India is world renowned for many things, but whitewater rafting is not on the top of the list. The churning waters of the Satluj River may change that.
The Satluj is one of three significant rivers in the Northern India state of Himachal Pradesh. The other two are the better known Indus and Brahamaputra. The Satluj is a trans-Himalayan river that drops from the Tibetan plateau to the west, bringing thousands of gallons of mineral-rich water thundering through canyons and cliffs.
Much of the river is Class III
Rapids, which require a combination of navigation skills and precision paddling to negotiate the rocks and boulders. Some rapids are Class IV, which requires that and more brute strength to outrun the water.
There are four rivers in Himachal that offer opportunities to enjoy white water rafting. These rivers flow in the north westerly direction and are almost parallel to one another. The first of these, Beas has its genesis in the Rohtang Pass and flows through the Kullu valley. Rising from the Raigarh glacier, river Ravi makes its way down Chamba valley. The third river, Chenab originates from the tributaries, Chandra and Bhagha and passes swiftly through the Chenab or Pangi valley. It finally enters the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Lastly, there is Satluj river that originates beyond Indian borders and enters the country near Shipkila and is later joined by the Spiti River at Khab. This river flows through Kinnaur and Shimla.
Amongst these entire rivers, rafting in Beas has gained tremendous popularity. You can raft on the rapids of Beas, especially between Shamsi and Aut. This is around 20 km stretch and provides most thrilling rafting experience. This river is also the venue for many rafting competition in the state.
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