River Rafting In India: The Rivers Are Calling! [Exhaustive Guide]

rafting in India

There are vacations where you sit back, relax and visit various tourist sites. There are vacations that you need to take to feel your heart pound and catch that lump in your throat.For those of you who want to feel the adrenaline rushing through your veins, head to the mountains: The rivers are calling. River Rafting is one thing that you should try out and rafting in India an experience that you will cherish all your life.

When it comes to adventure, there’s one thing that goes beyond conquering the mountains. River Rafting. The feeling of taming and riding down the mighty wild waters is profound beyond words. River rafting has always been an ultimate adventure. And this is one such sport that can lighten up any trip. From a weekend break to a Rafting tour of 10 days, there are so many options out there, all you need to do is explore.


Here’s all the river rafting information you need to keep in mind before planning your rafting tour:

rafting in India - river rafting information

Now that you’ve got the basics right, you may have made up your mind. Buckle up for a ride of a lifetime. This detailed guide will help you with the best destinations and other information with regard to river rafting in India.

Best Destinations to go River Rafting in India

Uttarakhand

1. Rishikesh

Rishikesh is undoubtedly one of the best rafting destinations in the world and offers 6 different rafting spots.

  • Brahmapuri (Class I) – This is ideal for someone who is new to rafting. This also means, if you have kids, this is quite a good experience to take on with your family. The rapids are small and moderate, it won’t be overwhelming. Anyone from the age group of 6 to 65 can try this out.
  • Shivpuri (Class III+) – Known to be the “Abode of Mahadeva”, this rafting experience is a 16km long activity. This rafting experience is apt for anyone who is looking for a little adventure and thrill. Not suitable for kids or older people. The entire experience usually takes about 3 whole hours to complete.
  • Marine Drive (Class II +) – This is one of the most preferred routes for rafting lovers in Rishikesh. The 24-26km route covered in 4 hours will give you a rush like never before. Also, this route has rapids of both Class II and Class III giving you the best of both. This route is most suitable for people aged 18 to 45.
  • Byasi (Class IV) – Situated about 30km from Rishikesh, this is one favorite rafting for everyone. The rapids from Byasi to Rishikesh are classified into Class IV.
  • Kaudiyala (Class IV) – With a longer rafting distance of 36km, this route is famous for its class IV rapids. If you’re looking for an adventurous rafting experience that goes on for about 5-6 hours then this is for you. This adventurous rafting experience is not suitable for older people and children.
  • Devprayag (Class III and III+) – A Sanskrit word that means the confluence of the Gods. This is where the two holy rivers, Alaknanda and Bhagirathi and this is where Ganga begins from. This is one the most beautiful routes with a view of the mighty Himalayas as you raft. The mesmerizing landscape around is breathtakingly beautiful. These Class IV rapids are perfect for people aged 20-45.

rafting in India - Rishikesh

You can book the following Rafting experiences in Rishikesh –

Camping and Rafting 16km
9Km Rafting
24 Km Rafting
18Km Rafting
12Km Rafting
Rafting and Trekking
Jungle Safari and Rafting
Alternatively, you can also book combo tours with us:
7-Day Chopta Valley Trek + Rafting
7-Day Rafting + Trekking tour from Dehradun
5-Day Jim Corbett Safari + Rafting in Rishikesh.

Rafting Grade- Class I to V
Best time to visit- Late October to March.

2. Tons River Valley

A tributary of River Yamuna, Tons is one of the most challenging experiences when it comes to rafting in India. Situated through Gharwal, Tons lies in the western part of Uttarakhand. The wrath of this river is mightier than the river Yamuna and the rafting grade for this river is between Class III and IV and some rapids go up to Class V.
One of the most challenging rafting routes in India, this one surely isn’t for the faint-hearted.

rafting in India - Tons Valley river

Rafting Grade – Class III to IV
Best Time to Visit- Between October and November

3. Kumaon – Kali/Sarda Rafting

The gorgeous river of Kali forms the border between the India and Nepal. A rafting journey down this river is a must try activity if you’re looking for a Himalayan experience. Flowing through the farms of Kumaoni and Nepali villages, freshwater streams, sandy beaches, this route is as thrilling as can get. The rapids in the Kali/Sarda rafting expedition can range from Class II to V.

rafting in India - kali river

Rafting Grade – Class II to V
Best Time to Visit – March, April, October

4. Pithoragarh- River Kali

Pithoragarh, located in Kumaon is a scenic beauty to behold. Also known as “Little Kashmir”, this little place offers plenty of adventurous activities. A list of river rafting in India is incomplete without mentioning this town.

rafting in India - kali river

Rafting Grade- Class III +
Best Time to Visit– March to June, September to December

Himachal Pradesh

5. Sutlej, Shimla

Sutlej, situated about 50km from Shimla is quite a challenging river to raft. There are four different stretches that you can raft on the Sutlej depending on the rafting grade.

The first stretch is a 3km long route at Sunni, a small village on the banks of the Sutlej village. This is easily a Class I level and can be taken up by non-swimmers as well. The second stretch extends up to 12Km in

The second stretch extends up to 12Km in Chabba and is moderately difficult. This is a little more enticing than the Sunni stretch and the rapids here are a Class II. The time taken to raft to Tattapani from Chabba is about an hour and a half. The most sought after

The most sought after route is a 20Km stretch from Luhri to Pandowa. Rafters normally stop at Patakhra because the river takes a sour turn with Class VI rapids.

If you’re looking for something more exciting, then you may want to consider the Pandow to Tattapani stretch. This 25Km stretch is filled with Class III and IV rapids.

rafting in India - sutlej river

Rafting Grade- Class I to IV
Best Time to Visit– March to June, September to December

6. Ravi, Chamba

The latest addition to the rafting in India is the river Ravi in the Chamba valley. River Ravi rises from the Bara Banghal ( a branch of Dhauladhar ) as a joint stream formed by the glacier-fed Badal and Tant Gari. The 10Km stretch here takes upto 2 hours to raft.

rafting in India - Chambba river

Best Time to Visit– March to June, October to December

7. Chandrabhagga, Lahaul

The rafting route to Spiti opened up in September 2011. Koksar being the starting point for river rafting in the region. The 90Km stretch extends up to Tandi, where Rivers Chandra and Bhaga merge to make Chandrabhaga through the Pattan Valley.

rafting in India - lahaul

8. Beas, Kullu

The Beas river originates from Beas Kund and then flows through the Kullu Valley. The Class III and IV rapids offer a good 2-hour rafting experience from Pridi near Kullu till Jiri near Bhunter.
There is also an adventurous option of booking an advanced rafting experience for swimmers only. The trip starts from Raison and ends at Kullu. The Class IV rapids take about 2 hours to tame.

rafting in India - kullu

Rafting Grade – Class III – IV
Best Time to Visit – June – July and October to February

You can book a rafting experience at Kullu on Xoxoday.

Jammu and Kashmir

9. Zanskar, Leh

The Zanskar river flows through the river gorges of the rocky mountains of the Himalayas. The drop dead gorgeous route with Class V rapids is dangerously adventurous. The river then eases into the Kingdom of Zanskar and serenely flows past the capital of Padum. Rafting in Zanskar is majorly opted by advanced or professional rafters.

rafting in India - zanskar
Rafting Grade – Class III – IV
Best Time to Visit – June to late August

10. Lidder, Pahalgam

An ideal rafting experience for amateur rafters is a 3Km joy ride in the Lidder river in Pahalgam. The Class II and III rapids in this route make this a safe adventure to take up. Your rafting point starts about 12Km from Pahalgam and ends at the Yaneed bridge.

rafting in India - lidder

Rafting Grade – Class II – III
Best Time to Visit – June to late September

11. Mamar, Sonamarg

A guide to river rafting in India is incomplete without mentioning Mamar. A very scenic route when it comes to rafting in India is the captivating Sindh river flowing in the Mamar region in Sonamarg. There are three different rafting activities in Sonamarg.

  • Joy Ride – This joy ride of about 3Km is easy-peasy. Apt for beginners and amateur rafters, this route has Class II and III rapids.
  • Long Ride – This 8Km long stretch is a popular route among rafters in the Mamar region. Filled with Class II, III and IV rapids, the ride starts from Mamar and ends at Satrun Margund. This route is good for people with prior rafting experience. Not suitable for children or older people.
  • Extra Long Ride – The most challenging route in Sonamarg is this 28Km long stretch. With Class II, III and IV rapids, this challenging route is perfect for people looking for a go amount of thrill.

rafting in India - mamar

Rafting Grade – Class II – IV
Best Time to Visit – June to late September

Assam

12. Brahmaputra

The river emerging from China, flowing eastwards through Tibet, cuts the Greater Himalayas. This expedition begins a few miles inside the line-of-control with China. You will first take a ferry boat ride at Dibrugarh on the mighty humongous Brahmaputra. After which you will move up a densely forested river valley from the plains of Pasighat which will be your starting point.

rafting in India - brahmaputra

Rafting Grade – Class IV to V
Best Time to Visit – March, November & December

13. Subansari

Subansari, the ‘Golden River’ is the biggest tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra. The river flows through Assam and then meets the mighty Brahmaputra. The breathtaking views of the scenic Himalayas make this a challenge worth taking. The route here is filled with Class IV and V rapids, it’s advised for advanced and professional rafters only.

rafting in India - subansari
Rafting Grade – Class IV to V
Best Time to Visit – March, November & December

14. Kameng

Kameng River is one of the best destination for river rafting in India. The thrilling route here in this impulsive river gives you one extreme adventure. The distance you can cover on this route is 25Km.

rafting in India - kameng

Rafting Grade – Class IV
Best Time to Visit – November – June

Sikkim

15. Teesta

Teesta, the lifeline of Sikkim, passes through the cold and frosty Himalayas and into the Bay of Bengal. This expedition starts from Cho Lhamu Lake, cutting right through the middle of the state. These freezing waters have rapids of various intensities making this a great experience for rafting in India.

rafting in India - teesta

Rafting Grade – Class II to IV
Best Time to Visit – December to June

Madhya Pradesh

16. Orchha

The turbulent river Betwa located in Orchha is surreal and will give you the best of nature. This rafting route will give you a glimpse of the city’s famous heritage site. Rafting here starts from the beautiful Kanchana Ghat where you raft for a good 31Km and end at Shiv Ghat.

rafting in India - orchha

Rafting Grade – Class II to IV
Best Time to Visit – December to June

Maharashtra

17. Kolad

Kundalika, situated in Kolad is the fastest river in the South. Nestled in the Sahyadris, this 15Km stretch gives you ample opportunities for a good rafting experience. This route consists of rapids between Class III and IV. It is advisable for people aged 18 to 45.

rafting in India - kolad
Rafting Grade – Class III to IV
Best Time to Visit – June to September

Kolad has a lot many unique experiences to offer along with white water rafting:
Night stay and Rafting – From Mumbai
Kayaking and Rafting
Kayaking, Rafting and Flying Fox
Waterfall Rappelling, Flying Fox, and Rafting
Rafting – From Raigad
Archery and Rafting
Rafting, Kayaking & Bbq At Kolad
Overnight River Rafting
Rafting and Rock Climbing

Karnataka

18. Barapole, Coorg

The river Barapole in Coorg has a lot of excellent rafting opportunities. Situated in the mesmerizing Western Ghats along the Deccan Plateau, monsoons is the best time to visit this route.
The rapids here range from Class II to VI.

rafting in India - barapole coorg

Rafting Grade – Class II to VI
Best Time to Visit – June to September

You can book this rafting experience on Xoxoday.

19. Kondaji, Davanagere

Situated about 261Km from Bangalore, Davanagere is a hotspot for rafting enthusiasts. The Kondaji river flows with a backdrop of hills and dense forests.

rafting in India - kondaji, davanagere

20. Sitanadi, Agumbe

The dangerously gorgeous Agumbe is a tropical forest nestled in the Western Ghats of Shimoga District. Named as the ‘Cherrapunji’ of South India, the incessant rainfall this land receives makes this heaven. The time taken to ride these turbulent waters is around 4 to 6 hours.

There are two routes that you can take. The first route starts from Nisarga Dham and ends at Belinje Bridge, this route covers 14Km. The second route covers a distance of 22Km from Nisarga Dham to Jhomlu Tirtha.

rafting in India - sitanadi, agumbe

Rafting Grade – Class II and III
Best Time to Visit – June to October

21. Bheemeshwari

Gushing through the rustic landscape amidst the forests of Karnataka is the river Cauvery. This sacred river of South India is heaven for adventure lovers. This untouched and unexplored rich environment is perfect to get some adrenaline rush.

rafting in India - bheemeshwari

22. Dandeli

Situated at the top of Karnataka and just off Goa, this is one hotspot for rafting in India. The Kali river that flows through the area gives a good Class III rapids. The route goes on for a good 9 to 12 Km.

rafting in India - dandeli

Rafting Grade – Class III
Best Time to Visit – June to October

You can book a rafting experience at Dandeli on Xoxoday.

What are you waiting for? There’s a whole world of river rafting out there waiting to be explored.

Do you think we have missed out on rafting destinations in India we have? Comment below and tell us.

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Malavika Mallya

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