The tranquil Rishikesh

24th Oct 2015
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 1/16 by Aabdika Sharma
A sadhu walking on the banks of river Ganges
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 2/16 by Aabdika Sharma
The view from the balcony
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 3/16 by Aabdika Sharma
ISKCON Rishikesh
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 4/16 by Aabdika Sharma
The bells
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 5/16 by Aabdika Sharma
The early morning view
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 6/16 by Aabdika Sharma
The procession
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 7/16 by Aabdika Sharma
Ram Jhoola
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 8/16 by Aabdika Sharma
The bejeweled shop
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 9/16 by Aabdika Sharma
The Ganga puja being held in the background
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 10/16 by Aabdika Sharma
Darshan at ISKCON temple
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 11/16 by Aabdika Sharma
The holy Ganges river
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 12/16 by Aabdika Sharma
River Rafting
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 13/16 by Aabdika Sharma
Parmarth Niketan
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 14/16 by Aabdika Sharma
The picturesque trees
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 15/16 by Aabdika Sharma
Lord Hanuman showering his blessings
Photo of The tranquil Rishikesh 16/16 by Aabdika Sharma

The colossal mountains standing tall in the backdrop with the turquoise blue waters gushing beneath. This place situated in foothills of Himalayas is a mini heaven on Earth and is considered as the starting point of chaar dham yatra namely Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri. The place with innumerable temples and sadhus. This is Rishikesh.

We started from Patiala at 9:30 am, and sat awestruck by what the road had to offer. Rows of trees touched the sky, making shadows on the path ahead, sieving the sunlight that reached us in bits.

We crossed several towns on the way namely Ambala, Jagadhri, Saharanpur, Yamuna Nagar and Haridwar. There were crowded streets, bustling markets and segments of fields on the way.

We reached Rishikesh at 4:30 pm and headed for Madhuban Ashram located in Muni ki Reti, Haridwar Road.

We were really keen to see the famous ganga aarti that is performed in all its glory at Parmarth Niketan in the evenings at sunset. It was an amazing sight to behold, devotees holding diyas and chanting fascinating mantras in total ecstasy. Later they placed them on the holy waters of Ganga which carried them to an unknown destination. After that, we returned to the Madhuban Ashram and saw the Sandhya aarti in ISKCON temple. We then ate delicious prashadam at the Govind ji Restaurant.

Attending Mangal aarti performed in the temple at 5:00 am was an extremely exhilarating experience. The exalted devotees were singing the name of Lord with abounding faith embedded in their hearts. In the peaceful periphery of the temple, I sat gaping at picturesque view of the black mountains silver lined by the moonlight. There was a certain chill in the air and I was really looking forward to sunrise which was sure to change the scenery in a matter of minutes.

At around 8:00 am, we had a sumptuous breakfast at the restaurant and set off for the famous Lakshman Jhoola. We opted for a Tempo to take us there, who journeyed us along a narrow road and halted where the vehicles were prohibited. There we met an amiable guide who narrated the glories of temples around the place. He took us through slippery stairs downhill, through thin steep roads and colorful streets with a variety of shops selling clothes, jute items, bags, jewelry, Rudraksha and sphatick necklaces on both sides . There were eating joints, spas and yoga classes too. We went into one of the shops where shopkeeper told us about the importance of one face Rudraksha , which is said to be the embodiment of Mahadev ! He told us how the touching the surface of sphatick (glacier stone) can instantly relieve us from anger.

And finally, we reached Lakhsman Jhoola. It joins the opposite banks of River Ganga and is swarmed by a variety of people who wish to cross the river while breathing in the fresh air and being enraptured by the magical surroundings. After crossing the bridge we were in for a long walk in the lap of nature that took us to another bridge namely Ram Jhoola.

After having lunch at about 12:30 pm, we reluctantly toured back to Patiala. We left a part of us there for we yearned to visit the place soon.

What Rishikesh does for traveler struck with wanderlust is to make him fall in love with the heavenly waters and the peaceful spiritual atmosphere.

Madhuban Ashram is a beautiful place to stay, facing the magestic mountains. The rooms are pristine and the surroundings are serene. There is an ISKCON temple just adjoining it, and a restaurant namely Govind ji offering lip- smacking delicacies from all over the world.

Photo of Madhuban Ashram, Haridwar Road, Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Aabdika Sharma

The places to visit in Rishikesh are Lakshman Jhoola, Ram Jhoola, Parmarth Niketan, and uncountable temples.

Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Aabdika Sharma
Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Aabdika Sharma
Photo of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Aabdika Sharma
Photo of Ram Jhula, Rishikesh, India by Aabdika Sharma