What’s life without a dose of adventure? And while 30 is the new 20, your bucket list will only grow longer. With mobile jobs and better pay checks affording more holidays, a wide variety of opportunities to make life more meaningful and fulfilling open up. Here is a list of a few of the wackiest things you can do in India before reaching your mid-life milestone.
Scuba diving in Andaman
There’s nothing like descending to the depths of the ocean and coming face to face with the unbelievable marine world. Witness the most dazzling corals and some of the most delightful fish by scuba diving in the pristine waters of the Andaman Islands. Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) – certified trainers help tourists to experience the wonders beneath the waves.
Best season: December to April
Backpack across the North East
Perhaps the most enigmatic part of India, the North Eastern region comprises eight states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Sikkim. Lush with thick jungles, fervent greenery, and rich in culture, the North East is a backpacker’s paradise. The best way to explore the region is by living with the locals, relishing authentic North Eastern cuisine, and discovering the raw terrains of the land.
Best season: October to April
Eat street food at Chandni Chowk
A visit to the capital of India – New Delhi, might not sound like an adventurous experience, what with it being a metropolitan city on par with other international capitals. Yet, one of the greatest exploits one can undertake is a culinary tour of the street food at Chandni Chowk. Navigate through serpentine alleys overflowing with a mass of people, vehicles, shops, and even animals. The reward comes in the form of mouthwatering delicacies known as chaat which burst with sweet, spicy, and tangy flavours. These include dishes such as golgappa, pappdichaat, dahi bhalla, dahi vada, kachori, aloo chaat, aloo ki tikki, and much more.
Best season: October to March
Bike trip to Leh-Ladakh
Perhaps the yardstick of the ultimate adventurous experience in India, a bike trip to the highest drive-able road in the world is a dream that almost every wanderlust lover in India will relish. The real journey begins from Manali in Himachal Pradesh and traverses through some of the toughest tracks and conditions. Best done with a group of friends, the sense of achievement is derived especially on a bullet motorcycle.
Best season: June to September
Camping in Thar Desert
Not for the faint hearted, a night spent at the harsh Thar Desert in India is a valuable and rewarding achievement in the list of daring feats. Pitching a tent among the sand dunes, reclining next to the jaunty camels, and listening to the lilting folk music of Rajasthan under the star spangled sky can elevate your experience from the humdrum of your routine life. Arm yourself with adequate knowledge and a local guide for a safe and memorable experience.
Best season: November to March
Paragliding in Bir Billing
Bir Billing is a tiny, nondescript village in the state of Himachal Pradesh that shot to international fame thanks to just one activity – paragliding. Surrounded by mountains, one can indulge in the thrilling airborne flight for about 30 minutes at the cost of Rs 2,500. There are several camps and websites through which you can experience this, for which you need to book in advance.
Best season: October to June
Holi at Vrindavan
Nothing spells a taste of culture like experiencing Holi in Vrindavan. A festival of colours, Holi is celebrated all over the north and parts of east India, but none rivals the intensity of the celebrations that are held in this small town. On the day of the festival, the place and its people are drenched in colour and the spirit of Holi. People from across the world assemble here to witness the grand spectacle.
Holi falls on March 1 in 2018
Mumbai to Goa road trip
One of the first items on the bucket list of thrill seekers, this is an activity that most people look forward to right from their college days. A 16-hour drive along the highway presents one with breathtaking scenic views. Racing against passenger trains is also a cult part of the activity. Whether on motorbikes or in a car, a road trip between Mumbai and Goa with friends will be one of the most beautiful memories you will cherish in your lifetime.
Best season: December to January
Party in Goa
Think of parties and there is nothing that beats the scene in Goa, particularly New Year’s Eve. You haven’t lived until you’ve been a part of the crazy bashes at the beaches of the smallest state in India, particularly in the hippie regions of North Goa. Places such as Anjuna, Calangute and Vagator, are known for their hip entertainment. Club Cubana, Leopard Valley and Curlies Beach Shack, are some of the best haunts to hang out at.
Best season: December
Stay up overnight at Marine Drive, Mumbai
While every experience in Mumbai is memorable, nothing compares to spending a night out at Marine Drive. See the real meaning of the ‘city that never sleeps’ as you begin with a beachfront that buzzes with activity all night. Marvel at the lights that give it the name, ‘Queen’s Necklace’. Watch how the place transforms from a parading arena for the city’s poshest pet dogs to a racing arena with the flashest cars and bikes. Relish an ice cream or a head massage while watching the waves lap up the stone barricades. Watch a massive orange moon rise up to take the place of its yellow, daytime counterpart. Awaken from the dreamy reverie as joggers begin their routine as early as 3:30am, and end an amazing night with a brilliant sunrise.
Best season: November to February
Caving in Meghalaya
Wade through waist-deep water and crawl through slender cracks in the caves of Meghalaya. Experience a whole different level of adrenaline rush while navigating underground gorges and rivers. Abounding in limestone and sandstone caves; take your pick from the approximately 1,700 caverns, extending over 300km across the East Khasi, Jaintia, and South Garo hills.
Best season: December to March
White water rafting in Kasol
One of the popular activities in the region, white water rafting on the iconic Beas River is a fantastic addition to your exploits. Conducted under the direction of a trained guide, the distance covered can range anywhere from 7-14kms, and even high grade rapids can be maneuvered skilfully. Commencing at 10am, you can choose from rafting for a few hours to a full day.
Best season: June to September
Camp in the Himalayas
The true mark of a vagabond is perhaps when you have camped in the lap of the Himalayas. The mighty mountain ranges offer one of the most spectacular views in the world. Your life could probably be left unfulfilled without waking up to the sun rising over the snow-kissed peaks. Notable places for camping in the Himalayas include Chopta, Har Ki Dun, Beas Ghat and Tehri.
Best season: March to June
Top on the list of hardcore trekking enthusiasts, the Chadar Trek is renowned as it involves traversing the frozen Chadar Lake. Located in the Zanskar Gorge in Jammu and Kashmir, it is one of the trickiest treks in the world due to its risky nature of traveling over ice, that can be unstable in places. The trek lasts nine days and eight nights.
Best season: January to February
Attend Vipassana Course
One of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation, it is a test of your will and skill. Dating back to over 2,500 years ago, this is considered a healing remedy for the body, mind, and soul. Conducted in several places across India, it is a residential course lasting ten days, in which the practitioner is required to observe silence throughout. The popularity of Vipassana has transcended beyond India and is all the rage among nationalities from across the world who congregate in the subcontinent to partake of the practice. Vipassana is free from religious connotations.
Best season: Round the year