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Rafting down Brahmaputra

Rafting Expedition Highlights

River Tsang Po originates at Lake Mansarovar in Western Tibet and runs 2000 miles across the Tibetan plateau at an altitude of 11,000 – 12,000 feet. Then it takes a sharp turn to the south around Namche Barwa and cuts through the great Himalayan Range, carving for itself deep and inaccessible gorges before it enters the Indian sub continent. Here it enters into the virgin and till recently state of Arunachal Pradesh. This tribal and ancient society refers to the river s the Siang. After cascading down 600 Kms. of grade 4 – 5 rapids the Siang enters Assam at Passighat and is renamed as the Mighty Bhramaputra.

Till as late as 1930s the source of the mighty Brahmaputra and its links with Tibet and the Tsang Po River were a mystery and enigma. Exploring this wild and rugged country and rafting some of the most challenging white water sections on this planet, is truly a memorable experience.

This trip has been designed by Akshay Kumar who made the first descent of the river in 1990 and has been down many times ever since. BBC has even made a film on the first American decent with Akshay in 1991.

Location Chart

New Delhi - Dibrugarh - Pasighat - Yinkiang - Tuting - Pango - Rikor - Alubadi - Yinkiang - Geku - Yangbum - Ponging - Pasighat - Dibrugarh - Delhi

Day by Day Itinerary

DAY 01: Arrive Delhi

  • Reception on arrival at the airport. Transfer to the hotel, and meeting with the team members.
  • Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 02: Delhi

  • A full day city tour of Old and New Delhi followed by a group briefing and slide show on the Brahmaputra.
  • Overnight at the Hotel.

DAY 03: Delhi – Dibrugarh

  • Fly to Dibrugarh. The airstrip at Dibrugarh is located in a quaint little village outside Dibrugarh called Mohanbari. This area of Assam is famous for tea and its age old tea gardens. After visiting the tea garden take a sunset cruise to the famous Rukmini Island.
  • Camp overnight on the vast sand banks of the river Brahmaputra.

DAY 04: Dibrugarh - Pasighat

  • The only way across the width of this river is by ferry boat. The spectacular ride take about seven hours to complete as the river is spread across almost 12 Kms and interspersed by shallow sand banks. One will have enough opportunity to admire the rich migratory bird life and if we are lucky, we might even be followed by Fresh Water Ganges Dolphins. The ferry culminates with a short 45 minutes drive to the small town of Pasighat at the foothills of the eastern Himalayas.
  • Overnight in tents or local guest house.

DAY 05: Pasighat – Yinkiang (150 kms; 07 hrs).

  • Today we venture into the dense and tropical Arunachal countryside. A drive along the lower sections of the Siang runs parellal to the famous Namdapha National Park.A 7 hours scenic drive along the Siang valley will bring us to the District Headquarters at Yinkiang.
  • Overnight in tents / local guest house Yinkiang.

DAY 06: Yinkiang – Tuting (140 kms; 8 hrs)

  • Tuting is the starting point of our raft trip. The road to Tuting has been opened very recently. All the initial expeditions on the Siang had to trek for four days to get till this point.
  • Overnight in tents/guest house at Tuting

DAY 07: Tuting

  • A rest day to relax after the long drives, sort out gear and walk around the Tuting bazaar and village.
    Use the spare time to identify your rafts and gear. Go through a safety briefing and get into the right frame of mind.
  • Overnight at Tuting

DAY 08: Tuting – Pango (6 hours)

  • This morning, we encounter big Class III & IV rapids at Ninging and continue past another Class 3 rapid at Palsi to reach Pango, where we set up Camp for the night, above yet another big rapid to be encountered the following morning.
  • Overnight Camp.

DAY 09: Pango – Rikor (6 hours)

  • Today, we scout and raft down the Pango rapid and enter the Marmong Gorge, one of the most beautiful and remote jungle gorges in the world. It has steep impenetrable tropical forests on each side. We raft till the Rikor village and set up Camp above the village. Rikor is a small hill village still living in the stone ages. The simple people here will open up their heart and houses to make you feel at home. If we are lucky we can even join them in a hunting trip into the forest. These villagers still use poisoned arrows and spears for hunting. We will enjoy an evening of Ponung dances and the local millet wine called Apang.
  • Overnight Camp.

DAY 10: Rikor - Alubadi (6 hours)

  • Today will be one of the biggest whitewater days on the river. We will negotiate a big Class 4 at Rikor followed by the Zebra Rock rapid following a few kilometers downstream. Half a kilometer downstream, we encounter another big Class 4+ rapid on a bend. We raft past Ramsing and several rapids including a Class 3 + followed by a 3 kilometer float till Alubadi beach.
  • Overnight in camp.

DAY 11: Alubadi – Yinkiang (4 hours)

  • A short day on the river - we begin with the huge "Breakfast rapid" with a history of raft flips, followed by milder ones all the way till the suspension bridge at Yinkeong.
  • Overnight in camp.

DAY 12: Rest Day

  • A day in hand to rest and walk around the Yinkiang village. We will also use this time to re stock our supplies. Evening a we will join a local cultural event in a local family house.
  • Overnight in Camp.

DAY 13: Yinkiang - Geku (6 hours)

  • We begin this day with a long Class two rapid and shortly afterwards we reach The Durga Mata rapid. The rapid is perhaps the most technical grade IV on the river and gets its name after the Godess of Strenth and Power also known as the Destroyer of Evil. A good part of the day is spent in the environs of this rapid before we carry on to beach the rafts at Geku.
  • Overnight in Camp.

DAY 14: Geku – Yangbum (5 hours)

  • After Geku, we begin a long float till a Class 3+ above the 65 Bridge. An easy day with long float sections. We pass several Adi tribal settlements on the way. Today, we raft past the first major confluence of the Siang river with the Siyom river after the suspension bridge at Boling. We reach Yangbum by late afternoon and camp.
  • Overnight in camp.

DAY 15: Yangbum - Ponging (4 hours)

  • A short day on the river with quick run to a big rapid at Pangin village. We make camp above the rapid and visit the village. Relaxed day.
  • Overnight in camp.

DAY 16: Ponging – Pasighat (4 hours)

  • We begin the final run to the plains at Pasighat by negotiating the last rapid on the trip at Ponging. The Siang seems to gather a lot more volume as we float into Pasighat where we beach our rafts for the last time on this trip. Transfer to rest house at Pasighat.
  • Overnight at Rest House / Hotel.

DAY 17: Pasighat - Dibrugarh

  • Drive 45 minutes to the Orium Ghat and catch the downstream ferry service to Dibrugarh. On arrival at Dibrugarh we will be transferred to our small hotel for the night.
  • Overnight in Hotel.

DAY 18: Dibrugarh – Delhi

  • Transfer to the hotel to catch your flight to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi check in to your hotel.
  • Ovenight at the hotel.

DAY 19: Transfer to the airport for flight to onward destination.

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