With water bodies like River Cauvery, River Kali and the backwaters of Shravanti in the state, river rafting is becoming an increasingly popular adventure sport. Several schools and training centres have cropped up near such destinations to help the adventurous lot learn the activity. Here are some popular places to go rafting at:
Bheemeshwari: Situated in the middle of a thickly-forested hill station and the white waters of River Cauvery, Bheemeshwari is a must-visit rafting destination in the state. Beautiful, cottony clouds hover over the region to add beauty to the spectacle. Adventure-freaks can combine trekking with river rafting. The Cauvery Fishing Camp located in the region is another ideal picnic spot, where tourists can indulge in fishing and camping. A trek around Basavana Betta will give you a panoramic view of River Cauvery, meandering through the valley below.
Kondaji: At a distance of 260 km from Bangalore is Kondaji, another famous destination for white river rafting. Birdwatching is also a popular activity here, as a variety of indigenous and exotic birds are seen.
Agumbe: A small village located on the banks of River Sita in Shimoga district, Agumbe is known as ‘The Cherrapunji of the South’ for the abundant rainfall it receives every monsoon. Experienced adventurers can go rafting through the tumultuous river for that perfect adrenaline rush. A number of waterfalls including Barkana Falls, Onake Abbi Falls, Jogigundi Falls and Koodlu Theertha Falls dot the region. At 850 feet, Barkana Falls is the tenth highest water falls in India. Visitors need to trek for five kilometres through the rainforest to reach the view of the Onake Abbi Falls, which is at a height of 400 feet. A 10-minute walk away from Agumbe is the Sunset View Point on one of the highest peaks of Western Ghats. Watch out for leeches.
Dandeli: This town in Uttara Kannada houses the second largest wildlife sanctuary in the state with tigers, leopards, black panthers, elephants, gaur, deer, antelopes and bears. Rafting facilities are available inside the sanctuary on River Kali. Other tourist activities include nature walks, boating, bird watching, crocodile spotting and angling.
Honnemaradu: About 15 km from Sagara taluk on the way to Jog Falls lies Honnemaradu. It is a small village situated atop the hills that overlook the Linganamakki Reservoir. The lake located in the region offers a spectacular view of sunrise and sunset. While swimming is not allowed in the lake, kayaking is an attraction. Visitors can go trekking up the hills in permitted routes.
Kodagu: River Barapole, located in South Kodagu is considered one of the most dangerous spots by rafters. All tourists are given a compulory training before they set off rafting in the waters. The turbulent river flows through the dense forests of Bramhagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. Rapids that are exotically named Morning Coffee, Grasshopper, Wicked Witch and Big Bang are a part of the rafting route.