Paddling to explore is a bit untraditional but has picked up a lot of traction lately. People are always on the hunt of finding new ways to explore places and Kayaking has become one of them. From being just an adrenaline-rushing adventure activity in India to one of the best ways to explore a place; Kayaking is now being opted for by several tourists. Coxwinning your journey through the terrific torrents in some of the best locations of India has now become a preferred option for travelers. Floating on the river with a paddler in hand amusing and treating eyes while enjoying the unbridle water has now become an appropriate definition of Kayaking. The increasing demand for water sports in India by adventure junkies has taken Kayaking to different states as well as different levels.
Nowadays, looking at the popularity of Kayaking, several places have started hosting this spine-chilling adventure activity on different levels. You get to enjoy high-altitude kayaking, white-water kayaking, and other types in different parts of the country. So, if you consider yourself as a seasoned adventure junkie or a person who is up for spine-chilling activities then here are the top 10 places for Kayaking in India.
1. Zanskar River, Ladakh
Ladakh, popularly known as the land of high passes is one of the finest destinations of India, especially for adventure lovers. From soaring high-passes to enchanting beauty, there are several reasons that lure people and make them fall in love with the place. One of the best things to do in Ladakh includes the spine tickling kayaking activity in the Zanskar River. What makes it even better is the high altitude, adding up to the thrill and chills for the person indulging in the activity.
If you believe that you are a seasoned adventurer who can take up the challenges thrown by this river at such a high altitude then you should visit here during summers. Rest assured that at this place you are going to get unlimited thrill paddling through the swiftly flowing water. The rapid grades drastically change from 1-5 making kayaking in Zanskar River one of the best adventure activities to do.
Best time to do the activity: April – July
2. Kerala Backwaters
Colorful festivals, multiple healthy and scrumptious cuisines, a serene environment, and places that take you a bit closer to nature- isn’t this what most of the blogs and articles depict Kerala like? But one more thing that we cannot ignore or overlook about Kerala is its backwaters. From offering houseboat facilities to several adventure activities like Kayaking, Kerala has a lot of faces that satiate all kinds of travelers. Kayaking in its backwaters has always been a must-done activity right from the beginning. While you paddle through the water bodies, the state offers several scenic and beautiful views throughout.
Kayaking in Kerala’s backwaters has always been a highly enjoyed and looked-forward activity. It is also referred to as one of the best activities to do in Kerala by experienced watersport lovers. Imagine paddling down a stream under the palm trees and enjoying the beauty of the place throughout the journey. How blissful right? Do not forget to enjoy this enthralling activity next time you visit Kerala.
Best time to do the activity: September to February
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3. Nagin Lake, Srinagar
Srinagar is often referred to as the paradise on earth and there are all the good reasons why. It is one of those ideal places across India that is popular for several things. Be it the unfathomable natural beauty, diverse vistas on offer, majestic mountains, or a never-ending scope of finding something new that will steer your heart to pound with joy. The city is home to many lakes and rivers which is why watersports like rafting and kayaking are some of the best adventure activities to do in Srinagar.
The best place to enjoy the sport is in the majestic Nagin Lake that is located on the east side of Kashmir. The area of its location is one of the most serene places with less chaos and extensive natural beauty. So when you are paddling your way from one corner to the other, your eyes too get the enjoyment throughout. So, while you look for things to do in Srinagar do not forget about Nagin Lake.
Best time to do the activity: April to October
4. Ganga River, Rishikesh
Thinking about water sport activities in India and not considering the yoga capital of the world will be a spoilsport, right? One of the most popular and probably the go-to destinations in India for any water sport in Rishikesh. Also, this beautiful city in Uttarakhand has constantly kept on satiating kayaking enthusiasts. What makes Rishikesh one of the finest kayaking destinations of India is the melange of easy and difficult rapids to kayak on.
When you choose to ride the waves of the holy river The Ganges in Rishikesh, you get to enjoy an extremely amazing and heart-throbbing expedition of 12 km. People start kayaking from Brahamapuri and they terminate the sport at the popular ghat of the city. When you find the best activities to do in Rishikesh, Kayaking is one of them. From temple-hopping to Ganga aarti to enjoying some of the best and enthralling activities of the country; Rishikesh is a complete package. It’s going to be an oozing bliss time for you in the city. There are several other things that can help you in enjoying this place and it includes multiple adventure activities as well.
Best time to do the activity: September to June
5. Teesta River, Sikkim
Beautiful landscapes and breathtaking splendors as far as you see; isn’t this the impression that you get when you think about the seven sisters of India? Especially Sikkim. There are lots and lots of wonderful places to visit in Sikkim and the numbers are equal when it comes to the best activities to do in Sikkim. From hiking, gliding, paragliding, bungee jumping, rafting to Kayaking; the list gets endless. People from around the country visit here and enjoy their time by indulging in many activities that are entertaining and heart-throbbing.
If you are looking for places to do Kayaking in Sikkim there are a number of destinations you can choose from. One of the ideal places for this is the Teesta River that is located on the eastern side of Sikkim. Teesta River offers 2-4 grades of Kayaking experience to the travelers making it a wonderful activity to enjoy in North-East India. Undoubtedly, with several acres of forest and mountains, there are several fun things that can be done in Sikkim but one of the most thrilling adventure sports in Sikkim is Kayaking and that too in Teesta River.
Best time to do the activity: December to May
6. Mandovi, Goa
What is the image that pops up in your head as soon as you hear the word “GOA”? Flamboyant catholic churches, serene and pristine beaches, exuberant nightlife, and so much more. Goa is also popular for its water sports. Probably there are some of the best and arguably the most number of water sports being offered at a single place in India. It is also not wrong to say that Goa is one of the best places for parasailing In India. Not just this, you get so much more to enjoy here including scuba diving, kitesurfing, jet-skiing, boat riding, windsurfing, and kayaking.
One of the best water sports activities to enjoy in Goa is Kayaking and one of the finest places to enjoy the sport is in Mandovi. If you have already enjoyed beach hopping, partying, and other activities then head to this gorgeous place and start riding the currents of this river. With spectacular views throughout the course of kayaking, you are surely going to enjoy it the most. Apart from Mandovi, you also have Nerul river where one can get the best kayaking experience in Goa.
Best time to do the activity: November to April
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7. Brahmaputra River, Arunachal Pradesh
Counting the names of seven sisters and the activities that can be enjoyed here, you will get all the seven on your fingers offering some of the best adrenaline-rushing activities in India. One of the best adventure activities to enjoy in Arunachal Pradesh is Kayaking. This activity is executed in the wild river Brahmaputra that is also one of the longest rivers in the world. If you were always longing to ride the toughest currents in India by kayak, then the Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh is the ideal place for you.
In most sections of Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh, you will be enjoying tough currents that are spine-chilling and yes the water will also be cold. If you choose to ride a kayak here, make sure you have your life jacket on so that if (which is very much likely) the river takes you to 6th grade of Kayaking, you are already prepared. This thrilling activity makes kayaking in Arunachal Pradesh an exciting adventurous activity of India.
Best time to do the activity: March to August
8. Pandoh Dam, Manali
Manali is one of the most visited destinations in India and there are a lot of reasons why. From mesmerizing natural beauty to adventurous activities; there are a lot of things that can be done in this hill station. When it comes to adventure activities in Manali, most people are unaware that kayaking is also available here. Did you know about this earlier? Most people love paragliding, snow-surfing, and ice-skating in Manali but fewer people indulge in kayaking. If you wish to indulge in this activity during your trip to Manali then head straight to Pandoh Dam.
Best time to do the activity: April to July
9. Sharda River, Uttarakhand
Also known as Devbhoomi, Uttarakhand is a top-notch destination for adventure enthusiasts as well as nature lovers. It has multiple pristine spots and innumerable spots for pilgrims. All these things together make all of Uttarakhand a wonderful place to spend time at. If you are a seasoned kayaker and are on the hunt for a good place then you might just consider kayaking in Uttarakhand.
Although you have a lot of places to go to for this activity, if you are a peace lover then heading towards Pithoragarh will be a great choice. Sharda River offers a great chance on enjoying the adrenaline-rushing activity of Kayaking in Uttarakhand.
Best time to do the activity: November to May
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10. Havelock Island, Andaman
If you are an avid adventurer and paddling in rivers and lakes is not what entices you, then head to the Andamans. One of the best places to go kayaking in Andamans. Here you get to sail on the currents of the ocean. Does that sound thrilling to you? Wherever you see you get the view of the horizon and nothing else. You are not the only one who gets triggered by such a view.
Many people throughout the year come to visit the best places in Andamans and they end up enjoying kayaking in the open ocean. Try it once if you dare to. The place you need to head to is Havelock Island.
Best time to do the activity: December to February
India is a naturally rich and thriving country having ample number of places to enjoy at. There are a lot of people who enjoy different sports in their preferred destination, even if it is water sports. There are several destinations across India offering some of the best water sports to their travelers. Pick the right spot if you wish to enjoy kayaking. You already have 10 top-notch kayaking destinations in India.
Kayaking Tips to Keep in Mind
- It is true that there is a lot of enjoyment in store for people who wish to kayak. But on the other side of the coin, there are multiple things that one has to keep in mind for improving the overall kayaking experience. Here are a few tips to consider before gearing up for the fun.
- Though there are many types of kayaking that are enjoyed throughout India but the major ones amongst them are Whitewater kayaking and Ocean Kayaking. Where white water is what the name suggests, you will have to paddle through rivers having wild currents, the ocean Kayaking is the calmer version of it. So, choose the type you want to enjoy based on your interest and capabilities.
- Enjoy kayaking without polluting the rivers by any means. Avoid ruining them or harming them in any way possible.
- Kayaking is one of the most enjoyable adventure watersports in the world but you need to keep in mind the safety of yourself and your fellow passenger. Create a list of things and equipment you need and keep things according to the kayaking option you pick. Some common things include a first-aid kit, life-jacket, head-guard, and even eyeglasses if you are going for white water kayaking.
- Though kayaking is not a very rigorous activity, it is still better if you get a complete body check before heading out to enjoy the watersport. Especially if you are looking to indulge in white-water kayaking.
- Keep an action cam with yourself. Almost all the destinations offering kayaking facilities in India have exceptional views from the boat and you would definitely not want to miss them. Those moments are worth capturing and they are memorable.
- One thing that you should always keep in mind is keeping the best time to visit any specific destination. Plan accordingly.
FAQs about Kayaking
Q. Do I need to take classes before Kayaking? +-
Ans: No! Kayaking is not one of the adventure activities that need prior classes or any sort of training. But you surely have to think before diving into a higher grade of kayaking. You can first pick the places that have calmer water. And once you are confident enough that you can handle tough situations you can simply move up the ladder.
Q. Are there different grades of kayaking? +-
Ans: Yes, the way there are different grades in trekking, hiking, mountain climbing, and many other activities, kayaking too has different grades. It depends on the altitude of the place you are enjoying this water sport, the waterbody’s nature, and the force of the currents.
Q. Should I also know how to swim before going kayaking? +-
Ans: Nothing of this sort is required. Even if you don’t know swimming you will still enjoy Kayaking the way others do. Firstly, you will be having all the gears on while you start the activity such as life-jacket. Though if you know swimming, it will just be an add-on.
Q. Is it true that kayaking in Ladakh is possible? +-
Ans: If you think it’s a hoax, you should give this blog another read. Zanskar river is the place where you can enjoy kayaking at its best. Although you have just a few months between April and July, it is worth it all.
Q. Anything else I need to keep in mind before going kayaking? +-
Ans: All the important things are already mentioned in the “tips to keep in mind” section. Please read that section carefully and do follow whatever is mentioned there.