Kayaking in India

10 Fantastic Destinations for Kayaking in India

Kayaking in India

Kayaking in India

10 Fantastic Destinations for Kayaking in India

Kayaking is a fun way to get active on the water, whether it’s a river, lake or sea. Exploring by kayak is also a great way to get to places that larger vessels cannot access. There are many excellent spots for kayaking in India, letting you enjoy the views from a different perspective.

1. Backwaters of Kerala

Kayaking in India

The backwaters of Kerala offer a peaceful and serene kayaking experience in India. Paddle through the narrow channels, with overhanging palms offering shade. Admire the countryside views and visit small villages that can only be reached by the backwaters. Farmers work on the land, fishermen patiently wait for a catch and kids wave excitedly at visitors.

2. Kali River

Kayaking in IndiaPC: 365Hops

The scenic Kali River in Uttarakhand flows into India from neighboring Nepal. Hop into your kayak and discover lush jungles that are rich with wildlife. Several jungle camps let you sleep in the heart of nature, getting a good night’s rest ahead of each day of kayaking fun. Plentiful birds, including some rare species, flit through the skies and sing from the treetops. The river has various grades of rapids, including calm stretches that are ideal for beginners and medium-grade rapids.

3. Goa

Adventure Activities in Goa

The beaches, bays, rivers and backwaters of Goa offer a plethora of terrific kayaking experiences. Check out Bambolim Beach, Candolim, Nerul Bridge and Margao. Watching the sun set over the ocean expanse is even more magical when done while bobbing on the waves in a kayak. Adventure lovers will surely enjoy the varied activities in Goa.

4. Brahmaputra River

Kayaking in India

The Brahmaputra River in Arunachal Pradesh boasts some of India’s most challenging rapids. Thrill-seeking kayakers can tackle grades 4-6 rapids, using skill to navigate the river. Visit local villages alongside the river and admire the glorious views.

5. Kundalika River


Located in Kolad in the state of Maharashtra, the Kundalika River offers an array of adventure activities. Easy to reach from both Pune and Mumbai, it’s easy to enjoy a weekend getaway of kayaking in India. Paddle the gentle waters and soak up the views. If you want to add something more thrilling, white water rafting and zip lining might be perfect.

6. Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Kayaking in India

The stunning Andaman and Nicobar Islands are excellent for travelers who love kayaking on the sea. Explore the small islands, stop to rest at pristine beaches and observe a captivating assortment of marine creatures swimming around you. Peaceful and scenic, a kayak is the best way to travel from island to island and fully appreciate the area.

7. Nagin Lake

Kayaking in India

The pretty Nagin Lake is a top spot for kayaking in India’s beautiful Kashmir. The deep, blue waters act like a mirror, reflecting the green trees that encircle the body of water. The clean water is also appealing if you want to jump out of your kayak for a refreshing swim. Discover why the lake is known as the Jewel in the Ring.

8. Rishikesh

Kayaking in India

Rishikesh is often lauded as one of the top places for kayaking in India. Varied rapids make for diverse adventures as you row alongside the ghats on the famous Ganges River. See locals bathing and washing in the sacred waters.

9. Subansari River

Kayaking in India

A tributary of the Brahmaputra River, the long Subansari River has rapids that can exceed grade three. There are also calmer sections that are ideal for new kayakers and those who want a gentler experience. Major destinations along the river include Nacho, Sonala, Taliha, Sippi, and Boghiwheel.

10. Teesta River

Kayaking in India

Located in Sikkim, the Teesta River is one of India’s growing kayaking hotspots. If you like to avoid the crowds and practice your skills in a relatively quiet environment, the scenic Teesta River could be perfect. The river makes its way through the mountains, with a combination of calm waters and rapids. Of course, depending on your skills and experience level, you can choose to enjoy the sections that are most suited to your interests.

Useful Information Regarding Kayaking in India

The best time to kayak in India depends on the destination. Generally, October to May offers the best conditions for exciting kayaking in the northern and eastern parts of the country. Zanskar, however, is best enjoyed from July to September. In the south, kayaking is possible year round, except for during the monsoon season, when conditions can be dangerous.

Kayaking in India

Keep in mind that rivers and waterways are generally thought to be sacred by Indians. Respect the waters and environment and don’t throw rubbish into the water. Help to keep India’s rivers, lakes, mangroves and beaches clear and clean.

The Beas River, the Tons River, the Rangit River, the Indus River and the Zanskar River are a few more suggestions for kayaking adventures around India. Secure your kayak to the roof of your vehicle with Vault Cargo rooftop cross bars for independent adventures or book onto an organized trip and have fun on the water.  Go alone or go with your buddies; kayaking is a great solo or group activity. Take to the waters for a few hours, a whole day or for a multi-day adventure. Regardless of your experience or skill level, there are so many great spots to go kayaking in India.

Kayaking in India

Kayaking in India

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51 thoughts to “10 Fantastic Destinations for Kayaking in India”

  1. I have never been kayaking and definitely would choose one of the more calmer waters. The Kali River one looked like fun from the photo. I wish I was more adventours to try the ones where you have to wear a helmet like the Kundalika River.

  2. This post just made me realized that I never go for kayaking when I travel probably because I always associate it with rapid waters which make me a bit uncomfortable. Options on calm lakes look very appealing, would definitely give it a try if I visit India!

  3. I’ve never went kayaking before in my entire life, but when I’m reading this article, I would definitely want to learn it! It looks like so much fun and such an adventurous activity. However, I think it’ll be best to start with the calmer waters first. The Nagin Lake most appeals to me :-).

  4. I’ve been to Rishikesh and the backwaters of Kerala and I can attest that both are wonderful places for kayaking. But as per this list I think I would head straight to Andaman and Nicobar Islands!

  5. I have done Kayaking in some places that you have mentioned and absolutely loved it, especially in Rishikesh and Kali river. I would love to try in the picturesque Andaman! Zanskar sounds tempting too 🙂

  6. Being an adventure junkie, I have always chosen rafting in rapids over kayaking on still waters. However, kayaking in the serene backwaters of Kerala and lagoons of Lakshadweep has been one of the most amazing experiences I have had. Your exhaustive list of destinations with kayaking options ( some of them even doubling as rafting destinations) is teasing me to plan another adventure getaway soon 🙂

  7. Is that photo of Kali from Disney’s animal kingdom? Hahah it’s actually called Kali river rapids! If so how cool!

  8. I have done a lot of white water rafting, but I think i would need a little more courage to Kayak down these rivers… I love to Raft but I think I would feel safer with other people around… But I do want to do the Brahmaputra rafting bit asap….
    Lovely post.

  9. Wow, some of these kayaking locations look as though they’re right out of New Zealand or Europe! I would never have thought that about India. White water rafting looks awesome. Thanks for sharing these kayaking destinations!

  10. I haven’t try kayaking so far but I’ve always wanted to. India, on the other hand, is a place that I want to visit (a lot!). So, kayaking in India definitely sounds awesome and I would love to try it there. Thanks for the tips.

  11. Great post. All of these locations are beautiful yet they seem to offer a diverse range of experiences. I would love to try white water rafting on India!

  12. I didn’t know India was filled with so many lovely places one can go kayaking. It’s something I have done before but I was petrified lol

  13. Glad and exciting to know there are so many places in India for kayaking! When visiting India it doesn’t seem the first thing comes to mind. But that would be a special experience! @ knycx.journeying

  14. These are all great places to kayak in India. I would love to travel to India one day. It is so beautiful there and the culture is so much different than here in states. Kayaking is something I have never done but it is something I hope to achieve soon some day. Thanks for sharing these amazing places in India.

  15. Kerala is on my list of places to chill out when I eventually get to India soon and kayaking is on my list of things to do. The scenery look stunning

  16. These are really executive places for visiting as sea places, really liked them. I have visited Andaman and Nicobar and It is an amazing place to for scuba diving and coral seeing. Other places are still to visit

  17. all beautiful places! I would definitely like to try Teesta river first since it’s less crowded. I hate doing activities like that where you have to constantly make sure you’re not going to crash into other people

  18. I didn’t even make it to the 2nd destination before being blown away. The backwaters of Kerala look so peaceful and serene and would definitely be my type of place. I wonder if I could stop by someone’s farm for some fresh produce?!

  19. I’ve never thought that India can be a destination for kayaking. Andaman and Nicobar Islands are definitely the places where I’d try to go first. I am not sure how I’d face such a physical effort with my arms, but well, that’s a challenge.

  20. Wow! So many amazing kayaking places! The Kali river and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands look so beautiful! Hope to visit them in the future!

  21. What a great list. We’ve heard so much about Kerala lately so it’s great to see some other great destinations for active travel in India. Rishikesh looks like a great spot for whitewater and somewhere I would love to explore.

  22. I love a leisurely kayak trek, and so many of these places sound amazing. I’m not skilled enough to take on any rapids, I would love to take in the small villages on Kerala and the birds on Kali.

  23. Your photo number 7 Nagin Lake is the only one that matched the image in my head of what it would be like to go kayaking in India. Lovely photos, so colourful and diverse.

  24. The rivers do look amazing here. B ut I really love the islands. If I get the chance to go I will definitely be visiting them. There is something about the ocean view that gets to me.

  25. I have only tried kayaking once and after that experience, been wanting to do it again. This is a good list to try and those calm waters are definitely calling me!

  26. I’ve never tried Kayaking before. Did not know there are so many options in India to Kayak. Will surely try one of these. Thank you for the list. This is really helpful.

  27. Oddly enough, I’ve not ever done much kayaking. I went rafting in Washington once, and we canoe a lot in the Ozarks, but I need to get on a kayak! I’m surprised to think of India as a kayaking destination, but honestly, after reading your blog for quite some time, I’ve found that I don’t think there’s much you can’t do in India! Kali River looks exceptionally beautiful with those mountains nearby! Looks amazing!

  28. Out of these, I knew of only two places. Good to know that kayaking is becoming popular in India. Kali river looks perfect for doing this. Your post has opened a new area of outdoor activity.

  29. I totally enjoy kayaking a lot. I particularly recommend Karwar for it as it has a fairly decent coastline as well as some bits of backwaters. And then there is Coorg. Loved the list you have shared, got to try out some of these as well.

  30. I have already Kayaked in Rishikesh in the wild waters.. I actually took a kayaking course after one of my river rafting guides was telling me about it and asked me to do it with him.I and my friend did it and it was one of the best things I’ve done. River kayaking is quite different to sea kayaking and now I cant wait to Kayak in Andaman and Kerala.

  31. Great recommendations for kayaking all across India. I have heard about some of these from friends. Yet to go kayaking myself. Will definitely keep this in mind when heading to any of these destinations in future.

  32. These listicles don’t do justice to the vastness of India and the galores of opportunities available for kayaking. One of the most spectacular and high grade kayaking experience can be had in Sita Nadi rapids in Agumbe region in Karnataka. Sadly There is no mention of tbat here

  33. Wow, all of these kayaking spots sound amazing! I would love to check out the Andaman and Nicobar Island not only to kayak but to just have some great beach time! I don’t trust myself or skill to kayak in the whitewater rapids you mentioned though!

  34. I love to go Kayaking and Nicobar Island sounds like a place I would love to Kayak in! So does Goa! Glad to hear kayaking is becoming popular in India!

  35. OMG the andamans look amazing, I’d love to kayak though. I once kayaked in a lagoon in the Cook Islands and decided to have a little swim by the kayak and had trigger fish attacking me lol

  36. While the rivers and Andaman and Nicobar Islands kayaking look spectacular, I’d probably have to opt for one of the more placid lakes. Still gorgeous, but without the stronger currents. We had a bit of problem fighting the current and some rocks in Costa Rica, and now I’m super aware of how unskilled I actually am in one of those little boats. Still, the scenery in India is too gorgeous to miss, so I’m willing to give it another go! Maybe Nagin Lake is the place for me?

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