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Destination For Adrenaline Junkies

One of India’s favourite destinations for adventure sports, Goa now offers bungee jumping as well, reports Deepak Chakroborty.

Deepak Chakroborty | New Delhi |

Akaleidoscopic blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures, laced with sun, sea, sand, seafood, “susegad” (a quintessentially Goan concept for a happy and productive life) and spirituality, Goa is India’s pocket-sized paradise. There is no doubt that Goa has been a favourite destination for all. With its exciting activities and serene beaches, Goa has been attracting travellers from afar. The state’s magnificent churches, with their unique baroque architecture, beautifully-painted panels, are mesmerising to see and are of great significance to the place.

Goa has become a place for another set of visitors ~ adrenaline junkies. It is one of the main destinations for adventure ~ trekking, parasailing, water-skiing, scuba diving, jetskiing, bungee jumping, speed boating and many other options to choose from. Among these, one of the most recent introductions is bungee jumping.

Goa’s department of tourism and Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) in association with Jumpin Heights, the bungy people, launched India’s second bungy destination in North Goa at Mayem Lake. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and other dignitaries, including Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar, were present at the launch.

“I am extremely happy that Goa Tourism is working tirelessly to develop Goa as a premium tourism destination in India, especially for adventure tourism,” Sawant said. “Today, the launch of Bungee Jumping and beautification of Mayem Lake adds a feather to the state tourism cap. The Union government is also assisting Goa with funding for infrastructural development for tourism purpose and in the coming months, Goa will see huge development in tourist activities and projects.”

The jump: Bungee jumping is an activity that involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord. One can literally hear one’s own solitude as the wind gushes past with each rebound. There are several harnesses and checks in place to ensure an absolutely safe experience.

Bungee jumping doesn’t involve much physical strength but a lot of mental courage. This activity can result in a wide range of accidents and so should be performed with full attention. Most of the accidents take place either due to defective equipments, lack of experience or inefficient instructors. There are some important points that one must keep in mind while performing bungee jumping.

People with injuries, high blood pressure, heart problems or orthopaedic problems should not try this sport. Minors below the age of 14 need to get a no-objection letter from their guardians while a person above the age of 50 should be physically fit to participate. Otherwise, one can be prohibited from bungee jumping. In case of any other relevant conditions, especially over the age of 40, one is obliged to inform the crew, and will further be allowed to jump only at their discretion. This being an extreme adventure experience, one should come prepared to rough it out.

Big adventure The 55-metre bungy jumping platform stands tall over the gorgeous Mayem lake, in North Goa, about a 45-minute drive from the popular Baga Beach. Adventure sports are gaining traction in India and Goa, as India’s favourite travel destination, was a natural choice for the next big adventure zone. Jumpin Heights is owned and run by ex-Army officer, Capt Rahul Nigam, who introduced bungy jumping in India at Rishikesh in 2010. Over the course of this decade, they have successfully operated over 80,000 jumps in Rishikesh ~ quite a landmark for adventure tourism in India, and changed the way safety is perceived. The team adheres to Australia and New Zealand Safety Standards for operation of the bungee jumps.