Adventure trip to Rishikesh

Tripoto
11th Feb 2016

Located on the banks of the river Ganga, Rishikesh is considered to be a place for religious people around India and overseas. It is mainly known for Yoga, Meditation and its sacred & historic temples. However, many of them don’t know that Rishikesh is not only a top religious place in India, but also one of the biggest adventure destination in India. It is also called as the ‘Adventure Capital of India ‘.

Based in Mumbai. I had volunteered for the trip planned by a group on Instagram to get a bit of change from the usual monotonous life. The trip began on 10th Feb right from the moment I boarded the train from Mumbai to Delhi as I hardly knew the company of people I was going to spend my time with for the next 5days.

Execution:

Day 1

After a stroll on the shore, near the temple and the beautiful symmetric bridges built, we headed towards the streets looking around for local street food and pandits (saints) who visited Haridwar on occasion of Ardh Kumbh. It seemed like a carnival and I enjoyed the moment of sharing smiles with strangers and capturing them while they gave an inquisitive look.

Photo of Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India by Hetali Kothari

Moving ahead in the journey, our second halt was at Rishikesh an hour’s ride from Haridwar (20kms). Checked-in in our hotel that offered vibrant common rooms, hushed up reading spaces, comfortable dorms and privates, more than something you can ask for.

After unpacking, we left to explore the local market which was pleasing with all those little cafe's, handicraft stores, ancient coin stalls, rafting banners and graffiti’s on the way. We chose a café with balcony seating’s which offered the calming view of the Laxman Jhula.

Photo of Laxman Jhoola, Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Hetali Kothari

Returned back to the hotel for some rest I ended up spending my evening in the common room playing Jhenga and UNO which proved to be a great decision as ended up interacting more making our own rules for the game and planning about the next day.

Day 2

Day 2:

To-do list was out, finally checking off, Rafting in the white waters. Excited, all set for the water sport we got into the Gypsy that would take us to the starting point. Sadly, camera’s not allowed but that didn’t affect our excitement much. Wore the safety gears, noted all the necessary instructions, got into the rafts all set to sail. Enrolled for the Level 5 rafting, the first 3 levels went off pretty well while chasing and teasing each others. After, the 3rd level we started feeling the chills as we were all soaked in the river water and the breeze added to our chills. Our rafts slowed down a bit after the 4th level took a break for some hot snacks and tea. But since this was the first time experience for most of us and it had also started drizzling, we cut short the break and moved ahead to avoid sickness. But boy, the fifth level was epic; the raft I was on was about to turn around, but thanks to our guide and his instructions, we saved it. The overall experience was breathtaking.

Next, we visited the Triveni Ghat to experience the Ganga Aarti. The experience here was surreal. The enthusiasm of the saints performing the pooja while it was drizzling, a few other locals and foreigners performing pooja, the tea seller helping us cope up with the weather. And last, but not the least, was a group picture right in front of the Prem mandir. Later, the organizers gave us a little surprise -they had called in for scooters for the next day.

Photo of Triveni Ghat, Mayakund, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Hetali Kothari
Day 3

Partied, feel sick, recovered; all within 12 hours.

Day 3:

Since we had scooters for the entire day, our first spot was the Patna falls. While trekking, we came across various streams flowing through the hills. The trek to the waterfall was a little difficult for me as I had higher chances of slipping, but the natural beauty, sound of the flowing water and the cool breeze helped in keeping up the energy high. We also came across a few donkeys moving down at considerable speed. They halted for a while and I ran above, maintaining a safe distance. I lost the shot where they were drinking water from one of the streams and got this while they continued their journey.

Photo of Patna Fall, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Hetali Kothari

We then headed to the Beatles Ashram, also known as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram. The Beatles were one of the most popular music bands in 1960s throughout the world. They visited Rishikesh in 1968 to learn transcendental meditation at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram.

The calmness felt here was different, away from chaos. We felt bereft of any emotion, and I hardly clicked any images here. The ride till here through the local streets, Ram jhulla and thin lanes was fun.

The next destination was a hike to the Kunjapuri Temple, about 20 kms drive from Rishikesh city, hidden in the mountains at an altitude of 1650 m. Reached the top of the hill which gave a scenic view of the city, witnessed the elevated sunset.

Back in the city, enjoyed dining at a café where they had music and dance voluntarily performed by visitors exploring the city for a few months. Also, since it was Valentine’s Day, the place was packed with both locals and foreigners in search of peace and new experiences.

Photo of Adventure trip to Rishikesh by Hetali Kothari

This was the last day of the trip, but a start for a lot more trips ahead, hopefully.

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