India, despite its immense natural beauty and cultural richness currently ranks 34th on the world travel and tourism index. The Ministry of Tourism aims to improve India’s ranking by making it an attractive round the year destination, with a special focus on adventure tourism. It is as per these efforts that the Ministry of Tourism has launched the DekhoApnaDesh Webinar series titled “12 Months of Adventure Travel” on 28thNovember 2020.
Adventure Travel provides a sea of opportunities for India as it possesses unparalleled natural resources, varied topography waiting to be explored and experienced. The World Economic Forum ranks India as the 5th best destination on the Natural Heritage Index in the world.
India is a 12 month destination in respect of adventure and culture and the country is so vast and huge that one life is not enough to cover the entire country. Webinar Series attempts to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat through the virtual platform. This webinar is a virtual tour of the immense strength, potential and the hidden secrets of India covering mountains, forests, rivers, deserts, mangroves, islands, canals, wildlife and over 31 adventure activities that will delight an Indian and also an overseas traveller.
The webinar was presented by Tejbir Singh Anand the Managing Director of Holiday Moods Adventures Pvt Ltd. Tejbir Singh is a veteran and in the Indian adventure travel industry with over 3 decades of experience. He is a “Hall of Fame Awardee” presented by Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI)
Anand started his presentation by explaining what constitutes adventure tourism.
He underlined India’s potential in this segment as one of the very few countries in the world that boasts of natural and cultural attractions so diverse and complex, which promises ample opportunities to explore every kind of landscape imaginable. From the eternal snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas to meandering rivers and gushing waterfalls, dense forests rich in wildlife, beautiful valleys, long coastlines and magical moonscapes, vast deserts of the west, to the ancient traditions and festivities of its colorful culture, offering unique adventures to all travelers.
The following is the scope of adventure tourism activities for the 12 month period :
Winter (November- February):
North East (Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura)
Activities – 1.Trekking2.Cruising3. Biking etc.
Rajasthan including Jaisalmer, Thar Desert, Jodhpur and Pokhran
Activities- 1. Parasailing2. Camping 3. Hot air balloon
Harayana- Dhauj known for it’s Rock climbing activities
J&K – Gulmarg, known for skiing
1.Ice climbing 2. Ice hockey 3. Cycling in Leh and Kargil
Himachal Pradesh- Manali, Dharamshala, Kullu, Sirmour, Shimla
1. Skiing 2. Cycling 3. Snow treks 4. Paragliding
Uttarakhand – Lower ranges of Kumaon and Garhwal
1. Rafting2. Cycling3. Zipline 4. Bungy jumping
Spring (March- April)
Adventure activities in J&K, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim
Summer (May- June)
High altitude treks are possible in valleys of Himachal and Uttarakhand. Multiple adventure activities take place in J&K and Ladakh -Nubra and Zanskar.
Monsoon (July- August)
Himachal Valleys- Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul, Ladakh, J&K and number of adventure activities also take place in the Aravallis (Udaipur, Ranakpur and Kumbalgarh)
Autumn (September- October)
Number of adventure activities can be enjoyed in the North Eastern states India has a varied combination of natural heritage which can be enjoyed throughout the year. Any type of a topography, you name it and we have it, mountain ranges, river systems, Biosphere reserves, wildlife sanctuaries, National parks etc to name a few.
Himalaya is the youngest fold mountain range of the world, it has some of the highest peaks of the world and 73% of it lie in India. Aravalli is one of the oldest fold mountain range of the world. Major River Systems of India include the Indus River System, Brahmaputra River System (3969 Km), Ganga River System (2704 km) etc. India is home to 18 biosphere reserves.
There are as many as 551 Wildlife Sanctuaries and National parks comprise 1.23% of India’s total surface area. Deserts like white salt great Rann of Kutch (2898 Sq miles) Scandy Thar desert (66000 Sq miles) provide ample opportunities for adventure.
Trans Himalayan Cold desert of India is Ladakh which also has pleanty of adventure activities.
Kerala has a network of 1500 kms of canals, 38 rivers and 5 big lakes. Total mangrove cover of India is 4921 sq kms. Largest lake in the Himalaya is Pangong Tso (4238 m) and highest lake is Gurudongmar Lake (5148 m) in Sikkim.
Adventure Tour Operators Association(ATOA) has also listed the adventure activities based on land, air and water.
Land based Adventure activities include:
1. All Terrain Vehicle Tours (ATV)
2. Bungee Jumping
3. Cycling Tours
4. Camel Safaris
5. Horse Safaris
6. Jeep Safaris
7. Motorcycle Tours
9. Nature Walks / Bird Watching
10. Rock Climbing / Artificial Wall Climbing
12. Personal Light Electric Vehicle Tours
13. Skiing / Snow Boarding 14. Trekking 15. Wildlife Safaris
16. Zip Wires and High Ropes Courses.
Air Based Adventure Tourism comprises
1. Hot Air Ballooning
2. Paragliding / Hand Gliding,
3. Para Motoring, Parasailing,
4. Ski Diving
5. Air Safaris
6. Kite Boarding
Water Based Adventure Tourism comprises
1. Kayaking / Sea Kayaking,
2. Rafting, River Cruisinig
3. Scuba Diving, Snorkelling
4. Water Sports
The DekhoApnaDesh Webinar Series is presented in technical partnership with National e-Governance Department, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The Sessions of Webinar are now available on the https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbzIbBmMvtvH7d6Zo_ZEHDA/featured and also on all social media Handles of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The next webinar on Agra is scheduled on 5thDecember 2020 at 11 am