WHAT: Scuba dive into the deep blue yonder off the coast of Puducherry, even if you’ve never swum a single lap. Sign up for a Discover Scuba diving course with Temple Adventures to spend a day (or two half-days) in another world. You’ll be prepped with theory, pool practice, basic dive techniques and hand gestures. A bumpy boat ride later, you’ll somersault over the edge of boat in the hope of seeing yellow fusiliers, lion fish, grouper, king fish, moray eels, eagle and manta rays, sea snakes and even sharks.
FOR WHOM: Solo travellers
Drive up from Chennai (171km) or fly into Puducherry’s airport. Villuparam Junction is the closest railhead.
WHERE: Mumbai, Maharashtra
WHAT: Tote that barge with sailing lessons off Mumbai’s harbor. Wrestle with two of earth’s elements while holding on to a tiller and doing what humans have done for centuries now. Luff, jibe, tackle, reach, flog and dirty wind – that’s sailor talk for “pull up your socks and make this thing move!” You’ll learn to distinguish the pointy end (prow) from the other side, and finally learn what port and starboard mean. Additionally, sailing in Mumbai’s harbor means you get to weave past naval aircraft carriers and feel like a boss, before landing at Mandwa jetty for a well-earned lunch and rest.
FOR WHOM: Solo travellers or groups of up to four girls
GETTING THERE: Mumbai is extremely well connected by road, train and flight.
5. Cave into Temptation
WHERE: Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya
WHAT: A trip to the cave of Krem Mawmluh lets you enter the very heart of the earth, and live out every Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider fantasy you’ve ever had. Trek through a hilly area and you’ll be at the almost deceptive entrance. Fix your helmet torch and courage in place and get going. Some mildly terrifying vertical drops prepare you for the exhilarating exploration of this almost alien world. Cave pearls, stalagmites, stalactites, squiggly helictites, and a bone-chilling pond… You’ll get an education in geo-formations that sound like cinema fare – Swiss Cheese,Popcorn and Soda Straws, as well as feel like Alice going down the rabbit-hole.
FOR WHOM: Groups of girls
GETTING THERE: Get to Guwahati via train, flight or road (fivehours or150km) or drive up from Shillong (57km).