The Gateway to God- Haridwar


21st Mar’18

This trip was totally unplanned because it was a working trip and I never expected I could explore Uttarakhand in so many ways. I was on cloud nine; after all, I’m going to add few new chapters in the book of life. The journey started from the hustle bustle traffic of Mumbai when the air was chilly, nippy and refreshing. When it comes to exploring new places adventures almost always follows me like the sea and tide. I had my booking in the early morning flight and wanted the dawn to follow me but I was not aware that these Ola/Uber has called off on the said day. Poor Me.

Somehow, I managed to get an Auto who agreed and confirmed about my dropping at the airport before the flight take off. Ohh, yeah thanks to the God-man who dropped me safely at the airport amidst in Mumbai Traffic, which always sucks.

In the mid of Mar’18 the chilled weather of Dehradun welcomed me in his open arm with the pleasant weather, serene beauty of nature and the rain with the cloudy sky as if the lover boy appeared in the airport with a flower bouquet to pick up his girlfriend with a tight hug and planted a kiss on the forehead. I had my booking at Hotel Sarovar, which is located 20 KM away from the holy city of Haridwar and 45 KM from the Dehradun Airport. The road trip from Dehradun to my hotel was awesome. The tipping tapping sound of rain and the greenery of nature was the best combination with my favorite track.

After reaching the hotel, the ambiance was breathtaking but I couldn’t help myself without taking a nap. After having got a few hours of precious sleep, I felt rejuvenated and thought to start the trip. By that time my client reached the hotel, she was more as a friend than as a colleague

Photo of The Gateway to God- Haridwar 1/1 by Rashmita Sahu

So. Haridwar literally means Gateway to the abode of the Gods. As per ancient culture and Hindu believe system this place is known as the home of Vishnu or Hari, that’s the reason behind of the name Haridwar. It’s one of the first town where River Ganga emerges from the Himalaya to touch the planes and people believe a dip in the holy water here can attain them salivation.

Har -ki-Pauri (21st Mar’18)

Day 1

When it comes to Haridwar, the main attraction is Ganga Arti, It’s a place where you can just sit by the banks of Ganges for hours, staring at the ripples and listening to the music of the gushing water, and maybe you can take a dip in the water to add more freshness to life and the Ganga Arathi is really breath-taking, which started exactly at 6.30 PM and prior to this the rituals started around 5 PM or so. There were close to 100-200 devotees gathered to watch the Arathi and i must say that the energy of the people gathered is very positive and exciting. There were about 20-30 pandits lined up to perform the Arathi. They were dressed in Maroon Kurtha, White Dhothi and a White band around their shoulder and waist.

To the pious Hindu, a dip in the river at the ghat is believed to wash away all the sins. There were many people, young and old, men and women, thronging the ghat and many taking a dip in the cold water of the Ganges. The local administration had made arrangements for keeping the shoes and clothes of those wishing to have a dip. There were changing-rooms and bathrooms too which one could use following a dip. Yeah, we took a dip in the holy river with the chilled water.

Photo of Ganga Ghat, Mayapur, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India by Rashmita Sahu

Ganga Ghat

Photo of Ganga Ghat, Mayapur, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India by Rashmita Sahu

After watching the wonderful Arathi we explored many other nearby temples Like we went to Pawan Dham a Beautiful temple and the architecture was breath-taking. After the mesmerizing view of Pawan Dham, we headed towards Vaishno Devi which is a replica of Vaishno Devi (J & K), Daksh Prajapati Temple, Sanichar temple, Chandi Devi and Manasa Temple by ropeway, they charged us Rs.360/- . After covering the entire Haridwar, we indulge ourselves with the local food and the taste of the food was awesome. I can still feel the taste.

Then the rest of the week followed by work till 24th of Mar’18.

24th Mar’18

On 24th We’re so excited after a hectic week of work we lined up to explore Rishikesh. Ohh!! Yeah, Rishikesh was on my bucket list since long. It was Saturday, no work to do, we packed our bag for exploring Rishikesh.

Indeed, Rishikesh is an awesome place to stay and enjoy the backpacker’s life. Again, the road trip from Haridwar to Rishikesh, I can’t explain by words. We both were so excited for the adventures like Bungee Jumping, River Rafting, which we had planned at Rishikesh. It was a sweaty summer still the breeze was so chilling and helped us to explore the city More. Rishikesh had the number of tourists, that to too many from foreign shores. Ohh, I wanted to do the Bungee jumping but unfortunately, I couldn’t make that happen, I failed to get a ticket. We move ahead for the sport for which Rishikesh is famous i.e. River Rafting. It was an amazing experience to be on the raft on the natural water flow of river Ganga for 2-3 hours, paddling over the amazing roller coaster rapids one after other, it’s a must try for everyone who visits Rishikesh. The team was amazing and made sure we enjoy our ride to the most. We dip into the water. It was scary but it’s a must try event if you’re planning your trip to Rishikesh.

Photo of River rafting in rishikesh, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Rashmita Sahu
Photo of River Rafting Rishikesh, Dhalwala, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Rashmita Sahu
Photo of River Rafting Rishikesh, Dhalwala, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Rashmita Sahu
Day 5

25th Mar’18

After a day of exploring at Rishikesh, our journey started towards Mussoorie. The roads were narrow and the view of Mussoorie was amazing. It’ll make you amazed. We reached around 9 PM at Mussoorie with no hotel booking in our hand and somehow, we managed to get a good hotel at Mussoorie. The beautiful road trip from Rishikesh to Mussoorie made our small attempt fruitful and the mountains and hill are way better than anything. When I saw the mountains, my heart started jumping with excitement and I can’t help myself rather than thinking about Wilfrid Noyce, who was a mountaineer.

“If adventure has a final and all-embracing motive, it is surely this: we go out because it is our nature to go out, to climb mountains, and to paddle rivers, to fly to the planets and plunge into the depths of the oceans… When man ceases to do these things, he is no longer man.” – Wilfrid Noyce

It was about 10PM, we want to explore nearby places of Massoorie, thanks to which was with us throughout the journey, though at times the Google map disappoint us by navigating the wrong direction and there was no sync between our destination and the directed location, still it helped us. After much R&D we headed towards the mall road, a famous place of Massoorie for street yet local shopping. The streets were full of people and other travelers. I noticed most of the people were on a family trip. There was a mix of people- young married couples with toddlers, the family of four, college gang, localities, photographers, girl gang and miscellaneous. We did few window shopping and that was the time when movie Hichiki was released. Rani being my favorite actress, I couldn’t control other than heading our tiny steps towards the theater with the night show in the chilly weather. The show completed around 12am at the night and we came back to the hotel with no food, since in masso0rie all food stall and hotel were closed by 11 PM (specifically near mall road), we ended up the day by having the Baba Ramdev’s Jhal Muri; what we carried with us from Haridawar.

Ohh!!! yeah, I forgot to mention, if you are in Haridwar don’t forget to make a visit Patanjali Ashram. It’s a luxurious place expanded across horizons.

In the next day, we watched the beautiful sunrise from the hotel room, wrapping up in the blanket where we’re hungry like anything, because we didn’t have anything on the previous day. Our hungry stomach forced us to rush towards the restaurant. We had a good breakfast. Then headed towards Kempty waterfall. The Kempty falls was ultimate and the temperature of the water was chilling. We didn’t take a dip into splashing water of Kempty falls because of chilling weather. If you’re planning to visit kempty waterfall, don’t forget to take a dip; though we missed it and, probably I ’ll take a dip in my next visit.

Photo of Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India by Rashmita Sahu
Photo of Kempty Waterfall, Ram Gaon, Uttarakhand by Rashmita Sahu
Photo of Kempty Waterfall, Ram Gaon, Uttarakhand by Rashmita Sahu

This is how the trip went. Which makes us speechless. Yeah, I must suggest pack your bag and head towards Haridwar-Rishikesh-Dehradun and the best time to visit this place is September to March.

I would like to end this post with some more beautiful lines that I found in this journey

There are too many waterfalls here;the crowded streams

Rapid flow of the sea,

Which never will disappoint you

and the pressure of so many clouds

on the mountaintops

makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,

turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.