Adventure in Chambal

The terrain in Rajasthan is tailor-made for most adventure sports, reports Chandan Sen

The rapid-flowing Chambal is ideal for water sports
The rapid-flowing Chambal is ideal for water sports

It is well known that the state of Rajasthan beckons tourists with its heritage and picturesque landscape but that the diverse terrain also provides a fertile ground for adventure tourism is something that is being recognised recently. The Aravallis and Vindhayas, deserts, vast lakes and wildlife parks—all add up to a memorable holiday for adventure lovers who can choose from a number of options. Tourists can go boating in the Chambal river through the gorges of the Vindhayan plateau, or float high up in the air for a bit of aerial sightseeing over heritage cities either in a small aircraft or in hot air balloons.

Visitors can also go opt for safaris on jeep, elephant, tonga, camel or horses. Rural excursions, trekking and rock climbing are on offer. Sailing, boating, rafting and fishing can be enjoyed by travellers, while the more adventurous amongst them can revel in the thrill of parasailing and hang gliding.

The Bundi–Kota circuit in the Hadoti region with its lush green jungles, vast stretches of forests and wildlife, sprawling rocks and ravines so different from the arid ambience seems just right for adventure. The rapid-flowing Chambal has, undoubtedly, created a magical impact on the fauna and flora of the site. Kota is located along the eastern bank of the river and has exotic venues and splendid outdoors making it just right for an adventure session.

Personnel from the Army Aqua Node have been having adventure sport sessions on the Chambal regularly. "The results have been very encouraging," says adventure photographer A. H. Zaidi.

At a recent adventure festival, that proved a big hit, the attractions were Chambal marathon, special sight-seeing tours, air sports such as balooning, parasailing, para motor show, kayaking and water skiing. With a lot of thought and creativity tourists were floored by spectacular packages. The young and the old enjoy the flight and the bout of parasailing by a vehicle, adeptly monitored by the master trainer.

Many visitors like the thrill of flying in a hot air balloon.
Many visitors like the thrill of flying in a hot air balloon. — Photos by the writer

The majestic Chambal river is the region’s lifeline. From the Jawahar Sagar to Dholpur, the intricate channel work of the Chambal river, flowing through golden, rocky gorges and dense forests, provides an ideal locale for water sports. While traversing the river by boat, one can view crocodiles basking in the sun on the river banks. The mere presence of water and the greenery is a relaxing experience.

The adventure sports services on the Chambal river from the Chambal garden upstream towards Gararia Mahadev is an opportunity to experience the rush of gushing waters. The area around Bundi especially the Ramgarh Sanctuary, Talwas Lake , Jait Sagar, Dugari or the rocky slopes of Jhar Mahadev, Ajit Garh or Taragarh Fort is just fine for a safari.

Formally introducing adventure sports might formally appear a novelty to the region but it has been present here in the form of water sports and adventure trails by the Army and other sports enthusiasts. A sustained effort made a couple of years back received an encouraging response. Tourism officials are confident that with more such effort in that direction, adventure tourism would serve and propel the growth general tourism in a big way and increase the volume of tourists. Media personnel and travel agents should be specially invited for adventure shows so that the potential of the Chambal region takes a big stride in tourism.