Guide to Rafting in Leh Ladakh
Best Season for River Rafting in Leh
The best season to plan a trip to enjoy River Rafting in Ladakh is the transition months between Summer and Monsoon which commences in the region from June and lasts till the end of September. The many passes and routes that are closed during winters are also opened to the Public in late March. The flow of the two Rivers in the region is heightened around this time of the year up to a point that even more difficult grade V rapids can be experienced.
Besides this, one can plan a trip to Ladkah from April onwards as the pleasant and dry summer seasons commences which is perfect for many other adventures and activities.
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Rafting in Leh Ladakh Cost
The cost for rafting in Leh Ladakh is not that expensive. It is quite affordable. On an average, a grade II+ rafting for 2+ hours will be somewhere around Rs. 1500 to Rs. 1800. This can increase or decrease based on the travel agent you pick and the level of rafting and time period you pick. However, this is the average rate - give or take a hundred. It is going to be one of the best adventure sport in Ladakh that you will experience.
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Types of Rapids and Difficulty Level of Rafting in Leh
Indus River rafting has rapids that are generally of I and II grades. However, some places can even have grades that can go from III to even V rapids. Some of the quite popular places in Leh for rafting are from Phey to Nimo. Upshi to Kharu and Upshi to Nimo are quite famous too. Some of the well-known raft points with rapids are difficulty levels are as follows:Phey to Nimo:
Rapid: Grade II or III
Difficulty Level: MediumUpshi to Kharu:
Rapid: Grade I or II
Difficulty Level: EasyUpshi to Nimo:
Rapid: Grade II or III
Difficulty Level: Medium
Rapid: Grade I
Difficulty Level: EasyPhey to Indus via Zanskar at Nimo:
Rapid: Grade III to V
Difficulty Level: Medium to HardNimo to Alchi:
Rapid: Grade III+
Difficulty Level: HardAlchi to Khaltsey via Nurla:
Rapid: Grade II or III
Difficulty Level: Medium
Based on your likes and preferences, we would recommend you to pick a raft that will suit your needs. Do not attempt the hard level rafts if this is your first time. Go for the medium ones as they are both challenging as well as fun. If you are unsure, take your rafting guide’s suggestion.
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River Rafting in Leh - Safety Measures
1. Choose a licensed, professional rafting agent.
2. Always wear a life jacket, even if you know swimming.
3. Make sure that your outfit and life jacket are comfortable.
4. Do not wear any loose jewelry.
5. Hold the paddle properly.
6. Stay in the boat – Do not move unnecessarily.
7. Learn at least basic swimming techniques before going on hard level rafting.
8. Know and follow the commands that your raft leader gives.
9. Do not panic. By panicking you are putting everyone at risk. Always be confident and cool.
10. Listen to your guide in case of any issues. Do not act on your own accord.
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Things to Carry for River Rafting in Leh
2. Dry clothing
3. Water shoes (to wear it in the boat – this is optional)
Apart from this while you are rafting in Leh, you must be wearing easily dryable simple clothes – like shorts and tee.
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Things to Keep in Mind
Here are a few things to keep in mind when attempting river rafting in Leh Ladakh.
- If you are booking river rafting in Ladakh on your own, do it in advance and from a licensed rafting agency.
- You should be wearing comfortable and easily dryable clothes during the rafting in Ladakh adventure. Also floater sandals or any other open-toed shoe that would not slide-off would be preferred.
- You should carry a small day backpack containing a towel and extra pair of dry clothes
- Apply plenty of sunblock and chapstick before the river rafting in Leh activity as your skin can peel or get dry.
- You should have a waterproof zip-lock bag to keep all your precious belongings, jewellery and gadgets like mobile phones in it before the activity to keep it safe.
- During the briefing session from the experienced staff, you are expected to pay full attention.
- It is important to listen to the head crew member on the raft at all times, throughout the rafting activity.
- All the gear provided, such as helmets and life jackets are to be worn at all times.
- It is always a good idea to learn or know basic swimming movements and to keep a calm composure.
- Also, please let the on-site crew know of any underlying health issues or fear of water beforehand.
Below are all the popular stretches for River Rafting in Ladakh along with their grades -
Phey to Nimo - Grade II or III
Upshi to Kharu - Grade I or II
Upshi to Nimo - Grade II or III
Phey to Saspol - Grade I
Phey to Indus via Zanskar at Nimo - Grade III to V
Nimo to Alchi - Grade III+
Alchi to Khaltsey via Nurla - Grade II or III
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Other Activities to do in Leh Ladakh
Biking in Ladakh
Ladakh is a magnificent land and exploring it is an adventure unlike any other. There are many ways to explore Leh, but one of the best ways to do so is by heading out on a motorbiking trip around Ladakh. Biking in Ladakh can be a particularly intimate experience, with the high mountains enveloping you all around and the fresh, cold winds dashing into your face.
Biking is also an extremely accessible option. You can start biking trip from Srinagar, Manali, and even Leh itself, and they can be taken to all kinds of places where a car might find it difficult to go. Biking in Ladakh is one of the best ways to enjoy your trip to the region, so make the most of it.
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Ladakh is the land of trekking adventurers with trails of all kinds enriching its lands. But the Chadar trek, also known as the Frozen River trek, is one of the most fantastic trekking adventures you can undertake in Ladakh. The Chadar trek only takes place in the winter months when the Zanskar River freezes over.
Trekkers walk over the frozen river, covering a distance of approximately 100 kilometres in a span of 8 to 10 days. This trek is one of the most challenging treks in the world, and not to be undertaken lightly. But the sheer thrill of living that you get out of experiencing this trek makes it absolutely worth the effort put into it, and the memories you make walking in sub-zero temperatures promise to stay with you for a lifetime.
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Jeep safaris are among the most popular tourist touring options in Ladakh for a road trip. Jeep safaris are fantastic because tourists can experience all of Ladakh with them easily and conveniently. Most jeep safaris of Ladakh begin in either Srinagar to Leh journey or Manali to Leh journey and include not only the attractions of Ladakh but also those that fall on the route to Ladakh, like Sarchu, Baralacha La, Zoji La, Gulmarg, Sonamarg and others. In Ladakh, tourists have the chance to visit the monasteries, popular passes and popular lakes of the region.
Jeep safaris are a great travel option for those who are traveling in large groups. There are many kinds of safaris available in Ladakh, including women-only safaris, so you can choose one according to your convenience.
Quad Biking in Nubra Sand Dunes
Nubra valley features a desert-like landscape with sand dunes enriching its beauty. Enjoying these sand dunes is an experience to have in Ladakh and it is best done with quad biking. Quad biking on the sand dunes of Nubra valley serves to combine adventure with sightseeing and gives you an experience that is undeniably breathtaking.
You can quad bike solo through the dunes of Nubra or partner up on the bike and enjoy an adventure along with a loved one.
Nubra Valley is also one of the popular campsites in Ladakh. Aimed at tourists who love the best of worlds, experience camping in Nubra Valley for sure.
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Cycling in Ladakh is an audacious undertaking and one of the most adventurous and brave activities you can enjoy in the region. Cycling through the vast landscape of Ladakh promises to be a breathtaking experience, and it is also one of the most intimate ways of enjoying the land. Cycling around Ladakh makes you pay more attention to the smaller details of the landscape and allows you to admire the intricacy with which the greatest of marvels are wrought.
Cycling also makes you fell one with the land and can be a very meditative experience. The stillness without adds to the stillness within and the strenuous nature of the activity necessarily forces away all worrisome thoughts. It is a beautiful experience and the pride of completing a cycling expedition from Manali to Ladakh is something that stays with you forever.
Markha Valley Trek
The Markha Valley Trek is one of the most adventurous treks in Ladakh. Considered to be amongst the more moderate treks in the region, the Markha Valley Trek takes the trekkers through the Hemis National Park, crosses Gandala La and Kongmaru La passes, passes over some deep river waters of the Markha river and weaves through several Ladakhi villages.
The trek offers some of the most exotic views of the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, along with Stok kangri and Kang Yissay. Trekking to Markha valley is a wonderful experience that can be enjoyed even by people who are not extremely well-versed trekking tough routes. Culture and natural beauty come together on this trek to make it one of the best ways of exploring Ladakh.
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Camping at Pangong Lake
Pangong Lake is one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Ladakh. This fairytale lake is spread out over 150 kilometres and spans both India and Tibet. The changing colours of the lake with the stalwart mountains reflected in its depths against a deep blue sky make for an experience that imprints itself in your memories indelibly. While you can take a day trip to Pangong lake, the camping on the shores of the lake is a far more powerful and magical experience.
To watch the lake as it takes on the fiery colours of the setting sun before its turns into a moonlit mystery and to sit by the campfire in the surrounded by the night’s total stillness is what experiencing Ladakh is all about. Camping in Pangong lake is an experience that should not be missed when you are in Ladakh.
Camel Safari in Nubra Valley
Nubra valley is a vast and beautiful destination in Ladakh- part grassland, part desert, surrounded on all sides by mountains breathtaking in their majesty. There are many ways to enjoy the beauty of this valley, but undertaking a camel safari is one of the best. Camel safaris in Ladakh are memorable in part because they are so unique.
To head out into the valley bouncing upon the back of a graceful camel and to explore its nooks and corners in depth is a fascinating experience. There are many opportunities for camel safaris in Nubra Valley and many options. You can choose to undertake a multi-day safari that takes you all over the valley or simply enjoy a single day on camel-back.
Solve the Mystery of Magnetic Hill
The Magnetic Hill is one of Ladakh’s most popular touristic attractions as well as one of its most startling natural wonders. The Magnetic Hill is a “gravity hill’, that is to say, it is capable of creating an optical illusion which makes objects that are actually traveling downhill appear as if they are moving uphill in defiance of gravity.
This optical illusion makes looking upon the activities on the hill a mind-bending experience. It is a unique phenomenon, one of the few in India.
Experience Camping in Ladakh for your stay when you visit this majestic beauty of the world.
Explore the Monasteries of Ladakh
Buddhism has deep roots in Ladakh and the monasteries that dot the landscape of the region are a perfect testament to this legacy. There are hundreds of monasteries in Ladakh though only a few of them are in good condition and open to the public. The monasteries of Ladakh date as far back as the 1st century AD and are wonderful places to explore.
The far-flung locations of these monasteries in addition to their customary serenity and stillness make them wonderfully restorative locations in Ladakh. No trip to the region is complete without visits to the monasteries of Ladakh, most notable of which are the Hemis Monastery, the Diskit Monastery, the Thiksey Monastery, the Likir Monastery, and the Spituk Monastery.
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