Over the last few years, rafting and kayaking have rapidly gained popularity in India, specially in Rishikesh. After flowing through high altitude Himalayan mountains, Rishikesh is the place where Ganga officially enters plains of India. Thus the waters of Ganga river provide an easy ride for beginners and casual rafters as well as adrenaline pumping rafting and kayaking experience to people looking for more adventure. Ganga river in this region has different grades of rapids beginning from sedate Grade I to more thrilling Grade II to Grade III+. There are a number of options for different kind of thrill seekers and guests can choose a rafting expedition of 2-3 hours to a multi day rafting or kayaking expedition with camping on beaches of Ganga and nearby forests on the way.
Each ride including the kayaking is done under expert supervision of a trained instructor. To begin the rafting expedition, the guests are first transported by car to the starting point and given a short but informative training session before they touch water. The things taught in this training session are important to enjoy the rafting trip safely. Depending upon the package chosen, a meal (breakfast or lunch) is also provided. Once it’s done, paddles and safety gear which includes helmet and life jackets are given to each guest and the trip really begins. For kayaking, gusts have to pass a small test before a kayak is allotted to them. A trained guide accompanies them for guidance and help in case it’s needed at all times.
Short duration rafting trips in Rishikesh are divided according to the distance and duration of each. The shortest standard day rafting trip is of 3 hours and the longest, 5 hours or 36 km. For something in between, there is a trip of 16 km length too. Each rafting trip includes transport by road to the starting point, a short training session, meal if included and the actual rafting.Most of these rafting expeditions can be attempted by almost anyone under expert supervision. Cost of each rafting trip varies according to size of group and length of trip.
This is a 3 days long rafting expedition which begins from Dev Prayag and goes on for three days till we reach Rishikesh.
We’ll drive to a place called Bhagwan near DevPrayag and meet the instructors and rest of the team. After a training session and preparations are made, we’ll start rafting by covering some short and easy rapids. This day will not be very demanding and most of the time will be spent getting familiar with the river, swimming, spotting wildlife etc. Night will be spent in a beach camp on the way.
Day 2 will cover around 30 km with one or two rest stops for rest and meals. It’s mostly a calm section with a few rapids every now and then to make things interesting. We’ll pass through jungles covered with dense forests and an occasional village and may be able to spot some rare wild life at times. Night will be spent in a beach camp or a small rest house on the way.
This is the day where things get serious. We’ll negotiate some big and creatively named rapids like Three Blind Mice, Crossfire, Daniel Dip, Roller Coaster and Golf Course and Body Surfing. Crossing these will require team work, energy and concentration. The trip will end a few km downstream of Rishikesh town with a big lunch or an early dinner.
Kayaking expeditions in Ganga are almost as same as the rafting trips mentioned above. Before we allow the guests to rent a kayak, we first make sure that they are good enough with the boat and know how to handle themselves. There can be no compromises and only the guests who pass the test are allotted equipment. Furthermore to comply with rules, each kayaking expedition has at least one guide/instructor on another kayak.