Paddling in Meghalaya

Paddling in Meghalaya | Author: Andi Brunner, S2S Pro Team

This year I went to Meghalaya in India to the Megha Kayak Festival went there. The logistics there are simple, the festival site at the "Whitewater Village" is about 3 hours by car from Guwahati airport.

The festival lasts a total of 3 days. The race track is right next to the camp, so logistically it's really easy, especially because you can also get food and drink at the camp.
At the festival there's a time race and a boatercross. The atmosphere was good and everything was pleasant, relaxed and well organized.

Meghalaya Road Trip

After the festival, we took off on a 10-day road trip to paddle 6 different rivers. The car rides in Meghalaya are relatively long and quite bumpy, but you have drivers there and therefore don't have to expose yourself to the Indian traffic stress - except that you are constantly exposed to a horn frequency that my heart wouldn't keep up with even during my sprint workouts.


Our first river was the Umtruh, a totally beautiful river that can be done in one day. The Umtruh is one of the classics because it's easy logistically and whitewater-wise. At the beginning and end you paddle a lot of flat water, but in between really cool continuous read-and-run with a few bigger spots to visit.

Krih Bla

After that we went on to the Krih Bla. We did that one in one day, too, although it usually takes
two days. We were quickly on the way and still took 7 hours. It has many beautiful steps and drop and pool character.


The next river was our first descent on the Umiam. For the fact that it was a First Descent, it was pretty relaxed. Hardly any portages, one way to the entry, the road at the exit. Really cool route, definitely a new classic. Only with the water level you have to watch out, with too much one of the canyons is probably quickly times unrideable or mega stout, because of the boxed-in drops.

Kopili & Lower Kynshi

After that we went to Kopili , another one day classic with drop and pool style. Blue water and big water rapids. Then to Lower Kynshi, one of the hardest sections we did. You don't want too much water there either because of the gorge. You have quite a bit of flat water to paddle in, then about 6 km of quite heavy whitewater and then flat water again at the end. We have divided the route over two days.


Finally we paddled the Rymbai , which only runs when it rains. The Rymbai has many bedrock slides and is reminiscent of the Store Ula in Norway.

Flora and fauna

The rivers in Meghalaya are mostly very far away from everything. But the landscape is really cool! Big gorges in the middle of the Indian jungle. The animals are just a bit scary. Spiders, snakes, leeches, and apparently there are also tigers and elephants - but we haven't seen any. The water is warm and so is the air, so pleasant for the Multidays. At the beginning of our trip was still monsoon and it has brutalst geschifft. Towards the end it was drier and no longer so hot and humid, about 25 degrees with blue sky and warm water, pretty awesome

River information

The streams in Meghalaya are all still very unexplored, because not too many groups have been there exploring. The guide book "Meghalaya Rivers" by Joe and Dan Rea-Dickens is definitely very important to have. It is extremely helpful to plan everything in advance and helps a lot on site to find the entrances and exits.

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