Clad in life jackets and armed with paddles, river rafting in Rishikesh means that you are battling against the torrents. The river is the field where you test your judgment, manoeuvre your way through the harsh water currents and reach the shore safe and sound. Your synchronised paddling against the tumultuous waters is what’s going to propel you toward victory. River rafting in Rishikesh is one of the best waterborne activities to get that adrenaline pumping.
If you are planning to visit Rishikesh soon, book your stay at Treebo Hotels for an elevated travel experience. Seeing how the accommodations are present at favourable locations, you can reach your river rafting points without any hassle.
River rafting in Rishikesh is all about combing the thrill of challenging rapids with awe-inspiring moments of joy while you glide through calmer stretches. Whether you’re a seasoned rafter looking for an exhilarating ride or a novice who wants to test the ‘waters’, river rafting in Rishikesh promises an unforgettable blend of memories, nature, and adventure.
Best Time to Go River Rafting in Rishikesh
River rafting in Rishikesh remains to be an enjoyable activity throughout the year. It is the other kind of ‘meditation’ in Rishikesh that adventure lovers seek and appreciate.
The Spring, Summer and Autumn seasons (March to June and October-November) are the ideal times when you can go on multiple river rafting trips. All the major routes are open and you will see that the crowd is more during this time. The skies are clear, you can see the hilly backdrops better, and the air is not uncomfortably cold. The entire set-up is cosy, inviting, and rejuvenating. Moreover, the flow of water is not too tumultuous and you can enjoy a decent ride.
We cannot say the same about the rainy season in August and September. The rainfall is moderate to heavy in Rishikesh during the peak monsoon months. The water level rises, the currents are more uncertain and most of the water routes will be closed owing to safety concerns. The river rafting experts might find this season to be apt for their adventure getaways but novices will not have suitable water rafting routes.
Winter river rafting depends on your preference. Though the water level is comfortable, the weather is rather cold. If you enjoy the chilled breeze of the winter months, then you can go ahead and explore river rafting in Rishikesh from December to February.
Grades of River Rafting
If you are thinking that river rafting in Rishikesh is only meant for adults, then you are greatly mistaken. The exuberant sport is suitable for kids as well and you can enjoy this exuberant activity with your entire family. All you have to do is familiarise yourself with the different grades of river rafting. River rafting is classified into different grades based on the difficulty of the rapids and the overall experience. This Roman categorisation helps adventurers understand what to expect and choose a suitable rafting experience based on their skill level and comfort.
If you are travelling to this beautiful town along with your family comprising of kids, this is what you should look for – Grade I river rafting in Rishikesh. Your rafts will move on slow waters with small waves. There are fewer or absolutely no obstacles in your way. You don’t have to know anything about river rafting before venturing on this adventure. Before you start off, your instructor will give you a 10-minute briefing and that should suffice.
Grade II is a tiny bit more challenging than Grade I. This is not meant for children though. The water waves are of medium intensity and you will have occasional obstacles on your route. You must be able to manoeuvre your boat to pass them. You will have a guide on the raft so be sure to listen to his instructions. In Rishikesh, the obstacles are mostly in the form of huge rocks or branches of trees. You don’t have to be experienced to go on a Grade II river rafting route. The instructions from your guide are more than enough.
It is important that people have some rafting experience to find their way along the Grade III waters. This is definitely not for novices seeing how the currents are stronger than the first two levels and the obstacles are more. You need to show good teamwork and synchronised paddling is mandatory. Your instructor will be of great help but if you have never been on a river rafting adventure before, Grade III can be very overwhelming. You need to have basic river reading skills and decide how you want to move your raft. This is not possible with beginners.
Only the ones who are aware of the technicalities of river rafting in Rishikesh can face the Grade IV waters. The currents are powerful with unpredictable and irregular waves. The obstacles are more in number and sometimes you can’t even see them because of the turbulent waters. The ones who are experienced can make last-minute decisions and better manoeuvre their rafts. This is great for experienced rafters who are looking for a challenge.
The Grade V is the hardest of them all because the water level is higher, the currents are more violent and you need a lot of strength to maneuver your raft. Without physical fitness and good coordination, it is hard to avoid possible hazards. In Rishikesh, this is the hardest level and only highly skilled individuals show up to face the challenges. The obstacles are almost unavoidable so you can imagine how your raft will be tossed around. Despite that, you must be able to maintain balance and paddle against the strong waves.
Some would go as far as to say that Grade VI is a suicide mission. The rapid currents are too complex to understand, the river is rather unreadable and you will need to have a group of excellent rafters to move ahead without being overturned. Rishikesh doesn’t offer Grade VI river rafting experience. When accidents happen with such large waves at work, rescue operations are futile.
Adventure Seekers may also like to read: HIMALAYAS TO THE GHATS: 15 EPIC BIKE RIDES IN INDIA FOR ADVENTURE SEEKERS
Important River rafting points in Rishikesh
These are the major water routes for river rafting in Rishikesh where you will find certified trainers, guides, and well-maintained equipment. You will be hoarded by a lot of people urging you to take their river rafting services. However, always go with the authentic river rafting instructors and don’t shy away from asking them for their certifications if necessary.
Depending upon the duration, length of rafting, and river rafting grades, there are various river rafting points you can explore in Rishikesh.
Brahmapuri to Rishikesh
If you are new to river rafting in Rishikesh, choosing Brahmapuri will be the right option for you. The water is almost always stable with little ripples and subtle waves here and there. This is the easiest to maneuver and the distance is also less compared to the other routes in Rishikesh. You will be starting your journey at the Brahmapuri Club House and travelling 9km toward the Rishikesh rafting point. It is a Grade 1 rafting route that is suitable for both children and adults. Even if you are a novice, you will be able to find your way around easily. However, it is important to note that children below 10 years are not advised to go on river rafting in Rishikesh.
Distance: 9 km
Time: 1-1.5 hours
Shivpuri to Rishikesh
Shivpuri is the ideal river rafting route for people who want to raft for a longer distance at a lesser price. You can bargain and get a deal of around Rs.1000 that will include your journey to Shivpuri, the cost of equipment, and a fee for the guide. The water has moderate currents; nothing too challenging to face. There are occasional obstacles that add much-needed splash of thrill to your ride. Depending upon the season and the water level, you can engage in Grade I, II, and III levels of river rafting on this route. You will be starting from Shivpuri and heading toward NIM Beach Rishikesh. It is not necessary to be a skilled rafter but the route is not suggested for families with children.
Distance: 16 km
Time: 2-3 Hours
Marine Drive to Rishikesh
The path of Marine Drive has moderate currents but offers more obstacles than the Shivpuri route for river rafting in Rishikesh. Moreover, the distance is also longer! Though this might not come cheap, the river rafting experience is worth every penny! The novices will find the trip a little tricky in the beginning but with the guidance of the instructor, you will get used to it after the first half-an-hour. The water path also gives you a breathtaking view of the mountains, cliffs, and surrounding foliage. Just like Shivpuri, depending upon the season, you can experience Grade I, II, and III levels of river rafting.
Distance: 27 Km
Time: 3-4 Hours
Kaudiyala to Rishikesh
Kaudiyala is the best route for river rafting in Rishikesh if you are an experienced rafter looking for the right challenge. We do not suggest this water route for novices and beginners, seeing how it is too overwhelming for people who cannot read the waters. At least a moderate level of physical fitness is required to manoeuvre your way around the frequent obstacles. You can expect Grade III and Grade IV levels of river rafting difficulty on this path. It is a remarkable stretch of 13 rapids. You are sure to have the time of your life while moving your raft on these unpredictable currents!
Distance: 35 Km
Time: 6-7 hours
Devprayag to Rishikesh
The river rafting route from Devprayad to Rishikesh is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The water offers Grade II and Grade III rapids but the challenging part is to maintain your stamina for a long period of time. It takes about 2 days to complete the entire stretch which has a significant number of obstacles and turbulent currents. On day 1, you will be starting from Devprayag, passing through Beas Ghat and ultimately reaching the shores of Kaudiyala. Here, you will take overnight rest and resume the next day to reach Rishikesh’s NIM Beach. On each day, you will be rafting for about 35 km. You need high fitness levels and good coordination with your team of rafters to make this journey happen.
Distance: 70 Km
Time: 2 days
Byasi to Rishikesh
Byasi is famous as the go-to spot for white water river rafting in Rishikesh. Also, looking for river rafting routes that offer Grade III and Grade IV difficulty without having to spend days on one journey? This is what you should go for. People from across the world opt for the water route from Byasi to Rishikesh to experience white water rafting. The level of difficulty differs from season to season but it more or less remains between Grade II to IV.
Distance: 35 Km
Time: 6-7 hours
Do’s and Dont’s of River Rafting
What To Do?
- Always go with a trained professional
- Wear your headgear and life jacket
- Wear appropriate clothing that is light and quick drying
- Wear appropriate footwear that is less likely to get washed away in the waters.
- Listen to what the instructor has to say and always follow their commands
- See rafting as a team activity and support your co-rafters.
What Not To Do?
- Never attempt to stand while rafting
- Do not go river rafting after you consume alcohol or other narcotics
- Do not try to bump into obstacles even for fun
- Do not wear thin cotton clothes that do not protect you from cold
- Do not try to be a hero. In other words, stick to the instructions and don’t try to do something ‘out of the way’ or ‘cool’.
- Don’t try to take pictures or smuggle in mobile phones if your instructor says they are not allowed. It diverts your attention and paves the way to safety concerns.
So, when are you planning on river rafting in Rishikesh? Let us know in the comments below!