Kolad River Rafting.
It was the raigad incident of bridge collapsing which drew my attention to the adventure activity- River Rafting. The White water rafting in Kolad was one of the places where even today rafting is being carried out. This is my story of white water rafting…..
Varad: Avid trekker, rider, traveller.
Akash: The street smart one.
Dhanashree: The photo crazy girl. She needs to have photos of her location in every angle in every pose.
Mohit: The silent one. The instagrammer and snapchater.
We all shared one passion: Travelling. Exploring. Being adventurous.
The planning began when Dhanashree came up with idea to celebrate her and Akash's 6th month marriage anniversary (Crazy reason to celebrate). So the question started with where to go, how far to go… after lots of discussions we zeroed down for white water river rafting at Kolad. Few phone calls and bam we booked ourselves for the adventure within a day. We did booking with Daivya Adventures, Saje. Virendra Sawant and team coordinated perfectly It was decided that we will leave on Saturday morning for the rafting and then leave for Lonavala on the same day as there wasn't much to explore near Kolad. (P.S- Our Akash owned 1BHK flat, so Lonavala was a natural choice)
We started at 5.30. Hint of rains along with chilled wind flowing we set off to Kolad.
We had to reach kolad at 9 sharp so that we can have ample time to explore the Resort. The drive started and songs started playing the usual talks and we were completely engrossed in our talks untill we saw the sunrise. The most beautiful moment of the day. We had just entered the Mumbai Pune Expressway when the sun rose. We had no reason to wait as everyone was excited for the rafting so quickly we reached Khalapur toll and took the Khopoli exit. Leaving behind were Imagica resorts...durshet forest... pedali...Pali…. And finally we reached Saje. Google maps and location shared by Daivya team helped us alot. Inspite of this we took help of the locals to reach. The site is identified and easily recognizable because of Lal Bungalow.
Once we reached the resort, quickly changed and got ready for the Rafting. As we were 4 we were joined in another group which had 5 members. One raft has 9 member plus the Instructor. Our instructor was of Uttarkhand and professional who had done rafting in the water of Ganga and Brahamputra. We introduced ourselves and the instructions began.. different commands of front row back row stop get down get up… all of these we had to keep in mind as the instructor would be commanding the raft entirely. So once in the waters we had to either front row or back row or hold still the rows. Seems fun right… it was fun when you are doing it alone… but here in White water rafting in Kundalika river we had to do in SYNC so as to keep the raft moving in right direction. Imagine 8 unknown people syncing together… it's a difficult task but not impossible… quick talks and more importantly urge to enjoy the raft we tried super hard to be in Sync. Post all of the introduction session we stepped in the raft. 4 rafters on each side, one person in center and Instructor at back we set our raft in the water of chilled Kundalika river. Kundalika river rafting is basically the dam water released time to time.
Within two seconds in water and the instructor began splashing water all over us. The rafting began moving with the war cry of KUNDALIKA MATA KI JAI… KI JAI…. KI JAI…… Seeking the blessing of the river we started the rafting. The instruction were very clear… so there is a pattern of the entire river.. there is slow moving water, almost still water.. and then there are the Rapids. These rapids are basics as compared to the rapids in Hrishikesh or Brahamputra. There is minimum risk only and completely safe only if you follow the instructions clearly. Everyone had to listen to him and hence no chitchatting. It was not an easy task to raft. But with correct methodology and technic you can always enjoy the adventure sport.
On the both sides of the bank are lush green trees. The sight itself was refreshing. Along with this we spotted different species of birds chirping around.
It was a lovely morning sight to witness.
First comes the Good morning Rapid. Yes there are names of the rapids in Kundalika river.
These are gentle rapids except the Jhonny walker rapid. The rapid is seen… the excitement increases… the instructor exclaims forward and we keep rowing... and splashhhh slushhhh….. the rafting moves left wards and hurriedly through the rapid… it was indeed gentle rapid… then comes command of Stop… we had to put the row on thighs above the water level… the first rapid was indeed a good morning.
Post 2 rapids we were in still water. The instructor told us to put our rows inside the raft. He asked us to lean backwards outside the raft and put our heads in the water. Locking our legs inside the rafts we leaned backwards holding the rope. It was the most amazing feeling. The cold Kundalika water was soothing and refreshing.
Eventually we crossed 3-4 rapids and the instructor called in for break.. the raft was taken to the river shore and we were given time for so photos and relaxation as the next 6-7 rapids were at medium level. We were more than happy for taking photographs.. post 20 mins of leisure we again started the journey
Here comes the Jhonny Walker rapid. The water was fast and rapids were sharp. Command came for forward and then came the get down. Here we had to get inside the raft. However, at this juncture one of the raft member fell off the raft as he leaned too back because of the rapid… as he was falling he caught hold of one of Mohit who almost felled in the water but managed to catch hold of rope and pulled himself back in the raft. Now this was happening in front of me and on my right Akash, because of the impact came crashing down and got stuck between the raft structure. His legs got stuck and it was really difficult to unsecure them.. the instructor was quick to secure the raft and brought the guy back in the raft.
The whole scene was hilarious. Despite of falling in the river he was safe as he had jacket on and was within the reach.
Post Jhonny walker everyone was quite and absorbing of what had just happened. The guy was totally ok and laughing also.
The next part of the rafting was the best one. We were allowed to enter the water for swimming.
With life jacket on us we were completely safe. On the cue from the instructor I jumped directly..
The water was not exactly cold and not it was warm… just perfect for swimming. It was amazing feeling… The water was deep and perfect for swimming. Mohit did a backflip and Akash slide of the raft. Everyone except Dhanashree entered the water. She was scared because of the fact that her legs did not reach the river bed. We were swimming close by to the raft. Learnt swimming in as a child it was easy for me. Took long strides and enjoyed the swim for half n hour. It was time to return to raft.
The next one hour was the most boring. We had to row with the sun above us with no signs of rains. The current was not strong. So we had to keeping rowing continously and in sync.
Much to our relief we spotted the last point for rafting and with all our might rowed fiercely. Reached the drop point where we had booked a tum tum for our return journey. The journey was 23 kms tar road and not meant to cover on feet.
Half an hour journey we were back at the Lal Bungalow.
First thing we did was changed and had lunch. The lunch was traditional- chicken bhakari rice and sweet.
The adventure activity- rafting is easy provided you follow all the instructions particularly of not chitchatting and mindlessly sitting in the raft. You have to be super alert of your surroundings. It teachs you to be paitent and fierce at the same time.
We started from the resort at around 4 pm for Lonavala with all the happy memories.