White water rafting in India

I have already published detailed travelogue about my Ladakh  trip earlier, but I missed the most amazing part of my river  rafting experience. In this article, I will share this thrilling experience along with some useful information that can help you to plan your River Rafting in Ladakh.

Ladakh isn’t just about bikers, trekkers, mountain and snow lovers. The place has a lot more to it.  We all have heard about  Zanskar river, the one on which the popular Chadar Trek is done during the winters. It’s the same river on which rafting offered in the months of July and August.

River Rrafting in Ladakh – 

For river rafting in Ladakh, there are two rivers – Indus River, which flows southeast and then into Pakistan and Zanskar River.  Zanskar River Rafting comes in 3 distances depending upon the level of the profession in Rafting. One comes in 6 Km, Second comes in 14km and third in 28km. This route consists mostly of Grade II and III rapids.

We chose Phey – Nimo route which starts from Phey Village, about 14 km from Leh and ends at Indus-Zanskar confluence at Nimo.

Zanskar river rafting

I’ve rafted at Kolad and Rishikesh before, but we’ve never rafted wearing skin tight body suits, in a route covering 2 rivers, eventually plunging and swimming in 5 degrees of bone chilling water. This was like nothing we’d done before

Rafting Experience

We went to Ladakh with a gang of 6 guys in july 2018 and aimed the rafting experience very eagerly.  All  of us are almost at the same level of enthusiasm when it comes to adventures that give us an adrenaline rush. On the 3rd day of our trip, We got up early in the morning and headed to the rafting point.The confluence is best viewed from top of the road where you can clearly see the meeting of two mighty rivers and also make out the colour difference in water.

The drive to this place itself is full of adventure with sharp curves, landslides, no tar street at a few places, no street railing – one wrong move by the driver, you will be right down in the Zanskar River.  But once you drive down you can appreciate the beauty of this place.

RIver rafting in Ladakh

Zankar is the beautiful river that gives you pleasure of paradies on earth. A glory of this place was nothing less than heaven. A crystal clear blue water,  mountains, chilly air, cool weather, colored  stones on the shore… Damn! Everything was beyond expectations. The scenic beauty around the river was unimaginable that we were more focused on admiring the nature than focusing on our boats.

But the minute I entered into the water, i felt as if I am being sucked into the whirpool of water. It was bone chilling water , but I didn’t care. On one hand, I somewhere had a feeling that completing the stretch without falling down in a cold water won’t be fun but then I was like.. Jo Hoga.. Dekh lungi 😎 And than I settled myself down to face the rapids in such a chilling water. But the serenity of the river, the tweeting sound of winged animals and the sound of the calm  river made me enjoy the rapids one after another.

You can also jump directly into the river which is 20-30 ft deep.  But when we went there, the climate was 5-6 degree Celsius. We couldn’t even think to put our hand in the water. Jump toh durr ki baat hain … 😝

Ladakh river rafting

 The rafting experience was immensely fun! The mountains and valleys of calm waters and crazy rapids made for a truly fantastic trip. This has inspired me to do rafting in other places such as Rishiksh.
It was a near death experience and that’s what made it special. It has given us enough memories and stories to take back and share with our friends.

Following are the rapids with their grades:

  • Phey to Nimo:

Rapid: Grade II or III

Difficulty Level: Medium

  • Upshi to Kharu:

Rapid: Grade I or II,  Difficulty Level: Easy

  • Upshi to Nimo:

Rapid: Grade II or III, Difficulty Level: Medium

  • Phey to Saspol:

Rapid: Grade I, Difficulty Level: Easy

  • Phey to Indus via Zanskar at Nimo:

Rapid: Grade III to V, Difficulty Level: Medium to Hard

  • Nimo to Alchi:

Rapid: Grade III+, Difficulty Level: Hard

  • Alchi to Khaltsey via Nurla:

Rapid: Grade II or III, Difficulty Level: Medium

Based on your likes and preferences, I would recommend you to pick a raft that will suit your needs. Do not attempt the hard level rafts if this is your first time. Go for the medium ones.  They are most challenging and fun.

Best season for Rafting

The months are June to September

Rafting cost is 2000/- pp

If you are visiting Leh-Ladakh, make sure you plan for river rafting in your itinerary. Its an awesome experience and you will not regret. There is no other river which gives you a great thrilling rating experience as well as some amazing views. If you want both this is the place to be.