Travel Secrets

Know Before You Go!



Q: I am heading to Rishikesh and have planned to try out White water rafting. What should I know before I go?

White water rafting in Rishikesh

We asked adventure expert Siddhant Dhingra from Great Wide Open and here’s the answer.

  • Always choose a reputed rafting camp/operator. It is essential to have at least two guides on your raft. In dangerous rapids, a guide on a kayak should check for safety before the raft is allowed to pass.
  • The Life-jacket, helmet and paddle are equally important on a rafting trip. The paddle not only acts as a floatation device, but can also be used to steer clear of rocks if you go of-board.
  • Balance is maintained on the raft with the help of your legs. Balance and not paddling, is the most important part of rafting.
  • Non-swimmers can do rafting.
  • There is no age limit, but you should be a minimum of 4.5 feet tall and should weigh at least 45 kgs.
  • Make sure that your raft is not too light or heavy. The right number of people helps to balance the raft.
  • Prior experience in rafting is required for rapid grade 3 and upwards.
  • Floaters/strap-on-sandals are ideal for rafting. You can go barefoot too.
  • Do not attempt Body-surfing in the absence of certified guides.
  • Cliff-jumping is allowed in calmer waters.
  • Most importantly, do not panic!

Find out more about Great Wide open adventures here:

What does bungee jumping feel like?

Jupiter photo 1

Avid adventurist Jupiter Huidrom says it was his life’s most frightening and freeing experience.

Over to him:


The Bote Khosi River

“The moment had arrived. My friend who fears heights was the first to go, surprising me with his alacrity. Hearing his screams echo down the gorge, I felt the goosebumps rise along my arms.  The Bungee Master tied the harness on me, and I stood there, unable even to quake…I was so numb. I took three steps  toward the edge of the bridge. It was  the longest walk of my life.

The 160 m high suspended Steel bridge

And when I heard his voice “Ready…On a count of 3, 2, 1… and jump,” there was a sudden rush of emotions in my heart. Countless moments of my life flashed in my mind. My mom. Home. My office desk back in Delhi. And then I jumped.

Everything inside me froze as I plummeted toward the river, though I could feel each and every part of each and every bone. I so wanted to scream, but I was frightened as hell. At the same time, I felt so free that I closed my eyes and lived every second of the fall.

And when I was finally suspended, I thought it was over; only to realise I was upside down, spinning continuously. Below me, the monstrous river gushed in full flow. I reached desperately  for the bamboo that would pull me back up to the river bank.

The moment I felt solid earth beneath my back, I let out the pent up air from inside my lungs, and cried—bawled—like a baby!  My friend who had jumped first hugged me. We cried, and then we jumped  around crazily, as we didn’t know how to deal with the sudden rush of emotions.

If you asked whether I conquered my fear by jumping once, the answer is No! Because when we stepped on that bridge again, it shook as before, and I felt the same fear. ”

This is part of our May-June 2013 Cover Story, focusing on the Himalayas. Buy your copy of the issue here.

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