Guide to India kayaking holidays: Exciting cultural currents

Sep 04, 2015 BY AWE365 Team

Navigate Himalayan glacial melt-waters in the summer, tackle rapids up to Class V in ferocity or enjoy some more relaxed kayaking in the Goan mangroves. There is plenty to discover across this vast and varied country on India kayaking holidays.

With such diversity of water, rich culture and delicious food to enjoy, India kayaking holidays are unsurprisingly popular with those in the know. But kayaking is becoming increasingly popular in India as new routes, destinations and operators are opening up all the time.

India kayaking holidays on the Zanskar river. Flickr image by meenakshi madhavan

India kayaking holidays

India is a huge country with ever changing landscapes, cultures and languages. From the mountainous north on the Himalayan border with Nepal and Tibet, to the vast river plains of the Ganges, there are plenty of options for kayakers across the country.

The northern rivers of Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Indus and Zanskar fill up with crystal clear glacial waters in the summer months, making them top spots for white water kayaking. Real kayaking adventurers won’t want to miss the Zanskar, where you can enjoy mammoth twelve-day india kayaking holidays passing through rapids from Class I right up to V before finishing up in Nimu.

Kayak the raging Brahmaputra River, which starts up near the border with Tibet, where the Tsang Po River meets the Siang of Arunachal Pradesh. A tributary of this river, the Subansari is also well worth a paddle, with some Class III+ rapids.

The Rishikesh has some nice rapids before it enters the Ganges, where the white water gives way to serene temples and ashrams. It’s a two-day trip of amazing contrasts. The Kali River is great for beginners, passing through the stunning Rajaji national park, with its abundant wildlife.

India kayaking holidays Flickr image by Carlos Martín Jiménez

For sea kayakers, the state of Kerala, the Malabar Coast and Goa are highly recommended. In Kerala expect beautiful white sandy beaches and lush tropical vegetation giving it a real tropical feel. Perfect for some more genteel kayaking.

In Goa paddle through dense mangrove swamps and marvel at the natural world and wildlife around you. This is a unique eco-system that can only really be explored by kayak. It is a protected environment so travel with permits and with a reputable operator.

India kayaking holidays are very seasonal. The more turbulent northern rivers depend on glacial melt are often inaccessible due to low water, low temperatures and frozen sections in the winter. You also do not want to be sea kayaking during the monsoon season.

Exciting Cultural currents on India kayaking holidays Flickr image by Dennis Jarvis

There are too many rivers and kayaking destinations to describe in this brief guide to India kayaking holidays. But there is plenty of choice between white water and more relaxing destinations. It’s also well worth combining your kayaking with a stay in one of India’s big cities, such as Delhi or Mumbai or Agra and the Taj Mahal.

With stunning food and rich heritage you can experience exciting cultural currents on an India kayaking holiday.

Alaknanda River, Asia, Bhagirathi River, Brahmaputra River, Delhi, Ganges River, Goa, Himalayas, India, Indus River, Kali Gandaki River, Kerala, Malabar Coast, Mumbai, New Delhi, Nimu, Rajaji National Park, Rishikesh River, Subansari River, Tsang Po River, Zanskar River
Kayaking, Sea Kayaking
Class I, Class II, Class III, Class IV, Class V, Cultural, Whitewater (Rapids)
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