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‘The sooner you paddle, the better you explore.’ Irrespective of what kind of a traveler you are, a touch of adventure is something that you will definitely embrace, especially if it takes you right into the lap of nature. Kayaking in India is one such experience that can give you the much-needed thrill and make your holiday one-of-its-kind. Be it a lake, a river, or a sea, paddling onto an off beaten path amidst the wonders of nature lets you have the best of both worlds. But which are the best destinations for kayaking in India and what’s the best time to plan this adventure are surely some of the questions that may pop in your head. But fret not, this handy little guide has got you covered!

From kayaking boat price in India to the top tips that you must keep in mind before heading out for the experience, this guide has got it all. So, just take a back seat, and start scrolling below!

Best Time For Kayaking In India

Bon Thor Village Kayaking

The best time or season for kayaking in India completely depends on the destination you pick for experiencing the adventure. While the places in the north like Rishikesh are perfect for visiting during October or November until May, kayaking in Zanskar can be experienced at its best between July and September. Whereas, you can plan your kayaking trip in the south all around the year except the monsoons when the sea conditions can be really harsh. Know more about kayaking places in India below.

Best Destinations For Kayaking In India

There are so many countries in the world that attract people just for the adventure they offer. One such sport is kayaking, and you can learn kayaking in India, if you do not already know. Read on, to know of the places where you can enjoy sea kayaking in India.

1. Zanskar River, Leh

two rafts in zanskar river

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Zanskar River is one of the best places that offer the most adventurous experiences for kayaking and canoeing activities in India. The trip starts on the Indus River from Spituk and goes on until you reach Nimu. Passing through various rapids of grade 1 to 5, the ultimate thrill is what you’d get to taste while paddling there. So, if you have a good amount of time for a thrilling holiday, then think no more and just head out!

Location: Zanskar, Leh, India
Best time to visit: April to June

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2. Nagin Lake, Srinagar

Nagin Lake, Srinagar

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This lake is quite a pretty spot for kayaking in Kashmir. Located on the east side of the city, this is a much calmer place to relax than the famous Dal Lake. The crystal clear, blue waters reflect the eternal beauty of the greenery that environs the lake and is a pleasant sight to gaze at. No doubt, this is a great place to paddle at your own pace. And when you’d done kayaking, you can peacefully end the day with a houseboat stay!

Location: Nagin Lake, Srinagar, India
Best time to visit: April to October

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3. The Ganges, Rishikesh

The Ganges, Rishikesh

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Rishikesh is yet another kickass destination for kayaking in India. The 12-km expedition begins at Brahmapuri and ends at Rishikesh’s popular ghat. The heavier rapids that you’d come across would surely pump up your adrenaline rush and keep you energized for the whole journey. What makes this place special is that it offers much more to sight than jus nature. The ashrams and temples oozing bliss are amongst the top places to spot on your way there. Kayaking in Rishikesh is an absolutely thrilling experience.

Location: Brahmapuri, Rishikesh, India
Best time to visit: March to early-May (September to mid-November for rafting)

4. Mandovi, Goa

family kayaking in mandovi goa

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Be it the gorgeous beaches, the spectacular backwaters, or the stunning rivers of Goa, this is one of the most popular places to experience kayaking in India. The extraordinary experience is worth a tick off your bucket list and offers much more thrill than partying at Cubana. While paddling across Mandovi or Nerul, you can also witness the soothing beauty of the sunset besides the laid-back charm of the town.

Location: Mandovi River, Panjim, India
Best time to visit: November to March

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5. Backwaters, Kerala

Backwaters, Kerala

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Apart from a plethora of experiences that Kerala offers, kayaking on its backwaters is one must-have experience for every traveler who tours god’s own country. Offering a scenic and serene vibe, paddling through its narrow channels under the palms is the best way to witness the beauty of nature. And not just this, but you can also explore the little villages around, the lifestyle of farmers, and more.

Location: Kumarakom, Kerala, India
Best time to visit: September to March

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6. Teesta River, Sikkim

Teesta River in Sikkim

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Of all the places for kayaking in India, Teesta River in Sikkim is a famous hotspot that is gradually gaining popularity. If you’re one of those travelers who like to skip the crowd and embrace calmness, then this is the perfect place for you to learn and experience the adventure. Spectacular mountains and rapids are a few things that would add stars to your overall experience.

Location: Teesta River, East Sikkim, India
Best time to visit: March to May and October to mid-December

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7. Brahmaputra River, Arunachal Pradesh

Brahmaputra River View

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Another good place in the east for a true kayaking experience is paddling on the waters of the Brahmaputra. Boasting some of the country’s most challenging rapids, this is one awesome place to let yourself be. You can witness the breathtaking views on your way and also explore the local villages around for as long as you wish.

Location: Brahmaputra River, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Best time to visit: October to April

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8. Kali River, Karnataka

Kali River in Karnataka

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If venturing into the wild is more of your think, then paddling through the lush jungles into this beaut river that flows into the country from Nepal is what you ought to do. Listening to the birds chirp, camping under the stars, and spotting a few rare species are some of things you can experience there. This place is perfect for both beginners and pros.

Location: Kali River, Dandeli, Karnataka, India
Best time to visit: October to April

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9. Paradise Beach, Pondicherry

Boating view

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Famous all across the country for its everlasting beauty, white sand, and paradisiacal views, the Paradise Beach in Pondicherry offers a perfect experience of kayaking in India. Unfortunately, you cannot indulge in the thrilling experience all the time here as the beach stays open only from 9 am to 5 pm and allows all water based sports and activities after considering the nature of the sea and the wind each day.

Location: Manaveli Road, Chinna Veerampattinam, Puducherry, India
Best time to visit: October to March

10. Havelock Island, Andaman

Havelock Island

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For those of you who don’t believe in rowing across a lake, the sea of Andaman is the ocean. You can plan a proper trip to here for experiencing kayaking in India, while stopping for village tours, tasting toothsome cuisines, and go island hopping. With a varied range of marine species swimming around you, you surely won’t feel alone in the sea while paddling your way through.

Location: Havelock Island, Andaman Islands, India
Best time to visit: December to February

Tips For Kayaking In India

What To Pack For Kayaking In Bali

Here are some tips that you must keep in mind while kayaking India:

  • There are two types of kayaking, whitewater, which has rapids, and ocean kayaking, which means paddling in an open sea or lake. So, do pick your destination accordingly depending on which type of activity you wish to indulge in and experience.
  • The rivers in India are considered holy. Make sure you do not pollute them in any form while kayaking in India.
  • Make a to-so-list of all the equipments and gears that you need for your kayaking experience. Make sure, you carry a handy first-aid kit too.
  • While kayaking is not a very rigorous adventure, it is still best to get a medical check done before you embark on for a thrilling journey in the sea.
  • Carrying a good camera is an absolute must! You definitely don’t want to miss out on capturing those special moments.
  • Last but not the least, do check the best time of the specific destination for kayaking in India that you’re planning to visit.

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Enticed much? Well, we don’t blame you. Kayaking is surely an adventurous experience worth having and believe us, you wouldn’t want to miss it at all. So, make sure that the next time you a plan a holiday with TravelTriangle to Uttarakhand or Kerala or in the Northeast, kayaking in India is amongst the top things in your itinerary. Happy paddling!

Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own rights to any of the images and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Please Note: Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and one must not take any action before consulting a professional medical expert of their own choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Kayaking In India

Is kayaking difficult?

Kayaks do not tip easily, so it isn’t difficult to sit straight in them, but it can be tiresome depending upon the length and difficulty where kayaking is being done. It is usually easy on flat ocean water.

How far can you kayak in a day?

If one isn’t an amateur and knows the proper technique to kayak, then one can easily cover anywhere in between 15-30 kms in a day.

Should I know how to swim for kayaking?

No, one need not no swimming to enjoy kayaking. If one knows how to swim, then it is always an added advantage when one is in water, but not knowing it does not lead to any drawback if one wants to kayak.

Do kayaks tip easily?

No, kayaks do not tip easily and they are pretty safe if one wants to try kayaking for recreational purposes and fun.

Where can I kayak in India?

Some of the best places to enjoy kayaking in India are Zanskar River in Leh, Nagin Lake in Srinagar, The Ganges in Rishikesh, Mandovi in Goa and more.

Can I kayak in Goa?

Yes, one can kayak in Goa. The amazing rivers in Goa offers one a chance to enjoy this watersport. One can kayak at Mandovi and Nerul in Goa.

What are some other adventure sports that I can try in India?

There are a lot of adventure activities that one can enjoy in India other than kayaking. Some of the top water activities to enjoy here are scuba diving, snorkeling, and surfing. One can also go for white water rafting or parasailing. Other than water adventures, one can enjoy paragliding at some of the best holiday destinations in India.

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Category: India, Places To Visit, Things To Do

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