Rafting in Lidder river at Pahalgam is fast evolving as a popular adventure sport in Jammu and Kashmir. For long Kashmir has been synonymous with nature and romance, but over the past few years the state tourism department has invested heavily into developing these and now you can do rock climbing, paragliding, rafting, trekking and much much more.
I was at Pahalgam a while back and experienced Rafting in Lidder river. Here is my first hand account of all the adventures experienced there :)
Reaching Pahalgam from Srinagar was quite an adventure by itself. We got late leaving Srinagar and it was already dark by the time we reached Anantnag (Islamabad). The road was good but busy, and this is when our car decided to break down :) We had one flat tyre and six stranded travellers on the highway!
My friend Mayank and I decided to not wait for help to come from Pahalgam and took up the challenge to change the tyre using a small torch and the flash light from an iPhone. It took much longer than usual and we shaved off 45 minutes of our time to do the task...rather disappointing for two guys working together!
Anyway, we reached before midnight ate dinner and slept off for the day, looking forward to some adventurous white water rafting in Pahalgam the next morning. The resort we stayed at was about 12 kilometres before the town and it was really really quite and beautiful out there. June is not cold there so I could sleep with windows open, letting the beautiful cold air flow into my room...
The morning was stunningly beautiful as well, especially the view from my room window - it was just green mountains, blue sky and sound of flowing river water...all blissful :)
The rafting basically started right next to our resort and was done over a two kilometres stretch over river Lidder. The ride was good, and unlike most other rivers, Lidder is actually one long stretch of small rapids, though not much high in grades. Its a pleasure ride which can be done by all. You will be drenched multiple times and the ride will give you some cool thrills!
It was great but I wish it was longer, maybe about five kilometres. Also, we couldn't row! I wish they would let us have the oars and I could do some bit of rowing myself :)
So would I recommend it to others? It's a short, fun ride and everyone from the family can do it. For anyone looking for serious rafting, they can look for other places - especially the one which starts from Pahalgam which is about 10-12 kilometres long.
Of course, there is much more to be done in and around Pahalgam and one should head out to areas around the town for trekking, hiking and many other fun activities! Aaru and Betaab valleys are two excellent spots to enjoy natural beauty.