Sunday, June 22, 2014

Go... Let Go... Jump !!!! --- Bungee jumping in Rishikesh

Go.... Let Go... Jump !!! 

If jumping off an 83m cantilever beam or swimming down the rapids in the Ganges is your thing then look no further than Rishikesh. Touted as an extreme adventure zone in India, it truly lives up to its name. We checked into one of the many hotels in Tapovan after coming back from our Kuari Pass trek.
We started early the next day and reached the office of Jumpin Heights – the only ones to organize bungee jumping in India. We paid a hefty 3000 per head for the bungee and another 500 for the transport and entry fees and boarded their bus which took us to a village called Mohan Chatti which is about 40 kms away from Tapovan. Once we reached the site, we were given a briefing about the safety standards and other activities at their site.
We then signed up for the flying fox activity in which our backs were attached to an overhead wire which was running across the valley. Once the gates were opened, gravity took over and we sped along the wire into the valley below. It was not very adventurous and was boring and regretted having paid for it. Next we walked to the bungee jumping installation where they had erected a cantilever beam. We were categorized into the red, blue or green based on how heavy we were. I happened to fall into the red category while my friend was in the green category. Jumps are organized based on the colour. People who were categorized into green jumped first followed by blue and then finally red. As I walked the ramp from the waiting area to the jump area, I could feel the tension rising inside me. Once I reached the jump area, the jump masters suited me up and I was ready for the jump. Once I was at the edge of the beam, I looked down and my stomach felt like it was stuck in a whirlpool going deeper and deeper every millisecond. The jump master was instructing me as to how I should jump with my hand stretched wide without any fear. I heard only half of what he said. A thousand questions were going through my mind. What would happen if the rope snapped? Will I be alive at the end of it? What if I get hurt badly? Did they tie the rope properly? How can I be so sure that they have not forgotten anything? And just as the jump master began counting to three, I decided to let go, to let go of everything. As soon as he counted 3, I jumped. Hands stretched wide, I leaped into nothing. As I hurled down, the few miliseconds of free fall was best feeling I had ever experienced my entire life. I was floating in mid air. It was not long before a sudden jerk bought me back to reality. I had reached the lowest point and I started to bounce up again. As I kept swinging like a giant pendulum, the jump master lowered me and the support staff down below helped me get down and pinned a badge on my chest! It read ‘I’ve got Guts’!
As I started hiking back the 83 m to the road, I recounted the whole episode and fought the urge to do it again.


This is the video of my jump. Action starts at 1:10

Have you ever done a bungee jump? Please do share your experience here.

If you still haven’t jumped yet, you are missing a life changing experience. This is should be next thing in your to do list. Go, Let Go, and just jump!

Safety –
Jumping heights do not compromise on safety. They have a very good track record and the jump masters and support staffs from New Zealand seem very well trained.
Tips –
Do the jump early in the morning if you intend to do rafting on the same day. You will have plenty of time after the jump to come back to rishikesh for rafting. They are usually full on the weekends and mostly cancel their last bus from Rishikesh which is not mentioned in their site. The whole experience is slightly pricey but totally worth it.
Cost –
INR 3000 for the jump
INR 750 for a mediocre video
INR 500 for the bus and entrance. They have various combos. Do check out their website.

While you are at Rishikiesh, do make it a point to do the river rafting in the Ganges on the 39 km stretch between Marine drive and NIM beach – a truly worthwhile experience. 

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