Nestled at the foot of the Himalayas, along the banks of the Ganges, Rishikesh has been on the bucket list of many an Indian and non-Indian traveler. While it is one of the most important pilgrimage spots for Hindus, Rishikesh is also known as the Gateway to the Himalayas, because trekkers arrive in Rishikesh to begin their treks into the Himalayas.
But one of the biggest draws of the city is the chance to go river rafting at Rishikesh. The Ganges leaves the Himalayas behind and begins its journey into the plains at Rishikesh, and the river is wide, green, and cold here. Rishikesh water rafting is popular here because of the different grades of rapids on offer. While rafting at Rishikesh, depending on the section of the river you choose, you could experience everything from the milder Grade I and II, to the epic boiling stretch of the Grade IV rapids.
All packages for rafting at Rishikesh offer you a thrill-a-minute session where you battle the rapids in the Ganges, as well as some peaceful paddling past the temples, ashrams and ghats alongside the river. At the end, you’ll head for a quiet stretch of the river, where you can take a dip, or try your hand at body surfing or cliff jumping.
Rafting season in Rishikesh
The best rafting season in Rishikesh is during the summer months of March, April and May, when the cold water is very tempting. But during the monsoon months, all the way till September or October, the rafting season in Rishikesh is strong thanks to the added force of the water. After that, you can still go rafting, but the water gets very cold.
Rishikesh camping and rafting packages
Every day, hordes of adventure seekers arrive, seeking Rishikesh water rafting trips. Just outside the main area, all along the river and its tributaries, and in the midst of the forests around Rishikesh, there are campsites set up to cater to these travellers. Most of these campsites offer Rishikesh camping and rafting packages. Depending on your budget, you can stay in tents, cottages, or rooms. Your Rishikesh camping and rafting package usually involves all meals, a campfire in the evening, and a Rishikesh water rafting session the next day.
Things to do in Rishikesh
From your Rishikesh rafting camp, you can do a number of other fun activities. There are treks to waterfalls and local landmarks, or nature trails that go into the pine forests nearby. If you’re a real adrenaline junkie, combine your Rishikesh water rafting activity with a bungee jumping session. India’s highest bungee platform is close to the city centre, and offers giant swing jumps and a flying fox ride. You should also try to make some time to catch the evening Ganga Aarti, which is an unforgettable event, whether you’re religious or not.
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