10 River Side Holiday Destinations in India

India is the land of plenty, and for sure there are plenty of rivers in the country. When planning your next holiday, perhaps you should consider taking your family for a fun and adventure filled holiday near some of the great rivers of the country. Here are some top destinations from our list:

The Kundalika River in Mumbai is a popular campsite and a great place for white river rafting. Photo from Flickr

Kundalika: the Kundalika River in Mumbai is a popular campsite and a great place for white river rafting. This river side destination has gained a lot of popularity in the last decade. The water in the area is controlled by the dam and when the dam releases water in the early morning, it creates beautiful rapids ideal for rafting.

Agumbe: the banks of Sitanadi near Agumbe in Karnataka make for a great holiday destination. You can enjoy a great holiday here and travel to some of the other popular sites such as Kolar and Nandi. Agumbe itself is known as Cherrapunji of the south. The area receives heavy rainfall and offers access to some of the lush rainforests of the Western Ghats.

Mukambika Sanctuary: the sanctuary is covered with thick evergreen and deciduous forests and is teeming with wildlife. The river Varahi runs through the sanctuary and you can go kayaking as well. You can also visit the Sharavati Wildlife Sanctuary which is right along the Mukambika sanctuary’s border in Udupi district.

Sindhu Ghat: the Sindhu Ghat at the banks of river Indus in Ladakh is a great destination. The Choglamsar village at the banks of the river offers home stays and home cooked meals to travelers. You can pitch a tent on the banks or check into one of the home stay options. There are a lot of adventure sports and trekking options in the area. Do not miss the annual Sindhu festival here.

Odi Thach: a popular trekking destination on the banks of river Parvati in Himachal Pradesh. This is a beautiful meadow that passes through the famous Pandu Bridge made from a single rock. Legend has it that the Pandavas erected the bridge to cross the river during their exile in the Himalayas. You can also trek to Mantalai lake, another gorgeous water body and a great place for a relaxing picnic.

Dhankar: this high altitude destination on the banks of the Spiti river is a great destination for seasoned trekkers and adventure travelers. This destination lies on the Tabo – Poh circuit and is frequented by mountaineers. This is a moderately challenging trek but not advisable for those who do not have much experience in trekking.

Rishikesh: no list of riverside holiday destinations could be complete without the mention of Rishikesh. This is a great place for those who want to try out white water rafting. However, if you are not in the mood for that, you can always relax on the beach like banks of the river and catch a great treat at the famous German bakery in the area.

Jim Corbett National Park: on the banks of the Ramganga River, this beautiful national park and wildlife sanctuary is home to a lot of different species of plants and animals. The national park is best known for being home to the largest number of tigers. There are a number of resorts and campsites on the banks of the river. You can opt for either budget or luxury accommodation options. Nainital is also a drivable distance from the area so you can make a fun weekend out of this trip.

Pakshipathalam: this beautiful stone cave in Wayanad district of Kerala is a great destination for families. The place offers great options for trekking. Kuruvadweep, a small river island is also very close from here and you can take a ferry to visit the beautiful island. Pakshipathalam makes for a picturesque and relaxing holiday.

Manali: though Manali is a very popular tourist destination, there is no denying that it has a certain charm to it. You can enjoy a great vacation with your family here. Spend some time by the banks of river Beas and take a walk through the beautiful Deodhar forests. There is lot to shop in the old Manali area and the accommodation options range from the really cheap to the really expensive five star ones.


I started my career as a research and documentation associate with the Azim Premji Foundation and went on to lead several development programs with various NGOs in Delhi. I have had the pleasure of being a part of the 14 member National Knowledge Commission’s Workshop for producing recommendations on Education Reforms for the Government of India. I was also part of a 40 member nationwide team that developed and presented proposals for the inclusion of Design and Innovation in school curriculum to the National Knowledge Commission and Ministry of Human Resource Development. I was also the editor and chief contributor to a bi-monthly publication known as Student First. I currently reside in Delhi and spend my time traveling and writing about my travel experiences.


  1. Resham Virk says:

    Nice assimilation of destinations. Spiti valley which is nourished by Spiti River in Himachal pradesh can also be explored.

  2. Karen Land says:

    All these places are new to me except Rishikesh, I though that Rishikesh is a holy place for Hindus to visit , is it a holiday destination too?

  3. Nice list of River Side Holiday Destinations in India, I didn’t visit to any of these places, hope to visit at least to one or two soon.

  4. Neha Jhingon says:

    Hi Karen, Rishikesh is a religious destination, but it is also an upcoming hub for adventure sports such as rick climbing, rappling, river crossing and white water rafting.

  5. Kundalika is on my list and I will explore it soon as I am in Mumbai, it is really a good article for me as I did not know earlier about this river and rafting option in it.

  6. Kumar Sonu says:

    There are various world class Spas situated close to Rishikesh. Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedanta with contemporary international therapies are used for rejuvenation. Rishikesh also offers white water rafting. The Ganga slows down at Rishikesh before bursting into the white water rapids when it descends into the plains.

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