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''Nothing more thrilling than speeding rafts on gushing waters. Explore NOW!''

Bored of repetitive schedule and looking for adventure? Pack your luggage and experience the thrill of rafting against rapid waters of Ganges this weekend. Those who fear water, can try hands on other sports such as cliff jumping, body surfing, rappelling and rock climbing.

Why go the distance : Rishikesh is not only a home for Hindu pilgrimages but also a key centre of white water rafting and other adventure sport in North India. It attracts a number of adventure seeking travellers every year. At Rishikesh the Ganges leaves the mountains and prepares herself to begin a long journey through the plains.

There are options one can choose from – rafting packages involving night stay at a white sand beach next to the river or a full day rafting trip. Many of adventure tour operators can help you book rafting session in advance. Pre-booking is suggested before being there with the group as raft availability could be a problem during weekends. Speeding rafts on gushing waters will give you adrenaline rush and memories to cherish for life.

Location : About 250kms from Delhi

Rafting Routes : Rafting in Rishikesh has 12 rapids over 36kms. It stretches from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh. Adventure lovers are free to choose their routes. There are four main starting points –

Brahmapuri - Shortest river rafting stretch, which starts from Brahmpuri and is a 2-hour brief trip to rishikesh. Best suited for families.

Shivpuri – If an adventure freak, trip from Shivpuri to Rishikesh, a 3-hour stretch will be ideal.

Marine Drive – is meant for the daring ones and lasts 4 hours.

Kaudiyala – Done short stretches before? Then go for this route. The mother of all rapids. This 6-7hr stretch guarantees thrill and adventure.

When to go : There are two season period in a year ideal for rafting - September-December and March-June.

River Rafting packages start from as low as Rs1000/person and can go up to Rs3000/person per night (including stay at camp). However, only for rafting per person cost may vary from Rs 400-Rs 1400 depending on the stretch one chooses.

What more : Rishikesh provides holidaymakers with many other thrilling options like kayaking, canoeing, parasailing, hot air ballooning, riverside camping, trekking to the waterfall, rock climbing/rappelling, bungee jumping, paintball, flying fox, etc. Seeking peace? The place also offers early morning yoga, bird watching, sightseeing, ganga aarti, temple visits and night hiking.

Safety : Rafting tour operators abide by the guidelines and policies laid down by the Uttarakhand Government. Each raft has a guide and a helper who brief the group members and address their queries. Everyone is provided with a safety helmet and a life jacket.

How to reach? : The place is well connected by road, rail and air. It is a 6 hours drive from New Delhi to Rishikesh. One also has an option of coming to Haridwar or Dehradun by train and then take 40 minute road trip to this holy place. The jolly grant airport of Dehradun is just 45 minutes away from Rishikesh and so if running really short of time, this is a feasible option.

Popular rafting operators : Red Chilli Adventure
River Rafting in Rishikesh
Garhwal Himalayan Explorations
Ganga Valley Adventure
Greatwhite Adventures - Rishikesh
Rishikesh Tourism

Things to be kept in mind : - There are many beach camps and most do not have electricity arrangements. Toilets are shared dry pits (meaning after doing your business, simply cover it with sand).

-If you are not willing to compromise on the comfort, it is best to stay at one of the jungle camps/resort equipped with all amenities.

-Make sure you have prior reservation if going on a weekend.

-Beware of the traffic if driving. You may come across heavy jam around Ghaziabad. Start early.

-Do not trust saftey measures completely. When in water, hold the raft rope tightly.

Tip : Plan now. Onset of monsoon may disrupt your plan.

Source / Review By : Pramugdha Mamgain Nautiyal


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