Kolad was once a peaceful fishing village along the Kundalika river. It is surrounded by paddy fields and lush forests, and remains cool and pleasant for most months of the year. However, with the growing popularity of camping and rafting in Kolad, it is now becoming one of the adventure hubs of Maharashtra. Travellers from Mumbai and Pune visit every weekend to enjoy the weather and the activities here.
The river is usually serene, and feeds the fields and greenery around. However, every morning, excess water from Bhira dam is released into the river, turning the river into a seething, churning beast for a couple of hours. This is when you'll be river rafting in Kolad, enjoying a 12 kms stretch with rapids of Grade II and III. When you're safely past the rapids, your guide will allow you to jump in the water for a swim (with life jackets on).
The flow of the Kundalika River is controlled by a dam, hence the rafting sessions are conducted when the dam releases the water every morning and afternoon. This thrilling experience takes you through different levels of rapids, from Grade II to Grade III rapids. Grade II rapids are moderate, with slightly stronger waves and are a great way to perfect your manoeuvring skills. Grade II rapids are more challenging, with strong eddies, high waves and sudden falls. You need to be alert while entering these rapids and follow the instructor's instructions.
Kolad is located in the midst of the Western Ghats, surrounded by greenery. You'll do your rafting in the morning, and will have the rest of the day to enjoy. Most campsites and resorts offer a Kolad river rafting package with rafting as well as activities like kayaking, ziplining, and other fun outdoor activities. Meals are usually Maharashtrian cuisine, served at campsites, although you'll have to pre-book. In the evening, a campfire and BBQ are the best way to enjoy the starry skies and the fresh air at your riverside campsite.
If you're looking for weekend getaways near you, here's a complete List of Adventure Activities near Mumbai or Pune for your next trip
A day picnic is one way to enjoy river rafting in Kolad. Leave early in the morning to make sure you arrive in Kolad by 8:30 or 9:00 a.m, so you'll be in time for your rafting. The most economical Kolad river rafting package offers only rafting, but you can also book packages that include breakfast and lunch at a campsite nearby. This is a better option because you'll be very hungry after your rafting session in Kolad, and there are not too many restaurants around. For those who want to stuff a lot of fun into one day, there are rafting packages that include adventure activities at the campsites.
Kolad has a few picturesque campsites, some as large as 50 acres, located in the middle of hills or alongside the river. You can choose from Swiss tents, cabins, caravans, rooms, cottages or dorms, depending on your group size. You'll eat lavish buffet meals, go rafting in Kolad, try your hand at all kinds of adventure activity, and spend time in nature.
River rafting packages in Kolad are available throughout the year, but the best time to go is during the monsoons. During this season, the Kundalika river is wild and rafting on it is an exhilarating experience. The surrounding landscape too is flourishing and turns into a green paradise. Winter is also a great season for rafting as the mornings are misty and the nights cool.
Kolad is located at a distance of 120 km from Mumbai and 145 km from Pune, and is well connected to the two cities by road and rail. You can reach Kolad by train as there are daily trains connecting to Kolad from Mumbai and Pune. You can also catch a state or privately run bus to reach Kolad. However, if you prefer to drive your own car, then you can reach Kolad by either of the two routes, one via Khapoli on the Mumbai-Goa road, and second from Khapoli Exit on the Mumbai-Pune expressway.
You can also reach Kolad on your motorcycle as the route is quite scenic and makes for a great ride. And since motorcycles are not allowed on the expressway, you need to take the old Mumbai-Goa road to reach Kolad.
While rafting in Kolad, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. First and foremost is safety, so never remove your helmet or life jacket while on the raft and always follow the instructor's directions. Next, do not carry expensive gadgets, jewellery, phone, etc. while rafting as you might lose it in the river. Also, wear clothes that are comfortable and non-restrictive along with sandals or light shoes which won't fall off. Remember to carry some spare cash so you can have vadapav and water at the rafting end point.
There are other rafting destinations that you can choose for your next rafting trip Click here to explore other rafting destinations in India.
Day 1: Rafting in Kolad
Day 1: Rafting in Kolad
Report to the campsite by 08:00 hrs where you can keep your bags and freshen up. You'll then head to the rafting start point and board the rafts. After an invigorating session of rafting on Kundalika, you'll head back to the campsite, have lunch and check-out of the campsite. The trip ends here.
One 12-km session of rafting | All rafting equipment required: life jackets, helmets, paddles, inflatable rafts etc. | Services of experienced rafting instructors | Buffet, veg/non-veg lunch | Access to changing rooms at the campsite | All applicable taxes
Travel arrangements between your home city and the campsite | Travel arrangements between the campsite and the rafting start/end point (additional cost of INR 800-1,000, round-trip, for a tum-tum for 8-10 people) | Adventure activities package - kayaking, river crossing, zip lining (additional cost of INR 500 per person) | Adventure activities package - jet ski, banana boat ride, bumper ride (additional cost of INR 500 per person) | Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks etc.
Report at the campsite by 08:00 hrs and leave your bags there. You'll then head to the rafting start point and begin rafting. The rafting session will last for about 3 hours where you'll battle Grade II and III rapids, and at the end, you'll get to swim in the Kundalika river for a while before reaching the end point. After your rafting session, you'll return to the campsite. You can even try your hand at kayaking, ziplining, burma bridge, etc. You'll then check-out of the campsite by 17:00 hrs. The trip ends here.
One session of rafting on the Kundalika River | All equipment required for rafting: inflatable rafts, life jackets, paddles, helmets etc. | Services of experienced rafting instructors and adventure guides | Adventure activities: kayaking, river crossing, flying fox | All equipment required for adventure activities | Access to common, clean washrooms and changing rooms | Vegetarian lunch (with one non-vegetarian dish) and evening snacks with tea | All government permits and charges | All applicable taxes
Travel arrangements between home city and campsite | Travel arrangements between campsite and rafting start/end point (can be arranged at an extra cost of INR 800-1,000, round-trip, in a tum-tum for 8-10 people) | Adventure activities: bumper boat ride, banana boat ride, jet-ski (arranged for extra cost of INR 500 per person, for all three activities) | Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks etc. | Personal expenses such as additional meals or beverages etc. | Adventure travel or health insurance | Anything not mentioned in inclusions
Day 1:Check-in at the campsite
Day 2:Go rafting on Kundalika River
Day 1:Check-in at the campsite
Check-in at the campsite in the afternoon. You can then spend the rest of the day at leisure. You can even head out to explore Kolad and its gorgeous landscape. However, return to the campsite during dinner time. At night, if weather permits, you may even sit around a campfire.
Day 2:Go rafting on Kundalika River
Wake up early and then head to the rafting start point and begin your rafting session. After battling Grade II and III rapids, you'll arrive at the end point from where you'll head to the campsite. There, you'll freshen up, have lunch and check-out of the campsite. The trip ends here.
Accommodation in non-AC cottages for 1 night on twin/triple-sharing basis:
All buffet, veg/non-veg meals from evening snacks on day 1 to lunch on day 2 | One 12-km session of rafting | All rafting equipment required: life jackets, helmets, paddles, inflatable rafts etc. | Services of experienced rafting instructors and campsite staff | All applicable taxes
Travel arrangements between your home city and the campsite | Travel arrangements between the campsite and the rafting start/end point (additional cost of INR 800-1,000, round-trip, for a tum-tum for 8-10 people) | Adventure activities package - kayaking, river crossing, zip lining (additional cost of INR 500 per person) | Adventure activities package - jet ski, banana boat ride, bumper ride (additional cost of INR 500 per person) | Use of AC in the cottage (additional INR 500 per night) | Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks etc. | Personal expenses such as apparel or gear, extra meals or beverages etc. | Anything not mentioned in inclusions
For river rafting in Kolad, monsoon is the best time to go. During this season, the region transforms into a green paradise with Kundalika River gushing through it. During summer, the river is not that wild but bathing in the river is cooling, and in winter, the atmosphere is misty and cold.
Kolad is located quite close to Mumbai and Pune, and is well connected by road and rail. To reach Kolad, you can either hire a cab or drive your own car. There are two routes to reach Kolad, one via Khapoli Pali on the Mumbai-Goa road, and second from Khapoli Exit on Mumbai-Pune expressway. You can even reach Kolad by train which connects it to most major cities of Maharashtra. There are daily trains connecting Mumbai and Pune to Kolad. There are also many state-run buses operating between Mumbai and Pune.
While rafting, wear comfortable clothes that do not restrict your movement, paired with sandals. When you're not rafting, you can wear comfortable clothes but try to cover your legs and hands with full pants and full sleeve t-shirts respectively to avoid mosquito bites
All Kolad river rafting packages include all the rafting equipment which are provided by the operator, so you only need to carry your personal essentials. Remember to carry extra pairs of clothes, sunscreen, raincoat, and mosquito repellent.
While rafting, life jackets are provided so there's no need to worry if you don't know how to swim. Apart from this, there is usually a weight limit of 120 kg for rafting.
The monsoon is one of the best times for river rafting in Kolad. The entire region turns into a lush green paradise, and the river is full and wild. However, other times of the year are fun too. In the summers, the river is not as full, but swimming in the river is cooling and delightful. In winter, you'll love the campfire evenings and misty mornings.
For the Kolad rafting trip, you need to carry sunscreen, a change of clothes, a light towel, and sunglasses and a cap for the day's adventure activities. If you're staying overnight, do make sure you carry light, long-sleeved clothing for the evenings, and insect repellent. Wear sandals with a strap to prevent your shoes from being washed away in the river.
Yes, absolutely! There is no need to know swimming or rafting, but you should not suffer from any fear of water. Everyone is provided with helmets and life jackets, regardless of their experience, and a rafting guide will be present on every raft. Do make sure you follow his instructions at all times.
Overall, rafting in Kolad is safe and involves very little risks. Although the Kundalika River might seen fast, especially the folding rapids, it is a safe experience. All the Kolad rafting packages include high-quality safety gear like helmet and life jacket, and you are given a safety briefing before the rafting session; and you will be accompanied by experienced instructors who are also great swimmers.
There are many campsites and resorts at Kolad offering a variety of accommodations. The Kolad rafting packages with overnight stay start from alpine tent stays and swiss tents stay, with some even equipped with an AC and charging points. If you don't wish to stay in a tent, then you can book a cottage or a room which provide all the basic amenities like charging points, fan, attached washroom, etc. Some campsites also offer treehouses and villas. If you're going with a big group, then you can book a dormitory which can accommodate many people.
During rafting in Kolad, a single raft can accommodate up to 8-9 people along with 1 instructor. Although, it should be noted that private rafts are not available in Kolad and if your group consists of few people, then you will be paired with another group on a single raft.