River Rafting in Rishikesh My First River Rafting Experience to Remember

River Rafting in Rishikesh   My First River Rafting Experience to Remember

Find information about Rapids, Stretches and River Rafting Packages in Rishikesh

Published: byJignesh Gohel,24 Nov, 2015

Places I explored :


I have already published detailed travelogue about my trip to Haridward & Rishikesh earlier but it missed the most amazing part of my river rafting experience. In this article, I will share this thrilling experience along with some useful information that can help you to plan your river rafting in Rishikesh.

Rishikesh is one of the most popular destinations for river expeditions and adventure activities. It has a lot of beautiful sandy beaches and raft stretches like Marine Drive, Byasi, Brahmpuri and Shivpuri and forest camps where various tourists indulging in various adventure activities. As I was travelling with my father and was the only person can do river rafting, I informed my hotel staff to acknowledge me if any group is going for rafting. This is the only option I had as Solo River rafting is very expensive in Rishikesh and you can enjoy more if you raft in a group. Luckily, my hotel staff was able to find a group which I joined from near Ram Jhula.

As we chose the Shivpuri river rafting package, we brought to Shivpuri site located at 16 KM from Rishikesh via SUV equipped with Inflatable river raft, life jackets, hamlet and all necessary equipments. I really enjoyed the drive from Rishikesh to Shivpuri, a scenic hilly road pass through mountains and river. It was around half an hour of journey and entire group was very excited to experience the River rafting in Rishikesh.

If this is your first river rafting experience; don’t worry. The instructors will guide every group with all necessary instructions and are experience enough to handle worst situations too. After completion of basic rafting instruction session, we were all set with safety equipments and began our rafting from Shivpuri site.

The Major Rapids in Rishikesh Rafting

There are about 13 challenging rapids in the rafting stretch in Rishikesh. These range from grade 2 to 4+. The instructor introduced each rapid with some interesting history about the name and its grade. In our trip, we mostly came across grade 2 to 3 rapids.

As I hardly remembered the names of rapids, I tried compiling brief information with the help of Google.

Following are the rapids with their grades:

  • Grade 3 to 4+: The Denial Dip and the Wall rapids are highly exhilarating and are especially meant for people looking for adrenaline rush. It attracts people around the world to experience the true adventure of river rafting.
  • Grade 2 to 3+: Black Money, Sweet Sixteen, Cross Fire, Golf Course, Three Blind Mice Return, Sender, Roller Coaster, Club House rapids are adventurous yet safe enough for families. I must say, it was thrilling experience to pass through these rapids.
  • Grade 1 to 2+: Double Trouble, Terminator, Hilton rapids are easy to tackle and can be undertaken by kids too.

Total distance and time Taken:

As we choose 16KM of rafting package, it took around 4 hours with small halt to have delicious maggi just before Rishikesh. The total distance of the river rafting route from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh is about 38 Km. In order to cover all the major rapids in Rishikesh from the stretch of Kaudiyala to the Laxman Jhoola at least a 2 day trip needs to be arranged. The total time duration for the stretch can be from 8 to 10 hours.  Since the rapids are a mix of grade 2 and grade 4+ hence it is better to keep an extra day.

The Major Raft Stretches:

  • From Kaudiyala till Marine Drive (3 hrs.):The stretchis about 10 kilometers and has the most exciting rapids of grade 3 to 4+. Sweet Sixteen, Great Wall and Denial Dip are major rapids.
  • From Marine Drive till Shivpuri (3 hrs.): This stretch is about 11 kilometers and the grade 2 and 3+ rapids are Black Money, Three Blind Mice and Cross Fire
  • From Shivpuri till Brahmpuri (2 hrs.): The distance is 10-11 kilometers and the main rapids are Return to Sender, Golf Course and Roller Coaster.
  • From Brahmpuri till Rishikesh (1 hr.): This is the easiest stretch and the rapids include Hilton, Double Trouble and Terminator

The above stretches can also be undertaken in parts if you have some extra days to explore the surrounding hilly areas.

Best season for Rafting

The rafting expeditions in Rishikesh take place throughout the year except monsoon season. The most favored months are February to May and October to December. I visited during February 2015 and the weather was windy and chilly.

Safety Equipment to be carried: 

During river rafting, safety equipment will be provided by the organizer that will include life jacket and helmet. Still you can carry swimming costumes, shorts for river, water glasses, first aid kit, trekking shoes and other safety accessories if you are planning for camping. Consult your tour operator for more information about carrying safety equipment for the trip.


River Rafting Packages in Rishikesh:

There are many river rafting and camping organizers in Rishikesh offering different adventure packages. In River rafting, the costs are based on the initiating point of the raft trip i.e Brahmpuri, Shivpuri etc till Rishikesh. Here is the photo I clicked at their office depict river rafting packages for all different stretches.

Incase if you are not able to view the image, here is the same tariff information for 2015:

  • Brahmpuri to Rishikesh (12 Kms) – Rs 450/-
  • Shivpuri to Rishikesh (16 Kms) – Rs 650/-
  • Marine Drive to Rishikesh (24 Kms) – Rs 850/-
  • Kaudiyala to Rishikesh (38 Kms) – Rs 1650/-
  • Expeditions (per day) – Rs 3150/-
  • Camping (1 night 2 days) with 3 meals – 1250/-

Note: all costs are for one person only.

You can also find various packages that have a mix of activities like rafting, body surfing, camping and meditation and yoga tours. These packages are based on the taste of rafter and based on the particular stretch. The travel agents provide different rafting packages for families, youngsters, students and corporate travelers including overnight packages.

Other activities that can be undertaken in Rishikesh:

Along with river rafting, travelers may also undertake other exciting activities in Rishikesh like camping, kayaking, bungee jumping, hiking, fox flying, body surfing, rock climbing, mountain biking, rappelling, yoga and meditation. Due to bad weather I could not go for Bungee Jumping but I will surely go for it during my next trip to Rishikesh.

I hope my Rishikesh River rafting experience will help you to plan your next rafting trip soon. Enjoy.

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