Rafting on Indus and Zanskar River

The white water Indus has rapids generally of I and II grades and at some places, has grade III to even V rapids. The popular rafting points are from Phey to Nimo and also from Upshi to Kharu or from Upshi to Nimo. The other points run from Phey to Saspol or Phey to the Indus - Zanskar confluence at Nimo and from Nimo to the historical monastic enclave of Alchi, about 75 Kms west of Leh. Experienced rafters may also want to try the more challenging route between Alchi and Khaltse, which takes in the kilometre long series of rapids at Nurla. Easier runs include the run between Hemis (40km south of Leh) situated along a road crossing the Indus and Choglamsar, which is a three-hour trip that goes through quiet, calm waters, and passes through the riverside villages of Stakna, Shey and Thiksey (25km south-east of Leh), before ending at Choglamsar, just short of Leh city.


    The most difficult but exciting option for river running is on the Zanskar along its spectacular course through the gorge in the Zanskar mountains, between Padum and Nimo. This is suitable only for well organized white-water expedition, prepared for several days of river running and camping in absolute wilderness. Participants are required to be trained rafters themselves while the arrangements should be assigned to a dependable professional agency.

  • Phey - Nimo Route
  • This route consist mostly of Grade II or III easy rapids is that it passes through astoundingly beautiful mountains, many of them with tiny hamlets and imposing old monasteries nestling among the valleys. Starting from Phey Village, about 12 Kms from Leh and ends Indus - Zanskar confluence at Nimo, about 36 kms from Leh.

  • Upshi - Kharu Route
  • This route is somewhat long as compare to the Phey-Nimo, but not too difficult. The stretch between Upshi and Kharu consists of I and II rapids, although there are some grade III rapids too. The starting point is at Upshi, about 90 Kms South east of Leh, along the road which leads south to Manali. From Upshi, the river makes its way westwards to Kharu, along the road to Leh.

  • Phey - Saspol Route
  • This rafting trip starts from Phey, about 8 kms south of Leh and its end at Saspol, on Leh-Srinagar Highway, near Alchi. This route is short and relaxed enough to enjoy the breathtaking view of landscapes and beauty of tiny hamlets on the both side of Indus.

  • Kharu - Spituk Route
  • It starts from Kharu, about 45 Kms South-East of Leh and ends at Spituk, just short of Leh. This route is specially recommended for the beginners and amateurs.

  • Saspol – Khaltse Route
  • If you are experienced rafters, you may try the more challenging route between Saspol and Khaltse, which has kilometre long series of rapids at Nurla. The rafting will finish at Khaltse 90 Kilometres from Leh.

  • Other charges are as under:

    No. Sector Price with LTR Price Only LR Price Only R Time Grade
    1 Chilling to Sangam Rs. 1800 Rs. 1500 Rs. 1400 3 hrs III+
    2 Schorpochay to Sangam Rs. 1500 Rs. 1200 Rs. 1100 1 ½ hrs II+
    3 Tsogsti to Sangam Rs. 1000 Rs. 800 Rs. 700 1 hrs I+
    4 Stakna to Choklamsar Rs. 1500 Rs. 1300 Rs. 1200 2 ½ hrs II+
    5 Choklamsar to Phay Rs. 1000 Rs. 800 Rs. 700 1 ½ hrs I+
    6 Phay to Sangam Rs. 1500 Rs. 1300 Rs. 1200 2 ½ hrs II+
    7 Sangam to Alchi Rs. 3000 Rs. 2500 Rs. 2400 2 hrs III+

    LTR = Lunch Transport & Rafting | LR = Lunch & Rafting | R= Rafting

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Rafting Operators in Leh

  • There are several Travel Agents around Leh Market offering white water rafting on the Indus River and Zanskar River. The charge from Phey to Nimo rafting is Rs.1500 per person including transport, raft and Lunch. Other Rafting expeditions from Zanskar organized on demand and the cost depends on number of person and rafting points.


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