Difficulty in Oct:
River Days :
From Kathmandu:
Av. Gradient:
Volume in Nov:
Best Season: 
19 km / 12 m
2 days
2 days
Late October / Early November

Just upstream of the classic Buhlbule put-in for the Upper Marshyandi lies this relatively unexplored canyonland. Prepare for a slow descent and a fair bit of scouting; two short river days make for a pleasant descent to Buhlbule. Steep and powerful, this run makes a great mini-expedition for an experienced group. Advance scouting is advised between Syange and Jagat, due to two recommended portages.

Day 1: Jagat to Syange
From the put-in just upstream of Jagat, the river takes a couple of minutes to ramp up before entering a committing box canyon. Portages are impossible in this section, but the clean, class 4+ rapids are among the best on the river. Difficulty increases as you as you emerge from the box canyon and approach the first portage. Look out for a cliff face overlooking a cave-eddy on river right where the river turns to the left (see photo, above). Lots of undercuts to admire here, also an abundance of stinging nettles: long pants are recommended. Portage on the right.

Jamie Wright on the Upper Marshyandi above Syange

Jamie Wright on the Upper Marshyandi above Syange

Downstream, read-and-run rapids and maybe some scouting will bring you to the second portage. As you come around the bend, the river is split by a long sandbar. Portaging is impossible on river left, so take the right channel to scout and portage on river right, where there is a big eddy upstream of the river-wide pour-over and terminal hole. This portage is less strenuous than the first, with easy road access.

The final significant rapid is just upstream of Syange (a walking bridge across the river marks the spot). The line is left of the big boulder in the center of the channel.


Day 2: Syange to Bhulbule
Nothing on day two is quite as intimidating as day one. Read-and-run, scouting, and a couple potential portages will bring you to the small lake upstream of the dam construction site. Stay on your toes after portaging around the dam, but it’s read-and-run from here to Buhlbule.

Local bus from Kathmandu or Pokhara to Besishahar or Buhlbule. Here, you will need to hire a jeep to Jagat (the bus park in Buhlbule may be your best bet). 

As the water drops through November, it is possible to go higher and higher upriver. Jagat provides a convenient starting point for those looking for an extra challenge. The run difficulty and steep canyon walls could warrant a scouting hike before putting on. We were happy we did it and identified two portages to look out for on our way down. 

Syange is a convenient stopping point on the first day. We spent the previous night there as well, and headed upstream by jeep in the morning without our things so that we could run the upper section with minimal weight in our boats.


river updated in 2015 by: Zuzana Montagne