The definition of white water rafting is “an outdoor activity which use an inflatable raft to navigate a river or water body. This is often done on Whitewater or different degrees of rough water. “Now this is a prim and proper definition but then I don’t believe in prim and proper definitions, so what is my definition of white water rafting; “it is an activity that defines and brings out the temperament of an individual in the face of dynamic circumstances and constantly changing situation, focusing on a sense of accomplishment and positivity “
Now I have not done white water rafting ever though did try my hand at whaling, but then whaling and white water rafting are two different ends of the spectrum. Moreover, white water rafting was just not figuring in my bucket list, which was dominated with mountains, treks and road trips. So when I got an opportunity to agree to indulge in white water rafting using the concept of monsoon river rafting I was interested definitely. So it was one odd afternoon that I decided to check out and indulge in monsoon white water rafting on the river Mhadei in the state of Goa.
Now this is where it is interesting, white water rafting and that too in the state of Goa, this is a dichotomy of sorts; for white water rafting is generally associated with places like Rishikesh , Kolad , Ladakh , North east and the likes . Goa is generally associated with beaches, churches etc.
My experience of white water activity was surprisingly pleasant and quite addictive. The feeling of those exhilarating moments is simply too awesome as the raft jumped on the swollen river rushing to meet the rapids as the team on the raft tried its best to navigate it though this melee of water n currents, the swish of the rapids and the sudden splash of water as it flowed over the raft , over each individual and in the very next moment the level just drops as we are through the rapid and find ourselves in calmer waters gliding towards the next onslaught some distance away ,moments that give us time to compose ourselves and brace ourselves again.
It turned out that paddling through the rapids was not scary at all and surprisingly fun, there is that adrenalin rush which sucks you in. as one comes closer to the rapid, the moment just engulfs you from within and the mind then surges and breaks through the moment to get on top of it with the adrenalin pumping into you, this moment is epic. The giant leap of water is simply thrashing oneself with full power and it is a surreal experience. After the first rapid, one starts enjoying the feel and of course getting fully drenched makes it even more enjoyable.
Now coming to the details of the activity, the best time to do white water rating on the River Mhadei is from Jun – Aug when the rain waters have swollen the river. Southern River Adventure runs this activity in conjunction with Goa tourism since 2012 . As the agency is certified with the government and only one operator is allowed, it has resulted in safe practices being followed. As soon as the participants reach the site, a detailed briefing is conducted by the guides, each raft has its own guide. Once the briefing is completed, safety gear comprising of life jackets and helmets including whistles are distributed and after being worn each participant is individually checked by the guide. This is followed by dry and wet instructions as to how to understand the command of the guide, how to work as a team and the basics of white water rafting. This activity itself takes around 45 minutes thereby making the participant conversant with the gear that he/she is wearing as well as the environment that he finds himself in.
The activity is conducted in two batches, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, the itinerary is quite relaxed with meeting point of the participants and organizers being conducted at a delightful little restaurant known as Earthen pot @valpoi, Goa where post introductions and briefing the participants are ushered in to buses for the onward journey to the rafting point which is a good 10 kms away. The rafting distance is close to 10 kms on the river and takes around an hour or so.
Few points about the location, the river Mhadei runs through the heavily forested wester ghats and on one bank of the river is the Mhadei wild life sanctuary which is a totally virgin forest, dense and mysterious yet spectacularly pretty at the same time. Commercialization has still not crept in out here hence once on the river each participant is in sync with nature and his inner self . Bonus would be to do the rafting in a good tropical shower which simply enhances the feeling altogether and just cannot be replicated by any of the other established commercialized river rafting locations in this country.
|Class of Rapids||Class II or III|
|When||Jun – Aug|
|How to reach||Use SH 1 , distance from Pananji is 50 kms|
|By whom||Southern River Adventures ( 9545305734)|
|Cost||1800 per person|
|Age limitation||12 years and above|
|Staff support||Experienced and non-commercialized|