Over the last few decades, Rishikesh has become one of the most popular adventure hubs in Uttarakhand. Two of the major rivers of India – the Ganga and the Yamuna – start from Uttarakhand, fed by glaciers and melting snow from peaks, and provide some of the best rafting stretches in the country. Rishikesh, for decades an important spiritual destination for Hindus, is now also known as the gateway to the Himalayas, thanks to its convenient location. Rafting in Rishikesh is one of the most popular sports here, apart from bungee jumping, kayaking, and mountain-biking.
Every day, hordes of adventure seekers arrive in Rishikesh. The city has campsites set along the tributaries of the Ganga river. Camping in Rishikesh depends on your budget: you can stay in tents, cottages, or rooms. These packages usually involves all meals, a campfire in the evening, some on-site adventure activities, and a session of white water rafting. Find other adventures in our blog post, Top Adventures in Uttarakhand .
From Rishikesh, the Ganges leaves the Himalayas behind and begins its journey into the plains. The river is wide, green, and cold here, and has multiple different grades of rapids on offer. While rafting the Ganga, depending on the section of the river you choose, you can experience everything from the milder Grade I and II rapids, to the epic boiling stretch of the Grade IV rapids.
All the rafting stretches in Rishikesh offer you a fun session. You’ll be given a short briefing by the instructor, and then will strap on your gear and clamber aboard your raft. You’ll paddle out into the river, where you’ll quickly pick up the skills required to battle the rapids of the river. At the end of your session, you’ll be taken to the peaceful stretches, where you can paddle, take a dip, or try some cliff jumping.
Your rafting package can be customized to suit your requirements. For families with young children, there are packages that are shorter, easier, and will cover fewer rapids. You can choose from the 9 km stretch (for families with kids), 16 kms stretch (good for beginners), or longer rafting packages like 24 or 32 kms. From the 16 kms stretch onwards, you’ll be meeting all the most famous rapids, like Double Trouble, Golf Course, Return to Sender, The Wall, and more.
The best rafting season in Rishikesh is during the summer months of March, April and May, when the day is warm and the cold water is very refreshing. During the monsoon months, rafting might be closed on certain days. In the winter, many people come out to enjoy the chilly nights and go rafting in the cold water.