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Get out there

Your adventure wish-list for 2010

health and fitness Updated: Jan 04, 2010 19:31 IST

Go high altitude biking in Shimla
What: Think cycling in the plains is a cakewalk? Push your endurance limits with Himachal Mountain Trail Biking. Heave up steep hillsides and trundle down bumpy mountain slopes of the Dhauladhar Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh. Don’t peep over the edge!

Where: Mountain biking through Himachal Pradesh. This year, the race will start and end at Shimla and cyclists will ride through Jalori Jot, Luri and Mandi valley. It will be a 750 km route.
When: An 11-day event from September 26 to October 6
How much: Rs 15,000 (Indian nationals); Rs 7,500 (for Indian students); $ 1000 or Rs 46,590 for (foreign nationals)
Contact: www.herculesmtbhimachal.com

Walk on the frozen zanskar River
What: It’s called the ‘Chadar trek’ because it has you walking on the frozen Zanskar river. Not one for the beginners, this is a trek where even experts need to gird their loins and get to the task. The colder the weather, the better the trek, since that means the river will be more frozen. Along the way, plan to stay in caves. For the Tibetans who made the Zanskar valley their home the frozen river was their path to the outside world when the passes were snowed close.
Where: Zanskar river, Ladakh
When: January to February
How much: Rs 48,950 per person for the 22-day trek.
Contact: Ibex Expeditions (www.ibexexpeditions.com), Peak Adventure (www.peakadventuretour.com)

Whitewater Kayak on the bhagirathi
What: Rafting’s cool, but if you’ve got adventure on your mind, it’s time to take things up a notch or five. You’ve not really experienced white water until you have taken on the sharp turns, eddies and whirlpools of the ice-cold tributaries of Ganga in a kayak. It’s just you, your paddle and that mean river — it doesn’t get more elemental than this.
Where: Bhagirathi river in Uttarakhand, Middle Tons in Himachal Pradesh, Upper Barapole River in Karnataka with grade 4 and 5 rapids.
When: February to October is the best time
How much: Can go upto Rs 6,000
Contact: Southern River Adventures (www.southernriveradventures.com); Mercury Himalayan Adventures (www.himalayanadventure.com)

Kite surf in goa
What: Not that surfing high waves isn’t fun, but something’s got to be said for surfing while hanging on to a kite high up in the sky. Power surfing a.k.a kite surfing is all about learning how to fly a kite and finding the right wind pockets as you use wind power to drag you over the sea, while you stand on a specially-designed surf board. While the sport is really popular abroad, it’s still new to India, just finding traction in the backwaters of Goa and Pondicherry. Go be one of the first to try it out.
Where: Morjim beach, Goa
When: October to May
How much: Rs 15,000 for 4 days.
Contact: Raesport
(www.raesport.in)

Sky dive in Rajasthan
What: Everybody loves skydiving for the pure, unadulterated thrill of those few seconds of free fall when all else seems to fade away. It’s been an exclusively
military realm in India so far. But soon, you can be one of the first to try out sky diving right here. The country is set to get its first non-military drop zone where you can sign up for a certifying course. And that may just be the stepping-stone for more serious adventures like base climbing and wingsuit jumping.
Where: Alwar in Rajasthan or Sagar in Madhya Pradesh
When: February end
How much: The cost of this course is still being worked out but it'll be steep - a 9-jump course + 16 consolidation jumps for a licence goes up to 3 lakh.
Contact: www.skydivingindia.com

Heli-ski in the kullu valley
What: This is skiing at a whole other level, using helicopters to airlift to slopes and mountain tops that would normally be impossible to climb to. Enjoy a pristine environment that’s as far from the madding crowd as it can get, and be the first to leave your tracks in the snow! Be warned: the thrills don’t come cheap.
Where: Kullu Valley; base camp is at Manali
When: January to March
How much: Euro 6,540 upwards
Contact: Himalayan Heli Adventures (www.himachal.com)

Descend the Brahmaputra in a raft
What: Feeling audacious? Sign up for this seven-day expedition down one of the world’s greatest rivers. The journey starts just a few miles inside the line-of-control with China, with you holding onto a raft for dear life as you make your way down the white water that is the first 110 miles of the upper Brahmaputra (or Siang as it’s known in those parts). Travel through the legendary Ningguing and Marmong gorges by day and camp at pristine beaches by night. Try to recover on the one relaxing day spent floating past tribal settlements and green fields.
Where: Upper Brahmaputra
When: November to December
How much: Rs 1,20,000
Contact: Aquaterra Adventures (www.aquaterra.co.in)

Bike the Raid de Himalaya
What: There are no two ways about this — doing the Raid on two wheels is a task only for the utterly reckless. Ride a bike within a competitive timing format across high-altitude Himalayan trails in what is one of the world’s toughest two-wheeler challenges.
Where: From Shimla to Leh (end point varies)
When: First week of October. Lasts about seven days
How much: Rs 7,500 for early entry.
Contact: www.raid-de-himalaya.com

Dive in Andaman islands
What: It’s another world down there, with its own set of rules and parameters. Enjoy the thrill of relying on your training and equipment to navigate the riches of the deep, temperamental blue.
Where: Havelock Island, Andaman & Nicobar
When: January end to April
How much: Rs 18,000 for the 4-day beginners course. Rs 3,500 for two dives subsequently.
Contact: There are 11 dive shops on Havelock Island. Shop around for a good deal, but don’t compromise on equipment quality.

Climb up to Parvati pass
What: Get a taste of high-altitude trekking on one of the more accessible walks. Half a day from Manali gets you to the end of the road.
Where: From Kullu to Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh
When: June, August to October.
How much: Per day costs: Guide (Rs 500) and porters (Rs 250).
Contact: A host of local guides and trekking companies are available for all budgets.