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Chapter VIII

History Of Kayaking

The mind of a human being is complex and far more advanced than any species found on the Earth. It has the power to invent and conjugate to find perfect solutions to onerous issues. What started thousands of years ago by the indigenous people of the Arctic regions to hunt and fish has now turned kayaking into a popular international watersport featured in the Olympics. Rolling back to the past, in the pursuit of hunting animals close to the shoreline, the Inuits, arduously put together driftwood and skeleton of the whale and dressed it up in sealskin to toughen it up. These seaworthy hunter boats helped them slink close to the animals to hunt them for food.


Fancied by the concept, the Europeans adopted the kayak to kill otters that were native to Eurasia. With the passage of time, kayaks came to be used in sports in Germany and France. Today we use wooden, fibreglass, rotomolded, thermoform and inflatables or folding kayaks. Their popularity continues to rise and they are being used for fishing, diving, ecotourism or adventure enthusiasts who love whitewater kayaking.

Kayaking And River Rafting In India

Kayaking has been gaining momentum in recent years. It has undoubtedly become one of the most popular adventure sports in India. The following are the five top destinations that you must head to enjoy the kayaking experience:


For one who wants the meditative experience in the waters, kayaking provides a zen-like experience. One can paddle away in the shimmering backwaters of Kerala with the gentle swoosh of the paddle for company. Explore the untainted beauty of quaint canals and lagoons around the backwaters. Watch the everyday life of the people who live by these canals. Take a moment to stop and smell a flower on the bank or capture a picture of the lovely birds you’ll see – the Cormorant cuckoo, egret, water ducks and the migratory Siberian cranes – something that you will miss if in a houseboat. the surreal backwaters of Kerala.



The adventure buffs are loving Kayaking in Goa. The vast Arabian Sea and numerous rivers that cross the state make it ideal to partake this activity. Bambolim Beach is an idyllic place to get started. Enjoy the morning glory of gleaming sunshine as you embark on your journey. Glide into your sit-on-top kayak, settle comfortably with your paddle, and head straight into the sparkling waters of the Arabian Sea. Cruise through the waves and soak in your surroundings – watch fishermen hunt fish with traditional nets, the stretch of golden sand interspersed with rocky outcroppings, and the cerulean waters of the Arabian Sea. At another time, move to another remote beach in Calangute, Margao, Candolim or Nerul Bridge. Live in the moment forgetting all the worries of life. A moment like this must be cherished to the fullest.



Sandwiched between the Karakoram to the north and the Himalayas to the south, the Zanskar Gorge is for the experienced and one with a good standard of fitness. Summer expeditions are organised and kayaking is done on the whitewater from grade II-IV for as long as six hours at altitudes of more than 3500 m. Therefore, holding experience in multi-day expeditions is advisable. While you ride the gnarly rapids do not forget to gaze at the beautiful colours of the rocks, the gompas perched on hilltops and the surrounding canyon walls.



The 12 km trail advents at the Brahmapuri and ends at Rishikesh ghat offering the bumps and ride amidst the fluvial tides of the holy waters of the River Ganges. Once you get your strokes of paddling right and some experience at hand, you can decide whether you’re ready for an easy challenge or an arduous one. To make the adventure more interesting you can club it with an overnight camping experience. Spend the night beneath a star-studded blanket of darkness with a delectable BBQ dinner to satiate your hunger pangs and the soft notes of music playing somewhere to lull you in deep slumber later.



Embark on an exhilarating expedition on the great Brahmaputra River. The adrenalin-gushing white-water rafting and kayaking offer an experience of a lifetime as you pass through rampant tropical forests, picturesque, wild gorges and the true bliss of nature. Get the goosebumps as you face a series of rapids including grade 4 ‘Toothfairy’, ‘Hairy Hari’ and Broken Oar’. Want to make the experience a next level higher? Camp in the remote wilderness and interact with the tribals and gain insights about their lifestyle.

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