Air Marshal HB Rajaram, today flagged in the ‘IAF Aqua Scullers” on the successful completion of their white water rafting expedition on the Ganges from Gangotri (at an altitude of 3,049 mtrs) to Ganga Sagar in West Bengal.
River Ganges is known to be one of the most challenging rivers in the world for White Water rafting. The Himalayan portion of the river from Gangotri (at 3,049 mtrs) to Haridwar (at 295 mtrs) is considered one of the most treacherous white water stretches in the world, with forceful Grade IV & V rapids. The sheer drop in elevation is also an extreme challenge. Beyond Haridwar, the river flows relatively calmly through the plains with lower grade rapids, These challenges were overcome by the “IAF Aqua Scullers” in a record time of 16 days.
This expedition is the first and the most unique of its kind ever undertaken by the Indian Armed Forces, considering the magnitude of extreme adventure and enormous challenges along the course.
During the expedition, the rafting team “IAF Aqua Scullers” lead by Wg Cdr Paramvir Singh has set some extraordinary milestones :
(a) Longest Rafting expedition ever in India – covering over 3000 Kms.
(b) Shortest duration ever taken to raft down the entire length of Ganga. The IAF expedition took 16 days with larger distance traversed while the ITBP expedition took 53 days.
(c) First among the Indian Armed forces to have accomplished such a feat in Rafting.
(d) Longest non – stop rafting at a stretch in a single day. On 23 Oct 13, the team rafted continuously for 15 hrs from Jalalpur (near Garmukteshwar) to Rajghat (near Anupshahar) in Uttar Pradesh.
(e) Longest distance covered by a raft in a single day. On 03 Nov 13, over 300 Kms were covered from Ramakantapura iron bridge to Barrackpore in West Bengal.