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Water Sports in Kashmir

Kashmir's two natural advantages are its mountains, and lakes & rivers. These waterways enhance the beauty of the land and are among the chief sources that attract tourists to its verdant valleys. But more than just a means of pleasure, the waterways are an activity-oriented way of discovering new leisure sports.

To those of you who are by nature passive, command a shikara on the Dal and Nagin Lakes in Srinagar for just a crossing, or for a whole day; a variation on this can be the hiring of a motorboat, if you prefer travelling faster over water. Or better still, when the summer days are balmy, go water skiing.

The J&K Tourism Department has established a Water Sports Centre at Nigeen, and organises competitions in Canoeing, Kayaking etc. International & National level Rafting Championships have also been recently organised. Commercial Rafting has been introduced in Pahalgam & Sonamarg. Rafting in Ladakh & Zanskar is more demanding, and some stretches on Indus & Zanskar rivers requires one to be professionally trained.

Kashmir & Ladakh

This adventurous sport is played on the white waters of Lidder (Pahalgam, Kashmir), Sindh (Sonamarg, Kashmir) & Zanaskar (Kargil) which resembles the Colorado (USA).

Plunging down the icy waters in a raft must certainly rank as th most adventurous way of seeing Kashmir. The Lidder river in Pahalgam has stretches where its gentle gradieents are well suited for beginners. Sonamarg is another favourite place for rafting in Kashmir as the river Sindh roars through the area and makes sport challenging for the players. The grade scale at Sonamarg touches upto 4.

Ladakh offers many options for undertaking adventure activities amidst landscapes of spectacular, rugged beauty. These mainly include river rafting, mountaineering and trekking.River rafting in Ladakh is quite unlike anywhere else in the world. It provides the best opportunity to enjoy and experience the natural beauty of the spectacular landscape with deep gorges, towering snow-capped peaks, hilltop monasteries, hillside villages, and glimpses of the unique wildlife. Ladakh offers a range of rafting options on the Indus and its major tributaries. The best stretch for professionally guided runs in white water is on the Indus between Spituk and Nimu or Saspol, which rates 4 to 5 in the international river grading scale of 1 to 6. Upstream of Spituk, the Indus has the easiest stretch up to Karu, which is ideal for basic training or "scenic floating". In recent years, running the Indus has become an attractive option to complement with sightseeing, and features on the itinerary of most visitors. Several travel agencies offer all-inclusive rafting packages.

The most difficult but exciting rafting option is available on the Zanskar River, along its spectacular course through a gorge in the Zanskar Mountains, between Padum and Nimu. This is suitable only for well-organized white-water expeditions, prepared for about a week of rafting and camping in absolute wilderness. Participants are required to be trained rafters themselves while the arrangements should be assigned to a dependable professional agency. Adequate arrangement for rescue back-up is an essential prerequisite for embarking upon this white-water expedition and Indus River (Ladkah) and Suru River (Kargil). These rivers range from grade 3 to 5 and afford much thrill. Annual Rafting Championship is being conducted at Sonamarg , Kashmir,besides commercial Rafting is also underway at Pahalgam.

River Rafting
River Rafting in Kashmir
River Rafting
River Rafting in Kashmir

River Rafting

Ladakh offers many options for undertaking adventure activities amidst landscapes of spectacular, rugged beauty. These mainly include river rafting, mountaineering and trekking. Indus River (Ladakh) and Suru River (Kargil). These rivers range from grade 3 to 5 and afford much thrill. Annual rafting championship is being conducted at Sonamarg.

River rafting in Ladakh is quite unlike anywhere else in the world. It provides the best opportunity to enjoy and experience the natural beauty of the spectacular landscape with deep gorges, towering snow-capped peaks, hilltop monasteries, hillside villages, and glimpses of the unique wildlife. Ladakh offers a range of rafting options on the Indus and its major tributaries. The best stretch for professionally guided runs in white water is on the Indus between Spituk and Nimu or Saspol, which rates 2 to 3 in the international river grading scale of 1 to 6. Upstream of Spituk, the Indus has the easiest stretch up to Karu, which is ideal for basic training or "scenic floating". In recent years, running the Indus has become an attractive option to complement with sightseeing, and features on the itinerary of most visitors. Several travel agencies offer all-inclusive rafting packages. Ask for details at the Tourist Office at Leh.

The most difficult but exciting rafting option is available on the Zanskar River, along its spectacular course through a gorge in the Zanskar Mountains, between Padum and Nimu. This is suitable only for well-organized white-water expeditions, prepared for about a week of rafting and camping in absolute wilderness. Participants are required to be trained rafters themselves while the arrangements should be assigned to a dependable professional agency. Adequate arrangement for rescue back-up is an essential prerequisite for embarking upon this white-water expedition.