Adventure Sports : Rock Climbing


Natural Climbing

Rock climbing in India can be an enriching experience- quite apart from the exhilarating experience of climbing on virgin solid granite. In India, as in the other parts of the world, it started off as training for mountaineering. As a sport it took off only about 15 years ago. As the climbing standards reached greater heights in the rest of the world, India too was introduced to sticky rubber, chalk, modern protection and higher climbing standards and development of many superb climbing areas. Some of the areas are superb and can easily be compared to some world class climbing areas. The climbing areas usually being close to interesting historical sites and unique monuments can provide a pleasant distraction.

Rock Climbing Sites

Within a radius of 60 Kilometres from Bangalore, there is possibly the biggest concentration of granite in the country. The rocks range from two kilometre long boulder fields to rock domes rising 300 metres. There are smaller towers 60 metres to 100 metres. Savandurga is the biggest dome near Bangalore, which has been developed. The main dome is 300 metres high and has eight routes on it. The most exciting classic climb is "Bangalore Bill" which sports a 90-metre crux pitch on thin protection.

Bangalore is in the centre of a number of rock climbing destinations like Ramanagaram (the setting for the Hindi blockbuster Sholay), Savandurga, Thuralli, Kabbal, Raogodhu and others.

Badami, a five-hour drive from Bangalore, is also a good place for rock climbing.

Kambakkam, around 100 kms from Chennai, provides good climbing in many grades.

Hampi in Karnataka has some of the best granite rocks in India providing the climbers ample opportunities to test their skills. Also known as the "City of Rocks" 350 kilometres north of Bangalore is another very interesting place. There are an endless number of boulders strewn ranging from four metres to 60 metres as far as the eye can see. One can spend days exploring this labyrinth of rocks. There is an endless potential for new routes at all grades.

In a 300 kms radius adjoining Kolkata, there are some climbing destinations such as Purulia, Matha Bura, Jai C Chandi and Susunia hills. The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute offers courses in mountaineering at Gobu and Tenzing Norgay Rocks.

There are several good rock climbing destinations near Mumbai like Kanheri, Mumbra Boulders, Manori Rocks Karnala and Matheran.