MEET OUR TEAM OF PROFESSIONAL RIVER GUIDES.
Languages spoken: Hindi, English
Favorite food while on the river: Shahi tukura
Anvesh Singh Thapa, Founder + owner + river guide
Anvesh has been rafting and kayaking throughout the world for the past 20 years, making him one of the most skilled and experienced river guides in India today. In past years, Anvesh has led numerous expedition-style trips, including opening the first commercial river trips on the Brahmaputra (post 2001 flood), Lohit, Kameng, and Saryu. He has also led expeditions internationally and is well-versed with the level of difficulty and excitement on rivers such as the Kaituna and Wairoa (New Zealand), Blue Nile (Ethiopia), Colorado, Green, and Salmon Rivers (USA) and the Stranda and Rundal (Norway). Today, you will find Anvesh actively engaged in the trips he runs. His passion and energy flow through every trip he guides.
Anvesh is currently a NOLS instructor, and is a certified Whitewater Rescue Technician-Advance (Rescue 3 International), Wilderness First Responder (WMI, 2017), Skills Active Senior National Raft Guide Grade IV/V (NZ), and ACA Kayak Instructor Level 4.
Languages spoken: English, a little Tamil, and she's working on her Hindi
Favorite food while on the river: Gajjar ka halwa
Ing-Marie Putka, owner + Communications
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, USA, Ing-Marie has felt fortunate to call India "home" since 2005. At Expeditions India, Ing-Marie uses her organization and communication skills to keep the office in order. But her favorite part of the job is finding ways to move Expeditions India in an even more eco-friendly direction. She sees tremendous potential in the river community being allies in the work of environmental protection! Ing-Marie is also a writer, experiential educator and outdoor enthusiast. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder (WMI, 2016).
Languages spoken: Nepali, Garhwali, Hindi, English
Favorite food on the river: Dal bhat and gajjar ka halwa
shivam gurung, River Guide
The latest addition to the Expeditions India team, Shivam has been rafting and kayaking since 2013. He frequently competes at river festivals and often makes it to the podium, with his most recent success as #2 overall at the Ladakh River Festival 2018. His physical strength is surpassed by his kindness; he has been known to loan his own sleeping bag out to clients who forgot theirs. Shivam holds certifications as a Raft Trip Leader and Safety Kayaker from the International Rafting Federation, Professional Whitewater Rescue Technician from Rescue 3 International, and in First Aid/CPR.
Languages spoken: Nepali, English, Hindi, Garhwali
Favorite food on the river: Dal bhat (“Dal bhat power, 24 hour!”)
Pramod Magar, River Guide + Kayak Instructor
On the river since 2010, Pramod Magar’s story of how kayaking transformed his life was featured on the BBC in March 2018. A passionate raft and kayak guide, Pramod was awarded “Overall Champion of the Ganga Kayak Festival 2016”. He's happiest when he is on the water and thrives in an environment where he can set high standards for himself and can work hard to achieve them. Freestyling is one of his favorite things, and as a friend said, “It’s like he was born in a boat!” Pramod holds certifications as an International Raft Guide, International Safety Kayaker, Whitewater Rescue Technician, and in First Aid.
Languages spoken: English, Hindi
Favourite food while on the river: Khichidi, peanut butter, dark chocolate, nuts
Vikram Joshi, River + mountain guide
With over 30 years of international guiding experience, "Vik" is a legendary veteran outdoorsman. You'll often find Vik out in front leading trips; he has led multiple first descents on Indian rivers since the 1980s. The only rival to Vik's river skills is his tremendous ability to weave a story around the campfire, enthralling young and old alike with tales of his adventures in kayaking, climbing, hiking and rafting. Ask Vik to tell you a story, and you won't be disappointed. Vik holds certifications in Swiftwater Rescue and First Aid.
Languages spoken: Nepali, Japanese, Hindi, English
Favorite food while on the river: Dal bhat
Bishnu Gurung, River Guide
Bishnu comes from a long line of Himalayan adventurers that hail from Nepal and has been running, organizing and leading trips on rivers throughout the Indian and the Nepalese Himalayas for most of his life. An experienced raft guide, safety kayaker and trip leader, Bishnu has honed his skills on descents of some of the toughest Himalayan rivers and has also worked as a raft and safety kayaker on rivers in India, Bhutan and Japan. Bishnu is a certified Whitewater Rescue Technician - Advance (Rescue 3 International), Wilderness First Responder (WMI, U.S.A.), and he has completed the Rock and Ice Basic and Advanced Courses through the Khumbu Climbing Center (KCC), Nepal.
Languages spoken: English
Favorite food while on the river: Vegetable soup
RON RASH, SUP GUIDE + INSTRUCTOR
Ron has been running rivers all over the world for 25 years. He has guided trips all over the American West, the Yukon in Canada, and in India in the Himalaya. Ron has descended the Colorado River, the Roaring Fork River, the Kali River, and the Ganges River in India. 5 years ago Ron tried Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPing) in Sayulita, Mexico and fell in love with the sport. He has taught SUPing to instructors with Ascendigo Autism Services and was responsible for teaching all progressions from beginner to expert. Ron loves to introduce people to the rivers/mountains and when not guiding for Expeditions India he can be found on the rivers with friends and his daughter, Megan.
Languages spoken: Garhwali, Hindi, English
Favorite food while on the river: Dal bhat
Avilash Bisht, River + Trek/Climb Guide
Avilash has been guiding mountain trips since 1997. He is a certified and accomplished mountaineer with a few 7000m-peak climbs under his hat. Certified with Search & Rescue (Nehru Institute of Mountaineering) and Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WMI, U.S.A.) Avilash is also a seasoned river guide. He has guided trips on most of the commercial multi-day river runs in India including the Zanskar, Ganga, Bhagirathi, Alaknanda, Tons, Sutlej and the Kali. Avilash brings with him years of wilderness experience and the zeal for it.
Languages spoken: Hindi, Nepali, English and a bit of Punjabi
Favorite food while on the river: Rajma and rice
Sanjay Saklani: Manager + Master Chef
Sanjay is a trained chef who is equally passionate about the kitchen and the outdoors. He started rafting and trekking in his youth, and later took his professional chef training in India. He has worked internationally in 5-star kitchens and is able to prepare multi-cuisine dishes out of his magic kitchen tent - sometimes with just bare essentials! Sanjay is also involved in planning and logistics, and he keeps both his team and the guests entertained with his fun-loving nature.