By James Smith

In early 2014, a plan forged from late night messages and beer mat scribbles snowballed into the biggest and most rewarding expedition any of us had ever attempted. Over six months, members of the All-India Kayak Expedition opened up three new states, an entire mountain range and countless first descents. We paddled every possible style of river while kayaking India – from almost dry creek beds to one of the world’s biggest catchments. Traversing the country overland several times, we witnessed the huge range in culture, food and landscape as well as the stark contrast of glass skyscrapers and roadside slums. We faced Maoist militants, desperate rioters, fierce bureaucrats but far more often, people full of generosity who were eager to show us the beauty of their home.

India is the world’s hidden whitewater paradise – but not for long.


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