We list the country’s best rafting spots for your next adventure holiday.
The idea of white water rafting brings to mind the image of Meryl Streep in The River Wild as a rafting professional steering her endangered family through a series of extremely dangerous rapids that only she and a few others are able to navigate.
While slightly less romanticised, the sections of white water that are part of our nation’s many rivers are quite daunting and can be equally challenging, while being thrilling and safely navigable at the same time. Certain spots near Kolad resorts in Maharashtra, rafting camps at Rishikesh, other venues in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, are among the most well-known places for white water rafting in India. Here’s a list of the best rafting spots across the country, in no particular order:
- Kolad resorts, Maharashtra: The Kundalika river has its flow regulated by the Mulshi Dam and the electricity stations that follow, thus feeding into a 14-kilometer stretch of white water that is so dynamic in terms of the level of intensity, that it keeps you on your toes through the entire stretch. With Kolad resorts being relatively close to both Mumbai and Pune, this proves to be easy access for city dwellers and other coming from the rest of Maharashtra.
- Rishikesh, Uttarakhand: Featuring a 16-kilometre stretch of rapids ranging from Grade 1 to Grade 4, an entire rafting trip of 32 kilometres or more can be added by camping on river beaches overnight while making your way downstream. With rapids named Three Blind Mice, Return to Sender, and the multi rapid stretch Golf Course, this is considered to be one of the world’s best rafting locations.
- Sikkim and Darjeeling: The Teesta river flows through both and also has rapids from Grade 1 to 4. While reasonably lesser known than the others, this location promises a pure adrenaline pumping experience. Additionally, a tributary of the river, the Ranjit, is quite turbulent and undulating, and offers up more of a challenge for the more seasoned rafters, or for those simply seeking a bit more of a rush.
- Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir: The Indus river flows from one region to the other, with rapids from 1 to 3 in certain areas, and some even graded between 3 to 5 in others. A rather varying set of experiences is only added to by throwing in some camping to round out the experience.
- Kullu-Manali: This day long, 14-kilometer stretch of rapids is made for an absolutely non-stop, no letting up, hold on by the seat of your pants, fun ride. With rapids graded from 1 to 4, the stunning imagery only adds to the experience and barring 2 months of the year (Mid July to mid-September), rafting here is possible all year round.
- Arunachal Pradesh: The wild and ferocious Brahmaputra river is not for the faint-hearted. Flowing in from Tibet, all rapids are rated between 4 and 6, and there is no scope for error or compromise. A week-long rafting trip takes you from the beginning to the end of the rapids. The surrounding beauty comprising gorges, forests, and greenery adds to the unique experience.