Delhi where they can arrange your transport to and from these remote locations, as well as your chosen type of accommodation.
There are many other popular adventures to be experienced in India, for instance scuba diving in the far-flung secluded Andaman Islands, or paragliding above the stunning mountains and jungles on the mainland. A trip in a hot air balloon is another way to get up high and appreciate the views, or how about water rafting down the Ganges River for some adrenaline-pumping fun. If you want to see some of the countryside but don’t like walking, in Spiti you can take a safari on a yak; an unforgettable encounter which not many people can say they’ve experienced. For those who like to be in control of their vehicle, riding a bike through the mountains of Kerala might be more appealing, or for speed lovers, how about renting a motorbike or even rickshaw for an extraordinary tour of the country. India truly has a broad spectrum of adventures on offer for all kinds of travellers.