October 23, 2008

Garhwal: Rishikesh, the Yoga Capital of the World

Diagram borrowed and made over

After a captivating Morning Stroll in Haridwar of 3-4 kms, I was hungry but I wished to get away from the crowd to breakfast in quieter surroundings. So I hopped on a tuk-tuk (a jitney like contraption) to reach Rishikesh. The distance from Haridwar to Rishikesh is about 25 kms. As the sun began its ascent, it began to get warmer. As I jaunted in the tuk-tuk, the breeze blowing around was a welcome relief.

Outside Chotiwala

Once I reached Rishikesh, I was so fascinated with the place that I forgot about my hunger. It was only after another lovely stroll lasting for more than an hour that I finally settled down at Chotiwala, a popular restaurant for breakfast.

View through the famed suspension bridge of Rishikesh

The scenic beauty of the place, the freshness of the cool air, the sporadic chiming of the temple bells, the spectacle of the river Ganga flowing through the Himalayan foothills with temples dotting its banks created unforgettable memories. It is no wonder then that so many pilgrims, yoga students and tourists are drawn to Rishikesh and its ashrams from all over the world. I stopped over briefly at the Triveni Ghats, where devotees take holy dips and offer prayers. It was then that I made up my mind to spend more leisure time on my return journey.

Rishikesh, widely acclaimed as the Yoga capital of the world, reminded me of the Maharishi who was closely associated with the Beatles and was reported to have died in yoga posture earlier this year.

Lakshman Jhula

I passed through certain learning center for science, arts and culture and came across many so called holistic yoga retreats. Supposedly a scientific technique that is 5,000 years old, it is meant for spiritual and overall personality development, and I can vouch my experience with Yoga has had a vibrant and rejuvenating effect on me.


The Ganges, Rishikesh

Rishikesh is pretty popular for adventure sports and that includes river rafting, trekking, kayaking, rock climbing, rappelling etc. I was particularly interested in trekking to a place with a hidden waterfall that I had read about but my destination for the day was to head north to reach Rudraprayag before it got dark. In any case, Garhwal is a region I’d like to go time and again on endless treks I've dreamed about and hence, with Rishikesh being the gateway to the upper Himalayan regions, I’m confident of reaching the hidden waterfall during one such trip.

I enjoyed the misty morning in charming Rishikesh though I could not capture very good pictures. I decided to stop over for a longer time while coming back and spend an evening there.

~~~

As my rendezvous with Rishikesh was on my return journey, including the Aarti at the Ganges, I intend to write about that part of my emotional experience in a separate post.

On my return journey during the Ganga Aarti

How to reach Rishikesh:

The nearest airport to Rishikesh is Jolly Grant situated at a distance of 25 kms from main Rishikesh town. One can travel by train till Haridwar and then take a road journey to Rishikesh. A road journey from Delhi, 250 kms away, takes about 6-7 hours.


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28 comments:

•♥•♥[V]♥•♥• said...

i am so near to rishikesh and have wanted to go there for a year now for water rafting...but just so busy with life.

hope i get there this may.

take care..
u should join discovery channel.
hehe

Zhu said...

Did my latest post inspired you? :D

I don't think I'm ready for a yoga retreat yet but I'd love to visit this place. The scenery is great!

indicaspecies said...

Vicky,

I reached Rishikesh July end-early August this year, when the river was swollen with the monsoon waters. River rafting was out of the question then. I too want to try it out sometime.:)

PS: Will join discovery channel after am done discovering India.;)

indicaspecies said...

Zhu,

I'm just back from reading your post..lol. Fabulous!

With yoga, a little perseverance is necessary in the initial stage. There is something called "modern yoga" they teach here that suits new learners.:)

GMG said...

Hi Celine! Excellent pictures, great posts! And the Ganges looks bluer than in other pictures...
Now, modern yoga, old yoga... Hmmm!
Blogtrotter just said goodbye to Mykonos 2007!! It shows the famous sunset scene at little Venice, and the Pelican mascot of the island… ;)
Hope you enjoy, comment and have a great weekend!

SandyCarlson said...

That's a gorgeous place. So much of it reminds me of New York State, funny enough. I think the bridge and the rolling hills. Such peace and serenity!

Indrani said...

Beautiful, Celine. you have captured the atmosphere in words so well.

Arun said...

Have never seen Ganges so full..

"poradic chiming of the temple bells.."

For some reason I dont know, this made me laugh quite a bit!

Ravi Kumar said...

wow we almost made to the same places. And I am writing bout them too at the same time as u. :)

Thanks for dropping by!

~vagabond~ said...

You have such an awesome blog. I enjoyed reading about your travels. Looking forward to visiting here again soon. :)

PS. Thanks for leaving a comment at my blog.

Lakshmi said...

The river is so tempting..I can imagine forgetting hunger in such an environment..Ive never been there, though my husband has and hopefully we will go there someday ..till then Im content seeing south and yr posts

nonizamboni said...

Inspiring--like a breath of fresh air. I loved reading about Rishikesh and the movement of the river. Thanks for sharing!

Mridula said...

Happy Diwali Celine.

indicaspecies said...

Gil,

Thank you for your regular visits and encouragement. You have a lovely week.:)

indicaspecies said...

Sandy,

Thanks. I guess you feel so because of the Hudson.:)

indicaspecies said...

Indrani,

Thank you very much.:)

indicaspecies said...

Arun,

It was the monsoons, so full flow of the Ganges.

And as to "sporadic" I couldn't describe in better words something that kept recurring at irregular intervals in time. :)

indicaspecies said...

Ravi,

Thank you for dropping by, and welcome to Fugue. Yes, we had a similar journey in the Garhwal. I shall be visiting your blog to enjoy more pictures.:)

indicaspecies said...

Vagabond,

Thank you. You made my day. You are always welcome, and hope to see you more often here.:)

indicaspecies said...

Lakshmi,

My best wishes to you for a lovely time in the Southern parts of India, and hope you get a chance to visit these spots.:)

indicaspecies said...

Nonizamboni,

Thank you for dropping by, and your nice words. Glad to share. Do drop in sometimes.:)

indicaspecies said...

Mridula,

Thank you very much, and best wishes for a happy Diwali to you too.:)

Merisi said...

Celine,
this is a most inspiring post!
I don't agree with your statement about the quality of your pictures, I think they are great, indeed. And that last one, with those mysterious blues and the brightly dressed whorshippers, is simply sublime!

Shantanu said...

Did you notice that there are two Chotiwalas? Apparently the sons had a falling out and both claim to be the claimant to the brand!

indicaspecies said...

Merisi,

Thank you. You are most gracious.:)

Yea, I like the last picture too!

indicaspecies said...

Shantanu,

Yes, I did notice that.

And I had breakfast at the first Chotiwala and this picture was shot at the entrance to the second one:)

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Mesmerizing captures,as usual :)

How are you dear?Pity I missed you when you were here.Anyways,there's always a next time!

indicaspecies said...

Sameera,

Thank you. Yes, there's always a next time.:)