Karnataka is a well known tourist destination because of its rich cultural heritage, majestic monuments and its unique cuisine. Located in the Deccan region of India, it is drained by five major rivers: Krishna, Kaveri, Tungbhadra, Malaprabha, and Sharavathi. Apart from these, there are numerous tributaries, minor rivers and backwaters, making it an ideal destination for those who love rafting and adventure sports.
Navigating through the rushing white waters of these rivers sure is a thrilling experience. When it comes to river rafting, one is spoilt for choice. Over the course of time, with development in tourist attractions in Karantaka, numerous institutes advertising and promoting rafting and other river sports have mushroomed up along the banks and backwaters of these rivers. There are so many prime locations in Karnataka for river rafting that one doesn’t even know where to start! But don’t worry, we’ve got it all sorted out for you! Here’s a list of all the places one can go to for a memorable experience. :-
Bheemeshwari, situated 100 km off the Kanakapura-Kollegal Highway, in Mandeya district, is a prime location for river rafting on the river Kaveri. It is best visited around August to January after the monsoon rains invigorate the river waters. It has class 3 white water river rapids which make it an exciting experience for those who love adrenaline rushing through their veins. The town itself houses a diverse array of flora and fauna and is an ideal destination for those who want to be one with nature. The Bheemeshwari Wildlife Sanctuary in the Mandaya district is a popular tourist destination, and is a must-visit for animal lovers.
Around 264km from Bangalore, located on National highway 4 is the Davangere district, 12km from where lies a small quaint town called Kondaji. It is a nice spot for white river rafting, it also provides boating facilities on its lake. This place also offers various other adventure water sports like kayaking, surfing and canoeing.
A train ride from Bangalore to Shimoga, and a quick bus ride later, one reaches the Agumbe village. Called “Cherapunjee of the south” for the amount of heavy rain it recieves, Agumbe is a part of the Shimoga district of Karnataka.It lies in a UNESCO world heritage site as its is a part of the Western Ghats. It houses Kuudlu theerta, Onake abbey, Sirimane falls and Jogigund, the four popular waterfalls of Karnataka. These waterfalls are only accessible by trek. The sunset view point about 10km away from Agumbe provides an excellent view of the golden receding sun at evening.
White water rafting on the Sitanadi is a wonderful experience as the river itself maneuvers its course along bio-diverse, lush forests. Speaking of bio-diversity, the Agumbe region boasts of a Medicinal Plants Conservation Areaand its own Rainforest Research Station!
It is best visited around June to October.
Situated just off the coast of Goa, at the northern tip of Karnataka, lies perhaps the most well-known river-rafting spot of Karnataka - Dandeli. Early morning river rafting runs at Dandeli are a favorite among tourists who stay overnight in beach resorts in Goa.Originating form the western ghats, the Kali or Kalindi river flows westward, passing briefly through Dandeli before finally draining into the Arabian Sea.Paddling through the class 3 rapids of the river Kali, one can opt for a variety of runs ranging from 9 km (for beginners) to 14 km(for advanced enthusiasts).
Known for its tropical rainforest areas, Dandeli offers numerous opportunities for bird-watching (especially hornbills) and even has its own wildlife preserve housing majestic black panthers and Malabar giant squirrels. But that’s not all, Dandeli is also a place of significant cultural and historical importance, and boasts of various historical monuments and landmarks like the Ulvi temples and the Kavala caves.
A whole travel package in itself, a trip to Dandeli via Goa proves to be a well-rounded stress-busting vacation trip for adventure lovers.
5) Kodagu (Coorg)
In southwestern Karnataka, lining the Western Ghats, the Coorg (or Kodagu) district is a scintillating hill station famous for its coffee plantations. Making it’s way along the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, the serpentine river Barapole is perhaps best known for its ferocity, due to which it provides the best gradient for a memorable river rafting experience. The river swells as it is fed by ample rainfall during the monsoons. Depending on the level of water, the river has rapids ranging from class 2 (intermediate) to class 4+(difficult).apart from river rafting, Coorg offers various other adventure sports and leisure activities like fishing and bird-watching.The best time to visit would be between June and August.
On the backwaters of river Sharavathi, Honnemaradu (literally translating to ‘golden lake’) situated near Sagara Taluk, is a small village overlooking the Linganamakki Reservoir. In its proximity, the river Sharavathi falls down from an amazing height of 250m (830 ft) to form the second largest waterfall in India - the Jog falls.white water rafting is a popular sport here and tourists are offered various packages for runs of varying distance. Apart from that, kayaking is another sport which might strike one’s fancy when in Honnemaradu.
The best season for rafting is usually August to February, just after the monsoons.
Whatever be the location, white water rafting is sure to be an active adrenaline-inducing experience. It is important however to take care of one’s safety while participating in any adventure sport. Please make sure to have proper rafting gear and outfits that keep your core body temperature steady, apply adequate sunscreen and make sure to have a dry storage bag handy to protect your valuables, The pictures will definitely be worth adding to the album, and it is recommended that one uses disposable, waterproof cameras.
Lastly, rafting in white waters of class 3 and higher is for seasoned rafters. Beginners, tourists and newbie enthusiasts should enroll in programs which navigate through class 2 or lower levels.
So, pack your bags, set your destination and get ready to cross one more thing off your bucket list!