10 destinations in India you should visit for an unforgettable fishing experience

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Photo of 10 destinations in India you should visit for an unforgettable fishing experience by Siddharth Sujan

It started off being a mean to feed our families. It then went on to become a leisure activity and now, slowly seems to be developing a fan base almost as big as any mainstream sport. Fishing has been an activity that has existed since forever, across all cultures and countries.

Owing to its vast and varied water bodies across the country, India too has been a country that relies heavily on fishing. While the activity itself continues to be a job for many, the produce also ends up on plates and feeds the hungry. While fishing continues to be a necessity, it has also simultaneously emerged as a hobby with increasingly more people taking it up. To make things easier, the sheer variety of water bodies and rich aquatic life in India have also motivated more people to pick up that fishing rod!

If you happen to be a seasoned angler or even a rookie who's just getting the hang of it, here are ten destinations in India that you should definitely visit for that perfect fishing holiday!

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, India by Siddharth Sujan

Apart from being a hotspot for tiger spotting, the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand also makes for one of the best fishing spots in the country. The Ramganga River flowing through the park is home to several fish species like the goonch, golden mahseer and brown trout to name a few. You will have to get a fishing license from the Divisional Forest Officer though, which can also be easily arranged by all the hotels and resorts in the area.

Things to see and do: Take a jungle safari through the national park; get a glimpse of the park’s history at the Corbett museum and visit the famous Garjiya Devi Temple.

Flight cost: A flight from New Delhi to Pantnagar costs about ₹4,000. Pantnagar is the nearest airport to Jim Corbett, at a distance of 120 km.

Daily budget: ₹800

Best time to visit: November to March

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Pancheshwar, Khai Kot Talla, Uttarakhand, India by Siddharth Sujan

Located at the foothills of the India-Nepal border, Pancheshwar is a small village situated at the confluence of the Sharda and Kali rivers near Lohaghat in Champawat district of Uttarakhand. The waters of Pancheshwar are also home to the mighty mahseers of the Himalayas. The remote village is a fisher’s paradise and also hosts the International Angling Competition held in March every year.

Things to see and do: Offer your prayers at Champawat’s Baleshwar Temple; go bird-watching in the hills; seek solace at the Mayawati Ashram and marvel at the beauty of the unique Banasur ka Kila.

Flight cost: A flight from New Delhi to Pantnagar costs about ₹4,000. Pantnagar is the nearest airport to Pancheshwar located at a distance of 160 km.

Daily budget: ₹600

Best time to visit: February to April

Credits: Max Pixel

Photo of Havelock Island, South Andaman, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Siddharth Sujan

The pristine waters of the Andaman coupled with rich marine life make Havelock an absolute must-visit for every passionate angler. One of the best saltwater fishing spots in the country, one can easily catch varieties such as giant trevally, yellowfin tuna and marlin here. The government has also banned all kinds of commercial fishing in this part of the world which further contributes to the quality of aquatic life in the area.

Things to see and do: Go scuba diving and snorkelling; trek down to the Elephant Beach; laze around on the Radhanagar Beach and feast on to some lip-smacking seafood at the beach shacks.

Flight cost: New Delhi is connected to Port Blair with direct flights starting at ₹6,500. It takes about 3 hours to reach Havelock from the Port Blair airport.

Daily budget: ₹1,100

Best time to visit: October to April

Elephant Lake, Munnar, Kerala 

Credits: ponrajk22 / 7 images

Photo of 10 destinations in India you should visit for an unforgettable fishing experience by Siddharth Sujan

The picture-perfect lush green landscapes of God’s Own Country make Elephant Lake a one-of-its-kind fishing spot. Located in the popular hill station of Munnar, the lake is home to a wide range of fishes including sardines, pomfrets, tunas and mackerels. Interact with the local fishermen and learn about some of the most unique fishing methods you will ever come across!

Things to see and do: Take a tea estate tour; go camping and trekking in the hills of Munnar; go for an Elephant safari at Carmelagiri Elephant Park and visit the Tata Tea Museum.

Flight cost: A direct flight from New Delhi to Kochi costs about ₹3,500. Munnar is about 110 km from the Kochi airport.

Daily budget: ₹1,200

Best time to visit: October to March

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Pabbar Valley, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India by Siddharth Sujan

About a 100 km south-west to the popular hill station Shimla, lies the majestic Pabbar Valley, best known for its apple orchards and dense deodar forests. The Pabbar River which flows through the valley beholds some of the healthiest fish in the region including the golden mahseer, catfish and rohu. The cold waters of the river also makes it a suitable habitat for some of the best trout found in the country.

Things to see and do: Offer your prayers at the temples of Hatkoti; go trekking on the valley’s unexplored trails and pitch in a camp under the stars.

Flight cost: The closest airport to Pabbar Valley is the Shimla airport, at a distance of 25 km. A direct flight from New Delhi to Shimla costs around ₹6,000.

Daily budget: ₹1,000

Best time to visit: February to May

Credits: JerzyGorecki

Photo of Ranikor, Meghalaya, India by Siddharth Sujan

A five hour drive from Meghalaya’s capital city of Shillong gets you to Ranikor, a small town on the border of India and Bangladesh which happens to one of the last wild fishing spots left in the state. Ranikor is a favourite amongst local anglers who flock to the banks of Kynshi River in big numbers. Angling in Ranikor can also be a learning experience as one can witness local fishermen using some unique techniques to catch mahseers, catfishes and eels.

Things to see and do: Experience white water rafting in Kynshi River and visit the Ranikor River Beach.

Flight cost: The nearest airport to Ranikor is the Shillong airport, at a distance of 145 km. A direct flight from New Delhi to Shillong costs approximately ₹7,000.

Daily budget: ₹1,200

Best time to visit: September to May

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Kokernag by Siddharth Sujan

Kashmir happens to be one of the oldest destinations to attract angling enthusiasts from around the country, dating back to as early as the British Raj. The serene valleys of Kashmir have plenty of streams and lakes that are rich in German brown and rainbow trout, out of which Kokernag Lake happens to be the prime spot. However, beware of the state’s catch and release policy wherein you can catch only 6 fish at a time or you will get penalised.

Things to see and do: Ride the rapids of Lidder River; spend a night in a houseboat; indulge in Kashmir’s local delicacies and explore your adventurous side by paragliding over the valleys.

Flight cost: The nearest airport to Kokernag is in Srinagar. A direct flight from New Delhi to Srinagar costs around ₹2,500.

Daily budget: ₹1,700

Best time to visit: April to October

Credits: Max Pixel

Photo of Mysore, Karnataka, India by Siddharth Sujan

One of the most widely found fish in India, mahseer is considered to be the pride of the river Kaveri. This makes the entire region a hotspot for anglers who put up in Mysore’s several fishing camps and resorts. These resorts organise guided fishing experiences for novices and also rent out boats to professional enthusiasts. Set out early in the morning for a great catch as the fishes come down to the banks in search of food.

Things to see and do: Offer your prayers at the Somnathpur Temple; travel back in time at the Maharaja’s Palace; experience serenity at the Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery and spend a day with your family at the Brindavan Garden.

Flight cost: A direct flight from New Delhi to Mysore costs around ₹6,500.

Daily budget: ₹1,200

Best time to visit: October to February

Credits: Pixabay

Photo of Nameri National Park And Forest Reserve by Siddharth Sujan

Resting on the foothills of the Himalayas in Assam, the Nameri National Park is home to the state’s pride, the one-horned rhinoceros. The park has also been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO owing to its rich flora and fauna. The Jia Bhoroli River that flows through this park has been extensively popular right from the British period for the angling of the mahseers. The snow-fed river is best known for its crystal clear waters, and the awe-inspiring landscapes only add to the experience.

Things to see and do: Travel down to Majuli, the largest river island in the world; take a tour of the oldest oil refinery in Asia in Digboi; discover the silk-weaver community in Sualkuchi and visit the tea gardens of Dibrugarh.

Flight cost: Located at a distance of just 30 km, Tezpur is the nearest airport to Nameri National Park. Direct flights starting ₹7,000 connect New Delhi to Tezpur.

Daily budget: ₹1,000

Best time to visit: November to March

Credits: Max Pixel

Photo of Neral, Maharashtra, India by Siddharth Sujan

Situated at a distance of about 85 km from Mumbai, Neral is a small village in the Raigad District of Maharashtra dotted with several fishing farms. These properties organise fishing classes and experiences at their on-site ponds which draw water from the Ulhas River. These properties also offer luxurious stays and warm hospitality which makes Neral a popular fishing getaway from Mumbai.

Things to see and do: Hike through the Nakhind hill and visit the Peb fort.

Flight cost: There are several daily flights that connect New Delhi and Mumbai starting ₹2,500.

Daily budget: ₹1,200

Best time to visit: November to February

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