From parasailing and white water rafting to trekking and rock climbing, there are multiple opportunities for adventure sports and activities in Kolkata and its surrounding areas. We have compiled this guide to the best options for those seeking an adrenaline rush both in Kolkata and outside the city.
Parasailing and paragliding
There are multiple options for parasailing and paragliding in the areas surrounding Kolkata. Mandarmani Sea Beach, at a distance of 75 miles (120 kilometers) from Kolkata, is a quiet, clean beach for you to enjoy a variety of adventure sports. Digha Beach, Kolkata’s favorite weekend getaway, at a distance of 111 miles (180 kilometers) from the city, is yet another stunning destination you can parasail at. If paragliding suits you better, then one of West Bengal’s stunning hill stations, hours outside Kolkata, will thrill you. Darjeeling, less than an hour’s flight or an overnight bus ride outside Kolkata offers some of the best paragliding options in the country.
You are in great luck if kayaking is the adventure sport of your choice—Kolkata’s New Town Eco Park is well within city limits and every bit equipped to give you the adrenaline rush you’re seeking. The park has facilities for multiple sports and activities and kayaking is one of the most popular. At a rate of Rs. 150 (US$ 2) for 30 minutes, this may also be one of your cheapest options in the area.
White water rafting
The Teesta River, with its strong current and surrounding lush northern West Bengal wilderness is a popular destination for white water rafting. Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Chitrey are among some of the most popular destinations from where you can organise a rafting adventure onvthe Teesta. Kayaking and simple boat rides can also be arranged.
While you can find artificial rock climbing walls for practice in the city, there are plenty of more advanced options outside Kolkata. Depending on how far outside the city you’re willing to travel, you can either head to the beach town of Tajpur or one of the hill stations in northern West Bengal. A little over three hours outside Kolkata, Tajpur is a stunning beach town where you can partake in everything from rock climbing to parasailing. Susunia Hills in Bankura, which is about four to five hours outside Kolkata by road, offers moderate level rock climbing options as well. Tenzing Rock in Darjeeling is yet another popular rock climbing destination.
Yachting and wind sailing
Haldia, on the banks of the Hooghly River, just a little over two hours outside Kolkata, is a fantastic place for those looking to partake in wind sailing and yachting. The Dooars in northern West Bengal is yet another popular destination for yachting.
Darjeeling is undoubtedly one of West Bengal’s most popular trekking destinations. Sandakphu, at an altitude of 11,929 ft (3636 meters) in Darjeeling district, is the highest peak in the state. Offering stunning views of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga and Makalu—four of the world’s five highest peaks—this seven day trek is every bit as rewarding as you’d think. There are also multiple options for day treks, including the popular trek to Kamala Falls amidst lush green forests. If you’re looking for options closer to Kolkata, Susunia Hills in Bankura is another popular destination for trekking.
Panchet Hill in the district of Purulia, located about four to five hours outside Kolkata, is a wonderful, scenic destination for beginner to moderate level mountain biking. You can even trek up to the ruins of the historic Garh Panchkot fort for a stunning view of the nearby areas. For more advanced-level biking routes, you can head north to Darjeeling, Kurseong and Kalimpong. Though you will end up spending 12+ hours on the road, or an hour on a flight, seeing the scenic views of the challenging natural terrain is well worth the time.