The Great Outdoors in India
Information on hiking, mountaineering, rock-climbing, skiing, river rafting and fishing in India…
India’s diverse topography and variety of natural habitats and landscapes offer numerous opportunities for adventure sports. Popular activities include hiking, mountaineering, rock- climbing, skiing, river rafting and fishing.
Hiking and Mountaineering
The Himalayan mountains in northern India are at the top of most hiking and mountaineering enthusiasts’ must-do list. There are numerous trails of varying difficulty levels offering everything from one-day hikes to month-long treks.
The range runs through the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Assam. There are more than ten mountains higher than 7,000m.
- For more information, visit the Indian Mountaineering Foundation website
For further information on popular treks, visit the respective state tourism website below:
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute offers basic and advanced mountaineering courses at Gobu and Tenzing Norgay Rocks in Darjeeling, West Bengal. For more information on its courses: Click here
Rock-climbing can be undertaken during most of the year, except the wet monsoon season, which generally runs from June to September. Expert climbers will find the high-altitude climbing in the Himalayas more challenging.
Several regions are popular with climbers:
- Himanchal Pradesh: There are opportunities for high-altitude rock-climbing in Manali Valley, Parvati Valley, Miyar Valley (also known as the Valley of Flowers), Sar Pass, Chattru, Manikaran and Rohtang Pass
- Jammu & Kashmir: Popular climbing destinations include Sonamarg and Shey Rock in Leh, Ladakh
- Uttarakhand: Gangotri in the Garhwal Himalayas offers excellent high-altitude climbing routes
- Haryana: Just south of Delhi, the Aravalli Hills at Damdama Lake are popular with rock-climbing enthusiasts, as are the Morni Hills
- Rajasthan: Mount Abu and the Sariska sanctuary are suitable for rock-climbing
- Maharashtra: There are rock-climbing opportunities at Mumbra and the Ajoba Hill Fort, and Darkoba Peak in Malshej Ghat
- Karnataka: The state has many destinations for rock-climbing. Among the most popular are: the Chamundi Hills near Mysore; the Sahyadri Mountains in the Western Ghats; Badami and Hampi in North Karnataka; Ramanagaram near Bangalore; Savandurga Hill, Thuralli, Kabbal, Raogodhu; and Madhugiri near Tumkur
The slopes of the Himalayas are popular skiing destinations. The ski season runs from December to March or April.
- Uttarakhand: There are ski resorts at Auli, Dayara Bugyal and Mandali
- Himachal Pradesh: Manali, Kufri, Narkanda and Solang are popular skiing destinations
- Jammu & Kashmir: Gulmarg ski resort was opened by the British in 1927 and is one of the best known in India. Regular skiing classes are held in Patnitop
- Sikkim: Sikkim Tourism organises a trip down the Teesta and Rangeet rivers
- Uttarakhand: A river-rafting trip down the Ganges is offered by Uttarakhand Tourism. For more information: Click here
- Himachal Pradesh: Fresh-water fish such as goonch catfish, trout and golden mahseer thrive in the rivers of the Himalayas. The fishing season runs from September to June
- Karnataka: Huge mahseer fish are the prized catch on the Cauvery river
It is necessary to apply to the relevant state authority for a fishing licence, which will be valid only for a certain area. There may also be restrictions regarding the number of fish that can be caught and a condition that fish be released back into the water.
- For more information on fishing in Himachal Pradesh and who to contact for a licence: Click here
- For more information about fishing in Karnataka: Click here