Posted On Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 09:45:54 PM
Navigating through rough waters, an inflatable raft under your control, completely in sync with nature and its beauties — these are only a few thrills experienced by adventurers who take up rafting as a leisure activity.
I was lucky enough to go on such a water rafting experience last month for the first time in my life. Although I have been an adventure seeker, nothing has given me as much of a kick as rafting has, not even a trek to the Himalayas!
As the day dawned, we met our companions from the group at Fergusson College early that morning and started our drive towards the site, which was 125 kms away. We had breakfast at the site — there’s something amazing about sipping chai on the banks of a river surrounded by mountains, a combination of the manmade highways and roads amidst the most astounding nature.
After breakfast, the first-timers were given a half an hour training, which included information on the rapids, pushes, forwards, backwards and some safety tips. Being a die-hard swimming fan, I wanted to get into water as soon as we could, but had to remind myself that we were there for the rafting experience.
Kundalika is a small river flowing from the Sahyadris to the Arabian Sea. One of the towns on its banks is Kolad, which is a very convenient site to visit for Puneites as well as Mumbaikars.
The 12-km patch has rapids of grade three and four (Grade three includes whitewater, small waves, maybe a small drop, but no considerable danger. May require significant maneuvering.
Experienced paddling skills level required. Grade four has medium waves, maybe rocks, maybe a considerable drop, sharp maneuvers may be needed. Prior whitewater experience is required to tackle this grade) and the monsoons are the best season for rafting.
This river is fed by the Tata Power Mulshi dam which releases water at around 10 am and that is the time rafters head for their share of fun and excitement.
The timing of the rafting foray should match with the time of release of water from the dam, as much as the energy in the group you're with should match your own enthusiasm. Although initially three and a half hours may seem a tad long, while you are rafting, time simply flies and you can’t stop yourself from wanting more!
I often find myself alone when I plan for adventure sports activities since most of my friends are not the outdoors kind of people. But such regular treks and other sports have given me friends for a lifetime as with a passion for the outdoors that matches mine!
— As told to Akanksha Tyagi