In the interest of tourists and the environment, we need tighter regulation in the adventure sports industry, says Vaibhav Kala Statistics say that the outdoors is now nearly 70% of all leisure, vacation-based travel, globally. This has massive ramifications in a country like India–where guidelines are available, but actual regulation, monitoring and implementation are abysmal. Cause…
Parang La Trek in Leh-Ladakh Wildlife enthusiasts, this trek is for you. The Parang La trail traces the trade route between Spiti and Tibet and begins from the meadows of Kibber, the ground for Spiti horses and elusive snow leopards. It descends the Kibber gorge and steeps the pass of Parang La, the source of…
When the natural world talks to us, it is usually in whispers that are often lost in the din of our own noise. But sometimes, if you listen very closely, the unmediated drumbeat of nature’s heart resonates so loudly in your own being, that you experience an intangible life-altering moment. I count myself fortunate to…
The Government of Uttarakhand has released guidelines for Unlock 3 for travellers and the general public on 4th August 2020 and these will be in effect till 31st August 2020.
We are committed to putting people and their wellbeing first. Travellers should familiarize themselves with the basic prevention practices that apply while travelling and in daily life as well as policies we are implementing at Atali Ganga, Camp Aquaterra & Camp Bagi.
Aquaterra Adventures made it to the longlist in the Outlook Responsible Tourism Awards 2020.
The fact that this trek starts from a village called Chilling is an indication of things to come. With freezing temperatures of minus 30 degrees and a precarious walk on the frozen Zanskar river, the Chadar trek promises an experience like no other.
Bundle up for a brutal and beautiful walk across Kashmir’s frozen River Zanskar. Used by locals to travel between Leh and Zanskar, the walk has now become a tourist attraction. It’s thrilling and incredibly dangerous, but the stark landscape is also stunning, with nothing around for miles except walls of ice almost 2,000ft high around you and vast stretches of ice underfoot. Sign up for an 11-day trip with Aquaterra Adventures.
It was about seven years since my last trek into the mountains. Yes, I had gone whitewater rafting down the Brahmaputra but then other than it being an outdoor adventure, there was nothing in common with a trek. A trek is different. Mountains have a different aura about them. There’s an aloofness, a solidity, a sense of permanence about them that nothing else in nature provides.
The vast, turquoise blue Siang runs through the heart of the valley it lends its name to, and is easily its showstopper. Nearly everywhere you go, you can see a sliver of greenish-blue hues gleaming in the distance. Rafting down the length of the river is a great way to get up close with the river and experience it.
While treks are one of the best ways to escape city life, they are also a great place to teach your child to appreciate nature through creative activities. Ask them to draw, paint or even make a collage of the leaves, rivers, insects and animals they see around them. Children love to identify different cloud shapes, and a journal is a lovely way to capture memories of the camp fire, the tents and all the little things that make the trip special.
Aquaterra Adventures completes 25 Years in 2020. Here is a feature which covers our small beginning in 1995 in Delhi and Rishikesh to a journey encompassing many continents on mountains and rivers.
While the act of travel is on hold for many of us during this challenging time, the dream of travel remains alive and well. Despite the current worries and stress, it can be helpful for our mental health to think about and plan for better days ahead. Personally, I’m finding pleasure thumbing through my back issues of National Geographic magazine and scrolling through landscapes on Instagram. All in the name of fulfilling my future travel plans.
Because I believe that the new normal, whatever it looks like, will allow for our travel dreams to become reality again. The question is, will we be ready?
Bringing you our next story from the Himalayas to keep you engrossed indoors as we enter the extension period of the lockdown in India which is a crucial phase in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a story from our guests and editor on their experiences in the last decade during the Zanskar multi-adventure expedition we’ve…
Rafting is about nervous anticipation, heart stopping build-ups, meeting the challenge, the thrill of the rapids, the solitude of the calms, sights seen, experiences shared, knowledge gained, campfire tales, new found friends. All of it sums up a trip of a lifetime, there for anyone with an inclination to experience, as we did, the best of a white water journey on rafts – probably the only adventure sport which enables a complete novice to attain an adrenaline rush at par with that of a professional, each and every time.
Despite the huge economic impact of the Coronavirus, we want to remain cognizant of the huge public health challenge this is, and we hope you are all doing everything to reduce the spread and reduce pressure on the system. Please practice safe distancing to protect our elders and those with low immunity within our community. We hope this will bring the adventure industry together, closer than ever before.
Cloud-piercing peaks, dense forests and roaring rivers make for heady adventures
– Kabir Gupta has been participating at the Himalayan Adventure Challenge for over three years along with his family and friends at this unique event held each year in Rishikesh. Here he recounts his experiences in the outdoors and what it means for him to come back each year: The lush green valleys, snow covered…
One of India’s highest trekking peaks, Stok Kangri will be closed for the entirety of 2020-22. The Outdoor Journal reached out to the Indian adventure industry for comments. On Friday 6th December, The Outdoor Journal received news that Stok Kangri, the highest mountain in the Stok Range of the Himalaya, in Ladakh, Northern India, would…
Assam, in India’s little-visited northeast, harbours a wilderness rafting experience that will soon disappear with the completion of a controversial dam.
From unreported deaths, to unsustainable human activity and environmental degradation. India’s national heritage is at stake. Statistics say that the outdoors is now nearly 70% of all leisure, vacation based travel, globally. This has massive ramifications in a country like India – where guidelines are available, but actual regulation, monitoring and implementation are abysmal.
Swept overboard by the churning rapids of the Ganges River, our rafting mate struggles in his life jacket and helmet to get back to our boat, terror flashing in his eyes. I sit closest to his flailing hands and the rest of the group shouts for me to get hold of him.
The mountains hold an inalienable appeal to most folks. These are places that we recommend should be on every adventure travel enthusiast’s bucket list.
India boasts of a diverse range of terrains & various mountain ranges. Mountains not only provide relief from the heat in cities, they also offer those with an adventurous streak, a chance to indulge in various sports & activities. Before you start planning your next summer foray, check out our May & June Adventures
A tent is our shelter from nature’s little tantrums, our island in the storm – it comforts our mind and puts our soul at ease in strange places. Where and how you will use the tent most frequently? Will you lug it around on your back or the trunk of your car? The answers will make you choose the right tent.
The Great Lakes of Kashmir | July 7 – 18, 2018 – LAST CALL! The Great Lakes of Kashmir trek is set in an almost heavenly arena of high mountain vistas, endless pasturelands, and of course, the great lakes. Arguably the best way to witness the beauty of the Kashmir Himalayan region, you will be…
By Patrick Scott for the Wall Street Journal The Beatles sought spiritual enlightenment in Rishikesh, a Himalayan mountain town on the banks of the Ganges. These days, it’s a white-water-rafting hub, offering more physical highs SWEPT overboard by the churning rapids of the Ganges River, our rafting mate struggled in his life jacket and helmet…
Specialising in treks and river rafting in the Indian Himalayas, Aquaterra Adventures offers to plan any kind of adventure in India irrespective of how uncommon or wild or difficult the trip seemed to be.
Outlook Traveller, India’s leading travel magazine has awarded Aquaterra Adventures the Favourite Boutique Tour operator voted by its readers
One of the world’s best adventure firms, Aquaterra Adventures was established when rafting was still in infancy. From looking beyond the relative comforts of the Ganga, expanding into other states and countries, to taking on India’s wildest rivers, the firm has crafted for itself a unique DNA based on performance. An article by Shyam Menon for Man’s World
Aquaterra Adventures coverage by the Newspapers in India – Economic Times, Hindustan Times
When I first heard of a Jeep safari in Himalayan India, I was puzzled. I had traveled in the Himalayas and knew that it was rare to be able to get anywhere in those mountains other than on foot. But the region of Spiti, in Himachal Pradesh, in India’s north, is an exception: it offers Jeep travel as well as trekking possibilities.
It happened in an instant. One second we were riding a huge wave on the Brahmaputra River, our raft angled sharply upward. The next we were poised at its crest over a huge hole, and a huge diagonal wave exploded into us, flinging us into the maelstrom of white water.
The continuing adventures of journalist Dan Oko, as he pursues love and adventure on the Indian Subcontinent. Dan can be contacted via email Tuesday, April 13, 2004 During last week’s trek, short of major physical harm, if it could have gone wrong, it did. My gut problems did in fact blossom to full-blown giardiasis, or…
Our high ropes course is a very safe place, when safety procedures that we recommend and instruct participants to practice, are followed. There is the inherent possibility of injury, serious or otherwise, if instructions are not followed. For this reason, our Active Officers have the final say on safety. Our foremost responsibility is safety, and we go to great lengths to…
By Vani Pahwa Vani Pahwa is a Functional Fitness specialist with over fifteen years of experience, and certifications from leading internationally-accredited and globally recognized fitness institutes. Sought after for her multi-disciplinary fitness modules and expertise, Vani has conducted fitness workshops for leading corporate houses, conditioning and training camps for various sports communities, personal training programs…
The first Indian Responsible Tourism Summit and Awards, brought to you by Outlook Traveller and the World Responsible Tourism Awards was held in New Delhi on January 19, 2017 where Atali Ganga won the Sliver Award for the Best Responsible Tourism Property
A “ducky” is best described as a small, two-man inflatable kayak. “Only have a go in it if you’re thirsty for adventure!” advises trip leader Harendra “Gappu” Rawat. “You need to be happy with the idea of taking a few dips!” Thrill-addict that I am, I opted to trade my place in the relative comfort and safety of a big selfbailing raft for a front seat in the unstable ducky as we prepared to run the mighty Chookha, the biggest of the Kali Sarda’s infamous rapids
This is a very rocky one, so I need everyone to keep pa d dli ng t h r o ug h t he rapid. Speed is essential for us to steer and to avoid all the rocks; if it looks bad, then I’ll give you the ‘get down’ command, so just be ready for anything,” yells Rana in an attempt to be heard above the roaring river.
An expedition down the Mahakali can quite aptly be described as ‘a trip right out of The Jungle Book’: perfect weather, warm water, pristine wilderness, no roads, plentiful wildlife and big sandy beach campsites crisscrossed with fresh leopard tracks! I was expecting a fun-filled week dominated by aquatic adventures, yet the Kali surpassed even my wildest expectations.
Slowly, slowly catch the monkey” was the bizarre mantra reverberating through my oxygen-deprived brain as we approached 6,000m. Vikram Hirani, one of our mountain guides, had spoken these wise words as we fastened crampons onto our snow boots and roped up at the foot of Stok Glacier five hours earlier.
Everybody get down!” yelled Vaibhav to his laid-back crew. I looked up to see the raft just ahead of ours get sucked into a big hole where it began to surf on the recirculating water. As the river thundered over a submerged rock, the pourover created a strong backwash that latched onto the 14-foot raft and prevented it from breaking free. The boat gyrated wildly as it surfed the powerful hydraulic. Bow paddler Rohan Guptan was the first to go.
As I approached the roaring rapid, I looked down stream and saw Canadian safety kayaker Daveprothero vigorously pumping his fist in the air: it was the signal that the rapid was safe and we could run the meatiest part of the wild water-water just ahead. As I lined up my small boat to hit the guts of the rapid,I watched Captain Rana guide his raft into the white-water mayhem in front of me. One moment the raft was cruising through the big waves, next second it disappeared
As the sound of distant blasting and pneumatic drills faded, replaced by the reassuring gurgle of the fast-flowing river, Sanjay said simply, ‘Now we are on our own.’ Our expedition through western Ladakh, along one of India’s most spectacular yet unheralded rivers, was about to enter the Grand Canyon of the Zanskar.
It all started in a seedy backstreet pub off Rusholme’s ‘curry mile’ where a selction of Manchester’s most degenerate old-time paddlers were gathered to plot their next big trip. It was decided that nothing less than the mighty Brahmaputra, in the extreme northeast of India would do
Popularly referred to as the national river of India, the Ganges takes its name from the Gangotri Glacier where it originates in the western Himalaya. Draining a staggering 1,000,000 km2 basin, the Ganges is unquestionably the largestriver on the Indian subcontinent. Beginning in Uttarakhand asthe Bhagirathi River, it joins the Alaknanda River near the town of Deoprayag to form the Ganges before embarking on a 2510 km eastward journey until it finally empties into the Bay of Bengal inside Bangladesh.
Awoke at 6 am to a grey morning. It had rained continuously through the night and everything was drenched. As I struggled into a freezing cold wetsuit and pulled on a sopping wet spray jacket, I yearned for the sunny weather we had taken for granted at the start of our adventure.
An expedition down the Kali-Sarda can quite aptly be described as “a trip right out of The Jungle Book”: perfect weather, warm water, pristine wilderness, no roads, plentiful wildlife and big sandy beach campsites crisscrossed with fresh leopard tracks! I was expecting a fun-filled week dominated by aquatic adventures, but it was the beauty of the wilderness experience that took me completely by surprise.
The scenery on the Grand Canyon of the Zanskar rivals that of any river canyon in the world.. As the sound of distant blasting and pneumatic drills faded, replaced by the reassuring gurgle of the fast-flowing river, Sanjay said simply, “Now we are on our own.”
“It is is a very rocky one, so I need everyone to keep paddling through the rapid,” yells Sanjay in an attempt to be heard above the roaring river. “Speed is essential for us to steer and to avoid all the rocks; if it looks bad, then I’ll give you the ‘get down’ command, so just be ready for anything.”
It is a name that many are familiar with yet how much do we know about the policies and founding principles of the company that focus on giving back to the region where it has its base. By decisively recruiting people from the region where it works, by employing sustainable methods of tourism (while staying way ahead of the game), and constantly pushing the government to do more, Aquaterra Adventures is more than just a commercial entity. Here are some insights on India’s first Activotel, Atali-Ganga, what makes Aquaterra Adventures a great place to work and a veteran’s view’s on the challenges and changes in the Indian adventure Industry.
The majestic black walls of the canyon soared above us, almost closing out the sky. We were just about to enter the Great Bend of the Yangtze, our rafts slipping along on the great green swell of the river. There was an awed hush about the place, as if we were entering a great stone cathedral. Our motley crew of adventurers fell silent as we slowly gathered speed, the only sound the subdued roar of the Yangtze as it tumbled toward Judgement Day.
Ningguing village in Arunachal Pradesh has probably never noticed such hectic activity. Nestled in dense tropical rainforest at the confluence of the Purang river with the mighty Siang (as the upper Brahmaputra is called), it offers the first formidable challenge in the form of a very sizeable big volume Class 5 rapid.
Twenty years after he started the Delhi-based outfit Aquaterra Adventures, Vaibhav Kala still likes to lead from the front. While Aquaterra offers outdoor journeys across categories and grades of difficulty, the few trips that Kala leads are often longer and harder than the rest.
As the sound of distant blasting and pneumatic drills faded, replaced by the reassuring gurgle of the fast-flowing river, Sanjay said simply, ‘Now we are on our own.’ Our expedition through western Ladakh
River rafting on the Ganga brings scores of adventure & nature enthusiasts and each year closer to the outdoors, and nature pursuits. This is now an endangered activity. The river rafting section on the Ganga is the only eco-tourism activity being conducted amidst the hydro-project centric engineering activity that dots the State of Uttarakhand.
YourStory in conversation with entrepreneur Vaibhav Kala about the business idea behind Aquaterra, the only Indian company to feature in the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” list (2008 -2009) by National Geographic Society