Soon you will be able to experience an exhilarating ride over the cascading waters of the Bhagirathi River in Uttarakhand. The Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) has announced the launch of rafting operations on the river in Harsil Valley near Uttarkashi. Located on the banks of Bhagirathi, Harshil Valley is renowned for its significance in the Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage as well as for its scenic trekking routes.
As part of the new Vibrant Village scheme, along with other locations in Uttarkashi and Dehradun districts, UTDB has identified three river rafting destinations, including the stretch between Jangla and Jhala bridges on Bhagirathi.
&ldquoBoth pilgrims and adventure seekers would now experience the joy of river rafting on Bhagirathi River near Harshil. This will open new avenues of tourism-related employment for local youth as well,&rdquo said Shri Satpal Maharaj, Hon&rsquoble Minister of Tourism, Irrigation, Culture, PWD, Government of Uttarakhand, while making the announcement.
For this purpose, UTDB has given approval to two rafting companies which have commenced river rafting in the valley. This will continue till June 30, 2023.
While expressing his enthusiasm for the announcement of river rafting in Harshil Valley, Colonel Ashwini Pundir, Additional Chief Executive Officer of UTDB commented, &ldquoThe introduction of river rafting in Harshil Valley is a significant milestone for Uttarakhand&rsquos tourism industry, providing a new and unique experience for visitors and boosting the local economy. The conditions for river rafting between Jangla & Jhala bridges are perfect, with Harshil Valley&rsquos stunning natural beauty.&rdquo
To protect the safety of all river rafting participants, the UTDB has made company registration necessary. This includes the presence of knowledgeable guides, trainee guides, rescue kayaks, and all necessary rafting equipment.
Other rafting firms and individuals are also expected to submit registration proposals, with a minimum need of two rafts and the appropriate equipment to prevent problems such as hypothermia. As part of the safety requirements, two rafts will always travel together or one raft and one safety kayak will travel together in one trip.
Shri Sachin Kurve, Secretary, UTDB said &ldquoUttarakhand has been famous for river rafting activities on the Ganga only. However, other rivers of the state too are endowed with immense potential in this matter."
UTDB had recently announced that Jadung, the first village from the Tibet border, an old border village in Uttarkashi, will be the next tourism destination in the state of Uttarakhand. Jadung is located close to Harsil, which is around 75 kilometres from Uttarkashi and is easily accessible by road. Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport is around 220 kilometres away.
About The Vibrant Village Programme
Under the &lsquoVibrant Villages Programme&rsquo, more than 2,500 villages in 46 blocks of 19 districts along the northern border in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and the Union Territory of Ladakh have been identified for comprehensive development. The targets under the project include connectivity with all-weather roads, drinking water, electricity (with a focus on solar and wind energy), mobile and internet connectivity, and building tourism hubs. The project will promote social entrepreneurship, and empower youth and women through skill development while leveraging the tourism potential of the areas. Under the first phase of the plan, 663 villages will be developed. As a pilot project, 17 villages (starting with Uttarakhand) near the border with China will be developed into tourism sites. Read more about it here.