For people looking for some adventure in water, white water rafting is the perfect way to spend a holiday. It is also known as River Running. An upcoming sport in India, rafting in rivers in the upper reaches of the Himalayas makes a thrilling experience. According to experts, India has immense potential for this sport. The Ganga, Bhagirathi and Alaknanda in the Garhwal regions of Uttar Pradesh offer plenty of opportunities for enjoying this sport. The combination of Camping by the riverside at night and rafting along the fast, foaming water during the day can be an exhilarating experience. The rafting camps offered here take care of all the details like proper equipment, trained personnel and good living conditions and are among the best in this business.
Rafting or whitewater rafting is a recreational activity utilizing a raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the mid 1970's.
White water rafting in India is almost exclusively confined to the northern rivers which flow southwards from the Himalayas, gushing between densely forested mountains and through steep gorges. Rivers such as the Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Indus, Zanskar and Teesta offer `raft-worthy’ rapids, and a trip down a river can be a great way to see the countryside. Whether the expedition’s just a few hours of getting soaked and experiencing the thrills of a high-action Hollywood flick- or it stretches over a few days in which you spend time camping and trekking as well- this is an experience not to be forgotten.
Rafts were originally the simplest form of man’s transportation in water and were then made of several logs, planks or reeds which were fastened together. Nowadays, inflatable boat were used as rafts which were later adopted by the military for beach assaults. It consists of very durable, multi-layered rubberized or vinyl fabrics with several independent air chambers. Its length varies between 3.5 m (11 ft) and 6 m (20 ft), the width between 1.8 m (6 ft) and 2.5 m (8 ft). The exception to this size rule is usually the packraft, which is designed as a portable single-person raft and may be as small as 1.5m long and weigh as little as 4 lbs.
Rafts come in a few different forms. In Europe the most common is the symmetrical raft steered with a paddle at the stern. Other types are the asymmetrical, rudder-controlled raft and the symmetrical raft with central helm (oars). Rafts are usually propelled with ordinary paddles and typically hold 4 to 12 persons.
A love for adventure and a passion for the great outdoors is top priority. More practical things to pack include a good sunscreen, dark glasses, shorts, T-shirts (or other light, quick-dry clothing) and suitable shoes- sneakers or heavy duty rubber sandals may be a good idea. Also pack in a windproof jacket, a light sweater, towels, and a flashlight- and don’t forget the first aid box and the camera!
Conflicts have also arisen with environmentalists when rafting operators, often in co-operation with municipalities and tourism associations, alter the riverbed by dredging and/or blasting in order to eliminate safety risks or create more interesting whitewater features in the river. Incongruously these measures usually are only temporary, since a riverbed is subject to permanent changes.