Is River Rafting Safe in Rishikesh or Not? (In 2024)

The answer is a big YES!

River rafting in Rishikesh is entirely safe, legal, and fun. And to back it up, thousands of tourists visit Rishikesh every year just for Rafting.

It has some amazing rafting spots, a breathtaking environment, a perfect river (Ganga), and excellent facilities.

But whether a thing is really safe or not, depends on various factors, such as weather, location, gear etc and that also raises a question.

Is it safe for everyone and which rafting point is considered safe?

So, in this post, I am gonna answer every single question related to the query ”Is River Rafting Safe In Rishikesh?”

Table of Content

1. Is River Rafting Safe In Rishikesh?

Of Course!

Rafting in Rishikesh is completely safe as long as you follow the guidelines, obey your instructor, and choose a safe route and suitable time.

Make sure you are completely fit (Both mentally and physically).

A rafting boat on the bank of Ganga river in Rishikesh

Source – Instagram

Rishikesh has pleasant weather, the majestic river Ganga, different types of rafting points, and many authorized travel agencies.

Just imagine, that when rafting was reopened in 2020, more than 8000 tourists visited Rishikesh for the sole purpose of River Rafting.

This data is more than enough to prove that Rishikesh is still one of the most popular and safe destinations for rafting.

If you are still worried, then book a travel agency. They provide a much safer rafting experience, which includes complete gear, a personal instructor, and do almost everything for yourself

Isn’t it fascinating and unreal?

But that’s true and ensure that your rafting experience in Rishikesh will be a complete banger.

Is River Rafting Safe in Rishikesh

Source – Instagram

And, even if you get in an accident (like thrown off the raft), the rafting gear will keep you safe until your guide rescues you.

a) How safe is rafting in Rishikesh?

Generally. Rafting in Rishikesh is safe.

But, how safe it is, depends on several factors like rafting point, its level, number of rapids, weather, water level, etc.

If you are a beginner or novice, then choose level 1 or level 2 rafting points. It will be completely safe for you.

But, levels 3, 4, 5, and 6 are only for experts or for someone who has some experience in rafting.

Still, there are some common dangers associated with rafting, like falling, drowning, etc. But, with proper gear, you can easily overcome them.

b) Is rafting dangerous?

A group of 7 people rafting in the middle of a river

No, Rafting is not dangerous!

If you follow your guide, wear proper attire, and be disciplined, then rafting is an exceptionally fun and thrilling activity.

But, I won’t say, it is completely safe. Because, your previous experience, rafting point, gear, weather, rivers, and other factors heavily affect your rafting experience.

And, some risks and accidents are common in every adventure sport. Some dangers associated with rafting are falling off, drowning, etc but the possibility is very low.

c) Is river rafting scary?

Yes, it can be scary for first-timers. But after some rafting experience, it is nothing except an enjoyable ride.

Initially, you will get scared of some aspects of rafting, like –

  • High current
  • Risk of capsizing
  • Fear of water
  • High adrenaline
  • Fear of unknown

d) Which age is considered safe for rafting?

Generally, 8 to 65 is considered safe for rafting. However, I would recommend at least 14 years up to 60 years. This age is physically and mentally fit for a thrilling yet adrenaline-rushed activity like Rafting.

Now, we should go further and learn about safe times for Rafting, safe rafting points and the safety of Rafting on an individual basis, like kids, adults, women, elder people, etc.

2. Is rafting allowed in Rishikesh or not?

Yes! rafting is completely allowed and legal in Rishikesh.

Rishikesh is widely known as the rafting capital of India, that’s why, every year thousands of tourists visit Rishikesh for the sole purpose of Rafting, and even the government encourages people to do it.

But, do you know, that In 2017 Uttarakhand High Court banned water activities?

Is rafting banned in Rishikesh?, No rafting symbol

Generally, rafting doesn’t have any negative impact on the river Ganga. But they had 2 solid reasons. First was the safety of tourists, as many mishaps were reported that year in Rishikesh. And second, is to keep the river clean.

However, after a few alterations in guidelines, the government allowed river rafting in Rishikesh.

3. Is there a safe time for rafting in Rishikesh?


Generally, September to June is the ideal and safest time for rafting and it is created by taking all the necessary factors, like safety, fun, weather, and other vital criteria.

When you visit Rishikesh during this time, you will find pleasant surroundings, warm weather, and a safe environment for rafting. This is also the peak time for rafting, so you will find many tourists with their rafting boats.

However, July, August, and September are the worst choices for Rafting, as they are monsoon months. Unexpected rains, increased water levels, cool temperatures, landslides, etc create a lot of hurdles and dangers for rafting.

But don’t worry, even the authorities restrict all the water-related activities during these months, for the safety of visitors.

4. Safe Places for Rafting

4 rafting boats in the middle of Ganga river

Rishikesh offers a variety of rafting points, some are safe (Level 1 and 2), some are moderate (Level 3 and 4) and some are dangerous (Level 5 and 6).

Among them, levels 1 to 3 are considered safe. So, here I have mentioned the top 3 safest rafting stretches in Rishikesh that lie between level 1 and 3.

Pro Tip – Choose your rafting point carefully, especially if you are a beginner, have kids, or want easy rafting.

a) Brahmpuri

This is the easiest rafting point in Rishikesh. So, if it’s your first time, consider this.

  • Distance – 9 km
  • Duration – 1 to 2 hrs
  • Level – 1 or 2
  • Rapid – Few
  • Price – ₹600 approx.

b) Shivpuri rafting

This point is the Best-selling or most-used rafting point in Rishikesh. It is suitable for beginners and someone who wants a little challenge.

  • Distance – 16 km
  • Duration – 2 to 3 hrs
  • Level – 1 or 2
  • Rapids – 7
  • Price – ₹1000 approx.

c) Marine Drive

One of the most accessible rafting points in Rishikesh. Generally, if you want a thrill and adrenaline while being safe, consider this rafting stretch.

  • Distance – 26 km
  • Duration – 3 to 4 hrs
  • Level – 2 or 3
  • Rapids – 14
  • Price – ₹1500 approx.

5. How to have a safe rafting experience?

Now, the question is how anyone can have a safe rafting experience without any danger or worry.

And, for that, we have some essential and simple tips that can make your rafting activity a memorable and safe experience.

  • Leave your valuables in a locker or your hotel room.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs before rafting.
  • Choosing a professional rafting agency.
  • Check your health.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Choose the right level
  • Know the basics of swimming.
  • Practise a little
  • Hold the paddle properly using T-grip
  • Hold the paddle tightly.
  • Practice Defensive Swimming
  • Wear the proper attire.
  • Especially Helmet and safety jacket.
  • Don’t be over-smart.
  • Let your guide be the boss.
  • Listen to the safety talks of the guide.
  • Don’t leave your boat, no matter what.
  • Do not panic; stay calm in every situation.
  • Emergency preparation.
  • If you fall from the raft, then try to float on your back, The jacket will keep you floating for 72 hours. you until someone finds you and rescues you.

6. Dangers

a) Natural disaster

Natural disasters are one of the common factors that affect the status of any adventurous activity and rafting point.

And, Rishikesh is no exception.

It is also an earthquake and flood-prone area. So, make sure to check the proper news and conditions of the Rishikesh and your rafting site.

Let’s check, do they affect rafting that much?

  • Earthquake – Rishikesh is an earthquake-prone area, but its effect on rafting depends on its magnitude. If the earthquake is 5 or less, it won’t affect it that much, but higher can cause some serious problems.
  • Floods – You remember the 2013 floods of Uttarakhand, But since then there has been no record of flood here. If you choose a safe time like summer, then you should be fine. And, if there is a forecast of a flood, then the authorities will cancel all water activities themselves.
  • Landslide – Most landslides occur on the edge of rivers. And, they can make water muddy and dark. So, if there is a forecast for a landslide, postpone your trip.

b) Weather

Weather plays a significant role in how your rafting trip will turn out. It can make it a complete banger or completely ruin it.

Generally, three types of weather affect rafting in Rishikesh.


Rain is one of the major factors, that heavily affect the rafting status in Rishikesh.

Unexpected rain, flash flooding, and heavy rain can increase the flow and water level of the Ganga River which is dangerous for any water-related activity.

But, in most cases, authorities immediately stop all rafting expeditions for your safety.


Excessive wind can also affect rafting, as the stronger the wind is, the more challenging it becomes for you to paddle.

So, wait a bit. Let the wind become stable because, once you are in the water you are unable to do anything.


Ganga water remains chilly throughout the year, and in winter, it becomes even colder. And, everybody knows that cold water can affect our movements and it might get us sick.

So, you should avoid the winter season and consider the summer season. it is more suitable for water activities like rafting where getting wet is also fun.

7. Levels of rafting

Do you know that all Rafting stretches are divided into 6 levels? Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Out of these only 1, 2 and 3 are considered safe for almost everyone.

Let’s check all of them.

  • Levels 1 and 2 : These levels are just float trips. You can take your boat in calm water and let it flow in the direction of a stream.
  • Level 3 ⭐⭐: Now, level 3 is for beginners, where the actual challenge starts. So, if you want a little thrill, consider this one.
  • Level 4 ⭐⭐⭐: It is an intermediate and perfect level for everyone.
  • Level 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐: This level is the advanced level. A little bit higher than mediocre but easier than level 6 or expert.
  • Level 6 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐: It is the highest level of rafting, specially designated for experts and professionals. So, you should avoid it.

For example, up to level 3 is safe for everyone. You won’t need any swimming experience. Just the appropriate gear is enough.

The travel agencies also accept non-swimmers because they will provide excellent safety facilities and instructors.

8. Rapids found in Rishikesh

During your rafting trip, you will encounter many rapids and water streams that increase the thrill and adrenaline rush. These are known as rapids and create hurdles for you to overcome.

There are several types and levels of rapids in Rishikesh, that decide the safety of a rafting point.

  • Black Money (Grade 1)
  • Sweet Sixteen (Grade 1)
  • Good Morning (Grade 1)
  • Body Surfing (Grade 1)
  • Club House (Grade 2)
  • Initiation (Grade 2)
  • Double Trouble (Grade 2)
  • Hilton (Grade 2)
  • Terminator (Grade 2)
  • Shivpuri Rapid (Grade 2+)
  • Three Blind Mice (Grade 3)
  • Cross Fire (Grade 3)
  • Roller coaster (Grade 3)
  • Golf Course (Grade 3)
  • Return to Sender (Grade 3)
  • Daniel’s Dip (Grade 3+)
  • The Great Wall (Grade 4)

9. Who should avoid river rafting?

Not everyone can raft in Rishikesh. you have to be mentally and physically fit for these types of adventurous activities.

So, below I have listed some specific conditions and individuals, who should avoid rafting completely.

Because it can lead to some mild or serious problems. Even the travel agencies will also suggest you do the same.

  • Asthma patients.
  • Heart-related sickness
  • Pregnant ladies.
  • If you don’t know the basics of swimming.
  • Kids below 8.
  • People above 65.
  • People who have nausea or motion sickness.
  • If you are sick.
  • After alcohol or drug consumption.
  • Physically challenged or disabled people.
  • People who have a low tolerance to cold water.
  • Mentally weak.
  • Fear of water
  • Recent surgery or health treatment

10. Who can raft safely in Rishikesh?

a) Is Rafting safe for non-swimmers?

Yes, it’s safe!

But, it has two aspects.

First, if you are rafting under a travel agency, then you don’t need swimming at all. They will provide a safe experience, with a proper guide and suitable gear.

But, If you are planning rafting on your own, then you should know the basics of swimming because you are on your own. Wear proper gear, because even the life jacket can float you for approximately 72 hrs.

Lastly, I suggest learning the basics of swimming, like floating or booking a package.

But, still, swimming ability is necessary for Rafting, and for many reasons, like for fun, any accident, or even to save someone when necessary.

b) Is river rafting safe for beginners?

If you are a complete beginner, then I would suggest you to raft under a travel agency or company that provides a much safer and easier river rafting experience.

Is river rafting safe for beginners?

Source – Instagram

But, if you want to go without a travel agency, then consider a friend or family member. Don’t raft alone, it can be dangerous.

And, wear proper attire and rafting gear. It will protect you if something goes wrong.

c) Is river rafting safe for couples?

Yes! It’s both fun and romantic.

Engaging in an activity like Rafting, a couple can strengthen their bond, while having some fun and physical activity.

As I said earlier, Rafting is nothing but an exaggeration. It is an easy, simple, and fun activity to do in Rishikesh.

Source – Instagram

Generally, rafting is a 6 to 8-person activity. However, there are some special boats, which are designed solely for two people. So, if you are rafting as a couple, you can operate a 10.5′ to 13′ boat with low volume.

d) Is river rafting safe for children?

Yes, Rafting is an entirely safe and fun activity to do with your children.

River rafting is a fun, adventurous, and unique experience, and anyone can participate in this experience, irrespective of their age. But don’t let them go rafting alone; accompany them.

Is river rafting safe for children?, Parents and kids rafting

Source – Instagram

Check, if your kids are following the rules and guidelines, keep an eye on them (24/7). and make sure the rafting gear is properly attached.

Otherwise, it is entirely safe for kids, and even rafting companies don’t mind them.

e) Is rafting safe during the first trimester?

The trimester means the first three weeks of pregnancy.

Typically it’s not advisable to raft during trimester and pregnancy, because it can affect your and your kid’s health.

Still, some people think rafting is safe in the trimester because generally there is not a major issue during this time and most women are not even aware of it.

That’s why many women enjoy rafting without informing the guide about their pregnancy.

So, consult your doctor or health expert, to get a concrete answer. Some problems related to rafting are –

  • Nausea
  • Morning sickness
  • Extreme fatigue

f) Is water rafting safe during pregnancy?


After a trimester or three weeks of pregnancy, you should completely avoid any adventure activities like rafting. It’s for your own good.

Because this can create some serious health problems for you and your kids. Like Nausea and extreme fatigue.

g) Is river rafting safe for women?

Why Not?

Rafting is safe for everyone and when I say everyone, it also includes women. Just make sure you are physically fit and follow the guidelines.

Is river rafting safe for woman?

Source – Instagram

But Unless they are pregnant or sick, river rafting is safe for women in Rishikesh and all over the world.

h) Is river rafting safe for babies?

No, absolutely not!

You should not bring your kids (below 8) on your rafting trip and it is for the safety of both.

First, it is dangerous for your kids, and second, you can’t enjoy rafting to the fullest. You need to pay more attention to your kids, rather than enjoying the adventure.

i) Is river rafting safe for old age in Rishikesh?

Yes, Rafting is perfect for anyone over eight years old.

And that included older people. But make sure they are not old enough, like more than 60 or 65 years.

Is river rafting safe for old age in Rishikesh?

And if they are, then make sure to let them go in steady currents.

As long as your boat is calm or has a low current, everyone will be fine, whether they are older people, kids, or pregnant ladies.

11. What are the risks of river rafting in Rishikesh?

Now, like any other thrilling yet adventurous activity, rafting in Rishikesh has its own risk. And, not just Rishikesh, they apply to every place in the world.

Let’s take a look at them.

  • Getting thrown off the raft.
  • Raft or boat getting upside down
  • Drowning
  • Dehydration
  • Getting a sunburn
  • Foot Injuries
  • Blisters
  • Collisions with rock
  • Cold Water Shock
  • Weather conditions
  • Getting caught in strainers
  • Lack of experience

So, follow your guide to the end. Before embarking on the raft, he/she will talk about some safety tips and guidelines, and during the trip, he/she will give you a command.

12. What is White water rafting?

Have you ever noticed when a river flows very fast on rocks, debris, etc, its color looks whitish. If yes, then rafting in this river is known as the white river rafting.

It is the same as rafting, but more scary and with high intensity. But that’s why many adults, experts and a group of friends who want real rafting experience, choose this.

And don’t worry, being dangerous doesn’t mean risky or hazardous, but more thrilling and adrenaline-rushed.

White water rafting

Source – Instagram

a) Is white water rafting hard and dangerous?


If we compare white water rafting to normal rafting, then it is relatively hard and dangerous because of the high current, challenging rapids, and longer distances.

That’s why only adults, experienced and experts are suitable for it. Generally, This consists of Level 4, 5 and 6 rafting stretches.

b) Is white water rafting safe for pregnancy?


And, not just white water rafting, even normal rafting is considered dangerous for pregnant ladies,

So, if you want to keep you and your kid safe, avoid rafting at all.

c) White water rafting deaths per year

Last year (In 2020), approximately 16 deaths were reported because of rafting in Rishikesh, and the cause was drowning.

In 2019, the total number of casualties was almost the same, with 15 deaths.

This clearly shows that although being one of the safest places for rafting, common accidents do occur, but the number is surprisingly low.


1. Why was rafting banned in Rishikesh?

Ans – Rafting in Rishikesh was banned in 2017 because of 2 reasons.
First, it was the security of tourists, as some cases of mishappening were reported in the respective year.
The second reason is none other than saving the environment and the Ganga River from pollution.

2. How deep is Rishikesh rafting water?

Ans -In summer, the rafting water in Rishikesh is, on average, 2 – 3 meters, but sometimes, or in some rare cases, it gets as low as 1.5 meters.

3. Which is the best and most affordable place for river rafting in Rishikesh?

Ans – There are three major places for Rafting. Marine drive, Brahmpuri and Shivpuri. Now, among these, Marine Drive to Shivpuri is the cheapest and most affordable, with an average price of 600 rs per person.

4. When will Rishikesh rafting be closed for the season?

Ans – Every year, on the 30th of June, rafting and related water activities shut down for 3 months. And the reason is simple – the monsoon season.

Wrap Up

Well, that’s it.

Here is everything you have to know or must know about whether river rafting is safe in Rishikesh. Or Not? including white water rafting,

In short, river rafting is one of the most thrilling and fun adventure activities to do in Rishikesh.

It is generally safe in Rishikesh if you follow proper rules and instructions and pay extra care to your surroundings.

Try to book an agency or tour company for rafting rather than doing it on your own. It is much safer, and safety should be your first priority.

It is much safer, and safety should be your priority.

So, make sure to plan your rafting trip, choose a perfect time, book your journey, grab your stuff, and you will be good to go

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