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

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

If you drive an hour from South Delhi, Dhauj in Haryana has huge rock formations with endless possibilities for all types of 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. While rock climbing is not a popular sport, Dhauj attracted a few enthusiasts as early as the 1980s.

How to Rock Climb 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 organize climbing sessions in Dhauj and Mangar every weekend. They start in mid-September and continue until the end of 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, as well as equipment will be available for hire for those who wish to climb.

Climbing is a great way to feel closer to nature and push your limits. There are many different types of rocks to climb, and many different ways to climb the same rock depending on the difficulty level you choose. Here are some photographs from a recent expedition that I have undertaken that better explain the process:

Photo: Sayandeep Roy