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Top 10 White Water Rafting Destinations In India

Discussion in 'Destination Guides' started by Debapriya Deb, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Debapriya Deb

    Debapriya Deb Active Member

    White Water Rafting is undoubtedly one of the most thrilling and popular adventure sports in India, especially among the younger generation. Rafting on the turbulent waters can provide you an unmatched bout of adrenaline rush - something that can bowl over the adventure junkie in you. If you are looking for an action-packed river rafting experience, then India has quite a few river-centric tourism circuits to satisfy your urge.

    However with so many probable options to choose from, it can be a challenge to zero in on just one destination. To make the job easier for you, here's a compilation of the top ten places to enjoy the thrills and spills of white water rafting in India.

    Best White Water Rafting Destinations in India - The Top 10

    10. Wayanad

    State - Kerala
    River - Mananthavady & Anoth River
    Rafting Distance - 6 KM, 8 KM, 12 KM, 16 KM & 20 KM
    Rapids - Grade 1, 2 & 3

    The picturesque hill-surrounded valley of Wayanad in Kerala has emerged out as one of the most promising white water rafting destinations in the recent times. Wayanad offers not one, but two river rafting trails - one along the Mananthavady river, while the second option is on the Anoth river.

    Mananthavady river offers short, medium and long distance rafting routes. The shortest one is a 6 KM trail that goes downstream from Pazhassi Park to Koyileri. The grade 1 and 2 rapids along this trail is the perfect opportunity for the beginners to get a hang of things. Experienced rafters can choose between the 12 KM or 20 KM trails from Pazhassi Park to Dasanakkara and Kuruva Islands respectively. On top of Grade 1 and 2 rapids, both these trails can provide you the thrills of Grade 3 rapids as well. You can also take the opportunity to experience bamboo rafting around Kuruva Islands.

    Anoth river rafting has 8 KM and 16 KM trails consisting of Grade 2 & Grade 3 rapids. Although not as popular as the Mananthavady trails, Anoth river's tumultuous waters can make your rafting experience both challenging and memorable.

    9. Kolad

    State - Maharashtra
    River - Kundalika River
    Rafting Distance - 14 KM
    Rapids - Grade 1, 2 & 3

    Kolad is a charming little hamlet located on the banks of Kundalika River. Just 121 KM away from Mumbai city, the place with its lovely natural settings has the potential to impress you at the very first sight. Kolad has made its entry into the list of adventure destinations around Mumbai due to the option to go for white water rafting on the turbulent waters of the Kundalika River. Rafting through the Kundalika river's roaring currents is indeed an experience worth cherishing. Located in the Sahyadri Ranges, the river is fed by excessive waters from the Kundalika hydroelectric dam, making it an all-year rafting destination in Maharashtra.

    Kundalika river offers a 14 KM downstream rafting stretch, which takes around 3 hours to complete. You will have to negotiate as many as 10 rapids during your ride, 3 of which are of Level 1, 5 are Level 2 and the remaining 2 are Level 3. The difficulty level is relatively easier, which makes it an ideal place for the beginners to taste the thrill and fun of river rafting. The monsoon months of July-September are the best period to enjoy river rafting at Kolad.

    8. Coorg

    State - Karnataka
    River - Upper Barapole River
    Rafting Distance - 3 KM
    Rapids - Grade 2, 3 & 4

    The gushing Upper Barapole River at Coorg serves as the ideal setup for an eventful campaign of white water rafting. It's short distance rafting course of 3 KM is dotted with rapids of varying difficulty that would test your rafting expertise. Although the distance is on the shorter side, it makes up for the deficit with tricky and challenging rapids. You can experience Grade 2, 3 and 4 rapids along this rafting route.

    You will encounter as many as 5 rapids during this short 3 KM stretch. The first one is a Grade 2 rapid fondly called as the Morning Coffee. Up next you will need to tackle the tricky Grasshopper (Grade 3), followed by Ramba Samba (Grade 2) and Wicked Witch (Grade 3) in quick succession. At the finishing line, the most fascinating Big Bang rapid is waiting to give you a big shot of adrenaline. This Grade 4 rapid, aptly named as the Big Bang, is the main reason behind Coorg's reputation as one of South India’s most challenging White Water Rafting destinations. Alongside rafting, you can also experience a ride on a kayak or a canoe on the Kakkabe River.

    7. Tattapani

    State - Himachal Pradesh
    River - Sutlej River
    Rafting Distance - 5 KM, 14 KM, 24 KM, 36 KM
    Rapids - Grade 1, 2, 3 & 4

    Tattapani is a perfect dose of adventure and beauty rolled into one. Located at a distance of 51 KM from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, the place has become a favourite tourist destination for the youngsters owing to the opportunity of white water rafting in the Sutlej River. The mighty Sutlej has a number of rafting courses of various difficulty levels - right from the easy Level-1 rapids in Sunni-Tattapani stretch to the challenging Grade-4 rapids in the Naldehra-Tattapani route.

    Entry level rafters will enjoy the 5 KM long rafting stretch from Sunni to Tattapani which has a number of Grade 1 and 2 rapids. If you are looking for a little more challenge, then the 14 KM trail from Chaba would suit you better. And if you are a pro, then you have two options to choose from. The first one is a 24 KM stretch from Malgi to Chaba - which has a number of Grade 2 and 3 rapids. There is also the longer 36 KM route to Naldehra for experiencing the ultimate rafting challenge. This extremely turbulent trail with gushing currents has many Grade 3 and 4 rapids to provide you the desired adrenaline effect.

    6. Karjat

    State - Maharashtra
    River - Ulhas River
    Rafting Distance - 8 KM
    Rapids - Grade 2 & 3

    Located in the Thane district of Maharashtra, it takes about an hour and another half to reach the quaint little village of Karjat from the Mumbai city. Situated on the banks of the Ulhas River, Karjat is a hidden paradise set on the backdrop of undulating mountains and lush greenery.

    River Ulhas has one of the best down-stream stretches for white water rafting in the state of Maharashtra. Quite naturally, the place attracts lots of adventure enthusiasts from within Maharashtra as well as the neighboring states. Ulhas offers an 8 KM rafting trail, interspersed with many sudden slides and high-speed rapids, that takes around 3 hours' extensive paddling. It requires precise manoeuvring to wade your way through the grade 2 and 3 rapids, especially when the level of water is higher. Depending upon your interest and endurance level, you can either opt for shorter rafting sections or go for the longer route.

    5. Tawang

    State - Arunachal Pradesh
    River - Kameng River
    Rafting Distance - 25 KM
    Rapids - Grade 3, 4 & 5

    Tawang is a picturesque hill destination located on the lap of the Himalayan mountain ranges in the furthest North-Eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. Perched on top of a mountain range, Tawang allures tourists with its stunning green appeal and rich natural splendour. The place boasts of surreal landscapes that can instill a sense of heavenly feeling in your soul.

    The sleepy town is encircled by the gorgeous Kameng river, which is also the USP of Tawang as an adventure destination. Rafting on the dancing white waters of Kameng river is one of the must do activities while at Tawang. The long 25 KM rafting route ensures that the thrill doesn't end sooner and provides you with extreme exhilaration. Considered as one of the most challenging river rafting circuits in India, Kameng's Grade 3 to Grade 5 rapids can give you a huge dose of adrenaline boost. At the same time, the stunning panoramic landscapes, decorated by snow-capped mountain peaks and beautiful valleys through which the river flows, are sure to take your breath away.

    4. Pirdi

    State - Himachal Pradesh
    River - Beas River
    Rafting Distance - 14 KM
    Rapids - Grade 3 & 4

    Just 45 KM away from the famous hill station of Manali in Kullu valley, Pirdi is yet another popular white water rafting spot in Himachal Pradesh that offers both long and short distance runs along the mighty Beas river. It is considered as one of the best white water rafting facilities in the country. The Beas river, one of the most flamboyant rivers in India, offers excellent opportunity to experienced rafters. Beas invites the daredevils to sail on its turbulent waters as it meanders through some tricky sections that require extreme control and precise maneuvering.

    The rafting ride on Beas starts at Pirdi, runs through a stretch of 14 KM downstreams and concludes at Jhiri. It's a lot of fun and excitement to tackle several swift swirls, high-speed descends and thrilling rapids during your rafting trip. There are a total of 10 rapids on this trail - all ranges between Grade 3 and 4. S Bend Alpha, Beta, Gama, Workshop and Airport-II are some of the most challenging rapids that you are going to encounter from Pirdi to Jhiri. It takes around 3 hours to complete this fascinating exercise. If you are craving for some more fun, then you can continue to raft from Jhiri to Panarasa via Nagwain and enjoy a few more splashes and swirls.

    3. Ravangla

    State - Sikkim
    River - Rangit River
    Rafting Distance - 9 KM
    Rapids - Grade 2 & 3

    When it comes to the Eastern parts of India, Ravangla in South Sikkim is perhaps the most well-known white water rafting destination. It can be an excellent choice for an adventure-filled vacation close to the lap of the nature. With the dancing Rangit River providing the much-needed thrills at every twist, the adrenaline junkies can enjoy some enthralling water sports activities at this little Sikkimese hamlet.

    The mother of all adventure activities at Ravangla is white water rafting on the vigorous Rangit river. The Rangit Water World is a must visit place for the adrenaline junkies. The rafting course is a 9 KM long downstream stretch. It has 8 challenging Grade-2 and Grade-3 rapids, interspersed with high-speed descends and narrow gorges, that would require precise maneuvering. Rest assured, if you are looking for some thrills that can send chilling vives through your spinal cord, then white water rafting at Ravangla fits the bill perfectly.

    2. Dandeli

    State - Karnataka
    River - Kali River
    Rafting Distance - 12 KM
    Rapids - Grade 2 & 3

    Dandeli in Karnataka is a hub of river rafting - both for casual thrill seekers and experienced pro rafters. Blessed with an incomparable mix of scenic beauty, rich wildlife and adventure options. Nestled in the lushy green surroundings of the Western Ghats mountain ranges with River Kali flowing through its heart, the Northern Karnataka town of Dandeli is one of the most attractive adventure sports destinations in the southern parts of India.

    The boisterous Kali River can provide you with a jaw-dropping white water rafting experience. The rush of untamed rough waters bring you some fascinating rapids and gorges to satisfy your urge for adrenaline. You will encounter as many as 12 whirling rapids on a course of 12 KM and the bumpy joyride will last for close to 2.5 hours. The rapids at Dandeli are classified as Grade 2 and 3, which make it a perfect fit for both the beginners as well as the experienced rafters.

    1. Rishikesh

    State - Uttarakhand
    River - Ganga River
    Rafting Distance - 8 KM, 16 KM, 26 KM, 34 KM
    Rapids - Grade 3 & 4

    Nothing can be more adventurous than river rafting on the Ganges! Set on the foothills of the Shivalik range of Greater Himalayas, Rishikesh in Uttarakhand is unarguably the ultimate destination for rafting enthusiasts in India. Set on the banks of the holy Ganges (Ganga), Rishikesh is steadily becoming the most preferred adventure destination for tourists from the Northern parts of India. White water rafting on the vibrant Ganges can be a bout of unmatched thrill. The tranquil surroundings and gushing sounds of crystal-clear waters will make you fall in love with this place.

    The mighty Ganges is wild and untamed with its powerful waves, violent gorges and strong under-current - making it a real challenge for even the most well-accomplished rafters. White water rafting at Rishikesh involves a downstream run of 34 KM from Rishikesh to Kaudiyala via Brahmpuri, Shivpuri and Byasi. You can choose from the 8 KM stretch between Rishikesh-Brahmpuri, 16 KM course between Rishikesh-Shivpuri, 26 KM trail between Rishikesh-Byasi or the entire 34 KM distance from Rishikesh to Kaudiyala.

    There are 14 high-speed rapids on the entire rafting trail. Terminator (Grade 3), Three Blind Mice (Grade 3), Cross Fire (Grade 3), Roller Coaster (Grade-4), Double Trouble (Grade 4) and Daniel's Dip (Grade 4) are some of the most challenging rapids that you would need to negotiate with extreme caution. Rafting down the Grade 3 and Grade 4+ rapids of Ganga can be tricky and extremely strenuous, but it would surely get your adrenaline pumping and make your rafting experience truly memorable.

    Now that you are aware of the best white water rafting destinations in India, bring out the adventure seeker in yourself and head to one of the ten amazing places mentioned in this article. Rest assured, lots of thrills and heart-pumping moments are waiting to make it a memorable adventure trip for your gang of fearless daredevils!

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016

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