Most people don’t think about Indian activity holidays when considering visiting this incredible country. But the best adventure sports in India are right up there with anything else you can find around the world, often at a fraction of the price.
Indian activity holidays
India is a country that’s well known for its stunning cuisine, rich culture and bustling cities. Whilst action sports and outdoor activities are not top of most people’s list they should be. And it makes perfect sense.
After all, this is a country that is surrounded on three sides by oceans, is home to vast river networks and boasts the world’s largest mountain range. What more could you need for an adventure?
There’s also an existing network of tourist accommodation and easy travel, including internal flights to help you cover the larger distances. Journeys such as the Bangalore Patna flight show just how easy it is to get around.
19 best adventure sports in India
Check out a selection of the superb Indian activity holidays you can enjoy. We are sure you’ll agree that the action sports below provide a formidable amount of choice.
You might not associate India with skiing. But its northern regions are fringed by the Himalayas so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Some of the best areas for skiing include Jammu and Kashmir, as well as Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh.
Gulmarg ski resort in Kashmir is perhaps the pick of the bunch. There are five drag ski lifts and the third highest cable car in the world reaching up to 3950m. With a 1350m vertical and 2400 acres of ski terrain there is plenty of mountain to play in!
Similar to skiing, Gulmarg is hard to beat, with the longest runs in the country and ample off piste. But it’s also well worth checking out Pahalgam, also in the Kashmir province, as well as Solang and Rohtang in Himachal.
Arguably the best spot for skydiving in India is the Aamby Valley in Maharashtra. You can enjoy a 10,000 foot tandem jump over the beautiful landscape below.
Jumps can take place at most times of year, except monsoon season and when winds are high. You should also check out Deesa in Gujarat and Dhana in Madhya Pradesh. Read this guide to India skydive holidays for more information.
India’s huge coastline and reliable trade winds make it a great destination for kiteboarding. The strongest winds can be found on the east coast around the town of Rameswaram on Pamban Island.
On the west coast Arambol in Goa has a kite school and is a popular spot. Also between June and September the winds can really pick up in the channel between India and Sri Lanka.
Bir Billing is a small village that is widely regarded as the home of Indian paragliding. Located in the province of Himachal Pradesh, there are around a dozen spots in total, including Devidhar, Parvati Valley and Bakhli. Indian activity holidays don’t get much more exciting.
India’s massive coastline and reliable winds mean that windsurfing is big all over the country. However, some spots really stand out.
Goa is perhaps the best known and a real hub for Indian windsurfing. Check out Calangute Beach, Arossim Beach and Bogmalo Beach where you can find great conditions and all the required infrastructure.
India is crossed by a network of major rivers but perhaps the best for rafting is the Indus. Raft here and you can enjoy majestic views of Ladakh and Zanskar but don’t take your eyes off the water for too long as there are some big rapid sections to navigate.
The River Ganga also has four stretches that are well worth checking out. Easily one of the best adventure sports in India. Find out more about india rafting holidays here.
India is a seriously undervalued surfing destination. There is great surfing around the 7,500km coastline. The top conditions are between May and September before the monsoon rains arrive.
The Andaman and Lakshadweep islands offer great waves, as do Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu and Kovalam in Kerala. At the latter you can find a choice of surf schools to help you learn the ropes on your Indian activity holidays.
The majestic Andaman Islands are hard to beat for sheer diving pleasure. This beautiful archipelago in the Bay of Bengal is renowned for its clear waters and colourful fish.
Catch a ferry from Port Blair to Havelock Island and you can see parrot fish, lionfish, amazing coral formations and much more. Easily one of the best adventure sports in India.
Climbing in India is catching up with the rest of the world. Near the city of Bangalore in the state of Karnataka there are some excellent rock faces. In fact, at Madhugiri you can find some of the biggest monoliths in Asia.
Furthermore, Savandurga is located 33km west of Bangalore. With a peak of 1226m above sea level, there are some incredible views to enjoy here too.
Again, with so much mountainous terrain along its northern fringes, it is no surprise that MTB is growing in India. Head to Manali in the Himachal Pradesh region, known as the MTB capital of India.
There is lots of XC with challenging climbs and single track. There is also the chance to tackle some longer multi day rides towards Leh.
The sheer scale of trekking in India means we can only scratch the surface here. As part of the Himalaya there is some of the most challenging and incredible trekking on earth.
Check out the Frozen River trek in Zanskar Gorge, the Markha Valley trek in Ladakh, Goecha La trek in Sikkim and Kuari Tapovan in Uttarakhand. One of the most in demand Indian activity holidays.
If you prefer your walking a little less serious but equally beautiful, then head to Prashar lake in the Mandi region. This mystical and holy place has special powers according to the locals, and it’s easy to see why. Or head to the hot springs in Kheerganga.
Wakeboarding in India has become more popular in recent years. As with windsurfing, the centre of the scene is in and around Goa.
Baga and Calangute beaches are where you will find most wakeboarding operating out of the larger hotels and resorts. Plus, if the sea gets too choppy here you can always head to the nearby Chapora River.
The Zanskar River in Leh offers one of the best kayaking experiences in India. Start your journey at the Indus river and paddle downstream until you reach Nimu.
You’ll need to negotiate various rapids, ranging from 1 to 5, so it’s a challenging ride. Check out this guide to India kayaking for more info about one of the best adventure sports in India.
Exploring the vast city of Mumbai from the sea offers a unique perspective. Or sail up and down the beautiful coastline around Goa. With oceans on both sides there are plenty of opportunities to sail in India.
India has bike routes as varied and eclectic as the country itself. So you can experience everything from coastal rides in Kerala to the stunning Western Ghat Mountains.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, then a summer tour of the Himalayas presents you with some of the toughest climbs on the planet. Rajasthan comes highly recommended for cycle touring too.
Home to part of the Himalaya mountain range and the world’s third highest peak. It’s little surprise that the world class mountaineering is one of the best adventure sports in India.
Rising to 8586 metres, Kanchenjunga is one of the most sought after peaks. You can also tackle legendary challenges such as Kamet and Hanuman Tibba.
Whether it’s river or sea paddle boarding, India has a huge amount of choice. Head to the west coast at Karnataka where you can paddle around Nadigudri Islands or explore the River Shambhavi if conditions in the ocean aren’t suitable.
Agree with our 19 best adventure sports in India? Leave a comment below if you feel there is anything we should add. Finally, check out our Indian activity holiday discounts as you could save a fortune on your next adventure.