Rishikesh: The Rafting Riot


Rishikesh, the holy city in the state of Uttrakhand is a tourist favorite place throughout the year. Situated on the banks of the holy River Ganga, the city is listed amongst the must watch destinations in all the tourist guides. Rishikesh is 25kms. from Dehradun by road. Commutable distance from the capital city makes the destination all the more attractive!


The temples and the Sadhus along the bank of the holy river are fascinating for the first timers. Both have the uncanny knack to let the beholders awe! They say taking a bath in the holy water of the Ganga, cleanses one of his sins. Two sides of the city are connected by two bridges known as the Ram Jhula and the Laxman Jhula. What makes them brilliant is the fact that they both are more than a century old, yet they retain in them the strength to let a car cross across it!


Rishikesh, is also known as the ‘River Rafting Capital of India’. It is a paradise for adventure lovers. The most favorable spot for rafting is Shivpuri, which is 14 kms. from Rishikesh. Rafting is one of the major activities done in Shivpuri, the others include body surfing, cliff jumping, beach volleyball, trekking, camping, rock climbing and rappelling. However the most exciting out of all the adventure sports is rafting.


There are 13 excellent rapids over a stretch of 36 km from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh. These river rapids are not only popular with beginners but also with adrenaline junkies. The names that have been given to these rapids are also no less interesting. One can choose to raft down along rapids like Sweet Sixteen, Three Blind Mice, Roller Coaster, Marine Drive, Initiation and Double Trouble among others.


The initial stint on the rapids is petrifying, when one has to continuously move the rafters to save one’s life. However as the raft gains momentum, the ride is enjoyable each minute! The ‘cat-like’ rapids try to grapple the raft down. One has to struggle against the current to emerge as the winner. All the frustrations of one’s mind get accumulated in front of him in the form of the rapids, and with the help of the rafter, he tries to cut his path through them. It is a tremendous form of unleashing the strength within you.


The moments when on the raft are unparallel. It is the most intense encounter with the Nature! Waddling through the turbulent rapids amidst the picturesque Himalayas is an experience in itself. The water splashed by the raft and the nature’s blessing in form of the Sun Shine amalgamates the paradoxical situations perfectly!


Accommodation during the river rafting tour to Rishikesh is also a wonderful experience. Tented accommodation is easily available. These tents are provided with attached washroom, sleeping area (100 sq feet), verandah, electricity and running water. In each of these tents, there are linen beds, easy chairs and bedside table. Though medical facility is not readily available at the camp, a doctor can be available on call. The campsite is located on long sandy beaches by the riverbank of the Ganga. Camping in Rishikesh adheres by the key principles of responsible tourism, so that we leave lesser carbon footprints in the area when we return. The ideal time for rafting is between the months of June to September.


Thus all in all a trip to Rishikesh has everything that a tourist would look for!


Garvita Khybri

[Image source:http://www.flickr.com/photos/abrinsky/2370950257/]