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Sutlej River Rafting Expedition

The mighty Sutlej know as Zaradros in ancient Greek is the longest river amongst all the rivers in Punjab. Its source is the Lan-Ka Ts'o Lake in southwestern Tibet which is near the Mansarovar Lake at a elevation of 16000 Ft. From Tibet it traverses northwest and then west-southwest to enter the Himalayan gorges and cuts across the majestic Himalayan ranges. The Sutlej river basin is spread over a area of approximately 6550 Square Km. In the west is the Srikhand Dhar which act as a boundary between Kinnaur and Kulu, the Dhauladhar Range act as a guardian of the Sutlej Valleys southern side. Along side the northern border lays the Spiti Valley with the rivers Spiti and Pare Chu splitting it from the Kinnuar Valley .

The Sutlej Valley is blessed with some awe-inspiring natural beauty with forests of Oak, Dedodar and Pine spread across it length and breadth. It also is home to some delicious orchards of Apples, Apricot and many other varieties of fruits. The landscape is rich in flora and fauna as compared to the lunar landscape of the bordering mountains of Ladakh. The Sutlej River is one of the most difficult rivers to raft on in India as the waters are fast and furious and the rapids are very technical and tricky. During the white water rafting expedition on the Sutlej River you will have your fill of thrill and spills to quench your thirst for adventure. We are listing a itinerary of how this trip can be explored and how to go about it. If you are interested in a customized itinerary we will help you plan it according to your schedule.


Day 1
You have a choice of either driving or catching a train till Kalka which is the last broad gauge railway station en route. Some important towns that you would be crossing would be Panitpat, Ambala, Panckhula( Sister city of Chandigarh) and onwards to Kalka. From Kalka it is a drive of about 6 Hrs till Pandowa which is 1 hr from where we would start our rafting expedition. Some important cities that you would be crossing would be Solan, Simla, Naldehra, Narkanda etc. Over night halt would be at our camp at Pandowa.

Day 2
After a sumptuous breakfast the group would board the waiting vehicle for the 1 hr journey till Luhri which would be the starting point of our rafting expedition on the Sutlej. Before we begin our white water rafting, the group would be given safety and command instructions. It is important to know what to do at any point in time on the river. This first section till Pandowa is a good introduction for novices in the art of rafting and paddling skills. After Pandowa we have to Portage the river as we do not recommend you try your hand at the Patakhra Rapid which is a class 6 rapid. It is a very dangerous rapid and should be left alone only for the professionals. Night halt would be at our camp at Pandowa where a evening bonfire and dinner would be provided.

Day 3
After a lazy breakfast we would start the days rafting which would be for approximately 25 Km. The Pandowa till Tattapani stretch would have some class III and class IV rapids sure to give you a thrill which you would not forget in a hurry. After lunch you can visit the hot water springs which are believed to have medicinal properties. In the evening, bonfire and dinner at camp.

Day 4
Day 4 would be a very exciting day which would be chock-a-block with tough rapids and incredible natural beauty. It would be a completely self contained day trip in which all the essentials would be carried on the raft itself. The Sutlej river would be entering a narrow gorge and we would be rafting for about 30 Km down that gorge. This section would throw some tough grade III and grade IV rapids to test your metal and resilience. Over night stay would be at Kadhai Ka Fer.

Day 5
This day would see us encountering some more grade III rapids before we exit the gorge. We would be rafting for about 30 Km till our second river side camp. Lot of photo opportunities would be their as the terrain would be both rugged and picturesque. Over night stay would be at our camp on the river side.

Day 6
Our last day on the river would see us complete a 22 Km grade III section sure to get you wet. We would be rafting till Salapper Bridge where the expedition ends. Vehicles would be waiting to ferry you till Chandigarh which is about 155 Km away. From Chandigarh you can board the evening Shatabdi train till Delhi or choose to drive back by road.

Happy Rafting.

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