River Rafting in Leh Ladakh - 2020 Detailed Guide

One of the many wonderful activities that the landscape of Ladakh offers its guests is river rafting. River Rafting in Leh is one of the most underappreciated activities in the region, but also one of the most adventurous. Ladakh is home to the Indus River, which flows across its northern region before entering Pakistan. Though the river rafting in Ladakh is just beginning to gain momentum, the rapids to be found within it are of a force and intensity that make rafting in it a marvellous experience.

Rafting can also be enjoyed on the rapids of the Zanskar river. The force of the waters along with the twists and turns of the river makes whitewater rafting on the Zanskar a memorable adventure. The majesty of the Ladakh landscape adds a lot of depth to the act of rafting. 

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The towering mountains, the chilly winds, the fresh aromas in the air, the freezing waters and the sense of possibility that hangs in the air, all make Ladakh white water rafting a peculiarly intense experience. You can choose the rapid based upon the level of difficulty you are willing to undertake since the rivers have rapids ranging from level I to level IV. 

Rafting in Leh is not a dangerous experience and can be enjoyed with an easy mind and an eager heart. River rafting adds depth to your Ladakh tour and allows you to enjoy the region in a different manner. Whitewater rafting is not simply an adventure activity you undertake in Ladakh, it is an experience you live through. 

Here is a guide to river rafting in Leh Ladakh:

01

Best Season for River Rafting in Leh

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Best Season for River Rafting in Leh

The Indus River water levels will remain high during the months from June to August, which is the best season for fascinating rafting in Leh. If you are planning a trip to Leh Ladakh that includes rafting, we recommend you to do it in this monsoon season, for it will be an experience of a lifetime.

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02

Best Offers on Ladakh Tour Packages: Enquire Now

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Best Offers on Ladakh Tour Packages: Enquire Now
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03

Rafting in Leh Ladakh Cost

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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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04

Types of Rapids and Difficulty Level of Rafting in Leh

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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: Medium

Upshi to Kharu:

Rapid: Grade I or II

Difficulty Level: Easy

Upshi to Nimo:

Rapid: Grade II or III

Difficulty Level: Medium

Phey to Saspol:

Rapid: Grade I

Difficulty Level: Easy

Phey to Indus via Zanskar at Nimo:

Rapid: Grade III to V

Difficulty Level: Medium to Hard

Nimo to Alchi:

Rapid: Grade III+

Difficulty Level: Hard

Alchi 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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05

River Rafting in Leh - Safety Measures

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River Rafting in Leh - Safety Measures
These are the Ten Commandments for safe river rafting in Leh. Remember these throughout the rafting session. It also helps to stay calm and bold all through the rafting. By following these simple tips you can easily enjoy the experience of rafting in Ladakh.

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.

Explore the best things to do in Ladakh such as Cycling, Visit Pangong Lake, a Bike ride to Khardungla Pass, Camel Safari in Nubra and other activities your trip
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06

Things to Carry for River Rafting in Leh

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Things to Carry for River Rafting in Leh
While you cannot carry much on the rafting boat, except maybe a waterproof camera, if you are really interested, you need to carry these things and leave it in the starting point while going on a rafting trip in the majestic beauty of Ladakh.

1. Towel
2. Dry clothing
3. Water shoes (to wear it in the boat – this is optional)
4. Sunscreen
5. Chapstick
6. Toiletries
7. Wallet

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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Other Activities to do in Leh Ladakh

07

Biking in 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.

08

Chadar Trek

Chadar Trek

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. 

09

Jeep Safari

Jeep Safari

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. 

10

Quad Biking in Nubra Sand Dunes

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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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11

Cycling

Cycling

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. 

12

Markha Valley Trek

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

13

Camping at Pangong Lake

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. 

14

Camel Safari in Nubra Valley

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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. 

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15

Solve the Mystery of Magnetic Hill

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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.

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16

Explore the Monasteries of Ladakh

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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. 

Explore The Best Hotels In Leh For Your Trip which will sparkle to your trip. 

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Rafting in Ladakh

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11 July 2019
Excellent
We went for Manali to srinagar Bike tour. It was the best bike trip of my entire life It all started with the person named Shubham from thrillophilia who helped me in selecting the best trip and processed with my booking, all thanks to him! Without him I wouldn’t have been able to experience the best trip of my life. On arrival there, we met our tour guide Tani and our Mechanic Shashi about whom I have read a lot at thrillophilia reviews. These 2 guys were so supportive during the entire tour that no matter what happened they were always there to look after us. They always made sure we are safe and we are following them and there is no overtaking taking place. Tani, the tour guide, one chilled out person he is! Make sure you get him as your tour guide and Shashi as the mechanic as these guys will always make sure that they are there for you no matter what. And in the end, it’s all the Main man behind everything, Jimmy Sir. Thanks a lot Sir for making me experience the best trip of my life! Without you and your team this wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks for helping us out in every way possible. The roads here are difficult terrain to ride on. You gotta be careful. You gotta carry your gum boots during water logging which is the most difficult to cross. But these guys made sure that we were all safe and had sound health till we reached home. Not even a single person was hurt. Our group was a mixture of all age groups, I’m fact we even got to meet 2 people From the Indian navy as well. One mad kickass experience! Unbelievable. Reaching the worlds highest Pass, Khardungla Top, was the highest achievement of my life till date which happened on this trip! And if at all you wish to go, don’t forget to ask Tani and Shashi as your tour guide and mechanic, and go only through Jimmy Sir as he has the best team! Thanks a lot to everyone out there for which I thought the best way would be to write at thrillophilia reviews.
12 July 2018
Excellent
From Recent Expedition -: Srinagar > Leh > Manali !! The feeling was awesome and words are not enough to express my experience of the expedition, but ever since I talked about it, it makes me feel that I’m still travelling, I’m still there. I had been a frequent traveller, but the emotions associated with this tour were different. We enjoyed, we had fun, we went emotional, we met some new friends, we felt proud, we captured every possible feelings and emotions we can during the entire journey.
12 July 2018
Excellent
From Recent Expedition -: Srinagar > Leh > Manali !! The feeling was awesome and words are not enough to express my experience of the expedition, but ever since I talked about it, it makes me feel that I’m still travelling, I’m still there. I had been a frequent traveller, but the emotions associated with this tour were different. We enjoyed, we had fun, we went emotional, we met some new friends, we felt proud, we captured every possible feelings and emotions we can during the entire journey. We passed through all the ranges of the Great Himalayas, starting from the Shivalik, Karakoram & Pir Panjal. The memories of “late night road journey from Jammu to Srinagar risking our life while crossing South Kashmir (Known for Terrorist activities), early morning (4 am) shopping at Awantipora, Dal Lake, Shankracharya Temple, Srinagar Market, Lunch @Lal Chowk, Eid Celebrations, Shalimar Garden, Noon & Kahwa Tea, Sonmarg, War Zone (Kargil, Drass &Batalik), Oldest Gompa Lamayuru, Rafting at World’s highest point (Zanskar river), Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, Leh Palace, gruelling terrain & passes(Zoji La (3528 Mtrs), Namki La (3815 Mtrs), Fotu La (4108 Mtrs),World’s highest Motorable road – Khardungla (5359 Mtrs), Nakee La (4739 Mtrs), Tanglang La ( 5328 Mtrs), Bara-lacha (4890 Mtrs) & Chang La (5360 Mtrs)), Crazy bath in Pangong Tso lake (-4 °C), cute Marmot, Yak, Deer & Pashmina Goats at Changthang Wildlife sanctuary, snow-capped Karakoram Ranges, Sand dunes at Nubra Valley, Diskit Monastery, the Gata loops (22 hairpin bends) at 4190 Mtrs elevation on Pang – Sarchu road, Suraj Taal, Whiskey & Brandy Nallah, Picturesque Jispa, Hiking at 4350 Mtrs Himalayan ranges and driving alongside the rivers across the two states” are never gonna fade away !! Thanks to Thrillophilia for making this trip awesome & memorable one.
24 June 2018
Excellent
Your Destination would be a dream until you come out and step ahead to it and experience. Leh-Manali Bike ride is one such vibe which will resonate for many years to come. Here the journey was more scintillating then achieving those milestones and Thrillophilia ensured we had great time by organising it perfectly to last mile would like to thank Tarun and Chitransh. Tani and Amit who were our Tour Leaders were just amazing with their hospitality to the care taken through out the ride. Ride at Khardungla Pass, Gata Loops, Zing Zing Bar, Barlachala were just amazing.
Excellent
Such an amazing bike ride, challenging but with thrill till the end. Make sure that you are prepared to prevent the cold, the rough wind, the altitude sickness etc because even the symptoms of sickness will affect your trip. Khardung La Pass is quite a challenging one, also there are different shorter and longer passes throughout the journey. The service was also nice, not many complaints. The guides will know the place better because they are doing it for long. But still keep the track of the route before you start the trip. The guide was nice to us, keeping everything coordinated. The accommodation and food were also flawless to me.
We booked this Leh Ladakh complete tour from Delhi with the flights. And the whole trip was beautifully managed and it was a mesmerizing place being the Stupas, or rivers, hills or the passes. They were all enchanting and beautiful.
The Thrillophilia team has surpassed all of my expectations! I was initially apprehensive about the Parang La trek because of the altitude and the difficulty, but Thrillophilia made sure I had no issue at all! Everything was taken care of, and the guide was just brilliant. For any further treks, Thrillophilia is my go-to website and the one I’ll always recommend!
A great way to rent a bike and be secure about the condition and price for it. The bike of choice is also available and it is easy to book as well.
Excellent
The Thrillophilia sales and support teams are absolutely brilliant. When I heard the Parangla trek pitch for the first time from them, I was not sure if the trek would pan out in the exact same way, but surprisingly, it did. The sales team was very articulate with the trek prerequisites, and outlines and the operator had answers to all the questions I asked!
17 November 2019
Excellent
Leh Ladakh's location had everything that you dreamed about. It had ice (lots and lots of ice), even when I was sleeping battling the cold at night I was could see those ice sheet right in front of my eyes. but the most exciting part was that we were never complaining even under these extreme conditions. the food offered was very tasty. everything was perfectly planned by the thrillophilia team. Awesome experience !!

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People Also Ask About Ladakh

  1. What is the best time to indulge in river rafting in Ladakh?

    The best time to indulge in river rafting in Ladakh is from May until October. It is one of the most singled out adventure activities in the Leh-Ladakh tour. River rafting is a tremendously exciting thing to do in the deep gorges and ravines of Ladakh.

    You can indulge in white water rafting in Zanskar and Indus rivers. When it comes to Ladakh rafting places, the rapids typically are of Grade I, II and ideal for beginners. However, sometimes the creeks become narrower, where you can expect splashing rapids of Grade III best for seasoned rafters.
  2. Is it fine to carry my camera during the rafting in Leh?

    Yes, you can carry your camera while river rafting in Leh Ladakh provided the equipment is compact, damage-resistant, and waterproof. You also need to hold your camera tight while taking shots during the rafting activity. You can carry GoPro cameras that are perfect for capturing exciting rafting moments.

    However, use it on easy rapids but not on Grade III plus rapids. Usually, carrying your camera isn’t recommended due to safety concerns. You can handover your cameras or smartphones to the rafting instructor, who would keep your devices in a waterproof pouch. He would give these to you when the water is safe and still to take shots.
  3. Is it required to carry the medication during the river rafting trip in Ladakh from our side?

    Yes, you must carry medication while indulging in river rafting for safety reasons. In case you have a medical condition, you must let the rafting instructor know about the same before the rafting activity.

    During the activity, if you need any medicine, it’s recommended to have a medication kit including inhalers, insulin, antiseptic creams and lotions, bee sting kits, and band-aids. Carry the prescribed medications only. If you wear contact lenses, carry an extra pair and eye drops in case there is an emergency.
  4. What is the cost of river rafting in Ladakh?

    White water rafting in Ladakh is easy on your wallet. The entry fee for the activity from Phey to Nimo will cost you around 1,500 INR per head. Again, from Chilling to Nimo, river rafting will cost you 1,600 INR per person.

    From Kharu to Sindhu, the cost of river rafting is also 1,600 INR per head. Then, if you want to indulge in Grade II rafting, the cost would come to approx 1,500 INR – 1,800 INR for two hours or so.
  5. I do not know swimming; can I go for river rafting in Leh Ladakh?

    No, it is not safe to do river rafting in Ladakh if you happen to be a non-swimmer. The majority of outfitters would not have folks on Grade IV, higher rapids, or turbulent rivers and therefore, if you do not know how to swim, the activity is unfortunately not safe.
  6. Is River Rafting in Ladakh dangerous?

    River Rafting in Leh-Ladakh is not dangerous because you will have trained instructors to guide you throughout the activity. Listen to them and follow their instructions carefully. The rafting experience will add joy, thrill, and more depth to your Ladakh tour.

    Then, you need to choose the rafting level that suits you best and your comfort level. Avoid Grade III level if you are a beginner and just started river rafting. Opt for medium raft levels because they are fun and challenging.
  7. What should I wear for rafting in Leh?

    You should wear a life jacket while indulging in white water rafting. Ensure that the jacket fits tightly on your body and buckled properly throughout the rafting adventure. You must also wear the right shoes and avoid slippers, flip flops, or try rafting barefooted.

    The best options are water shoes, sneakers, and even sandals that come with an ankle strap. Avoid wearing cotton if you are rafting during the winter months. Wear neoprene, wool, wetsuits, and polypropylene in cold weather to keep you dry and warm.
  8. Is River Rafting open in Zanskar in December?

    December is not the perfect time for river rafting in Zanskar. The valley is isolated from the rest of the country around this time because there is no way you can get in or out of Zanskar valley other than taking up Chadar Trek.

    Moreover, the Zanskar River begins to freeze from the month of December and remains frozen until mid-February. Therefore, the best time for river rafting in Zanskar valley is from July until August. If you cannot plan your trip during this time, you can visit Zanskar from June to September.
  9. What are the things we need to carry while going for river rafting in Leh?

    In Ladakh, rafting places are found in abundance but you must carry the necessary things when indulging in the activity. You must carry neoprene, thermal undergarments, wool sweaters, wetsuits, polypropylene, bathing suits, old sneakers or shoes, antiseptic creams, sunscreen lotion, waterproof camera, energy drinks or energy bars, zip-lock waterproof bags and plastic bags for storing wet things.

    If you have medical conditions, carry prescribed medicines, especially inhalers and bee sting kits.
  10. What are some of the popular places in Leh for Rafting?

    The popular white water rafting places in Leh are from Phey to Nimo, Upshi to Nimo, as well as Upshi to Kharu. The other best rafting spots are from Phey to the river Indus – Zanskar confluence, Phey to Saspol, and from Nimo to the historical monastic enclave of Alchi.

    Seasoned rafters can try the more difficult routes between Khaltsey and Alchi, which has a long stretch of rapids, almost a km long. The rafting spots in Leh include rapids of Grade I, II and at some places even Grade III and Grade V.

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