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On this page the expedition comes together. Click the links to scroll to the relevant section:

Blog posts Paddling log sheet Water test results Background Supporters
You can click here to see some photographs from the expedition.

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A Slow Boat Down the Ganges

The Blog

Here is a grid of the blogs featuring articles on each day's status and progress.

And it is a wrap

Jan 10, The Final Push Down the Ganges

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 63 Today was a watershed day. The final push to Calcutta to end what...
House of Jagat Seth

Jan 08, Jewel in the British Crown

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 62 Murshid Quli Khan, the Diwan of Bengal under Aurangzeb transferred the capital from...
The Farakka Barrage

Jan 07, Goodbye Holy Ganges

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 61 One extra day at Farakka was called for. I have been to Farakka...
All this paddling has developed many muscles

Jan 05, Paddling to the land of my birth

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 60 We were in what is unkindly called the badlands of Bihar. Yes, these...
Lots of locals to lend a helping hand

Jan 02, 2019, On to Munger

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 59 We woke up to the renewed hospitality of the Sharma brothers. It was...
I renamed this place Pottyfull Ghat

Jan 01, 2019, Pottyfull at Patipul Ghat

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 58 At the very outset let me wish everyone a very happy 2019. Today...
There are monks and nuns from all over the world

Dec 31, 2018, In search of enlightenment

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 57 After many years of being partial to the teachings of the Lord Buddha...
Calm river and following winds

Dec 30, 2018, Hop, Step and Jump to Patna

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 56 Needless to say, I slept like a log. Chandru and Raghu found a...
Crowd at Jau Vinayak Temple near Varanasi

Dec 28, 2018, Happy days are here again

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 55 Cracked rib, busted car, a couple of weddings, celebrations of a wedding conducted...
Busted car

Dec 08, 2018, Stubborn as a mule

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 54 Dec 05 was our wedding anniversary. For people of my vintage, parties are...
Oct 02 - A few metres and thirsty already

Dec 04, 2018, It’s all about fresh water

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 53 A couple of decades ago, bottled water came to India. I was living...

Dec 01, 2018, Luxury, once again

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 52 There is a decision I have taken a few days ago, while in...
Sea Eagle skeg

Nov 28, 2018, To skeg or not to skeg

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 51 I am halfway down the river on A SLOW BOAT DOWN THE GANGES...
Prayer flags adorn the canoe

Nov 23, 2018, Let’s lose some weight

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 50 The rib does not seem to be cracked after all. It is awfully...
The birds look much better in reality than on a photo

Nov 16, 2018, Bye Varanasi, hello cracked rib

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 49 Babu Khan, the autorickshaw driver of yesterday offered to come with a four...

Log Sheet

See the progress of the expedition, how much I paddle in the day, where I reach, where I rest, etc. This gets populated as I go down the river every day, depending on internet connectivity, level of fatigue, etc.

Water Quality Test Results

The results of the water quality tests conducted through the day, and throughout the journey can be viewed in the table below. Scroll down to see more results. The data will start getting populated once I am back on the water on Oct 29.


A Brief Background

This is an awesome and exciting journey. A first for a canoe, and a first for me. This almost 2,500km will be the longest canoe journey by an Indian ... ever, with more than a few milestones that might be crossed along the way. It will be the first, and therefore the fastest descent of the Ganges in a canoe, the longest canoe journey by an Indian

Take a look at the video below to get an idea of the why behind this expedition, the gear that I will be carrying, and the route.

A look at the gear and equipment that will be carried during the journey...

The proposed route...

Let us collectively do our bit to save the Planet ... one river at a time...

A look at India's holiest, and one of the most polluted rivers in the world

People bathe in its waters, pay homage to their ancestors and to their Gods. On the journey home they carry back some water. When a loved one dies, Hindus bring the ashes of the deceased to the Ganges ... or cremate them on her banks. It provides water to about 40% of India's population across 5 states, serving an estimated population of 500 million people or more, which is larger than any other river in the world. The river flows through 29 cities with population over 100,000, 23 cities with population between 50,000 and 100,000, and about 48 other towns.

A large number of cities, tanneries, chemical plants, textile mills, distilleries, slaughterhouses and hospitals along the river contribute to the pollution by dumping untreated waste into it. Industrial effluents are about 12% of the total volume of effluent reaching the Ganges.

A study conducted by the National Cancer Registry Program under the Indian Council of Medical Research in 2012, suggested that "those living along its banks in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal are more prone to cancer than anywhere else in the country". Water in the Ganges has been correlated to contracting dysentery, cholera, hepatitis, as well as severe diarrhea which continues to be one of the leading causes of death of children in India.

The Ganges still has magical and mythical properties. But does that give us the right to keep abusing her, to continue to pollute her? What if she turns around one day and says, "That's enough, I've had it." It's time to go down the Ganges to save the river.

Watch a video to understand the scourge of plastic pollution.

We are raising awareness about pollution.

Zero SUP Expedition

If we stop throwing garbage indiscriminately, we will soon become the cleanest country in the world. Let each of us take the first step to make India clean. And then let each of us encourage others to take this pledge. Will we see a cleaner India and a purer Ganges immediately at the end of this expedition? Probably not. But a start has to be made and the first step has to come from us. Cynicism is easy, action a bit more difficult.

Take the pledge and encourage others as well. We will do so through this journey.

Homage to a martyr and a friend

Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja, VrC (P)This expedition gives us the opportunity to pay homage to Sqn Leader Ajay Ahuja, VrC (P). He is not only a braveheart who laid down his life for the country, but we from St Paul's School Kota, Rajasthan are proud to have been his classmates. This expedition is way to remember the sacrifice of Ajay and other men in uniform who have made the supreme sacrifice.

On 27 May 1999, as part of the Kargil operations, a photo reconnaissance mission was launched. A member of the mission, Flt Lt Nachiketa ejected from his MiG-27L after an engine flame-out. Sqn Ldr Ahuja stayed over enemy positions to help rescue attempts knowing about the existence of enemy surface-to-air missiles in the area. However, his MiG-21MF fighter was hit by a shoulder-fired FIM-92 Stinger. Ahuja gave a radio call, "Hercules, something has hit my plane, possibility of missile hit cannot be ruled out, I am ejecting over...(location)." Indian Air Force authorities lost track of his aircraft and all communications shortly afterward. A post-mortem examination conducted at the Srinagar Base Hospital claimed that Ahuja had landed safely after ejecting from his plane, but had been killed later by Pakistani soldiers.

We, the St Paul's School Old Boys Kota 1980, are proud of you Ajay. Rest in peace brother.

This effort is powered by

Dorf Ketal


Sea Eagle boats

in association with

Namami Gange

and graciously supported by

Good Living Organic

TruBlu water purifier

Plastic Free Coalition


A&S Creations

My sincere and heartfelt thanks and acknowledgements to some people who have helped put this expedition together:

Abhey Thareja, Aditya Pratap Singh, Amit Goenka, Anjan Lahiri, Anubhav Mittal, Banibrata Bhattacharya, Bhaskar DK, Chandrasekar S, Col Ashok Ghoshal, Col DM Ray, Col SPS Sandhu, Col Sudeep Bhattacharjee, Deepak Saha, Dhruv Dudeja, Dipesh Narayan Ray, E Theophilus, Hem Kolachina, Julian Crandall Hollick, Kamal Gupta, Maj Gen HK Singh, Maj Gen Somnath Jha, Manu Srivastava, Mark Palmer, Mohit Oberoi, Mohit Tiwari, Nitin Goel, Nungshi Malik, Partha Roy, Prabhu Roy, Pranab Chakraborty, Pranay Kumar, Priyadarshi Mitra, Ragu Thakur, Rajeev Das, Raj Silvano, Ram Jalan, Rana Rajesh, Sam, Sam Sidana, Sandeep Kohli, Sandra Palmer, Sanjay Bali, Sanjay Dhar, Sanjay Tiwari, Shilpika Gautam, Sidhartha Guha, Sudev Barar, Sumit Sabherwal, T Anil Kumar, Tara Bagaria, Tashi Malik.

I can never ever remember and document the hundreds of people I have met along the route who have made this journey so much more enjoyable. I will try and put down some of the names, but I regret that I will miss out on so many of them. My deepest apologies to anyone (and there will be many) whose names are missed.

Uttarakhand Police who escorted us to Balawali, the sadhu who lent his home at Balawali, the Village Pradhan at Mamipur and his family, Ashok Sharma (Garhmukteswar), Mahesh Kewat (Pooth), Gulfan the boatman who helped lug my boat across a sand bar, Munnu Singh (Chiyasar), the Village pradhan and her family at Chiyasar, Arvind Rajput (Chiyasar), the sadhu at Mehandipur ghat, Shubham Shukla (Gidaso), the sadhu and his wife (and the cows) at Gidaso, Maharaj Dev Giri (Gokuna Ghat), Arjun Mishra (Gokuna Ghat), Col SPS Sandhu, SM and the entire team of the Ganga Task Force, members of the Ganga Vichar Manch Allahabad, the wonderful villagers of Kanigada, Maya Sewak Nisar (Sitamarhi), Babu Khan the autorickshaw driver at Varanasi, Rahul who gave me permission to film at Manikarnika Ghat, Rajesh Nishad (Sarnath), Golu (Kaithi), and many many more people who I cannot even remember the names of.

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