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Rafting in Nepal: 8 rivers to choose from, no matter your skill level

Trishuli River Rafting

Trishuli River rafting is the most popular rafting in Nepal, not due to its proximity to Kathmandu but because this is rated as a class III rafting river and is known for its beauty and simplicity. This tour offers an opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Nepal, such as the beautiful landscape, the marvelous waterfalls, and the exciting rapids.

Trip Facts

River Distance: 87 km

Grade (high water): III-IV

Starting Point: Charaudi Red House

Rafting Ending Point: River Fun Beach Resort (Kurnighat)

One day rafting on the Trishuli river and overnight stay on the beach is the most popular trip among Nepalese and foreigners. However, spending many days at the riverside involves many other attractions, like fishing, kayaking, and village walk. You can plan a day of rafting in the Trishuli River and stay overnight during your trip to Kathmandu, Chitwan, and Pokhara from these three places.

Bheri River Rafting

The Bheri River rafting trip is unique in that, though it is a less explored river, it is known for its fishing adventures. The river, which has its tributaries at the heights of the Dolpo region of the mighty Himalayas, is an angler’s paradise as it promises a wide variety of big catches. Despite having strong underwater currents, varying water temperatures, and rich water flow, the river serves as a migratory route for many freshwater rivers in Nepal. It has yet to be fully explored in terms of angling in Nepal.

It is recommended that you take a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj, then take a 3-4 hour drive to reach the put-in point at Samjhighat.

Departure Point: Kathmandu or Pokhara

River Start Point: Samjhighat

River End Point: Chisapani

River Grade: III to IV

River Distance: Approx. 50 km

Ideal Season: October to December / March to May

Bhote Koshi River Rafting

Bhote Koshi, in Nepali, literally; translates to ‘The River from Tibet’; as a result, many rivers in Nepal go by the same name ( practically all rivers in Nepal originate in the northern fringes ). The Bhote Koshi in question here is the central branch of the river Sun Koshi. Since the Araniko Highway runs parallel to the river, accessibility and scouting are comparatively easy. The valley above Bahrabise is imposingly narrow with steep hillsides that rise to 2000 meters from the river. At river level, you will be treated to picturesque and spectacular gorges. As you drive up the highway, looking at the river can pulsate your heart. The Upper Bhote Koshi ends after Barabise, where the Sun Koshi links up with the main river on the left. Bhote Koshi is widely popular for short and adventurous rafting and kayaking.

Departure Point: Kathmandu or Pokhara

River Start Point: Baseri / Lamosangu

River End Point: Dolalghat

River Grade: IV-V

River Distance: Approx. 20 km

Ideal Season: October to December / March to May

Kali Gandaki River Rafting

This river is named after the Hindu Goddess Kali and offers a challenging range of rapids that can be technically testing and fun simultaneously. The river originates at the Upper Mustang Region’s edge of the Tibetan Plateau. It makes its way down to the plains through the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges cutting through one of the deepest gorges in the world. The Kali Gandaki is a medium-length river considered one of the finest, combining white water adventure with fine scenery and culturally rich villages. Deemed one of the holiest rivers, one can observe cremation and burial grounds along with numerous temples along the banks. This Kali Gandaki adventure can be combined with any Annapurna region trek, before or after, depending on your itinerary.

River Start Point: Nayapul ( Baglung )

River End Point: Miami

River Grade: III – IV

River Distance: Approx. 60 km

Ideal Season: September to December / March to May

Karnali River Rafting

There are various options for this Karnali River trip, and you can combine a fishing excursion. Fishing in Karnali is considered one of the trips in the world. The classic Karnali river is the longest in Nepal. This trip enables you to explore some exciting canyons and is also an opportunity to view the biodiversity of the lush forests, wildlife, and culturally intact villages. Soon after the monsoons, the rapids become highly challenging and will offer you the adrenaline experience that adventure seekers want. The river originates on the fringes of the Himalayan range of Tibet; it enters Nepal from the Humla District.

Departure Point: Kathmandu or Pokhara

River Start Point: Sauli

River End Point: Chisopani

River Grade: III – IV

River Distance: Approx. 180 km

Ideal Season: September to December / March to May

Marshyangdi River Rafting

Marshyangdi originates on the southern slopes of the Annapurna range, making its way east through the desert-like landscape of Manang and heads south to merge with the Trishuli river at a place known as Mugling. Among the rivers graded IV- V, Marshyangdi is deemed the most exciting. Once you hit the rapids, it is sheer adrenaline till your feet touch solid ground again. It is a reputed grade IV river for kayaking and ranks among t,e; after best in the world. This river is an exhilarating, non-stop white water adventure and offers spectacular mountain backdrops to heighten the excitement. The scenery is stunning, and after every bend, you can expect to view some of the world’s highest and most magnificent mountains. The green valley, white water, sculpted boulders, and mountain views are all worth the trip.

River Start Point: Nagdi

River End Point: Bimalnagar

River Grade: IV – IV +

Ideal Season: November to December / March to May

Seti River Rafting

The Seti river adventure is a warm water wilderness family adventure and navigates through the limestone gorge of the Pokhara Valley. The trip takes you through lush, virgin green forests, bird habitats, culturally traditional villages, and ‘spotlessly clean’ riverbank beaches. You will come across some small and not-so-challenging rapids. The put-in point is the Madi River Bridge at Damauli, and you will end your trip at the confluence point of the Trishuli River at Gaighat. Pokhara is an approx. 2-hour drive, and Kathmandu approx. 4-5 hours from Damauli. From Gaighat ( the take-out point ), you can make an onward journey to either Pokhara (a 4-5 hour drive ) or Chitwan National Park ( approx. 1 hour ).

River Start Point: Damauli

River End Point: Gaighat

River Grade: II – III

Ideal Season: September to December / March to May

Sun Koshi River Rafting

Sun Koshi, or in the local dialect, “River of Gold,” has been graded as one of the ten best rafting rivers in the world. Challenging rapids, a little hint of roads and civilization, stunning scenery, excellent camping sites, and warm water adventures are distinctly multi-day river adventures. The popular put-in point for this trip is Dolalghat which is an approx. Three-hour drive to the east of Kathmandu. The journey’s beginning is a tranquil experience, and the first day of the trip is calm and peaceful, making it easy. This river traverses the Mahabharat range and follows along the geological fault line of the Himalayas. This river also offers tremendous excitement for medium to experienced kayakers.


Nepal’s wide range of rivers, with their various difficulty grades, topographical locations, and inclines, makes Nepal a kayaker’s dream come true. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or a highly-skilled kayaker who chooses to take on challenging rapids; we can arrange trips that will cater to your every whim and fancy.

There are a few kayaking clinics and schools run by seasoned veterans, and they teach you everything from paddle strokes, maneuvers, rolling, and reading water to safety. Our experienced European and Nepalese instructors will offer you the introductory 4-5 day course, or even the more popular longer ones so that you will hit the rapids with confidence. You will be taught at your own pace, beginning with familiarization with calm waters until you are fully versed in safe kayaking principles.

Itineraries, trips, and courses can be tailored to meet your needs and requirements.


Conventionally speaking, Nepal has offered adventure and mountain tourism to its customers through mountaineering expeditions, treks, white water rafting, etc. Still, as times are changing, as well as the needs of tourists and visitors, the people in the travel trade have always felt the need to diversify and innovate to enable their clients to explore other avenues of tourism ( especially in adventure tourism ).

Taking this into account, and since Nepal is a country endowed with the geographical and topographical wonders of its mountains, forests, and rivers, it attracts a wide variety of clientele with varying needs and requirements. Since a vast network of rivers flows down and through its countless valleys, they form deep gorges, cliffs, and caves, which offer canyoning enthusiasts the ultimate challenge and thrill.

Bhote Koshi ( the River from Tibet ) is one of the recent most popular destinations for canyoners. The Bhote Koshi Valley is a canyon’s paradise tucked away from Kathmandu ( approx. 100 km ). This adventure offers you a thrill of a lifetime. This can commence with rafting so that you can access cliff faces that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Once again, itineraries can be tailored to your needs and requirements on demand.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure in the beautiful Himalayas, be sure to check out our blog and start planning your trip with Travel Maker South Asia. We offer a range of rafting options, from one-day trips to multi-day expeditions, and can help you choose the best river and route for your group’s goals and abilities.

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to explore Nepal’s stunning natural beauty and get your heart racing. Visit our website to learn more and start planning your adventure today.

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Keshab Karki
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