Camping at Rishikesh

2nd Mar 2018

Nomads of Rishikesh

Photo of Camping at Rishikesh by Swati Verma
Day 1

It was the long Holi weekend of Fri-Sat-Sun, so post the amazing day long Holi celebrations at Ghaziabad with family and friends, we pushed off at around 10 pm in our car for our favourite destination- Rishikesh! The four of us, Mayank, Debo , Shreyas and I were super excited for the long night drive of minimum 7-8 hours. We sped on the Gzb-Meerut Highway crossing Modinagar and stopping by at well lit dhabas for breaks. By 1:30 am we had reached Roorkee. The journey was spiced up with loud music and the smooth roads were simply a treat.

Pit stop

Photo of Delhi, India by Swati Verma
Day 2

We have been to Haridwar several times with family, but this experience of being at the Har ki Paudi at 3:00 am was unique. Unlike the usual feel of thousands of people taking a dip in the holy Ganges and crowding the roads, we experienced the serenity of the cold Ganges and the calmness of the holy place. We sat there for about an hour lost in the vastness of waters.

Jai Shri Ram

Photo of Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India by Swati Verma

Har Har Gange!

Photo of Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India by Swati Verma

The early morning views of the hilly drive upto Rishikesh were the most refreshing ones. We randomly stopped at water streams to witness the nature in its pristine form. The tall pines welcomed us to Rishikesh. We drove upto our camp stop near Shivpuri. It was a series of tents along the Ganges. The camp area was cordoned off by barbed wires to disallow unauthorized access. There toilet and bathing area was common for all the tents within the camp. The basins were in open and each toilet and bathroom was a small tent just enough to accommodate a squatting/ standing person, and had to be zipped open for entry or exit (Spooky enough!) There was a common place in the middle of the camp where meals were prepared and served. Our tent was a minimalist space with just 2 cots and a table to keep our bags. There was no point for charging our phones, and guess what that's where we were going to spend our next 2 days! Complete shut off from the world, lost in the lap of the nature.

Photo of Shivpuri, Uttarakhand, India by Swati Verma
Photo of Shivpuri, Uttarakhand, India by Swati Verma

The were served 3 meals per day in the camp. The food was really tasty as the touch of the local spices was evident in the cooking. We spent a lot of time sitting along the Ganges and playing in the waters. In the evening we enjoyed the group bonfire till late night and once again went back to the river bank. It wasn't before 3 am that we went back to our tents to grab some sleep. The excitement was making us want to spend as much time we had being awake and ravishing the scenes and soaking in the feel of the woods, water, hills and the valley.

The next day we went for the most sought after attraction of Rishikesh- The River Rafting. We booked our raft and were teamed up with another group of 4 people. So were total 8 participants in the raft. Before delving into the river, we were given our safety jackets and a basic training of rowing in sync. We spent about 2-3 hours in the river, crossing the rapids and enjoying the splashing of the waters. At a calm spot, we were asked to jump off the raft and enjoy the swim in case we wished to do so. And lo! The next second we were dipped in the Ganges, surrounded by several other rafts and on lookers. We swam across the flow and enjoyed the best moments of our lives. It was a task getting back into the raft. The other team mates had to really pull us hard against our naturally heavy weight and the added weight of wet clothes :P

Rafting - Check

Photo of Camping at Rishikesh by Swati Verma

Post the Rafting experience

Photo of Camping at Rishikesh by Swati Verma

We returned back to camp and after spending 2 full days enjoying the local dishes and beauty of the valley, completely away from the ripples of our daily lives and mobiles, we started back for our return journey.