With its varied landscape, India provides adventure seekers with a wealth of options. Rafting down a river is one such exhilarating sport. India has several amazing places to go rafting, from the majestic Himalayas to the picturesque rivers in the south. In this article, we'll look at the best river rafting adventures in India that you shouldn't miss.
The Indus River in Ladakh offers an adrenaline-pumping river rafting experience. With its turquoise blue waters and breathtaking landscapes, rafting on the Indus is a must-do for adventure seekers. The rafting stretch from Phey to Nimmo is perfect for beginners, while the stretch from Saspol to Khaltsey is more challenging.
The best time for rafting is during the summer months of May to September.
How to reach: The easiest way to reach the Indus River in Ladakh is by flying into Leh, the capital of Ladakh, and then taking a taxi or a local bus to the river.
Alternatively, you can also reach Ladakh by road from Srinagar or Manali and then make your way to the Indus River.
Rafting on the Zanskar River is not for the faint-hearted. Known as the "Grand Canyon of Asia," this river offers a thrilling and unforgettable experience. The journey begins in Chilling and ends in Nimo, covering approximately 28 kilometers. Frozen river rafting during the winter is a unique and exhilarating experience that attracts adventure enthusiasts from around the world.
The best time for river rafting is between June and October.
How to reach: To reach the starting point in Chilling, one can take a flight to Leh, the capital of Ladakh, and then hire a taxi or take a bus to Chilling.
Alternatively, one can also opt for a scenic road trip from Manali to Leh and then proceed to Chilling.
The Beas River in Himachal Pradesh is another popular destination for river rafting. The Kullu Valley stretch, from Pirdi to Jhiri, offers exciting rapids and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The best time to visit is from April to June and mid-September to mid-October when the water levels are ideal for rafting.
How to reach: You can take a flight to Bhuntar Airport, which is the nearest airport. From there, it is a scenic drive of around 50 kilometers to reach Pirdi, the starting point of the rafting expedition.
Alternatively, one can also opt for a train journey to Joginder Nagar Railway Station and then hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Pirdi.
Rishikesh, also known as the "Yoga Capital of the World," is famous for its spiritual significance and adventure activities. Rafting on the Ganges River in Rishikesh is an experience like no other. The 16-kilometer stretch from Shivpuri to Rishikesh is filled with thrilling rapids, including the famous "Roller Coaster" and "Golf Course." The scenic beauty and the opportunity to take a dip in the holy river add to the charm of this adventure.
The best time for rafting in Rishikesh is during the months of September to November and March to May.
How to reach: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is around 35 kilometers away, is the closest airport and makes it simple to fly to Rishikesh.
As an alternative, Rishikesh may be reached by bus or train because it is well connected to other important Indian cities.
The Brahmaputra River in Arunachal Pradesh offers a unique and challenging rafting experience. Surrounded by lush green forests and snow-capped mountains, this river is a paradise for adventure seekers. The stretch from Tuting to Pasighat is known for its intense rapids, making it suitable for experienced rafters.
The best time for rafting in the Brahmaputra River is during the months of November to March.
How to reach: To reach the Brahmaputra River in Arunachal Pradesh, one can take a flight to Dibrugarh Airport or Lilabari Airport, both of which are well-connected to major cities in India.
From there, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Tuting or Pasighat, the starting point for the rafting expedition.
The Teesta River in Sikkim is famous for its thrilling rafting expeditions. The river flows through the picturesque landscapes of the Himalayas, offering a mesmerizing experience. The rafting stretch from Makha to Sirwani is ideal for beginners, while the stretch from Sirwani to Bardang is more challenging.
December through June is the ideal time for rafting.
How to reach: To reach the Teesta River in Sikkim, one can take a flight to Bagdogra Airport, which is the nearest airport. From there, it is a scenic drive of about 4 hours to reach the river.
Alternatively, one can also take a train to New Jalpaiguri Railway Station and then hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the river.
The Kali River in Karnataka is a hidden gem for river rafting enthusiasts. Located in the Western Ghats, this river offers a thrilling experience amidst the lush greenery. The Dandeli stretch, from Ganeshgudi to Maulangi, is known for its rapids and is a popular destination for rafting in South India.
The best time for rafting in the Kali River is during the monsoon season, from June to September.
How to reach: The closest airport is Hubli Airport, from where one may fly to get to the Kali River for river rafting. From there, Dandeli is reached after a gorgeous 75-kilometer trip.
Another option is to take the train to Alnavar Junction, from where one may hire a cab or catch a local bus to Dandeli.
Also read: Where to Parasail & Paraglide in Karnataka
The Tons River in Uttarakhand is considered one of the most challenging rivers for rafting in India. Surrounded by dense forests and steep gorges, this river offers an adrenaline rush like no other. The stretch from Mori to Pangna is known for its Grade IV and V rapids, making it suitable for experienced rafters.
The best time for rafting in the Tons River is during the summer months of May and June.
How to reach: To reach the Tons River, one can take a flight to Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport and then hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Mori.
Alternatively, one can also take a train to Dehradun Railway Station and then proceed by road.
The Alaknanda River, a tributary of the Ganges, is another thrilling rafting destination in Uttarakhand. The stretch from Chamoli to Rudraprayag is famous for its rapids and scenic beauty. Rafting on the Alaknanda offers a perfect blend of adventure and spirituality, with the river passing through several holy towns and temples.
The best time for rafting on the Alaknanda River is during the summer months of May and June.
How to reach: To reach the Alaknanda River, one can take a flight to the nearest airport in Dehradun and then hire a taxi or take a bus to Chamoli.
Alternatively, one can also take a train to Rishikesh and then continue the journey by road to Chamoli.
From there, local transport options like buses or taxis are available to reach the starting point of the rafting stretch.
The Kundalika River in Maharashtra, near Mumbai and Pune, offers an exciting rafting experience. The 14-kilometer stretch from Kolad to Roha is filled with thrilling rapids, making it a popular choice for adventure enthusiasts.
The best time to visit is during the monsoon season, which typically runs from June to September.
How to reach: It is approximately a 2-hour drive from Mumbai and a 3-hour drive from Pune.
Additionally, there are also public transportation options available, such as buses and trains, that can take you to the nearest town, Kolad, from where you can easily reach the rafting starting point.
The Barapole River in Coorg, Karnataka, is known for its exhilarating white-water rafting experience. Surrounded by dense forests and coffee plantations, this river offers a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty. The challenging rapids, such as the Morning Coffee and Wicked Witch, make it a favorite spot for rafting enthusiasts.
The best time for rafting in the Barapole River is during the monsoon season, from June to September.
How to reach: The Barapole River is located approximately 250 kilometers from Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka.
To reach there, one can take a bus or hire a taxi from Bangalore to reach the town of Gonikoppal. From Gonikoppal, it is a short drive to the Barapole River.
Also read: Coorg - The Ultimate Travel Guide 2023
India offers a wide range of river rafting experiences that cater to all levels of adventure enthusiasts. Whether you seek the thrill of tackling Grade V rapids or prefer a scenic and leisurely rafting experience, there is something for everyone.
So, pack your bags, put on your life jacket, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable river rafting adventure in India.
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