It starts with a whisper. And so you gently float down the sparkling water, the river subtly alters in sound and pace, tillall at once the murmur rises to a deafening crescendo, and you spin in dizzying, swirling froth for a heart stopping second, before gliding into gentler, quieter waters...
The exhilarating encounter with rapids, interspersed with pools of calm serenity, are the special delight of white water raft ing. And the stretch of sa-cred waters near Rishikeshis ideal for both first-timeas well as experienced riverrunners, says a brochurefrom Uttarkhand Tour andTravels Pvt Ltd. The com-pany offers seven differentkinds of white water rafting experiences ranging from grade 11 to grade IV, on three rivers, the Ganga,the Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda, in the Uttarkhand region of the Garhwal Himalayas.
The float trip, over just 6-8 km, is an introductory trip of an hour or two,
just to give novices a taste what white water rafting is like. The day trip
is a gentle ride for tow to four hours, through the temples, ashrams, yoga centers
and city of Rishikesh. On the overnight get away trip, one encounters some of
the most exciting rapids on the Ganga, including the evocatively named Three
Blind Mice, Crossfire, Return to Center, Roller Coaster and Golf Course. The
overnight stay is in a tented camp, close to the river.
Those who canít stay away from the water can also try their hand at Kayaking
on a placid stretch of river close to camp. More relaxed is the White water
and wildlife excursion. This includes the most exciting rapid on the Ganga called
The Wall Grade IV. Plus, thereís a one hour drive to Chilla National park for
a game drive, trek or elepant safari. The park is famous for wild elephants.
Other game includes cheetal porcupine, wild boar and tiger. An optional sight
seeing trip to Rishikesh is also offered.