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More people from Coimbatore are opting for activity getaways and adventure tours than before. Treks like the Roopkund Trek in Uttaranchal and the Chadar Trek in Ladakh are growing in popularity, and so are local treks to the Western Ghats nearby.
Located along the banks of the Noyyal River and surrounded by the mountains of the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri forest reserve, Coimbatore has a lot to offer in terms of adventure. And many of its residents are waking up to the possibilities on offer rather than simply exploring the sights and sounds of the city. Coimbatoreans are increasingly going beyond the ancient temples and modern sights within the city and exploring the hills, waterfalls and forests nearby, and that’s a good thing. Getting out and exploring nature is an incredibly therapeutic, refreshing and satisfying experience.
Apart from those moments of self-reflection and sights of the beautiful mountains and forests, these adventure activities that Coimbatoreans are opting for have several other benefits, from mental to physical and even spiritual. And the people of the city seem to be realizing this, opting for active getaways that see them engaging in adventure sports and other activities for an adrenaline rush. It could be as simple as a trek or something intense like paragliding, and all of this is resulting in a more active lifestyle and a new community of fitness-focused people who want more than just a generic city life.
You can find people engaging themselves in activities like rock climbing, zip lining, parasaling and more. Despite the pressure of their city lives, people are finding time to escape for a few short holidays, making sure to pack more activities in that time. Group Captain Jayashankar (Retd), who heads the adventure activities organizing National Adventure Foundation, shared his appreciation about the new trend. More people are willing to venture away from their comfort zone and try out new experiences and activities, according to him. And they are ready to explore new environments and do different things.
A lot of these new Coimbatoreans are life-long residents. Despite their years living in the city, many have not ventured far into the nearby forests and landscape. The idea of exploration and venturing away from the urban jungle to the real one has only really entered the main stream in the past few years. Before that, most people were content with just visiting the usual tourist beats. But more are craving to take the off-beat road and explore their surroundings by foot, escaping the usual hustle and bustle of the city and the popular tourist traps. Trekking can help clear their minds and focus on the activity and getting past the topographical challenge at hand.
And there is growing demand for this sort of activity-based tourism, according to online travel agency operator S Rajasekar. It is especially popular among the younger crowd, with many planning more trekking and other adventurous trips nearby. They are exploring the forests of Chinnar, Bandipur, Kabini, Munnar and Thekkady, and tour operators are cashing in on the trend. For instance, RS Puram travel agency operator Ashish Jain says that the eight-day Roopkund trek in Uttaranchal is particularly popular in Coimbatore. Bike trips to Leh, Ladakh are also popular, and the Chadar trek is in during January and February.
The treks cost around INR 50,000-60,000 in these treks, according to Ashish Jain, and those who have a higher budget are also exploring activities in New Zealand and South Africa. Many are also traveling to Havelock in Andaman and Nicobar to go scuba diving and try out other water sports. According to Jayashankar, these activity tours offer an immediate sense of adventure and achievement, and brings people in a group together. His foundation organizes activities like trekking in the nearby Thirumoorthy Hills and going rafting, canoeing and kayaking. His camps are designed for friends traveling together, corporate picnics, family outings and even educational trips.
These adventure activities are a positive trend not just for local travel agencies and tour organizers, but for the people of the Coimbatore as well. India has seen a surge in cases of obesity and currently ranks fifth in terms of the size of its obese population. Trekking and other adventure activities offers plenty of benefits in terms of physical health and also reduces stress and makes you happy. Breathing in the fresh air and walking through nature can be a nice way to improve your mental health and brain functionality, and gain greater appreciation for the world and its many gifts. It breaks you away from your usual humdrum life and your fears, and helps you bond with people in a better way. Let’s hope that this trend catches on in other cities across India.