Pretty much where ever there are mountains, there are possible canyon opportunities. So, is the case about canyoning in India. Starting from the Southern Western ghats between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Western ghats on the west coast of Karnataka, the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, the red rock deserts of Badami and Hampi, high altitude class C canyons in the Himalayas, the sandstone canyons of the North East India. Pretty much every where there are canyons.
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Some Canyoning History
Canyoning in its simplest form has been around since prehistoric times. Ancestral Pueblo Indians (Red Indians), more commonly known as the Anasazi, were exploring the canyon country of the Colorado Plateau since before the time of Christ. In fact, evidence can be found of prehistoric people inhabiting canyons, not only in America, but also in Europe, Australia and around the world.
Canyoning, as it is known in Europe, has been a popular adventure sport for many years. In America this sport has been gaining popularity in the last 2 decades. Where as in India, even though there are historic evidences of travel through canyons, Canyoning (or canyoneering) as a technical sport is yet to gain traction.
History of Canyoning in India
In India, there have been extensive evidences that prove that ancient people have explored through canyons. The historic temples are present inside canyons or along canyon walls are simple proofs. The famous Ajanta caves which a UNESCO accepted heritage site is a series of man made caves along the northern canyon wall of the Waghur river. The temples in and around Ahobilam of Andhra Pradesh and all the temples like Kapila Theertham , Kailasa Kona, Thumburu Theertham etc are also proofs of temples built inside canyons.
Canyoning Locations in India
Pretty much where ever there are mountains, there are possible canyon opportunities. So, is the case with India. Starting from the Southern Western ghats between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Western ghats on the west coast of Karnataka, the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh, the red rock deserts of Badami and Hampi, high altitude class C canyons in the Himalayas, the sandstone canyons of the North East India. Pretty much every where there are canyons.
Canyoning in South India
Major part of the Eastern Ghats is present in Andhra Pradesh. This region is similar to the Angeles National forest in California. Hence, a lot of canyons are present here. Bangalore Adventure School in collaboration with Indian Canyoneer’s Association had completed quite a few first descents in this region. Some of them are:
- Nagalapuram West Loop
- Nagalapuram East Canyon
- Booger Canyon
There are a lot of canyons in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. Tackling access issues are a continues process here. However BASCOOL’s team had descended Staircase Canyon and a Sidekick Canyon near the village of Didupe.
Here we have some of the beginner level and mostly dry canyons which are good to build up your vertical skills. Veerana Canyon is one of them.
When we think of Canyons in Kerala, few things come to mind: lots of water, leeches, expensive stay, access and permission issues. However, BASCOOL’s team had descended Devil’s Canyon, Knotty Canyon in Wayanad and few unnamed canyons in Munnar.
Sandhan Valley Canyon is definitely the most famous canyon in Maharashtra. Locals usually guide almost a 100 people down this canyon over the weekends in dry season ( Nov – Mar ). Trained canyoneers can descend during Oct as well to get some high water level fun.
There are at least 6 canyons in South Goa along the Netravali Forest which were originally descended by Manuel from France.