Date:02/04/2008 URL:

Karnataka - Bangalore

Adventure and the adrenalin high

Sharath S. Srivatsa

From rappelling to mountain biking to white water rafting, the choice is unlimited

for the adventurous: White water rafting in the Kali, near Dandeli, the only place for white water rafting in South India, reaches its peak during the summer.

BANGALORE: Waiting to try your hand in adventure sports this summer? A tip or two in the art of rock climbing or trekking through the jungles here or even in mighty Himalayas could just be a perfect summer break.

Ranging from a short trek in the Western Ghats to a two-day rock climbing course, you can get your high white water rafting on the Kali river. If you are up to it, you can even touch base with the mighty mountains in the north if the call from the Himalayas becomes irresistible.

Though the opportunity for treks in Western Ghats is plenty, most forests are out of bounds for adventure groups as the threat of forest fires looms large in summer. But Pandavapura is a good place for mountain biking while treks in Bisle Ghat in Sakleshpur and Tadiyandamol near Madikeri are feasible. Some of the routes in the forests of Kollegal and adjoining forests, once the haunt of forest brigand Veerappan, can also be explored.

Summer treks

The Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) is planning summer treks to Bisle, Kudremukh, Soligere, near Bheemeshwari and Kanoor Kote, near Jog Falls. Wilderness camps for children are organised in Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary by The Adventurers, a wilderness school at Honnemaradu, near Jog Falls. “Children are exposed to adventure skills, nature awareness, camping, swimming, paddling and others,” says Nomito Kamdar of The Adventurers.

“Rock climbing and rappelling in rocky terrain are good options during summer in Karnataka, and many evince interest in participating in such camps,” says P.G. Bharath, the Director of Outback Adventures.

Despite limited options for adventure activities during summer, many clubs have been indulging in Kayaking in Visvesvaraya Canal in Pandavapura, near Mysore, rock climbing camps in Savandurga, Ramanagara and Kunti Hills, and at Kolli Hills in Namakkal district in Tamil Nadu.

The white water rafting on Kali, river near Dandeli, which is reckoned to be the only place for white water rafting in the entire South India, reaches its peak during the summer with availability of good rapids.

Call of the mountains

With the dry deciduous forests out of bounds for the adventure freaks, a large number of adventure tourists travel to the mighty Himalayas, which offer varied options, especially in Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal.

The Chandrakani Pass, Sar Pass, Saurkundi Pass, Beas Kund and Chander Tal in Himachal Pradesh are some of the favourite places for adventure tourists from Karnataka while Hem Kund, Roop Kund and Har-Ki-Dun in Uttarkhand also attracts tourists from here. Many of these adventure activities in Himalayas are conducted by the YHAI.

The thrill of biking in the challenging terrain in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir is catching up fast among the youth, and a number of clubs have planned biking expedition to Khardung-La, the highest motorable road in the world.

After remaining under snow for nearly six months, this route, going through some of the highest mountain passes, is opened to civilian traffic by the end of May.

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