India, white water paddling in Rishikesh

The Rishikesh area, paddling mecca of India. There are plenty of tour companies to hire rafts or kayaks and gear, one shop, but their selection is limited, the owner assured me that its because it is now the off season, but hey, it is what it is, but I sure could use some aqua seal, Doh’. I started out in Lakshman Jhula, the part of town with tons of guest houses ashrams and tourists. The city is annoying, full of hippys and annoying devotees trying to force their beliefs on ya, but the river is awesome.

I hitch hiked out to Shiv Puri, about 16km N on the main road to the main put in for all the companies in town. this section of the river has 4 good rapids, the first class 3 the second class 4 and fun, and then class 2 the rest of the way. There is a bit of traffic on the river, one pull out is jammed with cliff jumping tourists, but its also a nice spot to get a chai. This area is perfect for pack rafting, plenty of hiking and river. All together I paddled the main section 6 times and decided to cancel my trip further up river in order to return to Orissa, for some other paddling projects. I would recommend coming in the winter if u don’t mind mild cold, it was not too packed but the river is at higher volume in the summer but so are the tourists, either way this is am amazing part of the world.

Side note: be careful here, every annoying Indian and his grandmother will try to tell you that you can only go with a guide and that it is illegal not to, and you can pay them to arrange it for you, or some other bullshit, IT IS TOTALLY LEGAL AND U DON’T HAVE TO PAY ANYONE!!! I didn’t even pay for my transportation to Shiv puri once, just stick ur thumb out. There is however an issue with paddling beyond Ram Jhula, something about a section being Gov. septic zone, but the details were not clear, and I did not spend much time finding out as I wanted to get back to Orissa.
Finally, meat and alcohol are Illegal in Rishikesh, so do urself a favor and bring the 5ths Old Monk with you from New D, it can be found in town, but for retarded prices. that’s all folks! Aloha.

This is the section of the Ganga River.

This is a view of the first rapid named roller coaster as seen from the road. Fun class 3.

and this is just funny, there are tons of monkeys and elephants in this part of India.