Standing at the edge of a launch pad at 272 feet, I peered down at the mint green gurgling waters of the Hyul, a tributary of the Ganga. It was my first tryst with extreme adventure sports. I had already botched one try at a bungee jump. And I was back at the ledge, contemplating my second attempt.
This was India’s highest bungee jumping point, officially certified by the Indian Ministry of Tourism. The site also billed itself as India’s only extreme adventure zone, where thrill-seekers can enjoy sports such as bungee, flying fox (flying from a harness between two cliffs at high speed) and giant swing (yo-yoing like a trapeze from a mountain top). The group behind all these activities is Jumpin Heights, the brainchild of retired army captain Rahul Nigam.
Everything is organised atop a cliff in Mohan Chatti village, 15 kilometers upstream of Rishikesh. As with any adventure sport, safety is a primary concern and Jumpin Heights follows the international safety standards laid out by experts in the sports from Australia and New Zealand.
So here I was, corralling all my courage to take the leap. Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” blaring from a boombox did little to calm my nerves. The jump master egged me on to let go. With a cord clasped tightly to my feet and nothing to hold onto, I took the plunge at the count of three.
Everything was muffled with the sound of my own screams. I dropped 15 metres above the river in less than three seconds and catapulted back up. As I hung upside down, the swing came to a halt. The assistants by the riverside lowered me on to a rubber cot while I managed a smile. They asked me how it went. I blurted out a meek, “Awesome!” It was hardly eloquent but it was enough.
Mohan Chatti is 15 km from Rishikesh’s main town centre in Tapovan. Visitors usually have to make their own transport arrangements but an hour-long bus ride from the booking office to the jump zone and back can be availed at a cost of Rs300. Both the bungee jump and the giant swing are priced at Rs3,500 each. While tandem or triple flying fox costs Rs1,800 each, going solo is priced higher at Rs3,000; www.jumpinheights.com.
is Junior Writer at National Geographic Traveller India. She likes to take long leisurely walks with both hands in her pocket; channeling her inner Gil Pender at Marine Drive since Paris is a continent away.
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