With a rise in the number of extreme adventure enthusiasts, activities such as bungee jumping are now quite popular among young travellers.
In 2019, travel and tourism is being touted as the biggest lifestyle trend and when it comes to adventure tourism, the list of “to-do” things might scare a lot of you, but for adrenaline junkies, that’s the biggest kick in the world. With the rise in the number of enthusiasts, extreme adventure activities like bungee jumping are now quite popular among young travellers from metro and tier 2 and 3 cities. Not just youngsters, but plenty of corporate professionals are also willing to push the boundaries to try it out during their offsite and holidays in India, which brings us to the question -- what is it about this intimidating activity that attracts thousands of people every month to jump off the cliff?.
Call it the love for excitement or adrenaline addiction; a lot of youngsters are crazy about trying out adventure sports during holidays. Bungee is an activity that involves jumping from a formidable height while the cord is attached to the ankles. The free fall and the rebound allows the jumper to experience the thrill of adrenaline. Niharika Nigam, a regular bungee jumper who has completed nine jumps in various parts of India and abroad, finds it incomparable and says, “I still recall my first jump, like it was yesterday. It’s an experience like no other. The rebound when the cord slaps you around mid-air, and you are left to let go and truly surrender to the experience is unforgettable. It’s about overcoming your fears and truly experiencing life on the edge. One comes alive on the edge.”
Similarly, for Priyanka and her husband Rahul Bhaybhang from Nashik, the joy of jumping together in Goa for the first time was far more thrilling than most social media “couple goals”. Speaking about her experience, Priyanka mentions, “My husband and I, we both wanted to try bungee jumping for a long time. We tried it together for the first time and ticked it off from our list. It is a scary experience, and my husband was more scared to jump but we managed. It is once in a lifetime experience, and if you are healthy and young do try it.”
The latest addition to bungee jumping locations in India is the newly opened site at Goa’s Mayem Lake in North Goa, which offers tourists to jump from a height of 55 meters. It will be operational throughout the year (barring monsoons) and Goa Tourism believes that by adding this in their portfolio, it aims to make them a premium adventure tourism destination. Nikhil Desai, MD at Goa Tourism Development Corporation, says, “Goa’s tourism footfalls annually have crossed 6 million and there is on an average a 15 percent rise in tourist arrivals every passing year. During the last five to six years, tourists have been looking for more avenues to explore and experience Goa and adventure activities are a big draw. We offer water sports activities on the beach belt and over the years (from 2015 onwards) have ventured into new activities and initiatives that are proving successful in attracting tourists to Goa. However, it is seen that tourists are opting to visit Bali, Nepal, Rishikesh for bungee jumping; hence the
GTDC also starting toying with the idea of bungee jumping in Goa and the introduction of this activity had been on our agenda for several months. After assessing various sites, it was decided to opt for Mayem Lake as the location for Bungee Jumping in Goa and it was successfully launched in August this year. We are confident that it will be an added attraction in the solid portfolio of adventure activities in Goa.”
Off late, bungee jumping in India has become one of the favourite ways to let off steam. Ex-army officer Rahul Nigam, who is the founder of Jumpin Heights, informs that these adventure sports have done well in India, and are continuing to get more popular. He mentions, “In India, adventure sports are picking up gloriously; particularly people from the age group of 19 to 35 years are our biggest patrons. Due to higher purchasing power, stress and work pressure, people want to take a break from their mundane life and try out extreme experiences to rejuvenate themselves. In Rishikesh, we’ve completed over 80,000 jumps and are excited about Goa as well. We have employed a jump staff trained extensively under experts from New Zealand that takes care of all the precautions before all jumps. We insist that jumpers listen to instructions carefully and declare honestly, any physical ailments or medical restrictions.”