Monsoon is here and it is time for Rafting in Goa!!! Yes, you heard it right – Goa for rafting. I have traveled to Goa in literally every season and explored many shades of the state till date, but it was last year - same time, when my most adventurous trip to Goa till date happened. Well not the entire trip, but I did rafting, white water rafting, and it was the most 'adventurous' Goa has been to me so far.
|It had just begun|
Last year during monsoons, I did white water rafting in Mhadei River courtesy Goa Tourism. While rafting on Tilari River has always been a thing in Goa, in recent years, Goa Tourism has started endorsing rafting on Mhadei River near Valpoi and luckily I, along with some other media personals, was treated with the splashing cold waters on an overcast day.
|All prepped up!|
Long drive from Panjim to Valpoi, tree canopy all the way, amidst which we actually got lost twice, and then somehow managed to reach a tiny restaurant called The Earthen Pot. A dainty village, openness around, this tiny restaurant that didn’t serve normal stuff like tea, coffee or fritters and said most of the food came from town side and absolutely no hint of any river close by – all this made me wonder, where exactly does rafting happen?
|Just look at the water!|
From there we were driven to another place, about 10 km away with another group of enthusiastic Chinese who, perhaps, also had the same questions in their mind. Lush green forest, uneven half washed roads and then there was a faint distant gurgle of water, like from a stream and our questions were answered. After we got down from our small van we had to walk another kilometre or so and could finally see the Mhadei river – small rapids, fleeting flow and noisy in its meandering course.
|And then I decided to take a dip|
After a good 15 mins of prepping and instructions, the rafting chronicles finally began. 10 mins or so, nothing fast, nothing crazy – compared to my earlier experience in Teesta (Sikkim) and Ganga (Rishikesh), Mhadei seemed kind of timid. Guess the river found it insulting and we met our first rapid within minutes and guess what, it was a grade II rapid. And from there on, for the next forty minutes or so, we met several such rapids in close proximity of each other.
Drenched in the overly generous sprays of water, tired of the constant paddling, looking at the playful sun – I was happy and ready for the end of the raft but was only surprised to know there was almost another 45 minutes remaining but this stretch luckily had grade I rapids and a lot of breathable, floatable area. *Phew*
|When the others decided to swim|
The whole rafting happens on the stretch of the river between Valpoi Village and Mhadei River Bird Sanctuary and if you are lucky you might get to see a lot of beautiful birds all the way! For us, I was overjoyed at the sight of two spirited great hornbills that kept us company for almost an hour – playing, dancing, flying from tree to tree, chasing each other. To see these birds at wild was a priceless sight (no photos since I didn’t carry my camera during rafting).
|Before it got turbulent|
The Rafting experience came to an end with some of us swimming and racing to the bank. Tired and panting, drenched and cold under the setting sun – I only wished to go back and re-live that part of the day again. For about 2 hours or so I had forgotten that I was still in Goa and when I did remember details of the location again, I was in awe of the place even more. Goa is so much more than just beaches and churches!
|It was fun!|
So if you wish to experience Goa beyond beaches, now might be a good time. For booking the rafting trip, contact is available on Goa Tourism’s official site – the rafting trips are organised by Southern River Adventures & a Sports Pvt Ltd headed by an Englishman, John Pollard. Rafting costs 1800 INR per person and is rated easy to moderate. And if you ask me for my personal opinion – Love Rafting, don’t miss this!
|Before the end - whoosh|
P.S. - The bookings for Rafting in Mhadei River would be starting soon. Please check Goa Tourism site for it.