- Ajaz Shaikh
River Rafting In Rishikesh: Riding The Rapids
The Ganges' holy river offers many strenuous rapids to the adrenaline junkies who love the thrill of encountering the splashing waves. But before we discuss more these sections of the river Ganga with steep gradients that increase velocity and turbulence, let us quickly scan through basic information that will help you plan your trip for water rafting in Rishikesh.
Though non-swimmers can participate in Rishikesh rafting but then choose the shorter route with beginner or moderate grade rapid.
How To Reach From Mumbai?
So here are some of the options for the people directly coming from Mumbai.
Via Train From Mumbai: Since you will be travelling from one corner of the country to another, be ready for a long train journey.
Via Flight From Mumbai: Dehradun has flight connectivity from Mumbai, but there are only two flights between Mumbai and Dehradun. If you plan this trip well in advance, you can get a roundway direct flight for ₹12,000 or with a layover of between 2-3 hours, you can get it for ₹10,000.
In either case, you will reach Dehradun by afternoon or late evening.
Via Delhi (The recommended way): I don't need to say anything about connectivity between Mumbai and Delhi. From Delhi, you can take the bus or train. Dehradun is very well connected by road from Delhi. The frequency of buses is quite high, and usually, bus leaves in the night from Delhi. It will take around 6-7 hrs to reach Dehradun from Delhi.
If you wish to take the train, 12687/Dehradun Express is the perfect option to reach Dehradun.
Where to Stay?
The stunning Himalayas offer some of the best and unique places to stay in Uttarakhand with its own distinct culture. Uttarakhand is a storehouse of numerous beautiful locations that one can explore and adore. Housing many picturesque hill stations, this place is an ideal destination to pick for hardcore nature lovers. Offering massive mountains covered with lush greenery, streams with white waters as well as various admirable places to visit, Uttarakhand is an impeccable place to spend your vacations.
For people on a budget trip, Panchvati Cottage is the best option, offers you all the amenities, a clean hygiene room and it's pocket friendly. They also offer riverside camping and river rafting as part of the stay package. Walking distance away from Ganga River and just opposite to Aanandeshwar Aashram a must-go place for a morning walk.
Rafting In Rishikesh
Rafting in Rishikesh is assumed a professional sport and every year thousands of tourist flock to take part in this mesmerising experience. White water rafting has different levels of difficulty and depending upon your training and capabilities; it has been formulated into different modules. While there is a professional rafting challenge waiting for the do or the die ones, small training is also imparted to the newborn rafters. The basic stretch starts from Brahmpuri which is 9 kilometres upstream from Rishikesh and has mostly mild rapids. It just takes two hours of your day to go through the trip down from Brahmpuri to Rishikesh. One can also do cliff jumping and body surfing during this stretch. Along with the river, rafting bungee jumping in Rishikesh can be enjoyed as well.
If you are a rafting professional, the advanced stretch from “Kaudiyala” is the place. This stretch is the advanced stretch and has a few of the greatest rapids termed as “The Wall”. The Wall is a Grade V rapid and most of the rafts get flipped in this rapid. It takes around 7 hours to complete this 36 kilometres long stretch.
The Route: Rafting In Rishikesh
Brahmapuri To Rishikesh
A suitable rafting option for people of all ages, the stretch from Brahmapuri to Laxman or Ram Jhula Ghat is a mild one. For those trying to raft for the first time or those who are actually afraid of water, this is where white water rafting in Rishikesh is going to be fun for you, sans any breathtaking thrill.
Shivpuri To Rishikesh
A perfect amalgamation of thrill and pleasure, the stretch from Shivpuri to Laxman or Ram Jhula Ghat is the moderate one (16kms) and the most popular one. The rapids of grade III can make the rafters skip a beat time and again.
Marine Drive To Rishikesh
Akin to the above stretch, this too is of intermediate difficulty level. However, the stretch covers 14 rapids. What makes it challenging is that the grade III rapids come one after the other. However, once the difficult phase is over, there is a long stretch of less strenuous rafting. This gives the rafters ample time to relax and relish the picturesque backdrop.
Kaudiyala To Rishikesh
Novice rafters, stay put! This stretch is strictly for the experienced ones. Not only is the long stretch very tiring, but also very difficult. It is a test of the strength, determination, and skill of the rafters. The Wall, one of the rapids on this stretch of river rafting trip in Rishikesh, is considered one of the most difficult rapids around the world.
Why Do River Rafting in Rishikesh?
The foothills of the Himalayas are the place where you can see the best form of the River Ganga. Whitewater rafting is an adventure sport that is enough to shoot up your adrenaline. The mere thrill of this sport is best experienced here in Rishikesh. Nothing like experience the untamed waves of the great Ganges as you raft through the pristine white waters. The Himalayan waters offer tourists a great opportunity to witness the Rishikesh rafting where the waters with their untamed currents can thrill everyone, from seasoned rafters to novices.
Cliff Jumping in Rishikesh
Cliff jumping is the heart of Rishikesh rafting. Rafting is incomplete without cliff jumping. Almost everyone tries this short jump. After the start of your rafting activity and cruising through some of the enthralling rapids in white water and diving into the Ganga river. You’ll reach the spot called Maggi point where you can take some refreshments and Maggi as the raft takes a short halt here. Just beside the Maggi point is located the cliff jumping point. If you want to go cliff jumping you can ask the guide and he will take you to the jumping point. You have to jump from a cliff at a height of 20 feet with your life jackets on.
It doesn't make sense to travel all the way to Rishikesh from Mumbai for just doing Water Rafting. I recommed plan it as a long weekend trip from Mumbai.
Here the link to my long weekend blog to Rishikesh with a detailed & planned itinerary or do it along with a lesser know Himalayan Trek - Mukta Top
Best time to visit Rishikesh for rafting
The best time to visit Rishikesh for rafting is from September to December and from March to May. So next time you plan a visit to be a part of this splendid experience, hold your boots tight and be prepared for the experience of a lifetime!
Safety Tips and Guidelines to follow
River rafting is an extreme recreational sport. Therefore it can be thoroughly enjoyed if safety is ensured at all points. Here are a few tips and guidelines to follow:
Always make sure to follow the instructions of your rafting guide. Don’t lose your focus while getting overwhelmed with adrenaline. Obey the command of your rafting instructor/ guide/ outfitter.
Exercising before venturing on your rafting trip is essential. Since rafting requires strenuous physical movements it is advisable to warm up and stretch your body with various exercises.
Wear the right outfit or clothing (nylon or synthetic wears) that don’t become heavy after getting wet.
Wear your protective gear at all costs. Life jacket, helmet, strap goggles, neoprene gloves, shorts, and solid footwear are mandatory.
Paddle while coordinating with others. Don’t paddle in a separate pattern and cause disorientation in rafting. Try managing proper movements with your group to ensure safety and thrill at the same time.
Stay calm during all situations. You need to be considerate and in check of your emotions all the time. Don’t get too overwhelmed or panic in difficult situations. Follow the guidelines of your rafting instructor.
Don’t drink alcohol or get intoxicated during your rafting trip. Rafting requires sharp focus and so being in an inebriated state may put you and your team’s life at risk.
Learn about the nature of various rapids and thoroughly understand the guide’s sign language to use during the rafting trips.
If you do not know swimming, do not attempt stretches with rapids of grade 3 and above.
Carry an extra set of clothes, including the inners, for the clothes get drenched entirely.
It is important to have prior knowledge of these rapid and ask proper questions to the guide. Clearly tell them your level of water scare, fitness level and swimming skills.
Ask for a warm suit (very important but highly ignored) from the organizer for which you need to pay some extra. I recommend paying for it.