Final few days and final impressions of Rishikesh (and India)

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September 26th 2018
Published: September 26th 2018
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My plan B worked out well with a lovely room, peace and quiet and a gorgeous manager! I seemed to spend hours just wandering along the shops , stopping for a coffee or lime soda and not really buying anything. Sounds great! The frustration came when each time I went to a drop in morning yoga class there was no teacher. This happened a few times. I began to think that I wasn’t in Rishikesh to do yoga. I managed 1 class. Then it started to rain and it rained for 2 days - really heavy, drenching rain. After that the ground was filthy - dirty feet, splashed trousers but oh so good to get out in the fresh air. I met up with one of the girls from the trip who stayed on like me for dinner and lunch. Moved to a hotel at the other bridge. Rishikesh is famous for, as well as being a pilgrimage place,being on the Ganges, having the most ashrams ever, it also has 2 famous bridges. It’s great walking over the bridges - pedestrian only with just scooters allowed. The huge mass of people make progress slow especially when so many pose for photos
Procession for Ganesha Procession for Ganesha Procession for Ganesha

Just came across this after the rain with a band all kitted out in purple. Lots of powder being thrown
and selfies. I’ve developed the art of slowly walking along with a a blank expression. Hopefully that puts people off wanting me to be in their photos - goodness knows why! So apart from walking across the bridges, meandering through the shops there’s not really a huge amount to do. Particularly if you don’t want to go bungee jumping or rafting! There has been a yoga class at my hotel each morning but I’m the only one in it! Today I did go to the Sivananda Ashram which had an interesting history of his life. What I didn’t realise till later was his tomb was at the far end of the hall. In another Hall, several ladies were chanting Hare Krishna for ages. Still I enjoyed sitting and taking it all in. I’m a bit biased with the Hare Krishna chant as every morning at 5.30 there is whole band of them drumming, chanting with a microphone right outside my window as there is a temple there!!

So its my last evening- have ordered a thali to eat to celebrate. My final thoughts are - what have been my challenges ? Firstly the constant noise and proximity of so many people. Secondly the dirt and squalor in what could be a truly beautiful country which I can’t understand as the religion is about caring and taking care of all living beings with love (well except dogs and cows from what I’ve witnessed). Thirdly I’ve realised that boys can’t clean!

Looking forward to coming home and being cool and clean 😄😄👍

Additional photos below
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Swami Chidananda leading the chanting at the fire pujaSwami Chidananda leading the chanting at the fire puja
Swami Chidananda leading the chanting at the fire puja

Every evening this ceremony is held. Chanting, lamps and lots of pushing! It’s streamed on YouTube every night too.

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