With chilling, cool waters that have trickled down from the ice caps of the Himalayas and white water rapids bursting at the seam, River Ganga is an avid rafter’s dream come true. Popular the world over as one of the most scenic and adventurous locales for white-water rafting, the frothy tributaries of this almost mythological river offer an exhilarating rafting experience found nowhere else in the country. Renowned for the challenging sections of its lower quarters the River Ganga became a focal point for the sport in the latter half of the 80’s with hallmark events such as the Four Square National White-water Rafting Challenge paving the way for the sport’s development within the Himalayan region. With innumerable rafting camps set up along its borders, River Ganga has remained largely unchanged preserving its clean, frothy waterways littered with rocky portions that are the preferred rafting sites of adrenaline junkies.
Accompanied by a trusted river guide or captain, a white water rafting expedition typically begins with an instructional demonstration of what lies ahead and the precautions necessary to ensure a safe and enjoyable rafting experience. Starting 200km upstream from Rishikesh, the rafts will mainly traverse through the Bhagirathi and Alakananda rivers which are the two main tributaries of the River Ganga. Next rafters will negotiate the grade 4 to 5 waters from Devprayag where the Ganga transforms into a pool drop river. Ideal for beginners and amateur rafters the 70km that follows offers grade 2 to 3 rapids passing the portion dubbed the ‘Golf Course’ and the ‘Wall’ at Bysi. Tranquil and deep waters flow below Shivpuri village while idyllic beach stretches are also found along the river at regular intervals. These venues are often used by tour operators to allow the rafters a much deserved time out to relax and unwind on the banks lined with pine, oak and fir trees. Rafters may also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of local wildlife such as leopards, spotted deers, vibrant butterflies and curious monkeys during these breaks. Kolad River Rafting Kolad Rafting
Although all twelve months of the year can be considered rafting season, visitors are encouraged to traverse the Ganga during the months between October and March and avoid the harsh conditions brought on by the monsoon. Weekend packages are provided by most raft operators in the region who also conduct extensive rafting packages for up to 5 days for hardcore enthusiasts of the sport.