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What’s on offer

A trek is the most engaging, yet easy way to get close nature. The Sahyadris lend themselves to treks that range from easy to moderately difficult.

mumbai Updated: Apr 03, 2010 01:16 IST

Hiking
A trek is the most engaging, yet easy way to get close nature. The Sahyadris lend themselves to treks that range from easy to moderately difficult. “Children meet lots of different people,” said Vikram Singh of Trek Mates India. “This helps the shy ones shed their inhibitions.”

Kayaking
It involves a small kayak manned by a single person using a double-bladed paddle. “It keeps children fit and brings them closer to nature,” said Rajiv Bhatia, instructor at Girgaum Chowpatty’s H2O Water Sports Complex. “There are two-seater kayaks, too, so it’s great for team-building as well.” Children as young as eight can learn the sport provided they know how to swim. Wear a life jacket, ensure there are trained lifeguards around.

Overnight camping
Tasks range from rock climbing and rappelling to pitching your own tent, cooking and cleaning. “Children are brought out of their comfort zones,” said Surendra Dighe, managing trustee of Jidnyasa Trust that organises camps. Enroll your child only with experienced organisers who conduct activities all-year round.

Paragliding
While paragliding courses are normally for those over the age of 16, Temple Pilots, a Mumbai- and Pune-based firm, organises a two-day Young Eagles Workshop every weekend at Kamshet for kids aged 10 to 16. Children learn paragliding, get familiar with the equipment and take a tandem flight with an instructor. Aly Furniturewala (15), a Pune student who got his first taste of paragliding two months ago, said: “Everybody should try it. It’s a bit scary at first, but you quickly get over that.” If Kamshet seems far away, try Space Apple in Virar.

Rappelling
The groups that organise the trips provide the gear. All you have to do is wear thick clothing that will prevent you from getting cut. Sunzita Mande went rappelling with her son Mishkin (10) at Vihi, near Mumbai. “Mishkin was terrified at the peak, but the instructors calmed him down and he enjoyed the experience,” she said.

River crossing
It involves going from one bank of a river to the other, parallel to the water, using a rope tied across. “It helps children stay alert,” said Parag Gandhi, founder of adventure group Escapades India.

River rafting
Usually, rafting involves eight people in an air-filled raft. The sport involves coordination with your group and is a good way to build upper body strength. On relatively calm waters, it is possible for teenagers above the age of 15 to go rafting under supervision. “It’s a great team builder,” said Kaustubh Upadhye, co-owner of Jungle Lore Activities. “If done early on, it instills in children an instinct to depend on themselves in times of danger, and helps them think on their feet.”

Rock climbing
Since it requires some training and specialised equipment, rock climbing is not recommended for those younger than 8. But for older children, it’s a great way to build confidence and make friends. “Rock climbing is about going beyond your boundaries and meeting challenges,” said Vidyut and Raghavendra Kale, co-founders of adventure travel company Wide Aware. Urvi Turakhiya (38), who took her daughter Chandni (6) and son Shrey (10) for a session, said they enjoyed the challenge. “I don’t want my children to go to a mall to pass their time,” she said.

Snorkelling
If your child is not much of a swimmer but would like to get acquainted with marine wonders, snorkelling is the right way to begin. It involves swimming close to the surface of a body of water — usually the sea — using a diving mask, a breathing tube called the snorkel and fins on the feet. Even children as young as 6 or 7 can try it. You can try snorkelling at Tarkarli in Sindhudurg. “You can find exotic sea life, like forests of sargassum algae and butterfly fish,” said Dr Sarang Kulkarni, director of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation’s adventure sports department.

Hiking
A trek is the most engaging, yet easy way to get close nature. The Sahyadris lend themselves to treks that range from easy to moderately difficult. “Children meet lots of different people,” said Vikram Singh of Trek Mates India. “This helps the shy ones shed their inhibitions.”

Kayaking
It involves a small kayak manned by a single person using a double-bladed paddle. “It keeps children fit and brings them closer to nature,” said Rajiv Bhatia, instructor at Girgaum Chowpatty’s H2O Water Sports Complex. “There are two-seater kayaks, too, so it’s great for team-building as well.” Children as young as eight can learn the sport provided they know how to swim. Wear a life jacket, ensure there are trained lifeguards around.

Overnight camping
Tasks range from rock climbing and rappelling to pitching your own tent, cooking and cleaning. “Children are brought out of their comfort zones,” said Surendra Dighe, managing trustee of Jidnyasa Trust that organises camps. Enroll your child only with experienced organisers who conduct activities all-year round.

Paragliding
While paragliding courses are normally for those over the age of 16, Temple Pilots, a Mumbai- and Pune-based firm, organises a two-day Young Eagles Workshop every weekend at Kamshet for kids aged 10 to 16. Children learn paragliding, get familiar with the equipment and take a tandem flight with an instructor. Aly Furniturewala (15), a Pune student who got his first taste of paragliding two months ago, said: “Everybody should try it. It’s a bit scary at first, but you quickly get over that.” If Kamshet seems far away, try Space Apple in Virar.

Rappelling
The groups that organise the trips provide the gear. All you have to do is wear thick clothing that will prevent you from getting cut. Sunzita Mande went rappelling with her son Mishkin (10) at Vihi, near Mumbai. “Mishkin was terrified at the peak, but the instructors calmed him down and he enjoyed the experience,” she said.

River crossing
It involves going from one bank of a river to the other, parallel to the water, using a rope tied across. “It helps children stay alert,” said Parag Gandhi, founder of adventure group Escapades India.

River rafting
Usually, rafting involves eight people in an air-filled raft. The sport involves coordination with your group and is a good way to build upper body strength. On relatively calm waters, it is possible for teenagers above the age of 15 to go rafting under supervision. “It’s a great team builder,” said Kaustubh Upadhye, co-owner of Jungle Lore Activities. “If done early on, it instills in children an instinct to depend on themselves in times of danger, and helps them think on their feet.”

Rock climbing
Since it requires some training and specialised equipment, rock climbing is not recommended for those younger than 8. But for older children, it’s a great way to build confidence and make friends. “Rock climbing is about going beyond your boundaries and meeting challenges,” said Vidyut and Raghavendra Kale, co-founders of adventure travel company Wide Aware. Urvi Turakhiya (38), who took her daughter Chandni (6) and son Shrey (10) for a session, said they enjoyed the challenge. “I don’t want my children to go to a mall to pass their time,” she said.

Snorkelling
If your child is not much of a swimmer but would like to get acquainted with marine wonders, snorkelling is the right way to begin. It involves swimming close to the surface of a body of water — usually the sea — using a diving mask, a breathing tube called the snorkel and fins on the feet. Even children as young as 6 or 7 can try it. You can try snorkelling at Tarkarli in Sindhudurg. “You can find exotic sea life, like forests of sargassum algae and butterfly fish,” said Dr Sarang Kulkarni, director of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation’s adventure sports department.

Water skiing
It involves skimming along the water’s surface on a pair of water skis and holding on to a rope attached to a motorboat. Ashish Parikh (47), a chartered accountant, started both his children, Shreya (14) and Vedant (12), on water skiing when they were about 9. He said it made them “mentally and physically stronger”.