Tuesday, September 7, 2010

White River Rafting on River Kundalika

Bungee jumping, paragliding and river rafting were on my bucket list for a very long time now. So when my brother referenced to the river rafting website, I immediately shot an email to my friends list looking for participation. There were no second thoughts on their minds too as 7 of us planned this adventure trip within a day’s time. Although most of us had just heard about white river rafting, planning the trip was quite easy. The travel company’s website was quite informative and helped us make booking on time and provided us with many tips.

First let me give you a heads up about the place. Kundalika is a small river flowing from the Hills of Sahyadri to the Arabian Sea. The river is fed by the excess water from Tata Power's Mulshi Dam Project on to a series of hydroelectric projects and dams, where the water is released in the morning typically at 6 am, the rapids thus generated are used for rafting.
We started off from Chandani chowk at 0600 hrs and reached the spot by 0800 hrs. Since there aren’t many dhabas or eateries open in the wee hours, its recommended to carry your own breakfast. Make sure you don’t stuff yourself before the rafting session. We parked our vehicles at the base camp and hired a 6-seater up to the river about 10kms far, that cost us 500 bucks. We were briefed by our guide Ganesh, who told us the dos and don’ts.

And then and then we took our positions and did what Ganesh said -
"Farward paddle!"
"Fast farwards!"

The rafting session lasted for 2 odd hours – we gushed through level 2 and 3 rapids and was quite an adrenaline rush. We were screaming and getting wet as our raft hit the rapids. Not to mention the splash water fights with other rafters. We were allowed to dive in and swim for the last 2 3 kms, which was a highlight of the activity. It was worth every rupee spent [Rs. 1250 to be exact ;)]
Then we changed to dry clothes and had the option to munch some snacks at the local thelas, but we opted to find some place on the way back. Luckily we spotted a joint called Orchard Resort, which was recently inaugurated. We all relished a sumptuous lunch buffet for Rs. 149 and headed back to Pune around 1500 hrs.

How to reach there:

Pune – Chandani Chowk – Pirangut – Paud – Mulshi – Tamhini Ghat – Vile Phata (Diversion), 79 kms – Just ahead of this diversion, look for a very small hotel (dhaba) called Deepsayadri – continue ahead, take a right turn (lookout for this turn which slopes downwards, just after the railings) - continue ahead till you see a bridge. Turn left just before the bridge. You will see unfinished / under construction structure and river Kundalika flowing behind it. This is your Rafting Start Point which is Saje village.

Few leads before you plan a trip:

- Rate `700 on weekdays and `1250 on weekends
- Kids below 14 yrs of age aren’t allowed to raft.
- Swimming skills & Previous experience - No need to worry there
- Best quality life jackets and helmets will be provided

Things to carry – change of clothes, towel, floaters, drinking water, plastic bag to carry wet clothes, avoid wearing any accessories and try to carry ready to eat food.

If you decide on an overnight trip you can stay either at the Durshet Forest Lodge or the Empower Camp at Sutarwadi and club rafting along with other activities like bird watching, rappelling, rock climbing, kayaking (only in monsoon), night walks in the forest, barbecues and campfires.

A lot more info at http://www.kundalikarafting.in

More pics @ - http://picasaweb.google.com/arthiaudi/WhiteRiverRaftingAtRiverKundalika?authkey=Gv1sRgCKXRzOLP47r6wgE#

This article was printed in the Oct issue of Pune City Digest Magazine

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