Best River Rafting Spots in India

With gushing waters all around you, splashes of water drenching you and with your mind and body pointed unbridled riding on untamed water through the rapids; a mere sight of this is sure to pump you up with adrenaline. Emerging as one of the most popular adventure sports, river rafting is now included in almost all itineraries of trips with friends and family. With a plethora of rivers within reach, India is becoming a hotspot for river rafting. (And it is often considered as one of the best places to enjoy this adventure sport!). You can choose from many places that offer river rafting in India, depending upon the difficulty levels which are graded as-

Grade I- The basic level

Grade II- Easy

Grade III- Moderate

Grade IV- Extremely challenging

Promising a memorable experience for all the adventurers and travellers, this sport is a must-try for all. The pumping of adrenaline and thumping of your heart will make you addicted to river rafting. Let us dive into some of the places in India where we can enjoy this sport-

1. River Ganga at Rishikesh


Undoubtedly one of the most spectacular spots for White Water River rafting in India, Rishikesh has become a synonym for this thrilling adventure sport. Rishikesh nestled in Garhwal Himalaya in Uttarakhand offers rafting in the mighty and whimsical River Ganga in 4 stretches. The Brahmapuri to Rishikesh stretch (9 km), the Shivpuri to Rishikesh stretch (16 km), the Marine Drive to Rishikesh stretch (24 km) and the Kaudiyala to Rishikesh stretch (36 km). Amidst these stretches, you will experience Rapids from Grade I to Grade IV. There are around 13 rapids, and some of them have unusual names, like- The Wall (falls between the Kaudiyala and Marine Drive stretch and is most difficult of all), Roller Coaster (falls between the Marine Drive and Rishikesh stretch). The other exhilarating rapids include Three Blind Mice, Return to Sender, Golf Course and Double Trouble. While on these stretches, you can enjoy the serenity of mountains and splendour of the white sand beaches around. The best time of the year to indulge in river rafting at Rishikesh is from June to September.

2. Teesta River at Sikkim and Darjeeling


The most famous river in Sikkim, Teesta, flows through Sikkim, Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hill Region. The unruly river Teesta offers the rafters a thrilling experience, with a series of rapids with varying intensity. The raging Rangit is a tributary of this river and has multi-dimensional Rapids, offering more challenging rapids to the rafters. Rafting in Teesta is confined to the months from October to April (winter months). What makes this experience invigorating is the beautiful landscape surrounding Teesta. The rocky terrain nearby amplifies the glory of the river. You can also try your hand at oar and paddle rafting here.

3. Indus River at Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir


The enthralling land of Ladakh holds a lot of surprises for the travellers. Indulge in this thrilling recreational sport amidst the snow-capped peaks, hilltop monasteries, hillside villages and deep gorges all around. Indus being the longest river in Asia is stretched over 3,180 kilometres. It originates in Tibet and runs over the cold desert landscape of Ladakh. The river has several rafting points, namely- Phey to Indus Zanskar confluence at Nimo, Phey to Nimo, Upshi to Nimo, Upshi to Kharu. The rafting season here is usually from July to September.

4. Barapole River at Coorg


The adventure and thrill of white water rafting are not just limited to the Northern India. River Barpole, in Coorg, offers phenomenal rafting experiences. This river of Dakshina Kannada is situated on the Deccan Plateau in the Western Ghats. The river has two sections- the regular upper section of the river has about five rapids while the lower section had 6 to 7 rapids. The intensity of the rapids varies from 2 to 4, depending upon the level of water. Some unusual quirky names given to these rapids are- Morning Coffee, Big Bang, The Ramba Samba, The Wicked Witch, Milky Churn and Grasshopper. The rafting season starts from monsoon months and runs till post monsoon time (July to September).

5. Kundalika River at Kolad, Maharashtra


Serving as a hotspot for rafting in Western India, Kolad is a popular destination during the monsoon. Kundalika is a very small river that flows from the magnificent Sahyadri Hills to the Arabian Sea. It is often referred to as the fastest flowing river of the South. It is one of the best weekend gateways of the region and is the only place in India offering White Water River rafting throughout the year. The 15-km stretch provides various Rapids of intensities varying between 3 and 4. The scenic beauty of the surroundings is splendid, and the lush green flora around makes it an attractive destination for travellers.

6. Brahmaputra River (Lohit River) at Arunachal Pradesh


Northern India has some rafting destinations, but that doesn't mean that the North-eastern India will remain devoid of this thrilling adventure sport. The Lohit River, which is a tributary of the Brahmaputra River, is a great spot for kayaking and rafting. River rafting in Arunachal Pradesh takes you on a thrilling ride through foaming white water rapids. The river flows through lush jungles, rocky banks, crevices and tribal settlements, offering excitement lasting a lifetime. Rapids such as Pulsating Pulsi and Toothfairy will surely give you jolts of adrenaline. The best time to indulge in rafting here is from November until March.

Apart from these six hotspots for rafting, this sport is quite evident in many other parts of India. People flock to these destinations every year to enjoy this sport and drench themselves into the beauty of our mighty rivers and pristine landscapes. Other famous whitewater river rafting spots in India include- Beas River in Kullu and Manali, Spiti River in Himachal Pradesh, Bhagirathi River in Uttarakhand, Kameng River in Tawang, Dandeli in Karnataka and Zanskar in Ladakh.

Make sure to add few of these in your next itineraries!

About Shelly Mehandiratta

Being a major in Mathematics, Shelly has an innate passion for number crunching. Often oscillating between her inclination towards writing and love for food and travel, she chose to amalgamate them all. Apart from nibbling at the newest cafes in town and finding hidden spots for a backpacking trip, she is an ardent reader. She finds solace in her vision to build her own library and have a little house up on the Alps.

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