River Rafting in Rishikesh – Overview
River rafting is a popular adventure sport in Rishikesh. The mystique of Ganges and its gurgling tributaries makes river rafting in Rishikesh a must try for everyone alike. Tucked in the lush green flora and surrounded by the majestic Himalayas, river rafting in this holy city is an unusual experience that cannot be found anywhere else.
River rafting in Rishikesh is a once in a lifetime experience. Due to the rugged and uneven flow of Ganges’ tributaries, river rafting in Rishikesh is perfect for amateurs and swimming champs alike. Before you get soaked in adventure and feel the adrenaline rush, here is a detailed guide that will tell you everything you need to know about river rafting in Rishikesh.
Best Season for River Rafting in Rishikesh
Image Source: TripAdvisor
The ideal time for river rafting in Rishikesh is after the monsoon season is over. Rafting is best enjoyed from September till June. However, during winters (which is from December till January) the drop in temperature makes it difficult for people to step in the water.
Cost of River Rafting in Rishikesh
There are several companies that offer rafting in Rishikesh and their costs varies anywhere between INR 450 to INR 1800 per person. Rishikesh offers four kinds of rafting stretches based on the difficulty level. The cost of these stretches also varies depending on the level of adventure and the number of participants.
The different grades of rapids in Rishikesh:
Image Source: TripAdvisor
The rapids are divided into different grades based on their difficulty level. Universally, there are six grades of rapids. However, in Rishikesh, there are only five grades available:
Grade: 1 – Easy navigation across mild streams. Almost no risk involved.
Grade: 2 – Has obstacles or rocks set apart and offers easy maneuver.
Grade: 3 – Reasonably adventurous rapids and needs good teamwork and judgment.
Grade: 4 – Strong rapids that can even tumble the raft.
Grade: 5 – Dangerous rapids and only for experts.
The names of major rapids in Rishikesh:
Black Money (Grade 1)
Sweet Sixteen (Grade 1)
Good Morning (Grade 1)
Body Surfing (Grade 1)
Club House (Grade 2)
Initiation (Grade 2)
Double Trouble (Grade 2)
Hilton (Grade 2)
Terminator (Grade 2)
Shivpuri Rapid (Grade 2+)
Three Blind Mice (Grade 3)
Cross Fire (Grade 3)
Roller coaster (Grade 3)
Golf Course (Grade 3)
Return to Sender (Grade 3)
Daniel’s Dip (Grade 3+)
The Great Wall (Grade 4)
Rafting Stretches in Rishikesh
Stretch 1. Brahmapuri to Rishikesh River Rafting
This is the most preferred stretch as it is not very challenging and is suitable for e every age group.
- Grade(s) of rapid: I and II
- The length is approximately 9 Km that takes an estimated 1.5 hours to complete.
- The cost of river rafting on this stretch goes up to INR 450 per person.
Stretch 2. Shivpuri to Rishikesh
The route from Shivpuri to Rishikesh offers a unique combination of fun and excitement. It has some thrilling challenges for adventure junkies and is not advisable for those who are naïve at white water rafting or don’t know how to swim.
- Grade(s) of rapid: II and III
- The length is approximately 16 Km and takes an estimated 3.5 hours to complete.
- The cost of river rafting on this route goes up to INR 650 per person.
Stretch 3. Marine Drive to Rishikesh
Stretch 3 from Marine Drive to Rishikesh is partially difficult and partially smooth sailing, but offers stunning views of the surroundings. You can feel the adrenaline rush and may even skip a heartbeat. This is certainly not for people who cannot swim.
- Grade(s) of rapid: I, II and III
- The length is approximately 24 Km and it takes around 4.5 hours to complete this stretch.
- The cost of river rating from Marine Drive to Rishikesh can go up to INR 850 per person.
Stretch 4. Kaudiyala to Rishikesh
The stretch from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh is one of the most difficult rafting route in Rishikesh and offers an extremely thrilling experience. This rough route tests the camaraderie and caliber of every rafter.
- Grade(s) of rapid: I, II, III, and IV
- The length of this stretch is approximately 34 Km and it takes around 8 hours to complete it.
- The cost of rafting on this stretch goes up to INR 1800 per person.
How to choose the perfect River Rafting Package in Rishikesh?
The topmost thing to considering while choosing a river rafting package in Rishikesh is that the package includes all the activities that you want to do. For an adventurous soul, pick from several white-water river rafting adventure packages. These rafting packages includes activities such as bungee jumping, body surfing, cliff diving, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing and rappelling.
If you are on a weekend break, then there are several 1 night 2 days packages in Rishikesh that has activities like rafting, camping, cliff diving, body surfing, meditation and temple tour. Several packages are also customized based on the preference of a rafter.
Overnight packages are also available that include rafting from Marine Drive to Shivpuri, from Shivpuri to Brahmpuri and from Brahmpuri to Laxman Jhula. You can also choose a family river rafting packages if you are travelling with family or corporate rafting packages if you are travelling with your office team.
Students can also opt for rafting packages for students.
Safety Measures in Rafting
- Non-swimmers or minors should pay extra attention to the rules and regulations given by the instructor and follow them for safety.
- Get a health check-up done before you go for rafting expedition.
- Do not drink alcohol or any other intoxicants during rafting.
- Always paddle as a team.
- It is mandatory to wear life-jackets.
- Try not to get into the water, because it can lead to disorientation.
- Wear proper footwear like river sandals or sport shoes. Do not wear casual sandals.
Things to Carry for River Rafting in Rishikesh
- No prizes to guess this, an extra pair of clothes, shoes and towels.
- During rafting, wear recommended clothes only like swim suit or a t-shirt and shorts. Avoid wearing cotton.
Carry cameras at your own risk.
- Keep a small first aid kit handy. It should have all basic necessities like antiseptic cream and lotion, painkillers, etc.
- Use sunscreen lotion or any similar lotion.
- If required, carry sunglasses or swimming goggles.
How to reach Rishikesh?
Rishikesh is well connected to all the major cities in India. It is approximately 24 kilometers away from Haridwar, which is the closest railway station. You can also travel by road or take a flight up to Dehradun.
By Air: Jolly Grant (21 kilometers) in Dehradun is the nearest airport.
By Rail: Haridwar Junction (21 kilometers) in Haridwar is the nearest major railway station.
By Road: There are several private and state-operated buses that go to Haridwar and Rishikesh. You can also opt for a private taxi. Rishikesh road distance from all major cities and town –
Delhi – Rishikesh: 240kms
Haridwar – Rishikesh: 24kms
Dehradun – Rishikesh: 45kms (Via Jolly Grant Airport)
Mussoorie – Rishikesh: 77kms (Via Jolly Grant Airport)
Meerut – Rishikesh: 169kms
Rudraprayag – Rishikesh: 138kms
Joshimath – Rishikesh: 251kms
Lansdown – Rishikesh: 108kms