What Rishikesh means to an individual depends on the type of individual you ask. For religious Indians, it is a holy city; for spiritual ones, it is a place of yoga and meditation and for adrenaline junkies, it is a place to indulge in adventure.
Rock-climbing, trekking, mountaineering, bungee jumping and many more, Rishikesh is an adventure seeker’s paradise offering a plethora of activities to satisfy that lust for thrill and excitement. One adventure sport stands out among the rest and that is river rafting in Rishikesh.
For devout Indians, the Ganges is a river to be prayed but for experienced rafters it is a river to be conquered. The Ganges offers some of the most formidable rapids in India that will have your raft and you splashing about in the water.
It is the challenging nature of the Ganges that has made Rishikesh rafting famous not only in India but all over the world. A number of international rafting enthusiasts come down to the city every year from Asian and European countries hoping to tame the mighty rapids.
When to go rafting in Rishikesh
River rafting in Rishikesh has even seen an uptick in popularity amongst the leisure travelers within the country as incomes and interest in travel has increased over the years. This has prompted Uttarakhand Tourism to encourage the proliferation of tour operators as well as campers in and around the city.
The peak season for rafting in this mesmerizing city is during the summers and the early months of winter with a huge number of rafters descending upon the city during those periods. Rafting is inaccessible during the monsoon season when the river is too unruly to be tamed by even the most experienced rafter.
About the routes and rapids
The primary course of Rishikesh rafting originates from Kaudiyala, located about 40 kilometers by road from the city. A number of sandy beaches like Byasi, Marine Drive among others dot the length of the course and add to its allure.
The river, however, might not afford you the opportunity to relish these views of Rishikesh rafting as it throws hidden rocks, unruly waves and a number of other obstacles in your path.
River rafting in Rishikesh serves up 13 rapids that range from grade II all the way to IV+ ensuring something for everyone which is another reason why it continues to draw so many rafters year after year. The most prominent ones are Denial Dip, Three Blind Mice, Terminator, Roller Coaster, Black Money among many others.
If you are a novice rafter, know that conquering the entire stretch from Kaudiyala to Laxman Jhula is by no means an easy task. Even experts struggle to overcome the rapids especially between Kaudiyala and Marine Drive. It is best to spread out your rafting over a few days as only the most experienced rafters can hope to cover the entire stretch in a single day over a period of 9 hours.
When it comes to the essentials you need to carry, make sure you carry ample sanitiser to last you the duration of your trip, especially if you’re camping, extra reusable masks in case some get wet or soiled, and a few disposable masks in case you enter crowded areas and feel the need to double mask. Make sure you check the government-issued notices and SOPs to stay updated on the latest guidelines and documents that need to be carried.
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