Dandeli: Rafting through the Western Ghats

Saturday, June 20, 2015 Rahul Das 0 Comments

The first of the nine rapids

I could narrate how the 53 of us danced like mad during the bus journey, that exciting night at the campsite and how we almost destroyed our bus on the way back to NITK but I'd rather get straight to it and give you what you're here for: what you need to know before you head for the white water river rafting adventure in Dandeli.


1. Departure from NITK 

Left NITK at 11 pm on Friday, January 9 this year. We had an entire bus booked for the 53 of us. For you, an alternative would be boarding a train to Karwar and getting onto a bus from there.

2. Arrival at Dandeli

Sections of the campsite

Sections of the campsite

We arrived at Dandeli at 7 am the next morning and proceeded directly to the campsite. Instead of the usual way of placing bookings on the internet, we had instead chosen to stay at a campsite that was owned by one of our classmates' connections. Here's what our 1D-1N package included:

 4 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner on day 1, followed by breakfast on day 2)
 Bonfire at night
 One 20 pax tent (the party tent :P), four 3 pax tents, four bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a dining area and a small open field. The campsite did remind me a lot of The Shepherd’s Farm which I used to visit while I was at Good Shepherd.

3. White water river rafting

At 2 pm, we left for the government tourism office and were then taken on a thirty minute drive on an open jeep through the forest. On reaching the starting point of the adventure, we split ourselves into groups of six, occupied the rafts and proceeded to the river.

Rowing against the current

The first half hour of the adventure included a training session where our instructor taught us a few basic commands and techniques. For the next two hours, we rowed our raft with all our might as it passed through nine different rapids in the midst of the serene hills. The instructors not only permit you to leave your boat and swim in the river whenever you wish to but also play pranks on you to ensure that you have an enjoyable ride. For me, the last few minutes of the adventure were the most thrilling when our instructor tilted the boat against one of the rapids to make us feel the force of the gushing river.

4. Return to the campsite at 7 pm. What followed was an extremely eventful sleepless night!

5. Departure from campsite at 11 am the next morning. At 10 pm, with our bus now in a sorry state, we were back at NITK.


 Rs 950 per head for our package and 1200 for the white water rafting adventure (after the student discount).
 Taking into account travel and miscellaneous expenses, the trip had cost us each a little over Rs. 3000.


 Rafting at the river is subject to weather and river conditions. Do not be surprised if your slot is cancelled due to issues pertaining to the level of river water.

 Understand that arranging the campsite and your rafting slots could take more than a day. Do contact the owner of the campsite, Mr Roshan on +91 94 48 797274 at least 3 days before your visit. Make the payments well in advance.

 You might be tempted to opt for the 500 rupee short rafting adventure. Nothing would be a bigger waste of your money. The extra 700 is what the actual rafting experience is about.

 Non swimmers, fret not. This adventure is safe for you too.


Dandeli might be at a distance of almost 400 kilometres from NITK but for that afternoon you spend rafting through the Western Ghats, and for all the crazy things that will happen to you during your trip, this is an experience that you should not miss. Coax your friends into travelling to the town and forge all those incredible memories together!