White Water Rafting In India
River rafting as an adventure sport is not quite old for India. This sport has long been the mainstay of foreign tourists, but the Indian tourist has taken to this sport with as much gusto and guts. White-water rafting is not for fashionable thrill seekers, but for those who thrive on hair-soaking risks that keep the adrenalin flowing overtime!
The thrill of rushing down fast-flowing mountain streams frothing with huge waves, dashing against dangerous boulders and dizzy rapids, while you cling for your dear life. White-water rafting has come of age in India. With its numerous rivers, mostly in the Himalayas, India offers perfect adventure sport destinations. India has a natural advantage over the other countries in the world calling the adventurer in you to unwind yourself.
- Physical Requirements
- Destinations in India
- Best Time for Water Rafting
- Permits and Government Agencies
Persons suffering from a weak heart, epilepsy, diabetes, or any other serious ailments. Expecting mothers are not permitted on the rapids. The lower age limit for white-water rafting is 14 years on all sections except the float trips where it is relaxed to 10 years. Non-swimmers may be restricted to certain sections of the river on the advice of the river guide.
White Water Rafting Destinations in India
India has some of the hottest and lesser known white water rafting destinations for the adventure tourists. Travel in India for the thrill of some of the fastest rapids in the world. Take a tour of the mighty rivers as they shatter the hardest of rocks with their gushing force.The mighty river Ganga plays host to river running. The 70-km stretch from Devprayag to Rishikesh is the venue of this relatively young sport. In the last few years, river rafting has become increasingly popular and several camps have come up along this stretch.
The rapids have been graded according to the difficulty of the run. Uttaranchal in north India has many sites for river rafting. In Garhwal, the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers, the main tributaries of the Ganga, meet at Devprayag, where their foaming waters provide excellent river-rafting opportunities. As the Ganga traverses down from Devprayag, it offers some fine stretches for the amateur rafter. In Kumaon, the river Sharda (or Kali Ganga) flows down from Nepal to meet the Gori River at Jauljivi. This stretch of water is suited for more experienced river rafters, as the rapids are grade 4 or above.
However, in the lower reaches, the waters are calmer and even novices can enjoy this stretch. Other sites for white-water rafting in India include Barkot to Lakha Mandal and Damta to Yamuna Bridge on the river Yamuna, Mori to Tuni on the river Tons, Kalisor to Srinagar and Srinagar to Bagwan on river Alaknanda, Ghansali to Gadolia on the river Bhilangana, Chandrapuri to Rudraprayag on the river Mandakini, and many stretches along the river Bhagirathi, both for professionals and amateurs. River rafting is also organized in the other parts of India.
The Indus and Zanskar rivers, which flow through the arid ranges of Ladakh, offer gentler trips with gradations ranging from one to two. River Chenab has a 130-km stretch from Kishtwar to Ramban where the rapids are graded from one to six. Sikkim also offers good river stretches for rafting. The Teesta and Rangeet are two major rivers on which river rafting is possible in this tiny state of eastern India. Two major stretches are Makha-Sirwani-Bardang-Rongpo on the Teesta and Sikip-Jorethang-Majitar-Melli on the Rangeet.
Best Time for Water Rafting in India
There is no fixed time to indulge in this sport. India being a large country, most of the rivers provide different times of the year to participate in it. Practically you have a stretch of around 8 months starting from May to November to participate in your favorite pastime.
Permits and Government Agencies in India
Many regions in India have been put under restricted area list and special permits are required for undertaking white-water rafting in these areas. In most cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs, consulates/embassies/high commissions of Government of India and foreign residents’ registration offices can provide these permits. Given below is a list of these areas in the states concerned with names of the authorities to contact for permits. Please contact us for further information in this regard.
Precautions while river rafting in India
1. Verify the credentials of the organizers – if they are recognized, and their experience. Choose operators recognized by the government.
2. Your navigator must have requisite experience in conducting such expeditions and he should be well-qualified.
3. An oar boat can generally take a maximum of 8 persons. Avoid accommodating more people on to the boat, as it can prove hazardous.
4. Study the river stretch from the land to decide on the grade.
5. Carry enough ration and necessary medicines to survive in the journey. A first-aid box must be at hand. 2-3 persons of the group must know how to manage in case of accidents.
6. All members of the group must be briefed about environmental protection. Do not use detergents or chemicals in the river; do not cut any tree, or litter anything that degrades the quality of the environment.
7. Rescue jackets and safety helmets should be worn by all with enough backup and medical facilities on the bank.
8. Do not defecate in the 30-m range of the river at places where no toilet facilities are available. Bury or cover the waste.
9. Avoid breathing when you go under a rapid or are submerged.
10. Wear natural cotton clothing appropriate for rafting. Do not wear synthetic clothes, saris, or dupattas.