May 25, 2018
White Water Rafting on Ganga River, Rishikesh
White Water Rafting
In Rishikesh, the main draw is yoga and spiritual pursuit. However, when it gets too much of that, coupled with the 40°+ heat and inviting cold waters of the Ganga River, you inevitably default to rafting...white water rafting to make it exact.
Red Chilli Adventure
Red Chilli Adventure is one of the major rafting players in Rishikesh and I signed-up with them for a 26-km 11-rapids rafting tour of the Ganga River. Ai, the Japanese traveler staying at my hostel joined me. We met the other rafters at the Red Chilli office and boarded a spacious van that took us upstream along the winding mountain road of Rishikesh until we reached the jump-off.
Before plunging into the water, the professional guides gave us a proper orientation - fitting the safety vest and helmet, paddle instruction, how to manage when thrown-out into the water, how to pull-up a rafter on board, etc. All of those instructions gave us increased confidence in managing what's up ahead.
Wet and Wild
What followed was an adrenaline rush as we forged headstrong into the raging waters of the Ganga. We all had to work as a team as we followed split-second timing instructions by our guide Anup on when to paddle forward, when to paddle hard, when to stop, when to back-paddle...all this, as we frantically struggled to stay on board without being thrown overboard.
End of the Line
The timing was just right. Before things got old, we were already at the pick-up point near Laxman Jhula bridge. We had ample time at the river bank to have tea from the vendors before boarding the van that took us back to the Red Chilli office.
Rafting the white waters of the Ganga River is as exhilarating and as refreshing as it gets. What started out as complete strangers pooled together in a raft has become good friends in that short time. Riding wet and wild was an adventure fun that added dimension to the fabled Rishikesh experience.
Thank you Red Chilli Adventure for that white-knucle rush!
ps - If you want me to objectively write about an adventure tour from your outfitter shop, email me.
select pictures provided by Red Chilli Adventure
Reader Comments:Nomi Gvirz
(May 27, 2018) Amazing ❤
(May 27, 2018) I've heard rafting in Ganga Ma is one of the exciting ones and scariest! Well done Gigit
Next stop: Peoplescape of Rishikesh
Rishikesh (city), India
Travel Tips for Rishikesh
- During the cooler season when any of the hugely popular gurus or babas visit to give a satsang, eg. Prem Baba, Mooji Baba, all rooms are fully booked from Rishikesh to Hardiwar!
- short power outages frequently happen during the day
How to get to Rishikesh from New Delhi by bus
- Bus - take the Metro Yellow Line and get off at Kashmiri Gate. Exit the station from Gate 7 and enter the ISBT building - this is the bus terminal. Go down one flight and go to Platform 14. This is where you buy the bus ticket and board the bus. A/C bus, INR 454, 6 hours. You can take the 10:30pm bus and arrive 5am in Rishikesh.
scam alert! - over the ticket counter, the guy may verbally charge you INR 765 - this is usually the online price of the bus ticket. But I looked closely at the printed ticket, and found the price at INR 454. I demanded more change! The guy knew he's been discovered and gave me back the rest of the change.
You will arrive in Rishikesh at Adarsh Gram. To get to your hotel, travelers usually share a tuk-tuk (called Vikrams) for INR 10-20/passenger if shared. Since I arrived 5am, there was no one to share so I ended up paying a negotiated INR 150.
Travel Tips for India
- e-VISA - visa on arrival is no longer done. Tourists should apply online for an e-VISA (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html). Tourist e-VISA for 60 days = US$51.25 (including surcharges, non-refundable). NOTE: e-VISA is only honored in 25 designated airports and 5 designated seaports (Cochin, Goa, Mangalore,Mumbai,Chennai). You CANNOT do a land crossing using an e-VISA.
- US$1 = Indian Rupee (INR) 67.18
- nearly every food served is spicy...there is no escaping it
- other travel destinations in India
- always good to have an Indian SIM. It's handy to get wifi in some cafes
General Travel Tips
- avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
- power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
India Blogs by TheLoneRider
- 16 Days in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala: Goodbye India June 23-July 8, 2018
- Peoplescape of Dharamshala, India June 14 - July 8, 2018
- Visiting the Tibet Museum June 27, 2018
- In Search of Tibetan Yoga (Yantra Yoga) June 25, 2018
- Conducting Yoga Classes at Pema Thang Guest House, Dharamshala, India June 24 - July 8, 2018
- Life in Upper Bhagsu, Dharamshala June 16-23, 2018
- Trekking to Naddi from Upper Bhagsu, Dharamshala June 19, 2018
- Matters of the Heart Jun 17, 2018
- A First Timer in Dharamshala Jun 14, 2018
- 29 Hours in New Delhi Airport July 9-10, 2018
- Meditation with Shirly Pnina at Lodi Garden, New Delhi May 15, 2018
- A First-Timer in New Delhi, India May 12-17, 2018
- A 26-Day Mini-Life in Rishikesh May 18 - June 13, 2018
- Peoplescape of Rishikesh May 18 - June 13, 2018
- Rafting the Ganga River with Greg Goldstein June 1, 2018
- White Water Rafting on Ganga River, Rishikesh May 25, 2018
- Satsang (spiritual discourse) by Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati May 21, 2018
- Ganga Aarti (devotional fire ritual) at Parmarth Niketan Ashram May 21, 2018
- Bouncing Back into Yoga in Rishikesh May 21, 2018
- Exploring Rishikesh, India May 18, 2018
- India e-VISA snag May 9, 2018
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