Uttarakhand is a haven for spiritual, adventurous and personal aspects of one’s life. The state is famous for its spirituality, how it exudes and creates a holy ambience. Uttarakhand is located at a prime location where it is surrounded by Tibet, Nepal and Himachal Pradesh and place of origin for rivers like Ganga and Yamuna. Unlike the known places like Badrinath, Kedarnath or Char Dham Yatra, Rishikesh camping lay low with its serene rivers.
Rishikesh is surrounded by the gushing river of Ganga on its three sides. Subsequently river rafting is the most common and popular adventure sport in Rishikesh. It is often called ‘White River Rafting’ due to the icy cold frothy waters of Ganga. Unlike the rivers in the neighboring states, mighty Ganga has strong force gushing downstream creating an adrenaline pumping terrain for river rafting. Following are few things which sets apart rafting in Rishikesh from river raftings in other states
The wide stretch of mighty river Ganga flows through Rishikesh creating different levels and terrain for river rafting. It doesn’t matter if you are an amateur or an expert rafter, Rishikesh’s white water rafting caters to everyone’s needs. The stages range from I-III for amateurs and IV-VI for experts. The water of rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda meet at Devprayag to form Ganga is level IV and V for experienced river rafters. The waters here are extreme and are a perfect way to pump your adrenaline if you are not into trekking.
The III level stretches at 70 kms max taking up more than half of your day. River rafting takes up your whole day so you won’t have to rush things to go according to the itinerary. You spend your entire day traveling to the river rafting camps and going river rafting.
The equipment for rafting, right from the oars, boats, helmets and lifejackets are fully updated and serve their purpose. The guides who take you rafting are experts and thoroughly experienced. Hence it is quite safe to opt for river rafting if you ever happen to be in Rishikesh. They give you a briefing about the nature of the waters you are going to raft in and dos and don’ts of rafting. This assures faith in the tourists which makes the wite river rafting a safe adventure sport to do.
Some rafting takes 4-5 days at a stretch where you need to camp right at the sandy river banks. There are several river rafting camps along the river banks which offer tents as accommodation and food for their tourists as a part of the package. Camping beside the icy river can be a totally different experience altogether unlike camping on the mountains or meadows. You will find yourself in between slopes covered with oak forests on either side. The huge boulders found alongside the shore make a perfect seat to enjoy the rest of your day admiring the mountains turn golden as the sun sets. Do it for the view!
White river rafting is a team effort. If you travel with your friends, this would be a bonding experience for you. Unlike trekking, where you are responsible for your own safety first, river rafting requires efforts from all the people on board to make it a fun and successful ride. Everyone on board is given oars to direct the boat through rapid streams where everyone’s efforts count and all have a good time together. There are cliff jumping spots from where you can jump off into the river, don’t miss out on that.
It is pocket friendly. The per head costs are reasonable and not extravagant. The costs often depend on the package you choose which vary according to their distances. The average distance starts from 10 kms and above. The charges include rafting equipment, guide and occasionally food. The standard rafting charges range from 300-400 rs. Make sure you book in advance during the peak season.
If you happen to travel after October, there are bonfires in the camps near the river. Have the best experience of your life by sharing fun stories with strangers or the people you live around the bonfire during chilly nights. The sand near the river banks make a soft bed for the night. Since the tents are set up closer to the flowing river, there are no water issues faced by the tourists. Also you can go for a quick swim in the river where the waters are still and the guide will allow you for a dubki.