Kayaking at River Shambhavi
Although I have spent over a decade at our home base Mantra Surf Club which is situated on the banks of River Shambhavi, I never really went out exploring the backwaters of River Shambhavi which originates at Western Ghats, Kudremukh and flows down for about 60 km before joining the Arabian Sea, making it one of the smallest rivers in the area but laden with plenty of beauty and life.
When Sushant, a friend who operates Kayak tours in Mulki (https://kayakboy.in/) at River Shyambhavi asked me to join him on a day-long 30km paddling, I hesitantly agreed since I am mostly inclined towards surfing while I am in Mulki rather than any other activity. On the day of the expedition, we were a group of seven with three of us in a large canoe and the rest of them in double kayaks. We were also hosting Sharanya Iyer, a travel blogger who was collaborating with Mantra to experinece surfing and other activities.
Sushant normally conducts 30 km paddling over a course of 2 days but we managed it in a single day of 11 hours of straight paddling with occasional stops for snacks, lunch only. Hence, it was pretty brutal on all of us but I felt it was definitely worth the effort. Kayaking in Karnataka is still yet to take off in a big way, although the state offers plenty of amazing water bodies for both recreational kayaking and white-water kayaking during monsoons. The inaugural Kali Kayak Festival was a huge success in Karnataka last year.