In photos: Delhi’s best-kept secret: rock climbing

Delhi is not often associated with adventure sports. But the capital has a well-kept secret: you can climb natural rocks directly in the city. In South Delhi, Lado Sarai and Sanjay Van are home to groups of rocks perfect for bouldering (a form of rock climbing). Lado Sarai Park is located close to Gate 2 of Saket Metro, while Sanjay Van can be accessed through the gate opposite the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.

If you drive an hour south of Delhi, Dhauj in Haryana has huge rock formations with limitless opportunities for all types of rock climbing. Part of the area falls under Mangar Village, a sacred grove in Aravallis which is known to be the last protected forest near Delhi. Although rock climbing is not a popular sport, Dhauj has attracted some enthusiasts since the 80s.

How to Go Rock Climbing in Delhi

Reaching the rocks and climbing them can seem daunting for beginners. The good news is that a group of rock climbing enthusiasts called Delhi climbs organizes climbing sessions in Dhauj and Mangar every weekend. They start in mid-September and continue until late March or early April, until the summer becomes unbearable.

By mid-November 2021, a new base camp will be inaugurated in Mangar. Known as Crashpad Mangar, the station will have a team to guide, plus gear will be available to rent for people who want to climb.

Climbing is a great way to feel closer to nature and push your limits. There are many types of rocks to climb and many different ways to climb the same rock depending on the level of difficulty chosen. Here are some photos from an expedition I recently undertook that better explains the process:

Photo: Sayandeep Roy

Virginia F. Goins