Rishikesh is a name that is synonymous with spirituality but this pilgrim centre has also established itself as the best spot in India for white water rafting. River rafting is an adventure sport which involves steering an inflatable rubber boat or raft on an uncontrolled river filled with rapids. ‘Rapids’ refer to the white foam which arises because of a sudden increase or decrease in the volume of flowing water. Rapids carry a grade from 1 to 6, depending on how easy it is to negotiate them and to ‘ride the waves’:
Class 1: These are slow- moving currents like ‘Cash Flow’ that are ideal for first timers.
Class 2: These are small waves like ‘Good Morning’ which are also ideal for first timers.
Class 3: Tourists who have tried white water rafting previously should try these rapids as sound technical know-how is important to steer the raft for example ‘Three Blind Mice’.
Class 4: These rapids like ‘Golf Course’ have faster currents and bigger waves which make them ideal for tourists with more Rishikesh river rafting experience.
Class 5: These rapids like ‘The Wall’ have very fast currents and large waves which are best tackled by tourists who have good rafting experience.
Class 6: Rapids like ‘Suicidal’ that come in this category are best attempted by professional racing teams or by Rishikesh rafting veterans.
The best time for Rishikesh rafting is between September- December and March –July. Here are a few tips to bear in mind before setting out on your white water rafting trip:
1) If you plan to seriously pursue river rafting as a hobby, it makes sense to invest in quality equipment and accessories. On the other hand, if you’re trying it just for kicks, ensure that your adventure package also includes good quality rafting accessories such as life jackets, safety helmets, waterproof dry bags and other camping gear.
2) Whether you are just a beginner or a veteran, make sure that you have a certified instructor with you at all times as the rapids can get dangerous.
3) Don’t forget to pack your swimming costume, a torch with extra batteries and sports shoes.
4) Leave behind your expensive camera and purchase a waterproof disposable camera if you are keen on a few clicks of your adventure.
5) It’s always a good idea to pack some extra mosquito repellent lotion and plenty of sunscreen as well.
Rishikesh river rafting is unlike anything you may have tried before and you are certain to have many fond memories of your experience….