Rafting in Sikkim

Teesta and Rangit, the two main rivers of the land prove to be a heavenly abode for river rafting enthusiasts. A rafting expedition in Teesta takes one rafting from Makha down to Sirwani and from Sirwani to Rangpo. Another expedition at Rangit starts from Sikip and leads to Nayabazar via Melli. The state tourism can be contacted for further details about river rafting trips.

The equipment for white water river rafting is an oar-frame raft, which usually accommodates a maximum of eight persons. An experienced guide using two large oars navigates it. Sometimes all persons on board use paddle for greater power to match the river. However, keen coordination is necessary and it is important not to fight the current if adrift. The rafts have inflatable compartments with vulcanized rubber bodies reinforced by nylon fabric beneath an exterior of neoprene. This degree of strength for the raft is necessary for It to tolerate battering by waves and rocks. Generally, the greater the drop in gradient and the narrower the gorge being negotiated, the smaller would be the viable raft size. Provisions are carried on board. In order that the maximum enjoyment be derived from river running, particularly on white water, it is essential that safety measures be taken. Primarily, the helmsman on board should be familiar with the topography of the river and its obstacles. Life jackets and crash helmets should be worn by all with back up arrangements for rescue, evacuation and medical attention on the riverbank. Most important of all, the guide should be suitably qualified so that panic is avoided if there is a mishap.

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