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Calling All The Thrill Seekers To 7 Of The Most Beautiful Rock Climbing Locations In India

India’s topography has enough vertical formations to keep even the most seasoned climbers occupied for days. Here’s our pick of some of the best rock-climbing spots you can head to once you’ve gotten comfortable with the routes in your local climbing gym. By Eshita Srinivas

Adventure sports in India have long been synonymous with parasailing, mountain biking, trekking, bungee jumping, or even skydiving. However, climbing has steadily made its way to the top of this list, with more people frequenting their local climbing and bouldering gyms to test their strength, endurance, and agility. Now that the sport has made its debut with the 2021 Olympics, the climbing community in India is bound to grow over the next few years as well.

The sport is highly technical and the smallest change in the position of a finger can make all the difference. This is why it’s important to train at a gym and get acquainted with it before you make your way outdoors. But once you do, there’s no doubt that the thrill of overcoming the challenge of scaling rocks, confronting the fear of falling, and applying your mind to go through different routes can be addicting and rewarding. Thankfully, there’s no dearth of staggering rocks to excite and challenge even the most seasoned climbers.

Read on to witness 7 of the most beautiful rock climbing spots in India

Sethan, Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh is slowly turning into a mecca for rock-climbers across the country thanks to Sethan, an isolated village located 16 kilometers away from Manali. Located in a beautiful alpine valley right off the road that leads to the Hampta Pass, there are several thousand boulders that lie in the region. Local climbers tend to rent rooms in the small guesthouses that are in the area and try their hand at the lines that are climbable while setting new routes themselves. The ideal time to go climbing in Sethan is in the months of October and November.

Badami, Karnataka

Located 150 kilometers (North West) of Hampi, Badami is one of the most popular climbing spots in the country. With unique rock formations, upwards of 100 climbing routes and good rock quality, this region has something for both beginners and seasoned climbers. Although climbing happens throughout the year, the best time to head to this part of Karnataka is between the months of November and March.

Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra

Characterised by lush green bottomless valleys, towering peaks, diverse flora and fauna, and fresh mountain air, Malshej Ghat is one of the most beautiful climbing spots in the country. It’s located 120 kilometers from both Mumbai and Pune and has a few resorts that climbers stay at while exploring the area. The best time to go climbing is between the winter months of October and January.

Shey Rock, Leh

A 20-minute drive from Leh, Shey Rock has unique formations that are suitable for both beginners and seasoned climbers. Local guides and climbers from the climbing gym in Leh frequent the spot as does the military which conducts basic rock climbing lessons for officers in the area. With several routes and top-notch safety facilities, there’s no better place to climb in the Kashmir region. The best time to head here is in the summer and since most of the cliffs face South East, it’s ideal to wait until later in the day to climb.

Savandurga, Karnataka

A two-hour drive away from Bengaluru, Savanadurga is a 1200 feet tall hill that is believed to be one of Asia’s largest monoliths. Popular with both beginners and experienced climbers, it has big walls and smooth granite, with most of the routes facing the South or South East. As such, this rock is best explored in the cooler winter months of December-February.

Hampi, Karnataka

Karnataka’s popular temple town is also an international bouldering destination. The landscape is covered with granite boulders and crags and houses several climbing guides, guest houses, and climbing shops. Since Hampi is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s extremely traveller-friendly and has every possible facility that a visitor might need. The main season for climbing is in the winter months of October – March, and you’re bound to encounter several hundred climbers if you visit the region during this time.

Dhauj, Haryana

Located 25 kilometres away from South Delhi, Dhauj is surrounded by the Aravali hills. Frequented by climbers in and around Delhi, the region has a little over 100 lines that can be explored. With flat rocks and several beginner routes to explore, a lot of people head to the spot every Sunday morning to try their hand at the sport. There are also a few challenging routes for more experienced climbers. Like with most climbing spots, the best time to go climbing here is in the winter months of November – February.

Whether you’re an experienced climber or someone whose only experience with the sport is going up a climbing wall at an arcade, there’s something in the sport for everyone. So, when are you heading to a climbing gym?

Related: These Forerunners Of Adventure Tourism In India Take You Through Their Favourite Thrilling Experiences

Eshita Srinivas

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