12 Indian rivers where you can go rafting

12 Indian rivers where you can go rafting
Photo Credit: Philip Larson
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These 12 rivers offer some excellent rafting opportunities that can extend from a couple of hours to a full day

Uttara Gangopadhyay
May 26 , 2015
04 Min Read

Barapole
Tucked inside Coorg, Karnataka, the Barapole River passes through the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. The 2.5km stretch has rapids ranging from grades 2 to 4. But if there is plenty of rain and the water flow across the hilly terrain increases, the rapids can be strong and turbulent.

Beas
The Beas in Himachal Pradesh offers some excellent rafting opportunities that can extend from a couple of hours to a full day. The most popular route is between Pirdi and Jhiri (14km). There are private tour operators in Pirdi who offer rafting and kayaking facilities.

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Bhagirathi
Located in the upper reaches of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand, the rapids on the Bhagirathi are of a mixed variety. The most popular route extends from Tehri to Devprayag to Kaudiyala.

Brahmaputra
With some very difficult rapids to negotiate, the Brahmaputra is a challenge even to the most experienced rafters. Rafting usually takes place along the Tuting-Pasighat stretch of the river as it passes through Arunachal Pradesh.

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Cauvery
Beemeshwari on the Cauvery is one of Karnataka’s popular rafting place. Adventure enthusiasts often combine a rafting trip with a trek into the surrounding thick forests.

Ganga
The Shivpuri-Rishikesh stretch is an exciting 16-km route along the Ganga. Amateurs and first timers can easily try their skills here. In between, you can drop by at the white sand beaches for a meal break at a wayside camping ground or go body surfing. Many private tour operators have their own riverside camps to complement the rafting packages.

Indus
River rafting expeditions along the Indus in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, usually take one to five days depending on the route. The best part of going water white rafting in Ladakh is you can combine the aqua adventure with a tour of local villages and monasteries along the way. One popular route extends from Phey to Nimo (or Nimu) and another from Upshi to Nimo. The route between Alchi and Khaltsey, with its kilometre long series of rapids at Nurla, is a challenge for the veterans too. If you want an easy run, hit the river near Hemis (40km from Leh),  ride past Stakna, Shey and Thiksey to conclude your trip at Choglamsar (on the outskirt of Leh).

Kali
You can go rafting on Kali river flowing through Karnataka’s Dandeli Sanctuary.

Kundalika
Located on the Kundalika river, Kolad, about 117km from Mumbai, is one of Maharashtra’s most popular rafting and kayaking zone. You can join any of the pre-arranged trips from Mumbai or Pune. Or, stay at any of the resorts in and around Kolad and take their help to arrange a rafting trip.

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Lidder
Between mid-April and September, you can try rafting along the Lidder River in Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir. The 2.5km stretch (Lidder Joy Ride) between Yarganpal and Yaneer Bridge is a friendly stretch with rapids of grade 2 and 3 adding the thrill quotient. There are longer routes for the more experienced.

Teesta
Flowing through Sikkim and the northern part of West Bengal, this river (along with its tributary Rangeet) offers several zones of varying grades, ranging between 1 and 4 on international scale. The most popular rafting area is around Melli, on the Sikkim-West Bengal border, 20 km from Kalimpong town. Amateurs can try the 11km from Melli to 29th Mile. The more adventurous can try the 15km Tarkhola to Melli stretch or the 25km Tarkhola to 29th Mile stretch. Check with the local tour operator for the timing because the flow of water in the river depends on the opening and closing of the gates of a couple of recently constructed dams.

Zanskar
This river in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, offers a mix of easy to difficult rapids. You need to spend about 5-7 days on rafting expeditions here. The best time to go is between July and August. One popular route starts near Padum, passes through Lamayuru and ends at Nimo (also known as Nimu, 60km from Leh). There are rapids of grade 3 and 4 mostly. The rafting expedition will take you through territories far from the regular tourist route.

General information:
Choose white-water rafting/kayaking operators wisely. Go for government recognised and well-known agencies. Check the safety measures adopted by the operators. Listen closely to the instructions of the guide before the start of the journey.


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