Rishikesh, Known for its spirituality and yoga Rishikesh, in Uttarakhand has now made it onto the international map for offering adventure sport in the form of white water rafting. With monsoon, making its presence felt in the hill-state, colourful kayaks and rafts have all but vanished from the Ganges with the seasons rafting taking a three month break.
From early September to June, just before the Great Indian Monsoon drenches the hill-state lakhs of visitors from home and abroad have thronged to these rapids for that ultimate thrill and adventure, especially the 16 kilometer stretch from Shivpuri to Laxman Jhula, adjudged by many, as the best rafting course.
Come monsoon and for the next three months, the rapids which go upto to grade 5 in Rishikesh, all together vanish under the mighty Ganges in spate only to emerge, when rains abate and the monsoon retreats. Recently, Dinesh Bhatt, President of the Rafting Association said, “There have been records tourists this season. Rafting here will continue for another week and then coming July we will shut shop until the rapids reappear in September, welcoming all for the next season.”
Rishikesh offers tremendous whitewater adventure down a 35 kms stretch from Kaudiyala – Rishikesh on the magnificent Ganga. Over the years, a hundred rafting camps have come up in this stretch bringing in revenue and fame which the sport has to offer.
From mild to wild and everything in between, the rapids on the Ganga offer it all with a picture postcard setting to take you through, making this the perfect playground for amateur as well as experienced rafters and kayakers as they snake down the grade five rapids.
For now most of the rafting camps have either shut shop or are in the process of wrapping up and moving elsewhere, leaving the river and its scenic banks bereft of dotted campy colonies, rafts and kayaks which add colour to the town and the emerald green river as well.