Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rafting experience in Rishikesh from Marine Drive, Shivpuri to Laxman Jhula

It was screechy sunny day amidst cool breezy weather on the 1st of Jan 2016. We had taken shelter in the camps near riverside Ganga in Shivpuri the previous night. We planned to get some inspection done before we actually land up on the rafts. We headed first towards the prospect, start point Marine Drive and found the milestone reading 26kms to Rishikesh which takes around 4 to 5 hours ride in raft.
Whoa! we had planned for 26kms ride on raft only second to 36 kms ride available in Rishikesh from Kaudiyala which takes around 8 to 9 hours.
Riverside Camping in Shivpuri, Rishikesh
Riverside Camping in Shivpuri, Rishikesh

Camps in Shivpuri, Rishikesh
Camps in Shivpuri, Rishikesh

A tributary of River Ganga by the side of camps
A tributary of River Ganga by the side of camps

The stay was pleasant with DJ music, bonfire, dance, buffet and of course the beer who love having it. In the morning 6AM temperature was around 3 degrees which rose with the advent of day and we were all tucked up with the things to carry along and rest to be boarded on our vehicle. Raft instructor had allowed us to carry Mobiles, Cameras and wallets as he has some dry bag which can protect our most expensive amenities. That's great we carried along our Gogs as well, after all who don't wanna show off when it comes to sharing the rafting experience on Facebook.

Lo, ! we reached the point Marine drive sharp 10:30AM and raft instructor gave some rafting instructions which includes Jargons to be followed while rafting as per the commands.

Go forward:  steer the waters backwards with your paddles.
Go Backward: steer the water forwards with your paddles.
Get down: Jump into waters and hold the raft rope tight mainly commanded when river is steady and calm.

Note: In emergency situation when your raft tumbles down:

  • Never throw the paddle even if you are into waters all alone. 
  • Don't open your mouth, don't panic and just try to come into a position as you sleep on your bed with your back on the water and face upwards.
  • keep holding your spade tight, with both the hands and raise it as much it feels comfortable to you.
  • You are going to remain floating for another 72 hours as per the standards of Jackets provided during rafting in Shivpuri, Rishikesh.
  • The rafting jackets are capable floating 120kg man on waters. So, most of you can cheer.
Note: Age range for doing rafting in Rishikesh is 20-35 years and the members should be medically fit with no heart ailments till date.

That's all right we started with calm and steady river and as we steered we first met with the first of the rapids named black money, and then three blind mice, roller coaster, golf course, the wall, sweet sixteen,cross fire and the last Thank God.
Our raft at Marine Drive, Shivpuri

It was all fantastic we were following the commands of instructor who was commanding us like a captain commands its battalion. Uh, we loved it.
Until all was cool we pass through the second major rapid that is again Grade IV rapid on our course and then reached the First Major rapid which was really too higher than the length of our raft. Our raft almost stand straight the 5 members of our troop thrown away into the rapids and rest three drown down with the raft who were sitting in the back sides.
The instructor first found one of our member and rescued her by lifting up to the upside down raft and then again jumped into river to tumble the raft again to upright it. Once the raft comes up in upright position we 4 members had already flown with the rapids crossing another 2 rapids floating on its own.

At least we had 4 survivors on the raft and 4 including me in the waters crossing the rapids floating on the Jackets and spade the way instructor had advised.

At last got struck to a big rock got some injury but at least saved and climbed up to the tip of rock.
It was around 30 minutes we were in water and then got hit by a big rock and another raft came for our rescue.

We hadn't met each other till now and were praying to the best and aloud that rest members be safe and sound hoping some other rafts would have come to their rescue.
Tributary of River Ganga

We reached the maggi point and THANK GOD we all were safe, of course some got traumatized and planned to leave the raft and go away by roads. We consoled each other and lifted our spirits to go again into waters as we had another few miles to cover before we would reach Laxman Jhula our destination point.

It was all good there after we were around Ram Jhula opened our dry bags, captured some stills and shoot out some videos on the slowly paced raft, as the river was very calm there.

At last we reached the point, near The Laxman Jhula. The ride was completely awesome, awestruck full of Masti, thrill, emotions and drama almost like a Blockbuster movie.

How silly it would be if we forget the sip of tea from Chotiwala in Haridwar on the way back to Delhi, we stopped in Haridwar and had our snacks there.
Chotiwala restaurant
Chotiwala restaurant

In the end I would like to share my own experience from this memorable rafting ride:
Rafting ride and especially Rishikesh one is like our oscillatory life, we start with steady stage in our childhood which we experienced near Marine Drive, and then have few ups and down in our mid-ages which we experienced near 3 mice rapids and sometimes turbulences too which we experienced at the major rapid. And at last we end up with cool and calm life which is exactly what we felt near Ram and Laxman Jhula. You can experience this in our given two of the videos too, when we had started we were so full of energy, excitement and thrill and in the second video how calm, composed, matured and reserved we all looking like.

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