Tamur River Rafting

River Facts

Difficulty in Nov: Class 4 ( 4+)
From: Dobhan (Alt.635m)
To: Chatara (Alt.105m)
Distance: 131Km (82 miles)
River days: 4-6
From Kathmandu: 4 days or fly
Avg. gradient: 4m/km(20 ft a mile)
Volume in Nov: 150cms (5250cfs)
Best season: Oct-Nov, April


Probably the best combinations trip in Nepal- magnificent white water, a beautiful unspoilt valley, combined with one of the most scenic treks in Nepal.

The River

The Tamur and it’s tributaries drain the snows of Kanchenjunga, third highest peak in the world. The river is the sixth largest river in Nepal and seems to have a feeling of thrusting power and of being constrained by it’s valley sides.

Above Dobhan, the Tamur and it’s tributaries have a steep gradient and are probably only of interest to expedition kayakers. Down streams from Dobhan the gradient is more reasonable, but the river profile is unusual in that the river is steeper in the last 30 km before it’s confluence with the sun koshi. The kabeli river adds about a quarter to the volume of the river, but from here down there are no substantial tributaries.


The Tamur was on of those rivers which several people we spoke to had rafted but about which they were strangely reticent –“yes, a fine river” they would say but then change the subject. Well, in October 1991 I made a special visit to Nepal to run this river I can see why people were reticent about it –this is the kind of the river that you feel is too good to put in the guide boo, but should be reserved for a select few ! In 1998 after pressure from NARA the river was officially opened to commercial rafting and it has already built a reputation as a river for connoisseurs.

It has a lot of whitewater interest – on our trip down the river we counted about 130 rapids, in 120 km, but with lot’s of variety : an intense first two days of adrenaline, heart –thumping , rapids, then a mellow middle section with some ‘dog water’ finally a grand climax two days of liquid roller coaster. Cam MacLeay, comment perhaps gives a warning – we think you should be doubly careful when checking out the experience of your proposed rafting company. We would recommend this particularly as an exciting paddle trip for fit and active rafters looking for a second time trip. Note that it is difficult to forecast rivers flows on the Tamur, as the levels are so critical for rafting, in high conditions your company may choose to start a few kilometers below Dobhan.

Most rafting trips start ad Dobhan and from here it is usually a 6 day journey down to Chatra. When combined with a 4 day trek in from Basantpur , this makes a trio of a lifetime. This trek takes you along the top of a 3000 metre ridge through beautiful woods and meadows with magnificent views of Kanchenjunga, Makalu and the Everest Massif in the far distance.

River Map

Please click on map to have larger view.

Tamur River Rafting Map