Adventure courses through Vaibhav’s blood – he is integrally responsible for opening up remote Himalayan valleys to adventure tourism, and has helped open up Indian river running like none before – with rivers like the Tons which was first run in it’s entirety 19 years ago,the Siang (Upper Brahmaputra), Subansari, Lohit in Arunachal Pradesh and the Pindar, many of which are still only run by Aquaterra. For softer adventures head to Aquaterra’s base on the Ganges, upstream from Rishikesh, where you can enjoy adrenaline pumping white water action while staying in in the comfort of the delightful, river-fronted Atali Ganga.
Here are his 15 Questions in 5 Minutes
1. Who you are (naturally)
Vaibhav Kala, and I’ve been helping run Aquaterra Adventures’ treks, climbs and river expeditions across the Himalaya and overseas
2. What inspired you to create your business?
A fascination and need to stay outdoors, and to share the experiences that helped shape me
3. An anecdote which epitomizes your India?
With patience, gratitude for its colours and cultures, you will enjoy and love India despite all the planes and parallels it exists in.
4. One thing that you can’t live without?
Fresh, crisp mountain air and the sound of Class 4 whitewater!
5. One thing that you hate?
Hate plastic in the outdoors. And wish there were less uninformed, un-evolved travellers, who do not respect the regions they travel into, disrespect the environment and generally unaware of mountain cultures and the respect they deserve.
6. If you could change one thing about India what would it be?
Cleanliness, by many degrees to a garbage-free degree.
7. Who is your greatest inspiration?
I admire people who work tirelessly in demanding terrain, from the Sherpa to the porters, the horsemen, the cooks, the teams that keep safety top priority, the 100-strong Aquaterra team
8. What is your favourite quote?
“The Earth Has music for those who listen”, William Shakespeare
9. I have noticed huge changes in India over the last few years but what is the biggest change you have noticed in India over the last 10 years?
Lucky to be part of the big telecom and aviation revolution. It changed the way ordinary citizens got access to cheap internet, connectivity and played a huge role in leveling the playing field.
10. What do you think are the biggest challenges India faces over the next ten years?
Poverty alleviation, affordable education and healthcare for all, hygiene and clean living environments, protecting our natural resource and a big move on garbage segregation and disposal
11. Which is the destination at the top of your bucket list?
12. What is the one place you visited that you have NO desire to return to?
Gulmarg in the summer
13. Book or Movie?
14. Just for fun! I am doing a survey to find India’s most popular breakfast, what is yours?
15. In retrospect, what is the one thing you wish you could have told your 20 year-old self?
Do exactly what you are doing!
To find out more about the adventure travel and activities offered by Aquaterra Adventures do visit their website for more details of upcoming trekking and rafting expeditions.