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River Rafting

River Rafting

 

River rafting or white water rafting, as is known in many parts of the world, requires that you navigate a river, usually comprising of rapids and steep bends, atop a rubber boat.

The difficulty of a course is measured in a scale of 6, where 1 is calm waters while 6 represents an impossibly hard to navigate course.

The primary reason why river rafting has caught on like anything is because it not only offers adrenaline-pumping action for the adventurous lot but also ample scope for nature lovers and solitude seekers to soak in the beauties of nature while floating along lazily. For both temperaments Turkey has on offer both rivers with treacherous courses and gently floating rivers with hardly a bubble in them.

River rafting, apart from the exhilaration it provides, is also ideal for exploring virgin landscapes lying along offbeat river ways, which are otherwise inaccessible by road.

River rafting, requiring almost no effort from the rider just the ability to swim and to cling on to the boat, is ideal for even those who have never visited a playground before.

River rafting is also extremely environment friendly, considering that you are not depleting natural resources in any form when you engage in this activity.

 

Locations

Kaudiyala - Shivpuri (Alaknanda)

About 28 km upstream from the town of Rishikesh, on the Alaknanda, is one of India’s best known and most popular stretches for river rafting. The stretch between Kaudiyala and Shivpuri has several camps, each catering to rafting outfits. Most of these operate between March to May, and then again from September to November. The run starts at Kaudiyala and passes through thickly wooded hills; along the way are two of the river’s best rapids - one known as the `wall’ and the other called the `golf course' - which are succeeded by deep, tranquil pools. The river route makes it way past riverside temples, under the Laxman Jhoola. The run finally terminates at the dam beyond Rishikesh.

 

Rudraprayag-Rishikesh (Alaknanda)

Situated at the confluence of the Alaknanda and the Mandakini- two of the main tributaries of the Ganga, Rudraprayag is known to many wildlife buffs as the place where the famous Jim Corbett shot a man eating leopard in 1926. Although no longer as thickly wooded as it once was, Rudraprayag is still close enough to the jungles to make it a very charming place- and the starting point of an exhilarating, if strenuous, bit of river-running.

Starting a little beyond the main town of Rudraprayag, the river makes its way through a series of rapids, narrow gorges and quieter stretches, passing through the towns of Srinagar and Devprayag (at the junction of the Alaknanda and the Bhagirathi). Further on, the river reaches Kaudiyala, from where the stretch to Shivpuri and on to Rishikesh is a fairly demanding one. The entire expedition takes about four or five days, depending upon the pace.

What is particularly appealing about the Rudraprayag - Rishikesh run is that other than the adventure of rafting on one of India’s best stretches, it also offers the chance to see the densely forested Himalayan foothills at close quarters. Furthermore, the river passes through the heart of 'sacred’ India, with plenty of opportunity to visit old temples. Anyway, rafting on the Alaknanda can mean loads of dips, intentional or otherwise.

 

Tehri-Shivpuri (Bhagirathi/Alaknanda)

The Tehri-Shivpuri run, on the Bhagirathi river, is considered to be one of India’s best runs - scenic and heart-stopping exhilarating. Beginning at the town of Tehri, the district headquarters of Tehri Garhwal, this run goes down the Bhagirathi river, passing through foaming rapids, mostly grade III or IV, till it reaches Devprayag. At Devprayag, the Bhagirathi merges with the Alaknanda, beyond which the river becomes, in places, more manageable than in the upper reaches. Passing Kaudiyala, the run goes on to Shivpuri, and then to Rishikesh (for more details, see the Rudraprayag-Rishikesh run, above).

 

Zanskar River

A self-contained multi-day expedition down the spectacular and scenic Zanskar river gorge. The trip takes you down extremely desolates and remote Zanskar gorge with walls arising a few thousand feet from the river bed. The trip ends at mighty Indus river. This combined with hikes and visits to various monasteries in the Zanskar and Ladakh region makes this a fascinating trip to the last truly lost horizon of our shrinking planet. This run through grade III-IV rapids enhances the experience of journeying down this otherwise un trekkable gorge.

 

Garhwal – Uttaranchal

The challenge of the hard turbulent rivers is no less than that of the rugged mountains. The icy heights of the Himalayas are the source of some of India’s mighty rivers. Fed by innumerable streams they race along tortuous boulder strewn beds, cutting deep gorges and breaking into silvery white rapids.

With the intricate network of mountain rivers flowing through a myriad of different colours of rocky gorges, forests, flowers and high mountain villages, the Garhwal and Kumaon hills provide ideal locales for the perfect water adventure.

The Sport of white water river rafting calls for a triumph over the swift swirling river as it gushes past spectacular mountains. It is practiced mainly in the upper reaches where the water is wild and white as it froths & foams, crashing against narrow gorges, rocky outcrops and falls at deep gradients.

 

Teesta River – Sikkim & Darjeeling

The spills and chills of this sport are unmatched. To experience the tempestuous mood of a river as it cascades headlong into the rocks and down a slope is an unforgettable moment. White foam produced from water as it gushes across stones and boulders gives the sport its name.

The White Water Rafting on the river Teesta & Rangeet (Triveni), the scenic beauty of the banks, surrounding hills, its flora & fauna and sighting of several varieties of fishes is simply enchanting. A river trip is often an adventure. An amateur with a little sense of adventure can equally enjoy it.

The river Teesta and Rangeet is regarded as a form of Goddess and used for the purpose of various religious rituals both by the Hindus and the Buddhists.

A variety of cultural activities can be witnessed being performed by the confluence of river Teesta & Rangeet in the month of January (Magh) 13th to 15th known as "Maghey Sankrati Mela."

A trip on the Teesta will probably take you from Makha to Rongpo, while adventures down the Rangeet go from Sikip to Melli.

 

Brahmaputra River Rafting – Arunachal Pradesh

An exciting, true life expedition journey into India’s tribal north – east and one of the world's greatest rivers. The Tsang Po, after flowing gently eastwards through Tibet, cuts the Greater Himalayan Treks and the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, Namche Barwa before it enters Arunachal Pradesh, where it is called the Chiang, Siang, and the Dihang as it descends the final 200 kms to the plains of India. Our expedition begins a few miles inside the line-of-control with China.

In this challenging activity, we will encounter the 'Roaring Rikor" and "Zebra Rock" till the possible run on "Tooth fairy" rapid at Cherring. We can get a chance to set up our camp on immaculate beaches at night, thereafter we will do rafting down to "Moing Madness" and enjoy a wonderful day of rest, relaxation, reading or learning how to kayak. We will spend a wonderful day by floating down the vastness of this river, past ethnic settlements, and beach at Pasighat, where the extent of our journey will finally hold close us.

Our journey will commence with a ferryboat ride at Dibrugarh on the almighty Brahmaputra, and up the densely forested river valley from the plains of Pasighat to our starting point. We will travel through isolated hillsides dotted with ethnic settlements in clearings bounded by dense rainforest with many species of ferns, palms and orchids. We will observe bamboo and cane bridges built by the local ethnic groups; and village visits will add to the exciting experience.

 

River Rafting in Ladakh – Jammu & Kashmir

River rafting in Ladakh is quite unlike anywhere else in the world. It provides the best opportunity to enjoy and experience the natural beauty of the spectacular landscape with deep gorges, towering snow-capped peaks, hilltop monasteries, hillside villages, and glimpses of the unique wildlife.

Ladakh offers a range of rafting options on the Indus and its major tributaries. The best stretch for professionally guided runs in white water is on the Indus between Spituk and Nimu or Saspol, which rates 2 to 3 in the international river grading scale of 1 to 6. Upstream of Spituk, the Indus has the easiest stretch up to Karu, which is ideal for basic training or "scenic floating".

In recent years, running the Indus has become an attractive option to complement with sightseeing, and features on the itinerary of most visitors. Several travel agencies offer all-inclusive rafting packages. Ask for details at the Tourist Office at Leh.

The most difficult but exciting rafting option is available on the Zanskar River, along its spectacular course through a gorge in the Zanskar Mountains, between Padum and Nimu. This is suitable only for well-organized white-water expeditions, prepared for about a week of rafting and camping in absolute wilderness. Participants are required to be trained rafters themselves while the arrangements should be assigned to a dependable professional agency. Adequate arrangement for rescue back-up is an essential prerequisite for embarking upon this white-water expedition.

 

The Bhagirathi River Rafting

The mighty Bhagirathi has its origin at Gaumukh, where it emanates from the Gangotri glacier. It flows for approximately 300 kms from the source through breathtaking scenery to reach Deoprayag, where it is joined by the river Alaknanda to form Ganges, the mightiest and holiest of all rivers in India.

For the adventure seeker, Bhagirathi offers a challenging and exhilarating river rafting experience. Over its 150 kms of winding stretch through gorges, charming villages and pristine white sandy beaches, the Bhagirathi offers unmatched white water rafting. Starting from Tehri, home to the controversial Tehri dam one encounters several grades III - IV rapids till Rishikesh, spiritual capital of India, also the terminating point for this trip.

While on this expedition everything would be on board right from ones tooth brush to the tents, sleeping bags, etc. For pit stops and night halt there are plenty of sandy beaches en route. Also the jungles lining the river play host to a variety of wild life. There are barking deer, monkeys, mountain goats, numerous bird species, wild elephants and leopards.

 

Dandeli River Rafting - Karnataka

Dandeli is located at a distance of 115 km from Karwar. Dandeli is situated on the banks of River Kali with the Western Ghats as a backdrop in Uttara Kannada district.

Dandeli is surrounded by dense deciduous forests, which is one of the richest wildlife habitats in the world. Tourism is gaining importance since white water rafting is done on the river Kali.

The white water rafting at Dandeli is very pleasant and inviting from October to February. White water rafting season starts from November and goes on till June.

White water rafting at Dandeli or Kali River rafting, complex activities like kayaking and canoeing will certainly add the passion of adventure sports to the people. One can also enjoy overnight rafting here.

The other activities available at Dandeli are Overnight Camping, Rappelling, Bird sighting, Moonlight Boat ride, Adventure trekking, Natural Jacuzzi in rapids, Jungle Safari in open jeep, River Side Fishing, Croc Trek and River Island

The best season to visit this Dandeli is between October and May.

 

Kali Ganga

In Kumaon, the Kali Ganga (sharda) flows down from the Nepal border, through Kumaon Hills. It flows for a considerable distance along the border of Kumaon (India) and Nepal. This river is formed after the confluence of two main headwaters: the river Kalapani is its eastern headwaters and the river Kuthi Yankti forms the western headwaters of the river Kali. Both these headwaters join to form the Kali at the base of the main Himalayan range. It flows into the Ghagra in the plains of Bihar where this river is known as the Sharda. The valley of the Kali River is steep. The Kali and the Gori rivers meet at Jauljibi. Where the water volume increases, offering adventures to professionals. For over 117 kms from Jauljibi to Tanakpur its rapids are grade IV and more. Professionals should do the tough three days of rafting.

Lower down among the forested slopes, the river become calmer offering the amateur a sporting challenge before flowing out into the plains of Uttar Pradesh. Mahakali Ganga River flows along the border between India and Nepal. A self-contained river journey as well as the expedition or mega trip up to Tanakpur can be undertaken. This expedition takes you through splendid scenery in a region abundant with wildlife and bird life and offers some grade IV white water thrills. The entire expedition can be completed in 10 days.

 

Beas River – Himachal Pradesh

The Beas River flows in Kullu valley of Himachal Pradesh. Some basic rafting is available along the Beas River from May to mid-June, and depending on the monsoon, from mid-September to mid-October. Trips generally start at Pirdi and continue 16 km down to Jhiri.

The Mountaineering Institute and Allied Sports in Manali, Himachal Pradesh can arrange two-week kayaking trips on the Beas river in Oct. River rafting expeditions are possible on the Beas river in Himachal Pradesh, on the Ganges and its tributaries in Uttarakhand.

The Beas River is a heaven for extreme Kayakers and beginner rafters alike. This river has got I - IV grade rapids. The best time to run this river is from May to June.


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