If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Karnataka, you should definitely consider white water rafting at Sitanadi near Agumbe. Sitanadi means ‘Sita River’. The river runs a course of more than sixty kilometers before joining the Arabian Sea. It swells during the monsoons, and that’s actually the time when you should go rafting; otherwise, you won’t really get to experience the best of the rapids.
And as for Agumbe, it’s the land of beautiful rainforests tucked away in the Western Ghats. It’s also among the places that receive the highest rainfall in India; due to this reason it is sometimes known as ‘The Cherrapunji of the South’. It can be reached after an eight hour drive from Bangalore and is located in the Shimoga district.
Activities and Things to Do
White water is basically flowing water or water that is in turbulent movement. A white water rafting session on Sitanadi can take anywhere between 4-6 hours, depending on the distance that you choose to cover. The sessions are organized by adventure travel companies, and they may sometimes give you options. For instance, you can choose to traverse a 16-18 kilometer stretch on the river; or you could go in for the 22-28 kilometer stretch. You can also choose between stretches that have mild rapids or those that have some really wild ones.
White water rafting can be enjoyed by both the young and old, and you will not need to know swimming to participate in this activity. The organizers will equip you with life jackets and helmets for protection. They will also give you a set of detailed instructions at the beginning of the session so that you know the right way to sit in the raft, the right way to hold the paddle and many other things; and they generally take all possible precautions for your safety – at least all the certified companies who have trained instructors do so.
There are a number of trekking trails in and around Agumbe. Some of the companies that organize rafting also organize treks. There are plenty of leeches in the region so don’t be surprised if they turn up to say hello during your trek. The areas near Agumbe are also dotted by waterfalls, so you could explore some of them. Jogi Gundi is one of the well-known waterfalls here.
How to Get to Sitanadi
An overnight journey can get you from Bangalore to Shimoga or even from Bangalore to Agumbe. If you take the train, you’ll have to get off at Shimoga and take a bus or cab to Agumbe. However, if you take the bus or go by car, you can go directly to Agumbe.
You can find a place to stay at Agumbe itself or you could get accommodation at the Sitanadi Nisargadhama (Sitanadi Nature Camp). There are a number of buses plying from Sitanadi Nisargadhama to Agumbe. The two places are located about seventeen kilometers away from each other and you can choose between the dormitories and tent accommodation at the Nisargadhama.
The Nisargadhama is situated within the Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to a lot of interesting flora and fauna, including teak and eucalyptus trees, deer, langurs and jackals.