The Ladakh River Festival takes place on the Indus River (India) on August 19 to 20th 2017. This is the worlds highest kayaking competition.

Ladakh River Festival

Here in Ladakh we have amazing, world class whitewater kayaking – big rivers, huge rapids, cold water and all in an environment like nowhere else in the world.

However, so far only a handful of paddlers have made it here – to kayak on the roof of the world. Furthermore, there are only a few local guys paddling here in this whitewater paradise. The LRF aims to change that!

Ladakh River Festival

The main aim of the LRF is twofold:

To promote whitewater kayaking here in Ladakh to the international whitewater community.

To introduce and inspire the local young people of Ladakh to the sport of whitewater kayaking which will, in turn, offer them future job opportunities with rafting companies here in Ladakh and across wider India.

The inaugural LRF will take place on the 19-20th August, on the Lardo Rapid (Class IV/IV+) of the Indus River. The Indus is one of Asia’s most famous rivers, originating on Mount Kailash in Tibet, before flowing through Ladakh, into Pakistan before reaching the Arabian Sea. Running for 3610 km, the Indus is the national river of Pakistan and is the namesake of modern India. Furthermore, the Indus has been a draw for kayakers over many years and has seen relatively few (but still imfamous) descents.

The LRF will run as many modern kayaking festivals do, with four main categories:

Mass boater-X

and of course, the most important category – THE PARTY!.

There will be prizes for individual category winners, an overall winner; and an award for the best Indian paddler. Not only will the best Indian paddler take the national glory, they will also have the opportunity to compete at the 2018 Adidas Sickline competition! We are setting up a crowdfunding page at the website where we hope to be able to fully fund the kayaker to go to the competition. Not only will this help put Indian kayakers on the international paddling circuit but it will advertise the LRF and Ladakh to the international whitewater community further.

Joining us for the festival is easy! There are many flights to Leh via Delhi and getting boats to Leh is easy with Jet Airways. Alternatively you can travel overland by bus or share taxis from Delhi (48hrs). If you fly to Leh directly, you will need a minimum of two days to acclimatise as kayaking at 3500 m is tough!. The Lardo Rapid is approximately 70km from Leh and there will be shuttles provided to and from Leh – with camping opportunities close to the festival site.

As well, as the support from the Sickline team, we have sponsorship from PEAK UK who are providing four prize dry cags, as well as some local support in prize money. However, we are still looking for more support!! If you know of any potential sponsors, who would be willing to support this exciting new event, or if you would like any further information – please contact us at or visit our Facebook page: Ladakh River Festival. We hope to see you at the LRF – whether this year or next!