The bracing mountain breeze wafting over the emerald green meadows and the towering snowcapped peaks reflecting on the crystal clear lakes are the ideal elements of natural amalgamation that makes Kashmir one of the captivating hideouts in the Indian Himalaya. Is that all? One just cannot backpack for a leisure getaway in Kashmir, where the region offers oodles of nail-biting activities from strenuous treks and peak climbing to skiing and river rafting. It impetuously arrests the mind of adventurers who seek for such mountain activities in Kashmir. River rafting in Kashmir is one such activity that fills the itinerary with some slashing moments.
Today, after the advancement of adventure tourism in Kashmir, river rafting in Kashmir has become one of the popular water sports in India. It swiftly maneuvers through the rich green valley with several whirlpools, which makes the goose bump voyage challenging and yelling. River rafting in Kashmir mostly combats against rapids ranging from Grade I to III but it also runs down through Grade IV rapids in some stretches.
River rafting in Kashmir is popular in the River Lider that stretches from Langabal to Ganeshpora covering approximately 12 kilometers and having rapids ranging from Grade I to Grade IV. The stretch is further divided into three lengths. The Lider Joy Ride, which is approximately 2.5 kilometers, from Varganpal to Yaneer Bridge and having rapids ranging up to III, is ideal for beginners and amateurs. The Lider Long Ride, which is approximately 5 kilometers, from Varganpal to Ganeshpora and having rapids ranging up to III, is also ideal for beginners. Whereas the Lider Xtra Long Ride, which is approximately 12 kilometers, from Langabal to Ganeshpora and having rapids ranging up to IV, is perfect for experts.
River Sind in Sonmarg is another destination where one can go for white water river rafting in Kashmir. The untamed river Sind that gushes past spectacular mountains is having rapids ranging from II to IV and is also divided into three sections. The Sind Joy Ride is approximately 3.5 kilometers that has rapids ranging up to II.
The Sindh Long Ride is approximately 7 kilometers and is having rapids ranging up to II. The Sind Joy Ride and Sind Long Ride are both ideal for intermediates and beginners, whereas the Sind Extra Long Ride, which is approximately 24 kilometers long, is having rapids ranging from II to IV and thus perfect for experts. Other than river rafting in Kashmir, one can also take up white water canoeing in rivers like Sindh, Drass and Suru and in the many high altitude lakes like Gangabal, Kaunsarnag and Vishensar. It’s worth the time and money that you will spend on it.
Rafting in Kashmir is not that challenging as it is in River Ganga in Rishikesh and Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh. But before coursing down the rivers, Lider and Sind, one must also take certain precautions as the rivers at certain stages have whirlpools that may overturn the raft causing one to fall overboard. If one is an amateur it is recommended to take an experienced rafter or a guide along and also to follow the signals given by the guide while rafting down the course.