Is Rafting in Rishikesh Safe ? Time an again I have been asked the same question in various forms.
Short Answer: Yes Rafting is Completely safe if you have a good guide, you follow procedure, choose right stretch and appropriate Season.
Is Rafting in Rishikesh Safe ? Long Answer
Rishikesh is the hot spot of many adventure sports. River Rafting is one such activity which attracts many thrill seekers throughout the world to immerse themselves in the holy waters of the Ganges. It gives immense excitement to sit on a rubber boat that takes you across the river hitting the boulders and getting up again for the strife with the fury of the water. Rafting is an all time loved activity by the ebullient tourists when they visit Rishikesh. It has also given employment to many adventure lovers who have made it as their occupation and lifestyle choice. These authorized entrepreneurs make it possible for people to fulfill their wish to combat with the waves. The vivacious rapids can turn the rafts with their extreme forces.
It is risky to get into the river without proper training and guidance. The gears like helmet, life jackets, wet suits, dry bags, etc should not be considered trivial. They save your lives in case of an emergency. The flow of the Ganges at its fury cannot be tackled by a sheer human. It is advisable to respect the river before getting into it. It is not uncommon for people to drown in the furious waves of the Ganges. Never ever ever drink before River Rafting.
How to Make River Rafting in Rishikesh Safe
We can make rafting in Ganga safe if we take certain measures. First and most important of all is choosing best time for River Rafting. Water level and strength of tides is very high after monsoon so you should avoid months of July to January. To take the best precautions, one should go for river rafting during the month of February to April. The rafting stretches differ in difficulty levels. Thus amateurs with no hands on experience should go for Brahmapuri or Shivpuri stretches only. The water of the Ganges is known for its pure and calm form, but when someone tries to meddle with it, the frenzy is incomparable.
Measures to keep yourself safe in River Rafting Rishikesh
Wear the gears
Everyone should wear the proper gear and safety equipment provided by the trainers. The helmet and the life jacket are the most necessary equipment which can keep you safe in case of an emergency. The Life jacket is must and should properly fit you. If should be loose enough so that you can breath properly but should not come out. Before entering the waters, you should be completely prepared with your wet suits, dry bags and a first aid kit to tackle any situation.
Finding the right guide
A rafting guide should be responsible enough to make you understand the basic drill in the case of emergency. Before booking for rafting, the certifications of the rafting tutor should be verified. All the authorized trainers are awarded certificates from Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board. They are also trained in first aid. Remember, in case of emergency, only a well trained guide will be able to save your life.
Before going for river rafting it is good to ask about rafting experience of your guide. Most of the guides in Rishikesh are authorized still you can ask for details like there experience, certifications etc.
Follow your Guide
You should always listen to the guides carefully. Particularly when they give advice before the start of the expedition. The guides are motivating and can offer you some useful safety measures that you should keep in mind throughout the rafting.
Rafting is entirely inadvisable for the people with heart ailments, blood pressure problems & Asthma. The water is cold and can lead to hypothermia. Therefore, extra care must be undertaken, and you should not take chances as the Ganges is a river with varying water levels.
Minor wounds are very common, and precaution is always better than cure. Keep a first aid kit at your disposal all the time (Most of the times guides carry that for you). There can be circumstances when someone gets overboard the raft and hits a stone and gets cut. A proper first aid will help heal the wound in time.
Avoid monsoon season
The monsoons in Rishikesh brings heavy rainfall with it. During this season, the water level rises and covers most of the beaches and ceases the tourism in Rishikesh due to the risk involved. One should avoid rafting during the monsoons. It is very dangerous to raft at this time. At times, the rain doesn’t even stop for days. Be wise and choose the right months for your expedition. The Spring season (February to April) is the most favorable time to go for river rafting in Rishikesh. The water level during this time is moderate, and the flow of the river is in control.
Don’t lose heart
Whatever precautions one takes, there is still the possibility of some unwanted accident taking place. It is very common for the rafts to turn upside down. If you can’t swim, your life jackets will keep you safe. In such times, you should trust the guide and keep your calm.
Thanks for reading the post. I hope that you will have a safe rafting experience in Rishikesh. Please don’t forget to share your experience with us by commenting on the post.