Rishikesh might make you think of temples and Hindu culture and spirituality,but not many know that Rishikesh is the adventure hub of India.It is the best place for white water rafting in India.Apart from that, it is also famous for its art and culture, yoga and scenic beauty and also trekker's paradise.This quaint town of Uttarakhand located in the lap of Himalayas on the banks of holy Ganges is the perfect getaway that the soul needs!
How to reach? Rishikesh is well connected to other cities, around 242kms from New Delhi, Nearest airport is Dehradun, costing anywhere between 2k to 15k, from there cabs and buses ferry in and out often. Another option is by train, Rishikesh has its own railway station which is well connected to major cities. One more way to reach Rishikesh is by road.
When? Rishikesh can be visited anytime.But river rafting is closed in monsoons due to rains and summers due to high temperatures. Buy you can visit anywhere between September to November or march to April for rafting.
Time frames? Rishikesh has different routes with different difficulty levels at different time frames.
Brahmapuri rafting season: Most easy and can be enjoyed by everyone. Basic stretch extending to 9km, mostly grade II rapids. Can be done between mid- September to end of June. It is most preferred and least costing (450 per head) and lasting for around 1.5 hrs.
Shivpuri rafting season: Opens around mid June, moderate difficulty having mainly grade III rapids, extending to 16kms, highly recommend for adventure junkies out there but non swimmers should avoid taking this route. Time taken is around 3.5 hrs and costs to 600 per head.
Marine drive rafting season: Opens with shivpuri but closed a week or two before, highly challenging and nerve chilling experience of adventure and nirvana at the same time! consisting grade IV rapids, stretching to 24 Kms and takes around 4.5 hrs. Not recommended for beginners and the cost can go upto 850 per person.
Kudiyala rafting season: Opened for the shortest time frame between mid-October to mid-may. It is an excrutiating and rough route having grade V rapids, spanning 34kms, it takes 8 hours and cots the highest amounting to 1800 per head. It is only for professionals and experienced rafters.
Things to keep in mind?
Rafting is an activity requiring good fitness so always undergo a health check before signing up.Even beginners, non-swimmers and aged people are allowed to raft but only if they do obey the guidelines given. Rafting is a team sport so paddle with your team not individually. Always listen to your guide, if u fall into the water.... don't worry! And life jackets are a must!. Try to avoid wearing casual footwear and opt to wearing sports shoes or river shoes only.And also avoid any types of intoxication before the rafting as it leads to disaster.
What to carry? Two pairs of extra clothes is a must, Most preferably swimming apparel. T-shirt and shorts is allowed but avoid cotton.Carry cameras at your own risk. Carry extra towel and footwear too, And basic first aid kit is a must, It is advisable to carry a sun-screen or SPF lotion to protect against the sun, And swimming goggles or sunglasses if needed can be carried.
You can book the events with various agencies. From government led Rishikesh tourism site to private agencies. You can opt of either a package with camping or without camping. They range anywhere between 1k to 7k depending on your choice of package and routes taken to agency.
You can also opt for other activities in Rishikesh like rock climbing, wildlife Safari, trekking, cliff-climbing, temple visits, yoga packs, to visiting and explore the city of Rishikesh.
So the next time you take a getaway give your soul some tranquil and adventure at once by choosing Rishikesh!