The 6th Mahanadi River Rafting Expedition, which was undertaken by 22 youths, reached Paradip, the final destination, on Friday. Organised by State Sports and Youth Service Department, the 486 km-long expedition commenced from Sambalpur earlier on August 2.
Rabindra Bhuyan, the leader of the expedition team and director of Odisha Chapter of National Adventure Foundation, said: “We chose Mahanadi because it is the longest river in State and touches almost every riverside village of six districts.”
This year 10 girls in the age group of 18 to 25 joined the expedition in two boats.
Deepika Kundu, a rafter, said more girls from all over the State are coming forward to participate in such events for the last three-four years.
“It was encouraging to see so many villagers including schoolchildren receive us at many riverside villages,” said Jagadish Mahalik, a rafter.
During the course, the rafters had to sail through torrential rain and bad weather. “Along with the rain we faced the challenging rapids in the river. Mahanadi has the potential to become the hottest tourist destination for rafting,” said Sarojini Das of Kendrapara.
“The enthusiasm of youth, especially girls, enormously boosts adventure sport in the State,” said Paradip ADM Surjit Das.