Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) has announced the opening of White-Water Rafting on the Bhagirathi River in `Harsil Valley, near Uttarkashi. Located on the banks of Bhagirathi, Harshil Valley till now was renowned for its significance in the Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage as well as for its scenic trekking routes.
As part of the Vibrant Village scheme, along with other locations in Uttarkashi & Dehradun districts, UTDB has identified three river rafting destinations, including the stretch between Jangla & Jhala bridges on Bhagirathi.
Shri Satpal Maharaj, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Irrigation, Culture, PWD, Government of Uttarakhand, while making the announcement said, “Both pilgrims and adventure seekers would now experience the joy of river rafting on Bhagirathi River near Harshil. This will open new avenues of tourism-related employment for local youth as well.”
While expressing his enthusiasm for the announcement of river rafting in Harshil Valley, Colonel Ashwini Pundir, Additional Chief Executive Officer of UTDB commented “The introduction of river rafting in Harshil Valley is a significant milestone for Uttarakhand’s tourism industry, providing a new and unique experience for visitors and boosting the local economy. The conditions for river rafting between Jangla and Jhala bridges are perfect, with Harshil Valley’s stunning natural beauty.”
For this purpose, UTDB has given approval to two rafting companies which have commenced river rafting in the Valley. This will continue till June 30th, 2023.
Shri Sachin Kurve, Secretary, UTDB said, “Uttarakhand has been famous for river rafting activities on The Ganga only. However, other rivers of the State too are endowed with immense potential in this matter. People from across the world will love to enjoy river rafting and white water kayaking in the rivers of this State.”
Harsil is located about 30 kilometers from the town of Uttarkashi and is easily accessible by road. The Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is about 220 km from Harsil.
“The growth of a competitive rafting industry in Harshil Valley means visitors can expect top-notch facilities and services while they take in the breath-taking views of the Himalayas,” further added Colonel Pundir.
To ensure the safety of all participants in river rafting activities, UTDB has implemented mandatory registration. for companies. These requirements include the presence of knowledgeable guides, trainee guides, rescue kayaks, and all essential rafting gear.
UTDB is also expecting other rafting companies and individuals to submit registration proposals, with a minimum requirement of two rafts and the necessary equipment to prevent problems including hypothermia. Also as part of the safety requisites it will either be two rafts always plying together or one raft and one safety kayak together in one trip.