Mr. Modi, amidst a roaring applause by Nepali politicians and diplomats, had mentioned that Nepal had the capability to “challenge” the ultimate adventure seekers of the world. We wanted to put this to the test. So a few of us got together to research and understand the challenges that Nepal offered- the ultimate adventure travel destination.
The promise of extraordinary adventure activities remains at the top of many travellers’ bucket list. Unlike regular holidays, they offer brief moments in time to build memories, provide opportunities to reconnect and shape the way we feel about life and moments. For an Indian like me, a holiday in Nepal isn’t a distant dream. A couple of hours on a flight from any city in India can take us to this enigmatic land, filled with mountains, monks and Sadhus, and where, for the first time, we were trying to understand its potential to attract adventure seekers.
Adventures are needed; the benefit of relishing in uninterrupted, fun-filled, and stress-free time when you can gaze at life and forget it at the same time, is crucial. For some, adventure activities are quite like meditation; often a twisted way of discovering yourself. We spoke to a man who spends a lot of time in Nepal, and he basically confirmed every kickass thing we secretly believed about Nepal but he also told us that we’d have to see it for ourselves. So we packed our bags and headed for Kathmandu, the only international airport in Nepal.
White Water RaftingWe immediately figured out that it takes a lifetime and a whole lot of courage to raft on all the rivers of Nepal. There are numerous wild, cold and harsh Himalayan Rivers spread across the very length and breadth of Nepal-from Mahakali, Karnali to Trishuli and the Koshi(s). Nepal’s rivers are some of the wildest, untamed forces of nature. Meandering its way across the Himalayas, the rapids are extremely fast and high and provide the ultimate thrill of fighting. We didn’t go to the popular Trishuli and instead headed east of Kathmandu for the Bhote Koshi River which is a 25km stretch of Grade 5 challenge that we thought we could take on. With more than one hundred wild rapids that rank among the most technically challenging in the world and with the far-flung picturesque setting of the region, it became an exhilarating experience.
Bungee/Bungy JumpingBhote Koshi, other than its awesome beauty is also known to have one of the highest Bungy jumping sites it the world. It stands at a height of 160m and down below is the fascinating and often scary Bhote Koshi gorge. From the top of the steel bridge (the bungy jump location), the massive Bhote Koshi looks only like a small stream. Bungy Jumping isn’t for everybody. It does require that immediate courage to take the plunge. After all, who cares whether it’s safe or not, the harness does not matter when you jump from 160m with careless abandon. You just need guts and that’s it! Some of us jumped and some of us didn’t. I’m scared of heights and freefalls. There’s no shame in that, I reckoned! But if you want to do it, there’s no better place than Nepal and I strongly recommend it.
Mountain BikingSelecting a mountain biking trail is Nepal is a difficult task of making choices because there are so many of them. You can take a bike up to the amazing Annapurna and Manaslu regions of across the quiet regions of the Kathmandu valley. There are spell binding views everywhere in Nepal and the thrill of mountain biking becomes all the more exhilarating. On the third day of our stay in Kathmandu we headed for the Sundarijal, Chisapani trail on our mountain bikes, along a treacherous road that tested our skills and resolve to complete the adventure. Biking is mostly about what type of terrain, flow, and length you want and Nepal has it all. It has trails filled with jumps, bridges, wet ground, hills, turns, and obstacles which determine the speed and accessibility of your ride.
CanyoningMost of us would wonder what Canyoning is. The best way that Wikipedia explains it is “travelling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling (rappelling), and swimming.” To Kathmandu’s east, Canyoning is gaining a lot of popularity among the youth. Nepal’s unique topography and altitude offers this exclusive chance to ascend up a slope as a waterfall hits you straight. This is an exhilarating experience that you must have. In the quiet jungle surrounded by trees and rocks, Canyoning is the ultimate test of your sense of adventure.
ParaglidingNext adventure would definitely have to be Paragliding. We headed to the west of Kathmandu, drove for a full 6 hours to reach the beautiful city of Pokhara. This is one of the most beautiful urban centres of Nepal, set in the magical shadow of the Annapurna Mountains and where its Himalayan Fewa Lake attracts hordes of tourists every year. If you have never done Paragliding, you can choose to do it with a pilot. Any pilot is always trying to show off to his friends and they have this unspoken contest up in the air and invariably decide to enact scary stunts. The pilot will however seek permission from you but you can always say “no”, if you are scared of heights. This is the best way to see the real beauty of Nepal, as long as you aren’t frightened.
Everest Sky DivingThis is very much like regular sky diving from a plane except that this is done in Nepal from close to the summit of Mount Everest which is at 8848m above sea level. From the summit, it’s a long way to the Everest Base Camp. Remember, that this is a place where oxygen is scarce so the risk is even greater. We decided not to do this as this is purely adrenaline pumping activity full of risks. But for most adventure seekers, this is an activity that you can proudly brag about in front of your friends. After all, how many people have you heard of who have performed the Everest Sky Dive?
This requires a lot of skills and it’s not for regular adventure seekers. Mountaineering is a serious sport and requires one to learn all the skills to climb along with extreme physically fitness and the ability to resist extreme weather conditions. Now, Nepal has hundreds of peaks you can climb and you won’t be permitted to climb any 8000 + mountain without climbing a smaller mountain. I would say that my distant dream is to someday make it to the summit of any mountain in the Himalayas but I would not attempt that unless I attain specific skills and dedication.
Nepal is one of those few countries that offer everything to a traveller. Spirituality, adventure, culture and fun. The people are extremely hospitable and cheerful. You can always visit Nepal and feel a whiff of instant Himalayas, its vastness and magnanimity all at once. That and a whole sense of adventure make Nepal the ultimate tourist destination.
- Zip Flyer
- Heli Skiing
- Rock Climbing
- Peak Climbing
- Jungle Safari