The Sutlej River Rafting Expedition

Quick Facts

Custom Departure | 07 Days

Price on Request

Rapid Class: 1 to 4 | Himachal Pradesh

Difficulty: EasyMost of our camp based trips, with easy activities, that are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding whitewater trips with easy support and myriad options.

Group Size: 8-16 persons

The Sutlej river basin in Himachal Pradesh covers an area of about 6,553 square kilometers. To the east lies the Ngari region of Tibet; the Dhauladhar range forms its southern boundary, separating it from Uttarkashi District of Uttar Pradesh and the Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh. In the west, the Srikhand Dhar marks the boundary between Kinnaur and Kulu. Spiti is on the northern border of Kinnaur – the boundary being formed by the rivers Spiti and Pare Chu near the Indo – Tibetan border.

The source of the Sutlej lies in near the Mansarovar Lake at 18500 ft. in the Tibetan Plateau. The Sutlej is one of only three Trans Himalayan rivers originating in the high Tibetan Plateau that cuts across the mighty Himalayan ranges. The other two are the Indus and the Brahmaputra. It enters India through a fearsome gorge near the Shipki La. Thereafter, it flows through the cold tracts of Kinnaur to the hamlet of Wangtoo. It is one of the major tributaries of the Indus River system. In its passage across Kinnaur, the Sutlej River successively crosses three great mountain ranges – the Zanskar range, the Great Himalayan range and the Dhauladhar range.

To the east of the Sutlej the valleys are narrow while in the west, they are wide and open. Many tributaries join the main Sutlej River one after the other from the south. The Baspa is one of the major tributaries of the Sutlej. The valley of the Sutlej extends on both flanks of the Sutlej River – from where it enters Kinnaur to the place where it makes its exit. It is the largest valley of Kinnaur, extending in a northeast to southwest alignment for a length of about 140-km along the Sutlej River.

The northeastern part of this valley is drier and conditions become humid towards the southwest. The Sutlej River has carved a deep gorge across the main or Great Himalaya near Pshong- Tong. In the southern part of this valley, there is extensive cultivation of fruits and agricultural crops. Barring some parts, extensive vineyards, thriving crops and orchards of apricot, apples and grapes are to be found in the entire region.

The Sutlej River Rafting Expedition
The Sutlej River Rafting Expedition
The Sutlej River Rafting Expedition

DAYS 1-4

  • Day 1: Train from Delhi to Kalka

Board overnight train, the Kalka Mail from Delhi to Kalka.

  • Day 2: Transfer to Pandowa Camp

Arrive Kalka early morning. Transfer to Pandowa Camp on the Satluj (6 hrs). Breakfast and lunch enroute. Reach by tea time. Settle into Camp, relax and overnight at camp.

  • Day 3: Drive 1 hr to Start Point

After breakfast, drive 1 hr from Pandowa to Luhri, our starting point for the expedition. After a comprehensive safety briefing, board rafts to raft till Pandowa. (20 km, 6 hrs) This section is a great initiation to the river. We stop to portage the Patakhra rapid, usually a Class 6. After portaging the rafts around the rapid, we reach Pandowa camp for the night. Campfire dinner and overnight at camp.

  • Day 4: Raft from Pandowa till Tattapani

After breakfast, raft from Pandowa till Tattapani. This 25 km section has som Class IV rapids and we reach Tattapani after lunch. Visit the hot water springs and overnight at Camp.

DAYS 5-8

  • Day 5: Begin the self-contained expedition

Today we begin the self-contained part of our expedition. All gear, equipment and supplies are loaded onto big drybags and lashed onto the rafts. We raft into a beautiful gorge, down a 30 km Class 4 section of the river till our camp at Kadhai Ka Fer. Set up camp, campfire dinner and overnight at Camp.

  • Day 6: Raft a 30 km Class 3 section

Today, after breakfast, we raft a 30 km Class 3 section to our second camp in the gorge. Overnight at Camp.

  • Day 7: Raft 20 kms down a Class 3 section to end the Expedition

After breakfast, we raft 20 kms down a Class 3 section to end our expedition at Salapper bridge. Board waiting vehicles for the (150 kms ; 4 hour) drive to Chandigarh. Board evening Shatabdi Express back to Delhi. Arrive late night. Trip ends.

Inclusions:
  • All transfers in a Non-AC vehicle/train as per the itinerary
  • All arrangements for staying and camping while on trip
  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis in Tents / Rest House / Hotel
  • All meals as mentioned in itinerary & safe drinking water
  • Individual climbing equipment, common camping and trekking equipment
  • All trip arrangements with India’s most experienced guiding team, camp staff and cooks
  • Porterage upto 15kg/ person
  • A guide for all monastery sightseeing Shey, Thikse, Hemis gompa
  • Peak fee/sanctuary fee/royalty/permits where applicable
Exclusions:
  • Sleeping bag
  • Any transfers or meals outside of itinerary
  • Bottled water
  • Items of personal clothing
  • Expenses of any personal nature (laundry / phone calls / alcohol / cigarettes / insurance / camera fee / etc.)
  • Any expense incurred due to force of nature such as landslides, bad weather or reasons beyond our control
  • Tips & gratuities (we recommend 5-10% of your trip cost- to be distributed among the team) – personal choice
  • Travel & cancellation insurance

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Our team of guides has years of experience of travel throughout the Indian Himalaya, from running rivers to leading treks – from the barren Zanskar to the tropical rainforest of Arunachal Pradesh. They speak English, have completed graduate school, are current with First Aid and CPR certification and form the most experienced guiding team in the country today.

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