River Rafting, also known as white water rafting is an adventurous and recreational activity carried out with the help of an inflatable raft for navigating on a fast flowing river or any other body of water. River rafting as a recreational sports activity evolved in mid-1970s and initially, people used to raft with individual padding rafts. River rafting is considered as an extreme sports activity and its results may be fatal.

Uttarakhand, apart from being a holy destination, is famous for adventure sports activities including white water rafting which is done on the river Ganga. The hub of rafting activities in Uttarakhand is Rishikesh.

Types of White Water Rafting

There are no different types of white water rafting, but as per the International scale of river difficulty, the white water rafting has been segregated into six grades of difficulty which range from simple to extremely difficult carrying the risk of serious injuries or even death.

The six grades include:

Grade 1 – It needs very basic skill level and is done in very small rough areas.

Grade 2 – It requires basic padding skill and is done in rough water containing some rocks.

Grade 3 – It requires significant maneuvering and is done in white water with small waves and small drops.

Grade 4 - It requires sharp maneuvering and is done in white water with medium waves and may be some rocks.

Grade 5 – It is done in whitewater with large waves with large rocks and possibilities of steep drop. It requires very precise maneuvering.

Grade 6 – This is the most dangerous level of white water rafting and carries a lot of potential risks.

Important Rafting Destinations


In Rishikesh, the confluence of the Ganga with tributaries like Alaknanda and Bhagirathi make the perfect place for rafting giving rafters speedily flowing white water. In Rishikesh, Ganga gears down its speed providing an opportunity for safe rafting. Though there are large rocks on the way, but this place is good for amateurs who want to experience rafting.

Depending on your rafting package, you may start your rafting from Brahmapuri, Shivpuri or Marine Drive to reach Rishikesh after covering a rafting distance of 12, 16 and 24 Kms respectively.


Though rafting for amateurs is not very dangerous and there are rafting instructors who ensure your complete safety, but you also have to make sure that you do not go into the water with raft alone and also ensure that you are wearing your life jacket all the time for which you are going to stay in the water.

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Nagarjunakonda Island 1
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