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River Rafting with Kali at Dandeli

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River Rafting with Kali at Dandeli

 

‘Forward!’

And our white water rafting adventure on Kali River in Dandeli, north Karnataka started in earnest. Like people possessed, we paddled furiously towards a narrow rocky outcrop through which the river tumbled downstream. The next moment the frothing rapid hurled our inflated raft around like a rag doll and for one brief moment, it even catapulted us into the air for what seemed like a heart-stopping eternity. And as we came crashing down on the churning river, it drenched us with a spray of water.

Once past the rapids, we cruised gently down the waterway that snaked through a land lush with green vegetation. But the moment was brief for we could hear the roar of angry waters ahead of us. We started to paddle towards the head of the rapid to do battle with the swirling white water once more.

Yes, we were on nature’s own roller-coaster ride with no seat belts or safety harnesses but life jackets, helmets and pre-launch instructions. Our guide encouraged us to take the risk of riding the back of the Kali River seriously. The volume of water here may not be as much as the rivers in the Himalayas, he said, but the run was very technical and every bit as exciting.

The two-hour expedition over 8 km had us screaming in terror and delight as our raft bucked and lurched over 9 tempestuous rapids. Then there were moments when the temperamental river suddenly switched moods and showed us her gentler face: a fully plumed peacock in flight; an eagle swooping down to pluck a fish from the surface of the water; hornbills with large yellow beaks in trees laden with orchids, branches of trees weighed down with fruit drooping wearily over the water… And if you are really lucky, you might even get to see deer and other wild animals, including black panthers, come down to the river banks for a sip of water.

 

File Facts

Dandeli lies about 120 km east of Panaji, Goa and 80 km south of Belgaum in north Karnataka.

The closest railway station is at Londa (52 km). The closest airport is at Dabolim, Goa (120 km)

 

Dandeli. Dream it. Plan it. Trip it at http://www.thetripworks.com

 

GUSTASP IRANI

Gustasp & Jeroo Irani are a husband and wife team of travel writers/photographers, more accurately, travel junkies always on the lookout for the next fix, the next trip... They have travelled across India and the world. But eventually they return to the city they call home: Mumbai The footloose couple have edited Indian travel magazines, researched and written two guides for South African Tourism in India. Gustasp is the author of the book Once Upon a Raj.

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