Tons River Rafting

Tons River Rafting

If you have experience and courage then get ready to raft on India’s one of the wildest river Ton and get on a nerve wrecking ride of your life.

Rafting is an adrenaline gushing roller coaster journey on the white water of River Ton flowing through the western part of Himalayas. Considered as one of the most untamed and technical rivers of India, it gives you a lifetime experience of hard-core rafting amid the wilderness of Tons Valley. Beginning from Lunagad, it goes on till Tiuni including a drop of 78 kms just prior to Tiuni and then further, with only middle and lower section of Ton River applicable for the expedition. The rapids descend at an average rate of 32 ft. per kilometer at the middle ton, making it quite an exhaustive yet exhilarating affair. Rafting on one of the biggest tributaries of Yamuna River is definitely not for the first timers or novice.

TONS River Rafting Experience

The Tons River flows through Garhwal, the western part of the Himalayan state of Uttaranchal, bordering Himachal Pradesh. With its source in the 20,720 ft high Bandarpunch mountain, it is the biggest tributary of the Yamuna, and, in fact, carries more water than the Yamuna itself. The Tons valley lies in the JaunsarBawar region of Garhwal, a little-known area, unique in culture and history. Another name for Uttarakhand was Panchal desh, referring to the five Pandavas from the great Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Pandavas, and their rivals, the Kauravas, figure especially in the anthropology of the Tons valley, where the villagers actually claim to have descended from the two clans. Their social customs are very unlike the rest of conservative Garhwal. Polyandry, and to some extent, polygamy, are the normal practice.

A low to medium volume, Class IV River, the Tons was first run in 1980 by Jack Morison, followed by a commercial exploratory trip in 1986, which ran the entire length of the river. Since then, apart from a 15 km commercial section, the river has hardly ever been challenged. The main raft section is around Camp Lunagad, Aquaterra Adventures summer camp, near Mori village.

This adventure kicks off from our base camp on the Tons River, with familiarity gained on the 15-km-long commercial section of the upper Tons near Mori. A short overnight hike into the hills adjoining whets the appetite before we begin the 60 km expedition journey, down to Icchari, where the river is dammed.

Below Tiuni, we encounter Foreplay, Premature Ejaculation, a series of Class III+ rapids, followed by Afterglow, Channel Rapid, Pillow talk, Thrice Bitten, Deadly Dedsu before we reach the bridge at Atal, the village below which we camp on Day 01. Day 02 begins with several Class 3 rapids after which we flow into a gorge where we tackle the Lone Ranger, Three Musketeers, and the Roaring Bagni. We reach our campsite near Atal for the night, covering approx. 20 kms.

Below Atal, we paddle through a long gorge where we hear ample chatter of monkeys and the call of cuckoos. The land takes a more gentle and tropical rhythm from the upper, more alpine, valley near the base camp. Palm trees grow at the edge of cliffs and their roots drop 80 ft into the nourishing water of the Tons. The gorge opens out at the bridge near Minus and the river flows gently for the next 7 kms till we reach Major Surprise, the biggest rapid on the trip.

Major Surprise is followed by a series of big rapids before the river flattens out again near the dam at Icchari. The river section till Major Surprise is about 25 kms and depending onwhether it’s a portage of not, and the time at hand, we either camp there or continue to reach Icchari.

Grades in TONS River Rafting
  • Class I and II –The Tons River may have stretches with Class I and II rapids in its upper sections, particularly in the region near Mori. These sections are characterized by gentle and moderate rapids, making them suitable for beginners and families looking for a scenic and relaxed rafting experience.
  • Class III –Well-known for its Class III rapids in the middle sections, particularly in the area around Netwar and Purola. These sections offer an intermediate level of difficulty and excitement, with moderate rapids and obstacles that require some skill and maneuvering.
  • Class IV –The Tons River features Class IV rapids in its lower sections, mainly in the area around Damta and Yamuna Bridge. These sections provide advanced rafting experiences with powerful rapids, technical challenges, and turbulent water. Rafting on Class IV rapids of the Tons River demands experienced rafters who are comfortable with high-intensity adventure.
Things to Do and Carry

Things to Do:

  • Carry a compact first-aid kit just for safety.
  • Stretch before you go in for the activity, and always plan the raft distance in your package carefully.
  • If you are travelling with older people or children, find a suitable rafting stretch for them.

Things to Carry:

  • A compact first aid kit including medicines of importance.
  • Quick refreshments - energy drinks, energy bars, water bottles.
  • Bathing suits, shorts, river sandals, flip-flops, old sneakers.
  • Waterproof camera bag, fresh batteries, waterproof lens.
  • Plastic bags for carrying wet clothes and backpack with waterproof linings.
  • Warm clothes, jackets, raincoats, fleece jackets and thermals.
  • Hand gloves, trekking poles, trekking shoes and extra pair of socks.

One of the most fun filled Tons Valley camping is open for one and all. This camp can be attended by everyone, and families will love it! It contains rafting, small-scale trekking, camping among the mountains, exploring the thick Himalayan forests, and also camp fire on almost every night. Situated near Dehradun, the travel starts with an overnight train journey to Dehradun via Delhi. The Kedar kantha trek is one of the highlights of this adventure water sports in Tons Valley tour and brings out the beauty of the nature that your eyes will love.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to raft in Tons is from March to June and September to November. Avoid visiting during the months of heavy rainfall i.e., July and August. Make sure you pay attention to all the instructions carefully given by the guide. Also prefer to go for the activity in groups of 4, 6 or 8 as per the operator you choose. Non-swimmers are not allowed on the trip usually. Also make sure you have prior rafting experience before you indulge in the activity here.

How to Reach
  • By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun serves as the nearest airbase to the site of activity. It is connected to Delhi by daily flights and one can easily hire a cab from outside the airport to reach the base.
  • By Train: Rishikesh and Dehradun both serves as an option of the nearest railway station to the Ton Valley. One can take either Mussoorie Express or Shatabdi to reach the destination.
  • By Road: Bus services are easily available to Dehradun from Delhi and other neighbouring states. The distance from Delhi is about 200 kms and it takes around 5-7 hours to reach. From here, one can hire a cab or a bus for a hilly ride of 5-6 hours to reach the first point of rafting.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the best time to undertake river rafting in Tons?

The best time to raft in Tons is from March to June and September to November.

How to reach Tons for river rafting?

Tons can be reached via air, rail or road. If planning to reach by air, then the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport. If planning to reach via rail, then the railway stations at Dehradun and Rishikesh both serves the purpose. Bus services are also easily available to Dehradun.

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