I have grown up so close to Rishikesh but never got a chance to visit the holy city, until a friend suggested a weekend plan for river rafting. Next moment we were looking for people to join us for the adventure, we thought of making our own group rather than rafting with unknown people there. After a group was formed with office colleagues, old friends and their friends we started searching for a nice trip organiser, for our stay and adventure sports in Rishikesh.
Apart from being a holy city and a popular pilgrimage , Rishikesh is also know for offering a number of adventure sports which includes rock climbing, rappeling, bungy jumping, trekking, river crossing, giant swing, river rafting, camping and a lot more. The most popular among them is River Rafting which is also quite inexpensive in Rishikesh.
After doing a thorough search on internet and communicating with the various trip organisers, we finally got a good deal with Himgiri. Hence the next Friday night we were all travelling to Rishikesh in two cars. Before dawn we were in Shivpuri , Rishikesh, were rafting is organised. We were provided nice camping site besides the river. The site was about 2km away from the starting point, so we had to track those 2 km to reach the rafting site, which was a good worm-up.
Our instructor or guide who looked like a young college going boy, gave us instruction on do and don’ts of rafting like we need to sit on the edge of the raft, how to hold the paddle, when to paddle fast and slow , when to pause , what to do in rapids, what to do in case the raft turns over etc. While the trainer with few other members was preparing to get into the water, we stole some time to capture the memories, as after that our phones and cameras were to be put in a dry bag . then we dragged our raft in the water and started with great excitement. Rafting on the water of holy river Ganga was certainly an unusual experience.
Our encounter with first ever rapid was amazing and unforgettable, it was like a huge tide which hit us right on our faces, I was sitting on front of the raft holding the rope, when the tide came , for a second it felt like we are drowned and our raft is going to turn upside down, our raft was swinging in the tides. We were supposed to peddle fast in the rapids, when we came out of tide, it felt like a great victory , our ecstasies had no limit. After that every rapid came as a challenge which we happily embraced and came victorious.
At a point after some time we saw some people jumping into the water from a height, I was told that it was cliff jumping and was a part of the adventure that I had signed up for. It looks good and appealing as a spectator but when you are actually standing at the height you have to jump from and see the distance below, it can scare the hell out of you. You have no option other than to jump when you are standing at the point or else you will be pushed, so timidly I jumped. If I forgot to tell, I am not a swimmer and for those few second I went numb, I felt I am never going to come out of water, but splash! I was out of water and was celebrating the lifetime experience that I just had.
As we neared LaxmanJhula, our commencement point, the water became calm; our guide told us that we can get in the water holding the rope, we did, the water was chilling but soothing. That was the climax of our thrilling rafting adventure. We had lunch nearby and trekked back to our camps. All of us retired to our beds only to get up in the beautiful evening. There were arrangements of sports like volleyball and Bat-Minton in the camp, some indulged in bone- fire, singing and dancing to the beautiful night and ambience. Dinner in the bamboo shed, under the open sky in dim lantern light, with the sound of flowing river at the background made the whole experience so romantic and memorable.
Next morning we had some more time to explore the beautiful place and get into the water for some memorable snaps. By afternoon we were driving back to Delhi with awesome memories.