Disclaimer: This article is mainly intended for brave-hearts. Read it at your own risk!
“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”
-Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Starting your day on a real high! Striking-off some things from your bucket list! Getting rid of your inhibitions! Facing your fears! And making your adrenaline rush like never before! Could there be a better way of welcoming the New Year 2016? Whether an adrenaline junkie or not, we dare you to bring in this New Year with one of these five spine-chilling adventure sports. Kya aap mein hai dum?
Heli Skiing in Manali
If you are one of those daredevils who is not scared of heights, you are definitely going to love Heli Skiing. The picturesque hill station of Manali has impressively emerged as a global hub for adventure sports, heli-skiing being one of the main attractions. Boarding a helicopter to get airlifted to high slopes and mountain tops and then skiing down the slopes is an experience to remember. It challenges the risk-taking adventurer in you, as you have to ski down through unknown routes and ridges.
Operators: Himalayan Heli Adventures (HHA), Manali and Elemental Adventure Ltd, London.
Flying Fox in Rishikesh
Imagine flying like a hawk at a speed of 160 km/h! Get on to Asia’s largest flying fox in Rishikesh that is 1 km long. The Jump platform here is designed by Ron Cranston of New Zealand. First, you will be harnessed to the wire, released downwards up to 7 metres above the river level and then will be pulled back. Finally, you’ll be released to the lowest point and pulled back again to the launch platform by a retrieval mechanism. Usually, it is done in groups of two and three, but one can go solo too at an extra cost. Once you’re done, you can collect your Dare to Jump Certificate!
Operator: Jumpin Heights, Village Mohan Chatti, Rishikesh
Scuba Diving in Maldives
Azure waters, stunning coral reefs, white sand beaches and a clear sky glittering with stars, Maldives attracts both scuba diving enthusiasts and experts. Out of its numerous atolls, Ari Atoll is home to some of the best diving sites including Warren Thila, Fish Head and Miyaru Kandu. Want to swim with the sharks? Just jump into the Warren Thila, descend 30 metres and spot a variety of sharks like grey reef sharks, nurse sharks, whale sharks, leopard sharks etc. For beginners, there is a training programme before the real dive happens.
Operators:Elite Diving Agency (EDA), Athuruga Island Resort, Maldives and Euro Divers, Maldives.
Canyon Swing in New Zealand
The biggest canyon swing in the world, this is definitely not for the faint-hearted. You are made to stand on the launch deck suspended at 160 metres above the canyon floor and suddenly released! You will find yourself rushing towards the other side of the valley at 120 km/h! While the fall is super scary and makes you skip a heartbeat, once you are down, swinging between mountains with your friend or beloved is the most beautiful experience ever. The swing allows you various options like forwards, backwards, 69, back2back, honeymoon, tandem, truck’n trailer etc. So you have a lot to choose from or if you have the time (and the courage), why not try them all?
Operator: AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand
Skydiving in Wollongong, Sydney, Australia
Talk of skydiving and the first picture that comes to my mind is the scene from the Bollywood movie that made the activity popular amongst Indians – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Falling from a plane in Wollongong, Sydney will let your eyes enjoy the scenic vistas of both the beautiful Australian coastline and the city of Sydney. Tandem skydive here with up to seven of your friends from Australia’s highest altitude (~ 14,000 feet) and experience free-fall for 60 heart-stopping seconds! Well, as they say, sky is the limit.
Operator: Skydive the Beach and Beyond, Wollongong, Australia
I am definitely going to try one of these. Do let us know of your New Year plans! Here’s wishing you a #HappyNewYear.
P.S.: We suggest that you check with your doctor once before taking on any of these activities to avoid any mishaps owing to a medical condition.