A Journey to Nepal by Mohit Bansal Chandigarh

For a different perspective of this beautiful Himalayan Kingdom and some massive adrenaline rushes, you can't beat white-water rafting in Nepal. With a choice of eight different rivers, enthusiasts from beginners to experts are catered for.

The Kaligandaki is an excellent choice for first timers, as it offers spectacular scenery, some exciting rapids, and lovely camping sites. Named after the goddess Kali, this holy river features the deepest gorge in the world and a deserted palace. Best of all, it is not the most popular option, as it begins with a six-hour drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, which is also the base for trekking the Annapurna Range. There are views of these spectacular snowcapped peaks from the river.

The trip is generally five days long, with all the tents and food provided. Part of the fun is helping out with cooking and other duties (someone has to dig the toilet pit!), before singing around a campfire on a beach with new friends, entertaining inquisitive village children or exploring nearby villages.

If you haven't experienced rapids before, the effect of madly churning, cascading water coming at you from every direction is absolutely elating (and terrifying at times!). All the gear is stowed in the middle of the raft in waterproof bags, which means that you sit on the edge. Each raft carries 6-7 people and a guide who stands at the back, yells instructions and generally does an amazing job of avoiding the holes and rocks.

Birju a local guide and a Rafting Team agent was a slightly built local who had been rafting the river since the age of 13 and swimming it before that. He had pet names for each rapid. After coming through each one successfully, he excitedly relived each challenging moment!

So, how to pick a rafting operator? According to Mohit Bansal, There are many operators in Nepal who are not only expensive but also professionals. It's important that the company is registered, the guides experienced and that they (and you) take every precaution to protect the besieged Nepalese environment.

Other pertinent questions include the condition of tents, helmets, buoyancy jackets and paddles and the quality and preparation of food. There should be a minimum of two rafts on any river tour. It's also worth being aware that if you're booking your trip to Kathmandu or Pokhara, different agents will charge different prices for exactly the same operation.

For example, participants on one trip down the Kaligandaki paid from $US80 to $US130, which is quite a difference in Nepal. Although rafting was virtually unknown here until 1978 it is now a big industry and growing all the time. Ask other travelers for the latest, as companies and prices are always changing.

Rapids are graded from 1-6. Class 1-3 requires reasonable physical condition and not being afraid of water you will get wet and may well get thrown in. Class 4-5 is for active people with previous rafting experience. Class 6? Forget it!

Rivers accessible from Kathmandu include the Trishuli (very popular, class 3 rapids) and the Sunkosi (a longer and more remote journey, exciting class 3-4 rapids). Mohit Bansal told that the Seti Khola (tame but picturesque) is accessible from Pokhara. For a real challenge getting to your put-in point, the Karnali involves a two-day trek in (class 3-5 rapids with pristine jungle).

The little-rafted Arun is reached by a short flight (class 3-4 rapids). Some rivers are better at different times during the rafting season, and unseasonal rain can occasionally swell rivers and boost the rapids, so again ask around before booking. December and January are generally too cold.

Finally, rafting can also be a fantastic means to continue your journey, whether from Kathmandu to Pokhara, towards Darjeeling in India or to the doorstep of Nepal's Chitwan National Park.

That’s all, for now, folks, Mohit Bansal From Chandigarh will come up with some more new topics.

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  1. Well, said Mr. Bansal
    Everyone must share their story and experience of visit different countries so that others who are planning to visit can get some help to know that place and enjoy trip easily.


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