White Water Rafting In Rishikesh – Get Your Adrenaline Pumping !
White Water rafting in Rishikesh had been on my bucket-list for quite a while. 2014 was a year of travel for me considering that I traveled to a total of seven different destinations all over India through the year. Among these destinations, which ranged from the wilderness of the Northeast to the beaches of Digha, West Bengal, and from the silent mountains of Himachal Travel to the bustling city life of Bangalore, one place that stood out was definitely Rishikesh. A quaint location just two hours away from Haridwar, Rishikesh is a city and a tehsil in Dehradun district of the Indian state, Uttarakhand. Known as the ‘Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas’, Rishikesh has always been a religious location and is also known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’.
Of late, Rishikesh has increasingly become popular as an adventure destination with countless adventure enthusiasts visiting this location to get their dose of adrenaline. From hiking to rappelling and from kayaking to bungee jumping, Rishikesh offers a lot to the thrill seekers. But, amongst all these, one adventure sport which is hugely popular is the White Water Rafting. I along with 10 other friends planned a weekend trip to Rishikesh with the sole intention of getting the River Rafting ticked off from our bucket lists.
Planning the trip was fairly easy and was solely done by a friend of mine, Tanushree. Like mushrooms growing under the trees in a rainforest, camps organising adventure activities and especially river rafting has sprung up all along the holy river of Ganga in Rishikesh. We consulted 3 to 4 such camps enquiring about the river rafting packages offered by them. After thoroughly checking, we zeroed down to a camp which was named as The Eagle’s Nest and offered us a package that included camp stay, trekking, kayaking and of course, river rafting. Along with that, we also booked a 15 seats traveller considering we were 11 people in total. None of us had any experience in river rafting and what followed on the trip was simply beyond our wits.
We started at around 12:30 am with the intention of reaching Rishikesh early in the morning. One hour after we have started, Tanushree broke the news that we are allowed to check-in in the camp only after 12 noon. Amidst the complaints of friends who do nothing other than accompanying us on the trip, we decided that on the way to Rishikesh, we will make a pit stop at Haridwar; which we should have realized was a bad idea. After a whole night of fun in the traveller, it was just around 5 when we finally slept. But like a rude granny, our driver woke us up just 45 minutes later announcing that we have reached Haridwar and whether or not we’re still in a mood to make a pit stop here. Because of that so-called pit stop, we reached the campsite by almost 4 pm. What actually happened was that everyone was so tired after the fun-filled night journey that we decided to get ourselves a room in one of the many Dharamshalas available in Haridwar. After breakfast and freshening up a bit, we all decided to take a quick nap before starting for Rishikesh. Instead of beds, there were carpet-like mattresses which were uncomfortable like anything. But as soon as we lied down, we felt like the mattresses were singing us lullabies. By the time one of us woke up, it was already 2.
On reaching Rishikesh, we went directly to the Eagle’s Nest camp site. I must say the caretakers of the camp actually took care of us, unlike many caretakers who are there just for the name. Everything was properly arranged, starting from our camps to an elaborate lunch. Although it was already evening and the camp caretakers were calling us for the late lunch, we all decided to do something that was more important, take a dip in the chilled water of the Ganga.
Next day morning we were taken for a short yet exciting activity of Kayaking where most of us kept falling from the Kayak for obvious reasons. Kayaking was more or less a total disaster for all of us and we decided on concentrating on river rafting. Each of us was provided with a helmet and life jacket and once each of us was harnessed properly, we were given a quick set of instructions as in what to do and what no to do while rafting amidst the rapids, most of which we instantly forgot in our excitement.
Getting on the raft was fairly easy but as the raft headed towards the first rapid, each one of us had a mixed feeling of 60% fear and 40% fun & excitement. The raft instructor positioned himself at the back of the raft and was continuously shouting out what to do and what not to. Confidence begins to build up after the first couple of rapids but there’s no looking back if the raft overturns, and that’s exactly what happened. One of my friends who was sitting in the middle of the raft was complaining as how he was not getting wet enough. The next instant he leaned over to the side and fell off the raft. Getting off the raft is a very normal thing to while rafting and after laughing hard at him, some of us also followed him into the water. While doing so, somehow the raft got unbalanced and in a small rapid it turned upside down. Although no one was hurt, we all were panic stricken to the core.
Finally, we managed to turn up the raft along with the help of another raft that came to our aid. Rest of the rafting experience was pure unadulterated fun. Plunging down into the waves and coming up again screaming on top of our voice is an experience in itself. Our laughter and fun filled screams echoed in the mountains around us as we crossed one rapid after another. We started off from Byasi and went till the Golf Course Rapid where our traveller was waiting for us. We changed our wet clothes in the traveller itself and started off for Delhi right away.
A short but totally refreshing trip ended before we even realized. But nonetheless, the trip gave us some precious memories to treasure all our life.