Top Destinations for Water Sports in India that Are Not Goa


If you haven’t dabbled in water sports in India, you’re definitely doing India wrong. The country’s diverse topography and myriad water bodies allow you the opportunity to get your thrill on, while surrounded by some of the most scenic locales in the world. And while Goa is an obvious choice for water sports, here are some other destinations for water sports that every adventure enthusiast must consider.


Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, Uttaranchal serves up an irresistible combination of awe-inspiring cliffs, green forest land and the gurgling Ganges River. Unsurprisingly, adventure sports such as kayaking in the white water rapids and leaping off 35-foot cliffs into the river are some of the most popular ways to reconnect with Nature here. The city of Rishikesh is earning itself a formidable reputation as one of the best sites around the world for river rafting, kayaking and cliff jumping.


Home to a network of 44 rivers that feed a number of interconnected lagoons and lakes, Kerala is another popular destination to head to when you’re craving a spot of adventure. From kayaking in Alappuzha to surfing at Kovalam and river rafting in Ernakulam, there’s something here for everyone. Visitors who prefer to watch the action from the sidelines will enjoy the Snake Boat Race and Nehru Trophy Boat Race, which are the highlights of Kerala’s summer months.


The islands have some of the most scenic dive spot in the world, and offer water sports-lovers an array of activities, including snorkelling, scuba diving, glass-bottom boating and water skiing, to name a few. The islands’ coasts are studded with gorgeous coral reefs, exotic marine life and even the odd sunken ship, making for very interesting dives. At the end of a long day of water sports, you can unwind with a relaxing, therapeutic treatment at a luxury spa.


Palm covered, white-sand beaches drape over the solitary coral islands that comprise Lakshadweep. Located 300 km off the coast of Kerala, Lakshadweep attracts throngs of adventure tourists for the hidden treasures that lie below its topaz sea. Over 4,200 sq km of archipelago lagoons bubble with rainbow-hued marine life and coral – these, combined with the warm waters, make Lakshadweep a haven for scuba divers and snorkelers. Head to Agatti Island, the gateway to Lakshadweep, where you can go snorkelling, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, sailing, water skiing and kayaking. Be warned though that picking up corals is a punishable offense.


Rounding off the list is Pondicherry, whose waters are studded with diverse marine life, such as parrot fish, sea snakes, crustaceans, triggerfish, lion fish, groupers and eels. Pondicherry has more than 20 dive spots that feature natural and manmade coral reefs. While here, you can also attend India’s only free diving school, which teaches you how to hold your breath and swim underwater without the use of any apparatus.

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