Pramod Magar has been Kayaking for over 10 years, is India's one of the finest Kayaker and currently in Germany training himself for the next season of Ganga Kayak Festival (GKF) which is going to happen in Devprayaga from 17-19 February 2020. Devaprayaga is the sacred place where two visible heavenly rivers, Alakananda and Bhagirathi merges to form the holy Ganga.
"Growing up in a small town/village called Shivpuri which is right next to Ganga river and close to Rishikesh have always made me feel satisfied as I was next to Ganga."
Talking about 10 days challenge with Pramod Magar, which he finished last day. This 10 days paddling challenge is a game that we were playing among all our kayaking friends. It works like once you get into the challenge you nominate a kayaker friend. If you accept the challenge, then you start posting a photo of a moment in your kayaking life which has impacted you each day over the period of ten days but without a single explanation. For every person, it can be different. For me posting photos are about achievements in kayaking, some first descents, running over some rivers or waterfalls for the first time.
I grew up in Shivpuri which is also a starting point for rafting trips down the Ganga river to Rishikesh, so as a small kid I would always go to the starting point and see other people going rafting and kayakers doing flipping or some stunts and after some time I met a friend who took me for rafting the first time and let me sit in a kayak and from that moment onward it became my biggest passion in life.
"Back then I didn’t know that what they use for kayaking are called kayaks so we used to call it kashti."
"I am one of the few lucky persons in this world who has picked up his passion as his profession. I am a professional safety kayaker, kayak instructor and rafting guide in Iceland, India and Nepal."
Following your dream to become an outdoor guide and an athlete in India is always a challenge as you are mostly on your own and people might not always understand, as in India there is a mentality that you study and work and ideally become an engineer, IT person or a doctor. For me, from the very first moment when I got to kayak, I knew that this is my aim. This is what I want to die for. I wanted to become a great kayaker. I have to say that I had been lucky in many ways, beginning with my family and friends who have always been supporting me. The best think I could express is that I never needed money from my family but instead started supporting them at an early age. Also I had been one of the lucky guides to get a chance to work in Europe. And of course, the river Ganga gave me everything to become what I am today.
“ The best part is when you get to be in your kayak! Travelling to new beautiful places and running into new rivers, participating in competitions, meeting other kayakers, pushing your limits to a maximum, adrenaline kicking in while going down new waterfalls.”
Pramod says that this picture is pretty special for him as this was taken by his dear friend after he had run one of the hardest waterfall in Iceland and most important being the first Asian to run over it. This waterfall is called Aldeyjarfoss .
I had been kayaking rivers in India (rivers all over India, from Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh in North to Kerala in Southern India), Nepal and Europe (Iceland, Germany and Spain). I just want to keep Kayaking and never stop. Legends like Shalabh Ghalaut from Indian and Anup Gurung from Nepal have always been my inspiration.
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If you know any Indian person who is breaking barriers in extreme and adventure sports, then write to us. We would love to let people know about them and inspire others.
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