Friday, 20 December 2013

Rafting in Rishikesh

Written by Zara Jones


The holy Ganga River is one of the strongest anchors of the Hindu religion. It holds the faiths of millions of people and is looked upon as a saviour. The journey of a Hindu life begins and ends in Ganga. The river immerses not only the sins of the people but also the bodily ashes of the departed souls.
The sacred waters of Ganga originate from the mighty glaciers of the Himalayas and after a journey of 250 kilometres, it reaches the plains of Rishikesh (in Uttarakhand).


River Rafting Tour Rishikesh  Photo Credit : Bhandariseo
Rishikesh is the base for undertaking the ‘Chota Char Dham’ pilgrimage comprising - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. The city is also famous for its Yoga and Ayurvedic treatments. The rejuvenating effects of the therapeutic practices get more enhanced through the spiritually enriched in the  picturesque land of Rishikesh.
There is one more facet of Rishikesh for which it has become renowned world over - the adventurous side of the revered land. Rishikesh offers various enthralling activities like river rafting, body surfing, cliff jumping, rappelling, rock climbing, waterfall trekking, kayaking and canoeing. Among all of them,  river rafting, which is famously called white water rafting, is the major sparkling attraction, bringing thousands of people to Rishikesh.


Floating with the calm as well as turbulent flow of the Ganga is both adrenaline pumping and a spiritually uplifting experience. The rocky and mountainous background of the terrain adds to the pleasure of the entire adventure.


“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” ~ Greg Anderson

The journey of rafting takes us from an ecstasy to panic and vice-versa with each passing moment. It can be compared to the roller-coaster ride of an amusement park – just more exhilarating and expansive as the path is defined by the nature, which is at its thrilling best.

The route designated for the purpose of rafting has been divided into four zones: Kaudiyala, Marine Drive, Shivpuri and Brahampuri. The final stop after Brahampuri is Ramjhula.
Following is the list of rapids, which are encountered during rafting in Rishikesh, shown here with respect to the 4 zones they fall into:
Kaudiyala
1. Daniel Dip III+
2. The Wall IV+
3. Sweet Sixteen
Marine Drive
4. Cash Flow Rapid II+
5. Cross Fire II
6. Three Blind Mice III
7. Body Surging Rapid I
8. Shivpuri Rapid II+
Shivpuri
9.   Return to Sender III
10. Roller Coaster III+
11. Golf Course Rapid III+
12. Initiation Rapid II
Brahampuri
13. Double Trouble II
14. Hilton II
Higher the grade of rapid, more challenging it is to encounter. The Wall IV+ is the most difficult rapid in the entire course of the rafting in Rishikesh. The journey from Kaudiyala to Ramjhula is 36 kilometres long and from Brahampuri it is 9 kilometres.
There are not many restrictions as to who can undertake rafting. However, it is advisable that only an expert swimmer must embark on rafting from Kaudiyala, as the route is long and there are very challenging rapids to face. Ideally, a first-timer should commence his rafting adventure from Shivpuri. The shorter length of the journey (16/17 kilometres) will not lessen the fun; apart from facing the rapids, one can also do body surfing and cliff jumping.
The experience of rafting can be combined with camping and doing that would actually set a serene mood, which is the ideal state of mind before embarking on the exalting adventure of rafting. As only then, one would be able to live each moment to the hilt as there would be no tensions or worries to distract.
There are many river rafting camps in Rishikesh located around the rafting route, which one can seek for an accommodation.
The time of monsoon and winter are not favourable for indulging in rafting activity. The best time to do river rafting in Rishikesh commences from March to May and October to November. The monsoon makes the river too wild and winter makes the water too cold to bear.
Don’t miss out on this ultimate thrill, wrapped in the pious air of Rishikesh.


Author Bio:
Zara is an active travelogue and professional writer.  She loves sharing her experiences and rendering information about adventure travel and tourism related topic about India. She is always looking for new cities to add to her "visited" list and happy to make new contacts around the world. Follow Zara in G+ for more information.