The story behind “Daniel’s Dip” rapid on the Ganges.

Rafting on Ganges

Rafting on Ganges

The Ganges is a very popular ‘moderate rafting getaway’ up north, and it serves as a good introduction to rafting for both novices and moderately experienced outdoors persons. It is a must do for those who haven’t been there yet. Those of you who have rafted on the Ganges must be familiar with the “Daniel’s Dip” rapid, along with other popular ones like ‘The Wall’, ‘Three Blind Mice’, ‘Crossfire’, et al. A visitor on our website, while going through our rafting trips in India section, read about it and asked if we knew the story behind this particular rapid’s name. Here’s the story from our very experienced river guide, one of the pioneers of rafting in the country. A piece of history…

Whitewater rafting started in India in the mid – 80′s on the upper Ganges, introduced by the Americans where this adventure activity originated. The handful of Indian guides like myself who were trained then, were taught how to ‘oar -rig’ rafts down rivers. This was a style of rafting where the control of rafts was fully in the the oarsman’s hands. Soon enough the need to introduce a more team oriented type of rafting was felt and paddle rafting was introduced by Canadian river guides who were invited out to train the Indian oarsmen in this style of guiding in October 1985.  One such guide was Mark Daniel who came out from Ontario where he worked on the the Ottawa river, a popular whitewater river in eastern Canada. Of course in true whitewater tradition in welcoming fellow boatmen, young Mark was promptly whisked off to a nearby bar the moment his flight touched down. The rest is history – an 8 hour road journey to the Ganga followed the revelery, as the next morning there were a group of students from the AES school that were to raft down from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh. Jet lagged and hungover Mark was handed a paddle and shown his boat and enthusiastic student crew. Within the first couple of minutes from launching, his boat capsized in the first big rapid – you guessed it – thereafter named ‘Daniels Dip’ . Therafter Marks love story after mother Ganga first clasped him to her bosom continued for well over two decades. He endeared himself to all with his wonderful sense of humor and friendship and his name is forever embedded in whitewater folklore on the upper ganga in India.

If you have any such interesting story, please do share….

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