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Top 10 Kayaking Destinations in India

One of the most popular adventure sports in India is undoubtedly kayaking. Racing down flowing waters and manoeuvring through rapidly flowing foamy water is something that not only gives an adrenaline rush but also makes one feel alive and upbeat. It is not just in rivers that kayaking can be done but even on lakes and many even love to do kayaking on oceans.

Though there are many places in the world that are renowned for kayaking, India is not far. As for kayaking, there are many places in India where it can be done but here are the top 10 kayaking destinations in the country.

1. Rishikesh

Photo by Ryan, CC BY 2.0

When it comes to adventure sports, the Himalayan Ghats are definitely the most preferable. Rishikesh is usually referred to as a pilgrimage centre, but it is also fast becoming popular as a kayaking destination not just in India but in the world as well. It is a thrilling experience to go kayaking in short burst with intermittent still paddling. This is what makes it unique – a combination of easy and difficult rapids. You can start kayaking from Brahmapuri and go till Rishikesh, and enjoy one of the most thrilling kayaking rides.

2. Sikkim (Teesta River)

Photo by Mahindra Homestays, CC BY 2.0

Kayaking is getting popular in Sikkim and is slowly seeing a surge of tourists during peak season. The Teesta River in the state is ideal for kayaking as it flows through mountains and with its unusual terrain, is absolutely perfect for kayaking. Another popular kayaking destination in Sikkim is the Rangit River.

3. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman sea, Photo by Joel Burslem, CC BY-ND 2.0

When you mention Andaman and Nicobar, the first thing that comes to your mind is the beautiful waters. Thus the islands are ideal locations for kayaking. You will find many operators here and though the sea isn’t as loud and rapid as a flowing river, you can still get a great kayaking experience and also explore the sea and marine life.

 4. Brahmaputra River

Photo by Sagnik bhansho, Public Domain

Those who desire to test their kayaking skills can do so at Brahmaputra River which flows through four countries which include India, China, Bhutan and Bangladesh. It is a great spot for experienced tourists as the river offers one of the most difficult rapids in India. It is definitely thrilling and adventurous and you can find rapids ranging from grade 4 to 6.

5. Kerala

Backwaters, Photo by Silver Blue, CC BY-SA 2.0

Those who are novices in kayaking should try kayaking at the peaceful backwaters or kayals in Kerala. Though you will not get thrilling rapids, you can always practice what you have learnt here and then try tough rapids. You can use the kayaks to explore the area, meet fishermen and other locals and even try out the coastal cuisine.

 6. Beas River

Photo (cropped) by ashish saswadkar, CC BY 2.0

Himachal Pradesh is another state that is fast becoming a popular destination for adventure tourists. The Beas River in the state, flows from Rohtang pass and finds its way through the picturesque Manali and Kulu valleys. The state is ideal for both fresh and experienced tourists as there are different rapids here, ranging from easy to very tough ones.

7. Zanskar River

Photo by ASIM CHAUDHURI, CC BY 2.0

Ladakh is also becoming a hotspot adventure tourists’ location in India. The Zanskar River in Ladakh offers challenging rapids for kayaking enthusiasts. Another perk is that while enjoying kayaking thrill, you can also enjoy the natural beauty of Ladakh. All in all, a memorable experience that you will cherish for a long time.

8. Bhagirathi River

Photo by Atarax42, CC BY-SA 3.0

Uttarakhand with its beautiful landscape is ideal for all types of adventure sports. Its Bhagirathi River offers great kayaking experience as it flows through ravines and lovely villages offering thrilling grade 4 rapids. It flows to Alaknanda River and finally meets the ever beautiful Ganga.

9. Kali River

Photo (cropped) by Sankara Subramanian, CC BY 2.0

A kayaking trip on Kali River can be begun at Pithorgarh in Uttarakhand and you can find your way through thick forests and wild jungles. As you engage in surging through stimulating rapids that range from easy to medium, you can also enjoy wild life on the way.

 10. Tons River

Photo by Shivanjan, CC BY-SA 3.0

This is another exciting Kayaking location in Uttarakhand. With rapids ranging from level 3 to 5, Tons River is one of the four rivers in the state that offers great kayaking experience. Another perk of kayaking in Tons River is the amazing picturesque locations and great climate.

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