“Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.”
Although Dag Hammarskjold gave this quote with a much deeper implication, it fits perfectly on our agenda. Rock climbing in India is as exciting a sport as any other and much more challenging.
A real mountain looking you in the eye and mocking you or even a rock climbing wall (simulator) with that scornful smile on its crests and folds are asking to be conquered. Rock climbing is not only about strength but also requires extra-ordinary tactics and planning and the famous art of “route setting”.
The Mountaineer does not only have to be determined and strong but also flexible and agile as they conquer not only the mountain but also their allegations on mortality of the human body.
Even if you don’t have a mountain anywhere near you, or you just want to play safe and get some practice first; there are various indoor rock climbing wall options where you can put your skills to test (PS. Nothing beats the real mountain. Of course, except you).
Rock climbing in India is catching up fast with the rest of the world with a lot of people trying their instinctive qualities and putting their rock climbing skills to test.
With the current boom in the tourism industry and rapid rise in the standard of living in India, people are now looking for ways to get out of the general monotony of their lives, and what better to end that by going rock climbing.
The best part about India is that it has distinct topographies that change state by state, hence, one can get a different kind of rock climbing experience in different places.
Here are some rock-climbing places which give any adrenaline junkie a taste of a lifetime (This is not an exhaustive list for the sites for rock climbing in India but only a scrap of the gem hidden within):
Rock climbing in Delhi
Considering Delhi’s climatic conditions and pollution, the best season for rock climbing is October to March.
These rocks are one of the most famous spots for the rock-climbing in Delhi enthusiasts. They are located in West Patel Nagar in the green belt of Delhi. They are most famous because of their variations in height which ranges from 20 feet to 60 feet. It is a great site for beginners for mountain climbing in India. They are basically made up of sandstone and slabs.
Delhi Rock (Indoor course)
Located in Greater Kailash block M, Delhi Rock is managed by Mr Ganesh who himself is a four-time national award-winning climber. The place features state-of-the-art equipment at affordable prices along with guidance and training. It also has flexible timings to suit everyone’s rock climbing needs and that makes it the number one choice for rock climbing in Delhi in the indoor criterion.
This rock-climbing spot is situated along the forest land of Delhi ridge which is under the jurisdiction of President’s cavalry unit. They are comparatively smaller in size with the highest elevation at 30 feet.
Eshwaran Bharatan climbing gym (Gurgaon)
This facility for rock climbing in Gurgaon. It is located at St. Stephen’s college and has a climbing area of 11 meters.
Apart from the rock-climbing in Gurgaon, there are also options for water rappelling like Aravali Biodiversity Park.
Rock Climbing Near Delhi
The Miyar valley is known to be one of the most picturesque locations for rock climbing in India. Its beautiful sights make it very popular site for rock climbing. The valley is also called as Valley of Flowers due to the presence of enormous amounts of flowers in the valley. Apart from its picturesque surroundings, lush rivers, and snowy peaks, this valley offers amazing rock climbing experience. This place is a must visit, as it offers an amazing rock climbing experience along with breathtaking views. In short – a true traveler paradise for rock-climbing.
Shey Rock (Location: Jammu and Kashmir)
The Shrey Rock region of Leh is also known as a rock-climbing delight. This region is perfect for trekking and rock climbing in summers. Leh is already a popular tourist destination in India and abroad, and what makes Shrey Rock special is the fact that it is the only peak that can be climbed in Leh, hence, people flock to this place to try at least basic rock climbing. The locals are pretty helpful as they can easily guide to places for the best rock climbing experience.
Parvati Valley (Location: Himachal Pradesh)
If we look for states in India that offer the best rock climbing in India, Himachal Pradesh will surely be in the top three. A well-known trekkers and climbers paradise are Parvati valley. The valley is known for its rocky outcrops and alpine plantations.
As the valley is pretty rocky, it offers one of the best rock climbing experience. Many believe that the presence of a large amount of Mica in the rocks is the reason for the valley’s rockiness. People from all over the India visit this place to be the part of the amazing rock climbing expeditions that happen regularly.
Sar pass (Location: Himachal Pradesh)
If you are thinking of one place that offers all, rock climbing, water repelling, mountain climbing wall and trekking, Sar Pass is the answer. The beautiful SAR pass is known for its breathtaking scenes and beautiful rock climbing routes.
To add to the excitement, there is snow everywhere, and so rock climbing trekkers have an amazing time as they make the life-long memories. One can easily enroll themselves for the trekking expeditions that happen, one too often, and easily have the best rock climbing experience.
Talking about the ideal time to visit SAR pass, it is Summer. The climate is ideal for rock climbing in this region.
Dam Dama (Location: Gurgaon)
Rock climbing in Delhi and Rock climbing in Gurgaon can be easily done in Damdama which is located in Gurgaon. One can easily get the ultimate rock climbing experience at Damdama Lake Rocks situated in Gurgaon. The granite cliffs are famous for its amateur rock climbing tuitions, as people from the nearby flock for the one-of-a-kind experience.
Rock climbing Mumbai
Ever since the IFSC Climbing World Cup that was organized in Navi Mumbai, the city has seen an influx of rock climbing lovers flocking for the local spots. There are various options available when mountain climbing in Mumbai is concerned.
Arun Samant Climbing Wall
This huge mass of rock promises both beginner and advanced level of climbing routes to the seekers of adrenaline through rock climbing in Mumbai. It is situated in Goregaon and is as inexpensive as it gets with a registration fee of ₹50 only. It stands at a pretty impressive height of 43 feet which is filled with diverse routes. This also makes it one of the most popular destinations for mountain climbing in India.
It is a small island off the coast of Mumbai, a five-minute boat ride from Aksa beach. It boasts of fine-textured rocks which directly face the sea which adds to the serenity of the whole ambience.
It has basic or the beginner level difficulty routes and the advanced routes for the more ambitious. The scenic beauty and the sea breeze soothing the aching, scratched hands make it one of the top destinations for rock climbing in India.
Located within the confines of Belapur are the Parsik hills which are famous with the Girivihar climbers. Only a small distance from Belapur station or the CBD Belapur bus stop, this rock climbing location attracts more crowd than a ration store.
This is because of the welcoming nature and helpfulness of the climbing community here. You need not worry about getting hurt or climbing alone with only the dreadful thoughts of going to work from the next week to keep you company because the local climbers are there for you through it all. This makes the experience of rock climbing all the more entertaining.
Rock climbing near Mumbai
Malshej ghat (Location: Maharashtra)
Rock climbing Mumbai and rock climbing Pune can be done at Malshej Ghat in Maharashtra. This place is pretty old-fashioned, however, pretty popular among rock climbers. A lot of people visit here for a range of outdoor activities, like trekking, hiking, rappelling etc. The place is full of greenery and the ideal time to visit is during monsoons. The topography of the place is unusual, and so makes it the ideal place for amateur rock climbing.
Rock climbing in Pune
Rock climbing in Pune is mostly indoors with many gyms and boulders stretching across the entirety of Pune.
One of the most loved places for rock climbing in Pune is the Rock Alien climbing gym. With over 1,300 square feet of boulder climbing surface and height of up to 15 feet, The Rock Alien is extensive and promises an experience of a lifetime. If you are looking for safety or your mother has accompanied you (we can understand), they also offer great safety measures and the right equipment for it. They even provide the climbing shoes.
Raja Shivaji Climbing wall
Notably, the first international rock climbing in Pune is located in Shivaji Nagar, Shri Shivaji Vyam Mandal. It packs a whole 1000 square feet of the climbing area which makes it a very good place for exhaustive practice.
Rock Climbing in Bangalore
The gym encompasses an area of 3,300 square feet and boasts the largest indoor boulder in India. The courses have been designed bearing in mind the competitors.
Famous for its canyoneering and water rappelling, Wayanad is a very famous get-away destination for the adventurer in you.
Rock Climbing near Bangalore
If you are looking for rock climbing in Karnataka, you are in big luck. Karnataka has few amazing places where people can have quality trekking, water rappelling, and rock climbing experience. One, such place is Madhugiri (aka Maddagiri). What makes this place so special is the fact that its rocks are the second largest monoliths in entire Asia. Further, there is also a fort that is located in the steep slopes. All these unique characteristics, make this place a famous rock climbing destination for people all around the world.
If you live in Bangalore and are looking for good rock climbing near Bangalore, you are in luck. Savandurga hills are the pretty famous tourist spot in Karnataka, it is located 33 km to the west of Bangalore.
The hill is pretty famous for another fact that it is one of the largest monolith hills in entire Asia, thus people flock here to take amazing pictures. The hill stands at the height of 1226 m above sea level, which makes it an ideal spot for rock climbing. The place is famous among trekkers, as they can also engage in rock climbing and rappelling.
Kerala, as a whole, is one of the most famous tourist destinations in India as well as abroad. Talking about rock climbing, Puthal Mala is pretty famous. It is located near Kappimala village. The hill is at a height of more than 1300 m above sea level, which makes it ideal for rock climbing, rappelling etc.
The best part about this place is that one can find lush greenery everywhere, this is mostly due to the fact that it is located in the Western Ghats. Every year, a lot of people partake in the various rock climbing expeditions that happen annually.
Talking about places that offer professional mountain climbing in India, Ramnagar is indubitably an important part. This place offers technical rock-climbing and most of the climbing groups have experienced rock-climbing professionals in it. One can easily see a lot of rocky outcrops as soon as they enter Ramnagar. Few popular peaks in Ramnagar include Thenginkalbettam, SRS Betta, and Ramadevara Betta.
Picture credits: Dhruv Sethi, Prerna Dangi, Tenzing Jamyang & Surufest