For the first, dive into Rishikesh, the abode of the gods no less, and for the latter, it’s a hop across to Goa, India’s original international destination, i.e. Dandeli, ensconced in the northern tip of Karnataka. At 1,800 feet above sea level, and serenaded by thick tropical rain forests, Dandeli is blessed with excellent climate throughout the year giving a well-deserved respite to the weatherman, from fussy tourists! (We are a fussy lot, let’s admit it!).
White Water Rafting for the uninitiated means cruising down the gushing waters of river in an inflatable rubber raft. India is one of the best white water rafting destinations in the world. White Water Rafting or river running in India is mainly confined to the northern rivers which flow from the glaciers of the mighty Himalayas. River running calls for a triumph over the swift swirling rivers and a trip down a river can be a great way to see the countryside. Rivers such as Ganga, Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Indus and Barahmputra offer many rafting stretches which are ideal for both professionals as well as amateur rafters. Its rushing waters gushing through densely forested mountains and steep gorges offer matchless thrills for rafting.
The Kali River which flows through fourteen kilometers in Dandeli offers multiple opportunities to paddle through numerous, exciting technical class 3 rapids. There are many great fun rapids to be found in these incredible surroundings. The beautiful surroundings are home to a wide range of wildlife, including a flourishing bird life, in particular several species of very rare hornbills, monkeys, elephants, wild boars, sambar deer, crocodiles, giant squirrels and even leopards and black panthers.
Rishikesh is the other popular watering hole for white water rafting enthusiasts in India. A religious pilgrimage town, Rishikesh in the heart of Uttarakhand, houses many ancient temples, shrines, and offers holiday courses in Yoga and Meditation, Ayurvedic Spa Center, and the like, apart from white water rafting experiences for the adventurous traveler.
For the religious pilgrim as well as the adventurous tourist, Rishikesh, is the starting point of destination. It can also be divined as a major river rafting site from where the amateur as well as professional would love to start his rafting trip in India.
Rishikesh offers a range of experiences from easy rapids for beginners to difficult stretches navigated by expert rafters.
You can never understand the exhilaration of shooting the rapids one minute, while taking in some of the world’s most exciting and breathtaking scenery the next, until you have tried it.
The rafting area from Shivpuri to Rishikesh covers 6 major rapids, and they are creatively named, viz. sweet sixteen, marine drive, three blind mice, cross fire, roller coaster and golf course.
River rafters see breathtaking scenery, get great exercise, and experience terrific adventure. There are lots of places in India where you can enjoy river rafting.
Rafting is a sport that you enjoy while sitting down. So, you don’t necessarily need to be in a tiptop shape.
Remember to dress up in synthetic materials including wool and polyester. This will keep your body warm during the river rafting trip.
While you are setting off on your rafting adventure, don’t forget to take along necessary medications, if any. These medications may include inhalers, bee sting kits, insulin etc.
Normally, people above 14 years of age can go on a white water rafting trip. The best season for White Water Rafting depends on the adequacy of water volume and the recommended months are March-June and September-November.
Equipment required for river running is ordinary outdoor gear, goggles, disposable camera, swim suit, nylon shorts, tennis shoes, wind-proof jacket, towels, a hat and antiseptic cream.
Places to stay:
Jungle Lodges: Bison River Resort
Resorts: Kali River Lodge, Hornbill River Resort, Riveredge Paradise Resort.
From nearest airport in Hubli: 85 km
From nearest airport in Goa: 145 km
Camps: Camp Ganga – Sarovar Hotels; Mercury Himalayan Explorations (MHE) Beach Camp (14 km from Rishikesh); Leopard Beach Tented Camp (16 km from Rishikesh); High Banks Himalayan Retreat (16 km from Rishikesh);
From New Delhi: 227 km
From Dehradun: 43 km
From Haridwar: 24 km