River rafting in India is one of the most popular adventure sports in the country. There are several places in the north of India such as in Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Sikkim that are great for water rafting.
The rivers here are fed by melting snow from the mighty Himalayas and this, coupled with breath-taking views of mountains on either side, makes the rafting experience in India unique and enjoyable.
In central and south India, adventure enthusiasts head to Maharashtra, Karnataka and Coorg for white water rafting.
Uttarakhand in North India is home to numerous mountain-fed rivers which are ideal for rafting. Most of the rivers here are fast paced, making it exciting for rafting lovers. The rivers which offer the best experiences in Uttarakhand are the Ganga, Alaknanda, Bhagirathi or Yamuna
The holy town of Rishikesh is one of the world’s best rafting destinations. There are different stretches of varying length and intensity that you can choose from, all offering you a water rafting experience best suited to your experience, group, and time limitation.
The most famous rapids in Rishikesh are Return to Sender, Roller Coaster, Three Blind Mice, Double Trouble, Tee Off and Golf Course, and these range from Grade I to IV. All river rafting packages here offer cliff-jumping and body surfing at the end of the rafting trip, once you get to more peaceful waters.
Located in the lap of the Sahyadri mountain range, Kolad is home to the Kundalika river which is the fastest river in the South and is perfect for rafting.
Kolad is conveniently located at a 2.5 hour drive from Mumbai or Pune and offers a stretch of 15-16 km, with several rapids ranging from Grade II to III. The benefit of rafting here is that the river is not dependent on the weather.
Every morning at about 09:00 hrs, the nearby Bhira dam releases water, and the Kundalika river turns into a seething, churning beast. The adrenaline rush of rafting through thick forests on a powerful river will give you an exhilarating experience and a memorable weekend break.
Rafting here is unlike any other place in the country. You cut through the mesmerizing landscape as you ride the Indus and Zanskar river. While battling the white frothy waves of these rivers, you are treated to some of the most unique and breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountains and the Ladakhi deserts.
The Zanskar river route is one for the rafting enthusiast. It offers challenging rapids that go till Grade V, putting your skills to the test. The route begins in Sarchu and terminates at Nimmo.
You pass through ancient gorges towering rock walls and the Ladakhi desert to keep you company. You travel by many secluded villages on the banks of the river; their slow paced lives in complete contrast to the racing rivers.
When summer brings with it all the heat and humidity, the best way to escape is by rafting in Himachal Pradesh, specifically Manali. The Himalayan rivers are unparalleled when it comes to rafting.
Riding through the rivers, you will look with peeled eyes at some of the most stunning landscapes hiding in the mountainous regions. The average distance is between 7-14 kms and you tackle Grade II and III rapids
This rafting experience takes place in Dandeli, on the border of the beautiful state of Karnataka. Known for its vibrant forests and spectacular wildlife, it involves riding the river Kali. When the water is at a respectable level, adventurers can go on coracle rides and whitewater rafting
In this multi-day adventure, you'll live out in nature in a forest lodge and head out every day to try your hand at different adventure activities. Your package includes rappelling, zip-lining, kayaking, a coracle cruise in the river, and nature walks, as well as one thrilling jungle safari.
As you retire to your lodge in the evening, relax by the bonfire or the riverside as you get well-deserved rest.
There are numerous other beautiful rafting locations in India. The Teesta River in Sikkim and Darjeeling, Brahmaputra River in Arunachal Pradesh, River Barapole in Coorg, Karnataka and the Beas River in Kullu-Manali are some of the top rated river rafting hotspots in India.
Another exciting experience is the Indus River in Jammu and Kashmir that flows through the desert landscape as does the Zanskar river in Ladakh. Rafting on the whirling river offers stunning views as your raft winds its way between stark mountain walls, each a few hundred feet high.
Make sure you reach the camp at 08:00 hrs in the morning and assemble at the starting point for rafting. You will be conquering the Kundalika river over a period of 2 hours and 12 km, in an experience that is sure to leave a wide smile on your face.
Once you are done river rafting, you come back to the campsite for a well-deserved meal and a warm shower. You can take some time to indulge in other adventure activities like flying fox, rappelling and a high rope course. The adventure ends at 15:00 hrs.
The overall cost includes the 12 km white water rafting session. All the equipment that is needed for the same including but not limited to the rafts, paddles, jackets and helmets will be provided by the operator and is included in the cost.
Meals and refreshments will be served based on the packages selected. The expertise of a seasoned rafting instructor is part of your adventure expenses as well as access to any two adventure activities. You have the following choices: Burma Bridge, high/low rope course, archery, rifle shooting, wall climbing, rappelling, Flying Fox and kayaking.
You can also choose from two outdoor sports to play: cricket and volleyball, which incur no extra expenses. There will be a bonfire in the evening, weather permitting, which you have access to. All taxes are included in the costs
Transportation from base city to campsite is not included. Transportation arrangements between campsite and rafting site will be provided with an additional cost directly payable to the tum tum operator and will be shared among fellow rafters per tum tum
The costs do not include insurance, adventure or medical. Personal expenses such as tips or additional meals and beverages are not included.
Anything not mentioned in the inclusions will be additional.
Reach the starting point sharp at 08:00 hrs so that the drive commences on time. Through a 3 hour ride you will pass through Bagwan, taking in the beautiful scenery of the local places. Reaching the destination at Devprayag, you will be greeted by the guides and the team.
Being the first day of the adventure, expect the preparation to take a while, after which, you will have a chance to test the waters. You will get to try out the rafts and the supporting gear and learn about the coordinated teamwork needed to overcome the rapids.
The first day of river rafting will be through lower grade rapids that are enclosed within a gorge. The towering walls make for an intriguing ride through the river. You will end the day at the campsite, choosing to either swim or relax and take in the soothing views. Accommodation will be in tents as you regain your energy for the upcoming days.
Day 2 allows you to experience the joys of white water rafting in all its glory as you throttle down the full 30 kms of the river. You will cover the distance in a span of 4 hours, battling Grade III and III+ rapids.
Towards the end, as you near the campsite, you will take on the might of a Grade IV rapid. Be prepared to succumb to the river’s power unless you have become an excellent rafter at this point. Landing in the river, you swim to the beach and return to the camp.
You can choose to relax once you are there or paddle in the river as you bid goodbye to a fulfilling day. A warm dinner and even warmer bonfire close the curtains on the day. You retire in the tents for the night.
This is the last day of the aquatic adventure. Today, you make your way to Rishikesh, battling some of the most famous rapids on this untamed river. Rapids such as Roller Coaster, Body Surfing Rapid, Golf Course, Three Blind Men and Crossfire
As the names of the rapids suggests, this section of the river rafting adventure is the most challenging and therefore the most enjoyable. Having conquered the river, you will dive into it for some fun towards the end. Exchange stories and fill your tummies post the rafting bringing this wonderful journey to an end.
Transport to and from Rishikesh to the starting point is included in the package. Accommodation which will be on twin sharing basis in tents for two nights. Meals and refreshments will be served as per the packages selected.
All the adrenaline-fueled activities such as 80 km rafting, body surfing and cliff jumping are part of the package. The equipment such as helmets, rafts, paddles and life jackets needed to ride the river is also included in the cost.
As are the services of the rafting guide and the safety kayaker. All applicable taxes are included.
Transport from base city to Rishikesh is not included. Insurance is not included. Any personal expenses such as beverages, extra meals, etc. are not included in the meals, nor are any kind of expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, roadblocks, strikes, etc. Lastly, anything that is not mentioned in the inclusions will be charged on an additional basis, as used.
The best time to go river rafting in India depends on the place that you choose for your rafting adventures.
For some locations, monsoons are the ideal time. This is because the rivers roar in all their glory, allowing you to experience powerful rapids. In other places, rafting is shut during the monsoon season.
While in other locations, you can choose to go in either the summer or winter months. If you wish to get some respite from the heat then summer months are good for river rafting. If you want to challenge yourself and brave the chilly waters, then go in winter.
Kindly enquire with your operator before making any plans or booking your rafting adventures
Almost all the places that offer river rafting in India are situated at or near tourist hotspots. As such, they are easily accessible. These places are well linked with all major Indian towns and cities by railways, airports and roads which include state and private bus services.
Carry an extra pair of clothes to wear immediately after rafting. For the rafting experience itself, you should wear t-shirts and a pair of shorts. Any comfortable and quick-drying clothes are ideal for rafting except for jeans.
Floaters/slippers and sports shoes are the footwear of choice. Expensive jewellery and other valuables are forbidden while on the raft. Do not wear contact lenses for the ride.
While the operators will provide you with all the necessary equipment and gear for river rafting which includes life jackets, rafts, helmets, wetsuits (if required) and paddles, you will need to carry certain things with you.
A towel is absolutely needed to dry yourself off after the expedition. A camera is optional but should be carried at your own risk. Any suitable rain gear if braving the river during the monsoon. Carry your sports shoes to wear after rafting is done.
If undertaking a multi-day trek, then you will need to carry additional clothes in the form of 3-4 t-shirts and quick drying shorts. If rafting in the winters, a windcheater and warm jacket are a must.
Carry two footwear without fail (one for rafting and the other one for the camp). Also bring along your personal toiletries and do not forget to carry a flashlight. Swimwear should be carried should you wish to partake in the other activities on offer.
A cap, sunscreen and sunglasses are optional as a protection against the sun. Bring your camera, at your own risk, if you wish to preserve these memories of a lifetime.
A basic level of fitness is sufficient for river rafting in India. Beginners can therefore comfortably choose to go for most river rafting expeditions.
If you suffer from any serious medical conditions like muscular or bone injuries (back, knee or neck) or if you have heart problems or asthma, you should avoid rafting. If there is any doubt, it is always best to consult your doctor before any adventure sport.
Without any doubt, beginners can take part in most rafting experiences. A basic level of fitness is all that is required to conquer the rapids. You do not need to know swimming or rafting as long as you do not have a fear of water
All safety equipment is of the highest quality as are the instructors who are ever ready to help you out, should you need assistance.
Rafting is an incredibly safe experience with minimal risks. The rivers might seem incredibly fast, especially the rapids but that only adds to the thrill, not the risks.
All operators provide high-quality equipment and gear to minimize the risks involved and ensure utmost safety. A briefing session before the ride familiarizes you with the experience and all the instructors are great swimmers and ever ready to help out.
A single raft usually has room for 8 people including the instructor. You could still ask your operator as this might vary.