Sunkoshi river is a part of the Sapta Koshi river system, a group of seven big rivers in the eastern region of Nepal. The eastward flow of the Sunkoshi passes through the beautiful valley between Mahabharat Lekh range and Himalayas. The originating point of Sunkoshi is Tibet, the autonomous region of China. It get its big shape when Bhote Koshi joins it at Barbesi. The rafting trip generally starts from Dolalghat.
One of the significance of Sunkoshi River is that the journey will start from easy point and gradually goes on increasing in difficulty. It is progressively harder when you descend but will provide time to learn rafting skills, especially for the beginners. It will provide you an interesting experience when you continue rafting rapids lower down the river.
Day 1: Drive to Dolalghat, Rafting begins
On the first day we will drive to Dolalghat. It is a small town that lies in Kavrepalanchok district, east of Kathmandu. It takes about 1.5 hour to reach Dolalghat which is 60 km from Kathmandu. Just one kilometer from Dolalghat lies the confluence of Sunkoshi and Indrawati rivers. We will start rafting near this point and continue until we reach Dovantar. The day will end at a camp near Dovantar.
Day 2: Rafting to Tribeni
The second day of rafting starts in the morning after we have breakfast near Dovantar. The full day rafting will be more adventurous and eventful. There will be few class 3 and class 4 rapids on this day which will be challenging to tackle. Our adventure will continue until we reach another confluence where Tamakoshi meets the Sunkoshi river making it even bigger. This place is called Tribeni. We will get out of the water and rest on the beach by camping.
Day 3: Rafting to Likhu village
We will spend our day with exciting rafting on the Sunkoshi river that has got even bigger after Tamakoshi joined the flow. But that’s not all. Likhu khola joins the river today which makes rafting even more adventurous with more rapids of class 3 and class 4. The camp near Likhu village will be our resting place for the night.
Day 4: Likhu village to Raighat
Rafting on this day begins with few smaller class 3 rapids that won’t be much difficult to tackle after all these days of experience. From Likhu village, we move downstream comfortably until we reach Harkapur. There we have to face a couple of bigger and harder rapids. We will experience the real adventure by rafting until we get to Rai Ghat. The day will end at a camp there.
day 5: Comfortable rafting to Ranitar
On this day of rafting, we will collect more wonderful experiences as we move down from Rai Ghat. Dudhkoshi, another river in the Saptakoshi river system adds with a huge flow of water to already big Sunkoshi. The day is comparatively easier with several mild rapids. We can stop few times during the day for taking food and rest. We will take full rest only after reaching Ranitar. We will spend overnight at a camp.
Day 6: Tough rapids
After an easy day, here comes a difficult one. There will be several rapids of class 4 and the day will be full of excitement. We will get much needed rest during the breaks without which it will be difficult to continue. The tiring day will end near Baraha Chhetra. You will give rest to your exhausted body in the tented camps.
Day 7: Easy day
After a tiresome day, it will be good to know that the day will be relatively easier with no difficult rapids. We will sail on the raft boat floating over the wide Sunkoshi river. You can even try out kayaking in a safe part of the river. By the evening, we will reach another place called Triveni. The confluences where three rivers meet are usually called Triveni while those with two rivers are called Dovan. In the evening, we will enjoy near the beach by camping.
Day 8: Rafting ends
This is the last day of rafting. There will be pretty tough rapids of class 4 as Arun and Tamor rivers join to form the widest river of Nepal, Koshi. We are now entering Terai lowlands, flat and fertile. Our rafting will end at Chattra. After completing the rafting trip we will drive for an hour to reach Biratnagar and from there we will fly back to Kathmandu. The flight will take 50 minutes until we land in Kathmandu. This will be the end of our trip.
3 star hotels in Kathmandu will be provided and in days during the trek you will have standard tea houses as accommodations. Rooms will be on twin sharing basis and you will be charged extra if you need a single room. Cases may be different for solo travelers and odd numbered groups or genetically different peoples travelling together. Standard teahouses will be provided during the trip days.
During a Tea House trek you will usually have breakfast and dinner in the Tea House, lunch will be eaten at one of the trail side restaurants. Every Tea House serves the traditional Nepali meal Dal Bhat (rice and lentils), as well as a variety of different food items, such as rice, vegetables, noodles, potatoes and soup. Some have Nepali versions of western food such as pizza, pasta and French fries. Soft drinks, snacks and beer are available in most of the Tea Houses and trail side restaurants. And of course Nepali milk tea is served everywhere.
The best seasons to join this trek are autumn and spring. The weather is clear and views are breathtaking. Winter obviously is a good choice but you need to withstand strong colds. Summer or Monsoon will be affected by rainfalls but a good choice if you are into botany.