Rafting in India

Rafting in India location Map

Rafting in India location Map
Print Email Save Buy Now 
*Map showing Rafting spots in India. Disclaimer

Rafting in India

With an astounding wealth of natural resources and beautiful uncharted spots, India is a haven for adventure sports lovers. The abundance of hills and valleys, mountains and passes all across the length and breadth of the country gives the adventurous traveler a chance to be a thrill-seeker.

Among the many adventure sports activities that the country offers, white water rafting is especially popular because of its unparalleled excitement of riding the milky white waters of mountain rivers. While the Himalayas and the numerous rapids and mountain streams that it houses make the northern part of the country the most popular destination for rafting, there are plenty of hidden treasures in the other parts of India that offer equally thrilling settings for this exciting water sport. Most of these places offer proper professional guidance and safety measures for tourists who are willing to take the plunge into the world of adventure.

Rafting Places in India

Rafting in Kullu

The Kullu Valley with its gurgling Beas River is a perfect setting for the exhilarating experience of white water rafting. The Beas has near-perfect rapids, which are closed between July and September for the rains, and open through the rest of the year. The most popular route for white water rafting is between Pirdi and Jhiri. There are many private operators and enterprises around the area which offer professional guidance and international safety standards for interested tourists. Kullu has a water sports centre which offers a one-stop experience of all kinds of adventure sports on the Beas. The nearby town of Manali has the Mountaineering Institute of Allied Sports, which is another institution that arranges and organises week-long kayaking and rafting trips across the Beas, especially in the months of October-November. These trips are especially suited for extreme sports enthusiasts and adventure-lovers, and require some prior exposure to professional rafting.

Rafting in Rishikesh

Rishikesh is an internationally popular destination for white water rafting in the country. The Ganges River in this stretch is absolutely perfect for rafting, kayaking, camping and other adventure sports, and the likes of Brad Pitt have visited the region for these experiences. The stretch between Shivpuri and Lakshman Jhula has rapids ranging from grade 1 to grade 4, and is perfect for both amateurs and professional kayakers and rafting enthusiasts. The area around Rishikesh is also full of virginal and secret sandy beaches near the rapids, which are perfect for peaceful and private camping trips. There are around 13 navigable rapids in the Rishikesh stretch alone, with very intriguing names such as Three Blind Mice, Double Trouble, Tee Off and Roller Coaster. The best season to visit Rishikesh for a camping and rafting trip is between September and June and there are a large number of private operators who provide excellent professional services and arrange the best kayaking and rafting trips around the area.

Rafting in Deoprayag

Deoprayag is a sleepy little holy town in Uttarakhand, where the Alakananda River confluences with the Bhagirathi to form the holy River Ganges. It is about 71 km from Rishikesh and is an excellent weekend getaway. What's more, Deoprayag has lovely kayaking and rafting rapids on the Bhagirathi, which are perfect for amateurs and beginners interested in adventure and water sports. While Deoprayag is predominantly a pilgrimage spot, it is a perfect place for a quick trip in the summers. It also boasts of a range of other adventure activities, with its relatively unexplored campsites and trekking trails. The white water rafting in Deoprayag is mostly conducted by private operators who provide adventurous travelers with professional guidance and safety measures. Most travelers looking for adventure sports generally combine the two holy spots of Rishikesh and Deoprayag into one trip. That said, it is advisable to take time with both the spots, as Deoprayag is a lesser known spot and needs a lot of exploring.

Rafting in Manali

Manali offers some very attractive experiences for adventurous travelers and water sports lovers. Just like the nearby twin town of Kullu, Manali is situated on the banks of the River Beas, which is full of rapids ideal for white water rafting. The most popular route starts from around the Mohal area and the peak season for rafting adventures in Manali is in between mid-April and mid-June. The Mohal route carries on for around 10 km and has tricky rapids of grade 2 and 3. Most tourists who visit Manali for white water rafting generally club their trips with their Kullu itinerary as the rafting routes for these twin tourist towns coincide at various places. It is advisable to do that for families and amateur travelers, while more adventurous and experienced rafters should definitely visit the Mountaineering Institute of Allied Sports in Manali, which provides professional short-term courses for rafting and kayaking in the area.

Rafting in Zanskar

Far up north in the Leh-Ladakh region lies the jewel called Zanskar. It is a breathtaking landscape and the river flows through the arid gorges which are situated at a height of 12,000 feet above sea level. Zanskar is an exotic location meant for the most adventurous types who enjoy the bare and austere beauty of the barren Ladakh landscapes. The Zanskar River, with its risky rapids, offers some invaluable rafting patches and opportunities for adventure. The two main rafting stretches are Padum and Zimo regions. The rapids in these regions are fit only for trained rafters and kayakers as they are difficult to negotiate and have been classified as grade 4. The rapids are flanked by high stone cliffs on both sides and pass through some very rough terrains of Ladakh. The best time to visit Zanskar is between July and August, as the river remains frozen during the winter months.

Rafting in Teesta, Kalimpong

The rugged Teesta River, cutting through Sikkim, Darjeeling and Kalimpong, is one of the most risky rivers with difficult currents and almost non-negotiable rapids. The Kalimpong stretch of the Teesta River is particularly conducive to white water rafting, kayaking and other water sports and adventure activities. The Teesta River and its banks have many professional tour operators and kayaking agencies which provide proper guidance, along with basic amenities and safety gear for rafters. It is advisable to visit the Teesta River during spring and early summers, when the rapids are at their most mature state, being graded around grade 4. The Rangit River, a tributary of the Teesta, is also home to many exciting rapids, which are often multi-directional, making it one of the most challenging rafting stretches in the country. Many operators on Teesta also provide oar-rafting and paddle-rafting services for amateur adventurers.

Rafting in Brahmaputra, Tuting

One of the most mysterious rivers in the country, the Brahmaputra flows through Tibet to enter India through its northeastern corner in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Brahmaputra provides many breathtaking opportunities for rafting, kayaking and other water sports for the more adventurous tourists. Most of the rafting expeditions on the Brahmaputra are weeklong affairs. The tour generally starts from Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh, along the Subansiri River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra and goes on to Pasighat after a 180-km-long rafting trail. The trail follows tribal hamlets, remote and serene hillsides, and lush rainforests, and is one of the most peaceful rafting trails in the country. The peak season for rafters is between November and March, when the rapids reach their grade 4 maturity. The best part about rafting on the Brahmaputra is the virginal landscapes and the uncharted territories that have to be traversed on these seldom-visited trails.

Rafting in Coorg

Coorg is the undisputed princess of tourism in the Western Ghats, being a favourite among many travelers eager to find some well-deserved peace in this idyllic and serene town. Near Coorg lies the Barapole River, which gives the more adventurous among travelers a chance to experience the rush of water sports such as kayaking and white water rafting. The upper part of the Barapole River provides many interesting rapids which range between grades 2 and 4, and are perfect practicing grounds for both amateurs and professionals who frequent the area. There are some operators who provide proper safety gear and supervision for beginners who want to experience the thrill of adventure through rafting. There are about 12 to 13 rapids in total on the upper section of the river, which lend themselves to excellent river rafting. The best season to visit Coorg for some rafting and adventure is during the monsoons and post-monsoon, roughly up to the month of September.

Rafting in Kolad

While most of the white water rafting action in the country happens in the vicinity of the Himalayas up north, the southern part of the country has far less crowded and unexpectedly beautiful hidden treasures to offer to the travelers who are willing to explore the length and breadth for unknown adventures and thrilling experiences. Kolad in Maharashtra is such a place which is home to the fastest river in Southern India, the Kundalika. The river is to be found embedded within the lush landscapes of the Western Ghats, surrounded by thick greenery. The Kundalika is home to various interesting rapids, mostly between grades 3 and 4, and is a perfect spot for semi-professional rafting. The rafting stretch at Kolad is almost 15-km-long and is flanked by the serene forests of the Sahyadris. The Sahyadri monsoons are typically heavy and the rapids in the river reach their most wild state. This is the perfect time to visit Kolad for some exhilarating and adventurous experiences on the river.

Last Updated on : February 27, 2014