River rafting in Rishikesh on river Ganga is one of the most popular adventure sports in India.

Rishikesh is a small city located on the right bank of the river Ganga. Nowadays Rishikesh is famous for Yoga and meditation and is also the hub for adventure sports like Rafting, Trekking and Bungee Jumping. Rishikesh is also the gateway to the four Holy shrines of Hindus – Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Every year lakhs of pilgrims come to Rishikesh for Chardham Yatra.

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Rafting on River Ganga

Rafting (or white water rafting) is an adventure sport where you use a raft to navigate a river or other fast moving water body. Like most outdoor sports, river rafting has become much safer over the years with both the quality of safety equipment as well as expertise in the sport has improved dramatically over the last couple of decades.

River rafting is a multi-crore industry in Rishikesh and is a major source of employment for locals. It began in the 1980s and now attracts a large number of domestic as well as foreign tourists. There are several campsites along the river Ganga which are used as weekend getaways by thousands of adventure tourists and those looking to escape the stress of cities. Rishikesh is considered as the river rafting capital of India.

Most of the people who come for river rafting stay in beach camps. The camps give them access to activities like trekking, jungle safari, kayaking, hill climbing, rappelling, bungee-jumping and paragliding.

River Ganga (or the Ganges) is one of the most revered rivers in the world and is considered as the living mother Goddess of India. Rafting in holy waters of river Ganga is both an exciting and spiritual experience. We are sure that once you experience river rafting experience in Rishikesh, you will want to keep coming back again and again.

The river Ganges in Rishikesh has turned into a hotspot for white water rafting enthusiasts as it provides an impressive experience of medium to very tough and rough rapids. All facilities for white water rafting are available in Rishikesh. Training guides are available to learn river rafting if you are new to this sport.

The rafting circuit in Rishikesh starts about 16 km upstream from the city at Shivpuri. The stretch between Shivpuri and Rishikesh is open from September to June. It passes through thick jungles and includes exciting rapids such as the ‘Roller Coaster’ and the `Golf Course’. These rapids are followed by deep, tranquil pools. This rafting stretch on the Ganges passes by many riverside temples and under the Laxman Jhoola. It ends at Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh.

River Rafting Grades in Rishikesh

Grade 1: An easy, relaxing grade with slow-moving current and no obstacles.

Grade 2: A stretch with moderate difficulty and clear passages.

Grade 3: This difficulty starts rising with this stretch. You will encounter irregular waves and narrow passages requiring precise manoeuvring.

Grade 4: This is a difficult grade with thrilling rapids, faster currents and powerful waves.

Grade 5: This is meant only for very experienced rafters. The stretch is extremely difficult with violent currents, very large waves, long rapids and narrow passages requiring precise manoeuvring. Scouting is needed in this stretch.

Grade 6: Do not try this stretch as it is virtually impossible to rafting here.

River Rafting Safety Tips and Important Information

  • You need to bring a swimming costume and quick drying shorts
  • Wear sunglasses and water glasses with retaining cord
  • If you are going to camp, bring a torch or flashlight, mosquito repellent cream and first aid box
  • Since you may not be able to charge batteries in the camps, bring power bank or an extra set of charged batteries for camera and phone
  • Bring an only waterproof camera for rafting.
  • Wear sandals or sneakers
  • The equipment such as life jacket, helmet and other safety equipment will be provided to you by the river rafting provider
  • It is not necessary to know swimming

River Rafting Season in Rishikesh

The river rafting in Rishikesh is open from September to June, through the winter months. Summers are generally more crowded than winter months.

Getting to Rishikesh from Delhi

By Air: Nearest airport is in Dehradun with daily flights from Delhi. You can get connecting flights from most major Indian cities to Dehradun.The airport is 14 km from Rishikesh.

By Rail: Rishikesh has a railway station but most major trains stop at Haridwar and Dehradun. Haridwar station is 25 km from Rishikesh and is connected to all major Indian cities by direct trains. Dehradun also has a railway station that is well connected. Most people prefer to take a taxi or bus from Haridwar station to Rishikesh.

By Road: Rishikesh is 230 km from Delhi and is connected through National Highway 58 (NH 58).  The highway passes through Muzzafarnagar, Merut, Rookee and Haridwar. NH 72 connects RIshikesh with Dehradun which is about 40 km away. You can take a bus or hire a taxi to Rishikesh from Delhi.


Generally hot in summer, the temperature ranges from 35-44 degrees. In winter the temperature ranges from 5 to 20 degrees.