The Grand India Project

by morgan-arnaud
Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Morgan Arnaud and Val Bernard head to India to kayak in the Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh area.
Morgan Arnaud
by Morgan Arnaud

Morgan’s thirst for river exploration and finding the perfect run leads him on adventures all over the world

Located in the Northeast of India between, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Tibet, extend the mountain of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. This area is one of the rainiest places in the world. It’s also India’s area with the most gradient.

After 2 planes, 56 hours of train, we arrive ready to paddle some of the most fantastic rivers in the world. This area was almost unknown for kayaking then an English team did the first step in 2014.

We arrive in Bombay without our kayaks… No worries, they are sending them to Guwahati in 2-3 days, which is perfect as now we can travel the 2500 km between Bombay to Guwahati with a local train. We arrive to Shillong check point with a mass of kayakers!!! Among us is an English team, Australian, Austrian, Irish guys. Everybody is ready to paddle.

We started in the Meghalaya region with Um Threw, a perfect day run composed of long slides, waterfalls and nice rapids. The warm up is done and it’s time for the first descents. We are ready to kayak 2 tributaries of the Kenshi river: the Wah Blei and the Riwang.

These rivers were awesome; we spent 2-3 days on each river for to discover class IV boulder garden between class V huge rapids with waterfalls and slides here and there, a few portages and massive syphon.

We return to Shillong to run the Kopili with clean and clear water. We continue our adventure on the Kenshi river, which for me was the best one of this area for sure! 3 days of pure happiness on the water. It’s very spectacular; numerous rapids and clean waterfalls (except one) characterizes this river.

Next region, Arundachal Pradesh. This area is near the china border so the rivers are coming from the Tibetan plateau, some thousand miles away. It’s a mission for paddling over there because we need a permit, a driver and lot of patience!! Patience because the rivers are very far and the roads are
deteriorated. But it’s worth it, and once you start paddling you forget all that, I promise! The water color is similar to the Brandseth but not the volume… We paddled the Lohit, Syang and Dipang rivers; it’s not lot of rivers but the potential is limitless.

A point on the culture and civilization - At first it was hard to get use to all the people everywhere. Too many people and everybody shoulder to shoulder. But when you speak with them, you come to understand that it’s just like this here in India. We met lots of local people and they are always friendly and