The adventure town of Rishikesh is ragingly popular worldwide for a variety of things – be it the religious sites, heritage places, mediation and Yoga, the tale of The Beetles, water sports, bungee jumps, and what not! But one thing that adventurers always have on their to-do lists when in Rishikesh is – undoubtedly – rafting in the holy waters of the Ganges! Well, it’s called the place is called the “rafting capital of India” for a reason.

And when you do decide to do rafting in Rishikesh, one question that you will face is – which rafting stretch to choose? To clear out the basics, a rafting stretch is the path you’ll take (say from point A to point B), including the number of rapids (points of high water velocity and turbulence), and the difficulty level of these rapids (indicated by grades – I, II, III, IV, etc., more the grade number, the more challenging it gets).

While choosing from the various Rishikesh rafting packages, you’ll have to choose between 4 rafting stretches, depending on your experience in the sport, and the amount of challenge that you seek. Let’s find out the best stretch for you, shall we?

rafting in rishikesh

Choosing the stretch for rafting in Rishikesh

  1. Beginner Level [9 km, grade II rapids, around 2 hrs.)
    If you are trying out rafting for the first time and don’t intend to push your body too much, this rafting stretch is for you. Also suitable if you are doing this with your family, or if there are children in your group, and want to keep things a bit on the lighter side.

    In this particular stretch, you’ll be facing grade II rapids like Double Trouble, Initiation, Hilton, and Terminator. Yes, rapids here are given fascinating names; it certainly adds a little quirk to your rafting experience.

    It takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete this stretch. So, if you are running short on time but still want to get a feel of the sport, go for this beginner-level stretch.

  2. Intermediate level [16 km, grade II, III rapids, around 3.5 hrs.)
    A popular choice for most enthusiasts who take up rafting in Rishikesh. this stretch is suitable for both beginners, and experienced people, as it provides a good mix of easy and demanding situations. In this Rishikesh rafting package, you’ll cover a distance of around 16 km, from Shivpuri to Rishikesh. Grade II and III rapids like the Return to the Sender, Crossfire, Roller Coaster, and Golf Course will await you on this particular course.

    This adventurous yet casual stretch takes around 3-3.5 hrs. to complete.

  3. Expert level [24 km, grade II and III rapids, around 5 hrs.)
    For the ones looking to spend a good long exciting time with their squad, we have this expert-level stretch, covering a distance of 24 km from Marine Drive to Rishikesh. This is fit for the ones who have earlier tried their hands at rafting, or even for the first-timers who are confident of enduring it all.

    You are in for around 14 rapids, of grades I, II, and III, namely Three Blind Mice, Black Money, and Club House. This stretch takes around 4.5-5 hrs. to be done with.

  4. Boss Level [36 km, grade IV+ rapids, around 8 hrs.)
    The ultimate trophy for the thrill-seekers, for the ones who have been pushing the limits every time they have entered the raft! This 36 km, high-intensity stretch from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh is one of the most difficult stretches in Rishikesh, taking you through challenging rapids like The Great Wall and Eddy Whirlpool.

    Imagine being 7-8 hours on the raft, feeling the spikes in your adrenaline levels, shouting out loud to boost your team, while pushing your body to face it all! And in the end, stepping out of the raft a winner! That’s what this “Boss Level” stretch is about.

rafting in rishikesh

Choosing the best rafting stretch depends on how experienced you are, and what level of challenge you seek from the sport. It is, however, completely okay for an experienced rafter to choose a short-distance stretch if the intention is just to have fun and not put the body through an ordeal. Likewise, a beginner – high on enthusiasm (and probably Red Bull) – can choose the Expert Level stretch and go all out with it. In the end, whichever stretch you choose for rafting in Rishikesh, an experience of a lifetime definitely awaits you.

Further Reading