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.
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.
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.
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
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.