Top River Rafting Destinations in India

by On Jan 03, 2014

The mighty Himalaya makes it a gateway for adventure freaks to bustle about in different activities in India. The fear turns frolic when the adventure ends up as a grapevine. Now when it comes to riding down the swashing waters of untamed rivers that cuts, erodes and winds down the deep valleys, it becomes a challenge. They sound off a soaring victory when they combat against the river current and horrendous rapids along the course. River rafting in India swirls adventurers’ mind. The Indian Himalaya offers the best of rafting options that has become the leading water sports in India. BUT… better you don’t think like a CHAMP when you are coursing down on your raft. If you are a beginner you must follow your experienced guide and it is advisable to go for the stretch that your health and mind can take the challenge.

The stretches vary along with different grades. They range from basic to advanced and serious injuries. The basic level courses down the Grade 1 having flat water and little current, whereas it also counts bubbling current, small rapids and some rough water at Grade 2. The standard level faces to combat Grade 3 mostly and bit of Grade 4 having small to medium waves, small drops and some big rapids. At the moderate level and advanced level the experienced rafters row their paddle against Grade 4 and Grade 5 having large waves, large volume, possibility of large rocks and hazards, possibility of a large drop. Level like Grade 6 is generally unnavigable having substantial whitewater, huge waves, huge rocks and hazards and large drops. This grade can only be seen in the upper course of River Ganga and Brahmaputra. Over the years white water river rafting in India has won the heart of several adventurers – international and domestic. From river Indus to Ganga and from Teesta to Brahmaputra, let us now go through the best rafting destinations in India… Down you go.

Rowing the rage… Rafting in Rishikesh
It’s everyone’s dream. White water river rafting in Rishikesh is the mother of all rafting destinations in India. It makes leisure travellers’ frolic and a looner active. Rafting in Rishikesh has been categorized into 4 different levels. The advanced level starts from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh, which covers a distance of 36 kms within 6-7 hours covering all the six rapids. Secondly the moderate level that starts from Marine Drive to Rishikesh and covers a distance of 25 kms in 4-5 hours having four rapids. Thirdly is the standard level from Shivpuri to Rishikesh, covering a distance of 16 kms in 3-4 hours having three rapids and lastly the basic level that starts from Brahmpuri, covers a distance of 9 kms in 2 hours having 2 rapids. Combating the major rapids like Black Money, Cross Fire, Return To Sender, Roller Coaster, Three Blind Mice, Double Trouble, Tee Off, Wall and Golf Course are the biggest challenges for a rafter when rafting in Rishikesh.

You know about Ocean to Sky? … Rafting from Chamoli to Devprayag
Rafting from Chamoli to Devprayag
An expedition down the untamed River Alaknanda from Chamoli to Devprayag will acquaint you the rapid where Sir Edmund Hillary’s Expedition (Ocean to Sky) ended. You may note it as an impossible task when one rafts upstream but someone did try somewhere in the retro period. Rafting in River Alaknanda starts from Chamoli and the first stretch of 29 kms, combating several rapids ranging from 2 to 3 including the Hillary Fall,  is up to Kaldubagarh.  The next stretch is up to Gauchar, having grades approximately ranging to 3+, covering a distance of 19 kms from Kaldubagarh. It takes approximately 4 hours to cover the entire stretch. Thereafter the stretch of 28 kms to Rudraprayag encounters several rapids including the killer one, which is called Kakar Fall (Deer) and there might be a chances to portage on this rapid depend on team member & guide. From Rudraprayag the journey swirls down to Maletha that covers a stretch of 34 kms. On this section you will fight with numerous rapids as well as lots of scenic beauty of the Garhwal hills. The last stretch to Devprayag is an easy one and is ideal for beginners. Nonetheless the entire stretch from Chamoli to Devprayag is appropriate for standard to moderate level. The Alaknanda River Rafting Camp is one of the picks that organizes and safe and secure rafting on the Alaknanda River.

Passing through steep gorges… Rafting in Zanskar
Regarded as the highest rafting destination in regions possible on earth, rafting on river Zanskar through deep gorges and rugged landscape of Ladakh is one of the brainsick adventure sports in India. The rafting expedition starts from Ramela to Karsha on the Doda river having a stretch of 30 kms with Grade 2 rapids and it courses down to the confluence of Doda with river Tsarap to form the Zanskar river, which is close to Zangla village. It is approximately a 50 kms stretch having rapids ranging from Grade 2 to Grade 3. On your voyage you will be acquainting the upper Zanskar gorge, completely shadowed by the gigantic chasm walls having amazing rock formation and colours. Thereafter from Nyerak to Lamaguru, which is roughly 40 kms stretch having rapids ranging from Grade 3 to Grade 4, rafting on river Zanskar passes through the heart of the Zanskar Grand Canyon. The final leg is from Lamaguru to Nimu en route Phey that covers approximately 25 kms having 3 bouncy rapids. The short stretch of 12kms from Phey to Nimu is ideal for beginners and travellers seeking for family adventure activities in India in Ladakh.

Navigating through the legendary Ningguing and Marmong gorges… the Brahmaputra River Rafting
the Brahmaputra River Rafting
After a layover day at Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh, rafting on river Brahmaputra winds to Pango paddling against some Grade 4 rapids with the ‘Ninguing’ and then ‘Pulsating Pulsi’ below Palsi Village. It takes approximately 5-6 hours to cover the entire stretch. Thereafter from Pango you scout and raft down passing through the legendary Ningguing and Marmong gorges to Cherring. Here you will be acquainting one of the Grade 6 rapids, the Toothfairy, which you will portage around when navigating to Yinkeong hitting several Grade 3 to 4 rapids. The stretch from Yinkeong to Geku starts with a big rapid, which is known as the ‘Moing Madness’ and thereby followed by several milder ones including another famous one, the ‘Karko Killer’. Thereafter from Geku the voyage swirls and courses down to 65 Bridge at Ditte Dime en route many tribal settlements. The last stretch from Ditte Dime ends at Pasighat. River rafting on Brahmaputra allows you to combat rapids like Rikor and Zebra Rock from Tuting to Pango and Hairy Hari and Broken Oar from Pango to Cherring.

An exotic honeymoon ends up rafting down the stream… Beas River Rafting
Beas River Rafting
A short yet rousing raft faring that starts from Pridi and ends at Jiri, the Beas River Rafting offers one of the best rafting expeditions in the entire Himalayan brooks. Further the 14 kms stretch with its grades ranging from 3 to 4 is even a challenge to experienced rafters. It takes approximately 3 hours to cover and raft down the intense Beas and cuts and runs through the tempting nature of the Kullu Valley. Well often travellers like you and me seek for a leisure holiday in Manali… but sometimes some demented minds out from the box go for such expeditions and bring back home a bag full of excitement. The approximate distance from Manali to Pirdi is 44 kms, whereas Jiri is located close to the Bhuntar Airport, which is approximately 50 kms from Manali by road.

Ideal for beginners… Kali River Rafting
Kali River Rafting
The Kali River Rafting in eastern Kumaon district of Uttarakhand starts at the confluence of Gori Ganga and Kali rivers in Jauljibi. The stretch from Jauljibi to Chaukidari camp courses down through the thrill of grade 3 rapids. Thereafter from Chaukidari Camp to Waterfall Camp… the stretch offers small rapids ranging from Grade 1 to 2 and bubbling current. Rowing down the course, combating the river current the stretch from Waterfall Camp to Panchehwar collides against rapids ranging from Grade 2 to 3 and again from Panchehwar to Sonali Gaon you will be encountering several Grade 3 rapids and pass through the untouched beauty of the nature. The stretch from Sonali Gaon to Pari Gaon offers the biggest rapid, the ‘Chuka’, a grade 4+ rapid on river Kali. From Pari Gaon to Boom… raft down the gentle flow having little rapids. River rafting on river Kali is a niche pick for beginners as well as for family vacationers.

A shrilling and thrilling experience with your family… the Teesta River Rafting
Teesta River Rafting
Again an ideal pick for beginners and family adventurers… the Teesta River Rafting starts from Rangpo in Sikkim and courses down to Melli. It takes approximately 3 hours to cover the stretch that offers several rapids ranging from Grade 2 to 3+. The next stretch follows from Melli to 29th Mile, which is a short and easy stretch having rapids ranging from Grade 1 to 2 and covers the distance within couple of hours. River rafting in Sikkim is relatively new. The stretches from Bardang that offers rapids ranging from Grade 3 to 4+ are not in operation yet.