India is a hotbed for river rafting. The country has amazing spots where adventure travellers can delight themselves when it comes to white water rafting. Most rapids in India range from grades II to V (novice, intermediate, advanced & expert levels), so you have a wide selection of places to choose from, as per your level of expertise and preference.
At a few places, you can mix in some adventure sports to your rafting experience also. Looking to enjoy water sports in Indian rivers? Check out our list of the best places for river rafting in India.
Best Places for River Rafting in North India
1. The Ganges In Rishikesh
The Ganges in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand is an ideal river for rafting in India. The rapids at the river range from 1-4 and along the 16-kilometre stretch, you will come across a few places that have whirlpools and crazy rapids.
In addition to river rafting, you can camp on the banks of the river and enjoy other adventure sports like rappelling, kayaking, bungee jumping, etc.
- Where: Ganga River, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
2. Zanskar Lake in Ladakh
Although Zanskar is noted as a hiking destination, the portion of the lake between Padum and Zimo is popular for river rafting. The river gorge in these parts drops from a height of a staggering 12,000 feet which means that you can have a thrilling time rafting down the lake. The route passes through rough terrain, so be prepared for bumps along the way. After you have finished rafting, don’t forget to enjoy camel rides near the lake.
Rafting on the Zanskar lake is not possible during winter as the lake is completely frozen.
- Where: Zanskar Lake, Ladakh
3. Teesta River In Sikkim
Whitewater rafting on the Teesta River is fantastic. The river offers excellent rapids that are perfect for a thrilling rafting adventure. Adding to the fun is the exciting Rangit, a tributary of the Teesta River. On your rafting ride on the Rangit, you will pass through exciting rapids of grades 4 to 5.
Most tourists pair rafting with camping, as well as boating and kayaking.
- Where: Teesta River, Sikkim
4. Bhagirathi River In Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand is not just a great place for trekking and sightseeing, it is also an excellent place to indulge in river rafting. River rafting on the Bhagirathi river in Uttarakhand is a hair-raising experience.
Rapids such as the Chute and Sharp S are the best to river raft on. Graded between III and IV, these rapids are thrilling and exciting. If you are looking for more relaxed rapids, we suggest that you avoid going on these parts of the lake.
- Where: Bhagirathi River, Uttarakhand
5. Indus River In Jammu & Kashmir
This is one of the coldest places in India for river rafting. The Indus river offers a blend of easy and complicated rapids. For most of your rafting journey, you’ll find it fairly comfortable, but the portion near Alchi and Khalsi is difficult. If you love excitement and thrill, you will enjoy rafting in these parts of the river.
Rafting is not the only experience to enjoy, you can also go camping and participate in a few adventure sports near the Indus River.
- Where: Indus River, J&K
6. Beas River in Kullu-Manali
The river Beas in Kullu-Manali is a popular river rafting destination. Each year, thousands of tourists visit the banks of the river Beas to enjoy rafting. The rapids (grades 1 to V) of the river are excellent for exhilarating rafting experiences. Adding to the fun of rafting is the gorgeous scenery around the lake.
Avoid going between 15th July and 15th September as river rafting is not permitted during this time.
- Where: Beas River, Himachal Pradesh
7. Tons River In Garhwal
The Tons river in Garhwal is yet another awesome place for river rafting. Surrounded by beautiful landscapes, the Tons river has excellent rapids that make rafting a great experience. A mix of easy and difficult, rapids on the Tons range from grades II to V. A major portion of the river has exciting rapids that could be challenging for amateur rafters.
- Where: Tons River, Garhwal, Uttarakhand
8. Kameng River In Arunachal Pradesh
Tawang is located in Arunachal Pradesh. It is an awesome place for river rafting (grades I to IV) and outdoor activities. The Kameng River that passes through the district is where rafting is enjoyed in the region. With excellent rapids and great scenery around, rafting in Tawang is a fantastic experience.
- Where: Kameng River, Arunachal Pradesh
9. Lohit River In Arunachal Pradesh
If you are on holiday in the North East of India and are looking to engage in some water sports, we suggest you head to the banks of the river Lohit. The river is excellent for rafting, especially white water rafting because it has rapids suitable for moderate and beginner river rafting skill levels.
- Where: Lohit River, Arunachal Pradesh
10. Spiti River in Himachal Pradesh
The Spiti river in Himachal Pradesh is a great place for river rafting in the region. It not only offers reasonably easy grades of river rafting, but also provides you with a variety of other adventure sports to enjoy. Trekking and rock climbing are a few other adventure sports to enjoy near the Spiti river.
- Where: Spiti River, Himachal Pradesh
Best Places for River Rafting in West & South India
In Maharashtra, one of the best places for rafting is Kolad. Situated in close proximity to Pune and Mumbai, the place is a hotbed for river rafting activity. With rapids that range from grades II to IV, Kolad is excellent for both, amateur as well as professional river rafters.
In addition to river rafting, you can enjoy camping and a few adventure sports in Kolad.
- Where: Kundalika River, Maharashtra
In Coorg, river rafting is done on the Barapole river. Located close to Bangalore and Mangalore, this place is a hot favourite for rafting among local adventure sports lovers. The rapids here are thrilling and you can add in additional activities such as camping and sightseeing to your river rafting experience in Coorg. The best time to go is just after the monsoon.
- Where: Barapole River, Coorg
A new kid on the block, Dandeli has become popular for rafting only in recent times. Traditionally Dandeli was known as a trekker’s destinations, but many adventure companies have now set up rafting facilities there. Held on the river Kali, rafting in Dandeli is a thrilling experience as the rapids here ranges from grades IV to V.
- Where: Kali River
Put aside the fear and pick up those oars. The next time you are looking to go river rafting in India, you can pick a place from our list of places. Whether you are a pro or an amateur, you will certainly have fun curling, cartwheeling and sliding down these rivers.
If you have been to these places before, we would like to know about your experience. Let us know in the comments below.