White water rafting on the Teesta Darjeeling and Sikkim Rivers Expectation vs. Reality:

When visiting Darjeeling or Sikkim, foam rafting is one of the foremost popular adventure activities to do together with your relations. The Teesta River and Rangeet flow through the Himalayan Mountains, creating sparkling foam and increasing with various rapids that are great for rafting for beginners and advanced riders alike.


The Teesta River has its source in Lake Tso Lhamo within the north of Sikkim at over 5,330 meters. In contrast, Rangeet has its source during a glacier on Mount Kabru within the lower Kanchenjunga region. Teesta finally forms the border between the Darjeeling district (of West Bengal) and Sikkim.

Teesta and Rangeet are both near Teesta Bazar, near the plains. This meeting point is understood as Triveni. Take a glance at Teesta & Range and Confluence to find out more about the meeting point. While rafting also takes place in Triveni, Melli's top popular spot for rafting on the Teesta River.


If you check out the image below, you'll see a sandy delta at the corner of the confluence. Rafting in Triveni begins here. This sandy beach is additionally a well-liked raft camp.

Many tourists combine rafting and camping. The valley and, therefore, the landscape around the rivers create a tremendous scene. From the meeting point in Triveni, Teesta flows south and meets the Sivoke Plains, where the Coronation Bridge connects to North Bengal like Dooars. It's estimated that around 50 rafts operate the Teesta River during the season.


As you drive through Teesta, the fascinating view of dense forests along the mountain, vegetation, various birds, fish within the water, combined with the joys of rafting through torrents and sparkling waters, will be an unforgettable experience. There are small towns on each side of the river. So you'll see tons of farmland. Beat all, a fantastic feeling.

White water rafting in Teesta was introduced in 1991 by the previous DGHC (Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council, now GTA) and had been growing in popularity ever since. It's fun and exciting. In rafting, there are 6 degrees or degrees of difficulty counting on the rapids or currents of the river. Grade 1 (in calm, shallow water) is the easiest, and Grade 6 is the most difficult.

Due to the range of rapids and, therefore, the varying intensity of the present, most of the tests won't to raft on were rated on a 2-4 skill scale. At the same time, Grade 4 would have serious large rapids and will only be attempted by experienced lookouts.


On the other hand, there is more unrest in the Rangita river than in the Teesta. Its multi-dimensional rapids are often very difficult. Both rivers melt ice in the summer months and rainwater in the rainy season. These are perennial rivers. The rivers rise with the rains.

While many tourists and beginners alike will descend to Teesta Bazaar, follow the guide's instructions and continue a fun whitewater rafting tour, it helps to possess some rafting experience, kayaking, or boating. However, there are opportunities and river trips for swimmers and non-swimmers alike.

Rafting course in Teesta

A popular place in Darjeeling where most of the tourists go rafting is Teesta Bazaar. It takes a minimum of one and half hours by cab or shared jeep, and it can take 1 hour 45 minutes from NJP along with Darjeeling city to Teesta market, along Sevok Highway (NH-10). From Bagdogra Airport, it takes 2 hours and a quarter of an hour. Another popular rafting spot is Meli, above NH-10 (some 35 minutes drive from Teesta Market).


However, the Teesta rafting route starts in Tar Khola (higher on Melli by NH-10). The Tar Khola rafting route leads via Melli, Triveni, and Teesta Bazaar to Kalijhora. Here are the main popular routes (i.e., stretches of the river) in Teesta for rafting:

For non-swimmers:

1) Melli at the 29th Mile (1.5 hours)

2) Melli to Kalijhora (3 hours)


For swimmers only:

1) Tarkhola to Melli (2 hours)

2) Tarkhola 29 miles (3 hours)

3) It Starts at the 7th Mile and ends in Labarbote near the Sikkim Bengal border (4-5 km).


There are also long stretches on the Teesta River. For example, the journey from Bordang to the 29th Mile takes approximately 4.5 hours and includes level 2-4 rapids.


Rafting costs

(Price updated: May 2021)

In Melli, the rafting activity usually takes place from 8 a.m. to 15 hours. There are two rafting options from Melli ... 1h30 (5 km from Melli to 29th Mile) and 3 hours (7 km from Melli to Kalijhora). The average cost of 5km rafting is 800 rupees per person, while the average cost of a 7km ride is 1,200 rupees per person. There is a maximum of 4 to 5 rapids along the route.


The total capacity of the rafting boat is six people. The rafting boat has an experienced guide who is also a swimmer. Safety equipment, including life jackets, is included in the price.

Rafting and camping in Teesta.

If you want to go down from Darjeeling or Sikkim, rafting and back, you can get complete packages from various providers. They offer packages that include transportation, camping / overnight accommodation (if required), all equipment, including life jackets, food, expert guides, lessons, etc. Consult this list of well-known operators in Darjeeling for their complete offers and contact details.


Another option is to get off at Teesta Bazar from Darjeeling or Gangtok or drive directly from NJP / Bagdogra towards Darjeeling / Sikkim. Teesta Bazar is the main rafting center. This is where you will find the GTA Tourism River Rafting Center. They organize rafting on the Teesta River (Tel: 03552 - 68261/68297). Action Adventure Pvt Ltd and Rescue Group have a sales point in Teesta Bazar and organize rafting in Teesta (phone: 03552 - 68236). Usually, you need to be in a group of at least four people. Otherwise, you will join another group.

You can also go straight to Melli on the NH-10, and several operators have their exits along the route ... talk to them and finish the rafting activity.


Update October 2015: Dams were built on the Teesta River to control the flow of water. This significantly reduced the rapids. Therefore, the time of rafting should coincide with the opening and closing times of the lock gates. Therefore, Darjeeling operators need to coordinate with local Teesta operators to make reservations for rafting. You can also book rafting through the GTA Tourist Information Center on Mall Road (Silver Fir Building, phone: 0354-2255351).


The best time to go rafting

Monsoons (July to September) should be avoided when rivers swell from rainwater and very high rapids. All other months are good for rafting. The best time to raft in Teesta or Rangeet is between December and June. Be aware, however, that the water can freeze in winter, and you will need to wear wetsuits to counteract the cold water.

Some details are noteworthy.

Before embarking on a rafting trip, one must sign a 'risk and redemption estimate' bond.

Foreign tourists need to carry their passports which must be shown when signing the bond and when crossing the Teesta Bridge.

You should wear shorts and carry extra pairs of shoes/sneakers, sunscreen lotion, bottle, extra set of dry clothes, etc.

If you've got heart problems, epilepsy, etc., it's advisable not to trip.

You must not drink alcohol a minimum of 6 hours before the trip.

You must use the life vest provided by the operator and suit all safety rules.


Hotel in Teesta Bazaar

A good hotel in Teesta Bazar is Chitra Wayside Inn near Teesta River (Phone: +91 3552-268261). it's travel by the government and features a bar and restaurant. The verandah overlooks the forest of the river Teesta. The rooms are spacious and clean. All the attached washrooms have hot and cold water.

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