Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022
Outlook.com
a sportier age

The Upper Reaches

Hooked by rarefied thrill, affluent youth buy into adventure sports

The Upper Reaches
Anil Dayal
The Upper Reaches
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

To reach Giri Camp near Solan, Himachal Pradesh, from where the paved road ends, you drive down 10 km of dirt track, cross the Giri Ganga river, and walk a kilometre along its bank to reach the campsite. Hardly extreme adventure, you would say. Yes, it’s quite common, and that’s the point—sites like Giri Camp are now dime a dozen. Owner Anurag Sharma is amazed by the clients he’s getting from places not known to have a history of adventure sports—Kaithal in Haryana, for instance. Sharma, who quit a media job in Delhi to start Giri Camp, says, “With due respect to these cities, I never thought I’d get people from Kaithal or Kapurthala!” Adventure sport is no longer the preserve of the metros; through the media and the internet, it has filtered down to small towns and the young there are flocking to places off the radar with a new relish.

Adventure tourism, though still a small part of the tourism industry, is rapidly gaining in numbers through new converts, mostly young professionals. Sharma says people in their early 20s form the largest segment of his clients: they can’t get enough of rappelling, paragliding, archery, rock-climbing and river-crossing. For stressed workaholics, it’s a detox trip—away from phone signals and the ubiquitous Net in far-flung parts of India. Aravind Srikumar, a 27-year-old IT professional in Pune, is one who relishes a zero phone signal. “Only then it feels like you’re really on holiday and the boss can’t get you. I try to get away to places like this oftener, even if it’s only for a couple of days.” Srikumar is into sports that give him a quick adrenaline rush—paragliding, kayaking and water-rafting. The farthest Aravind has travelled to is Tekla in Uttaranchal for rock-climbing. In fact, all this doesn’t give him a rush any more. “I’m thinking of taking up mountain biking now,” he says.


White water rafting near Bangalore

Outlook Newsletters

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.