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Published: August 2nd 2017
The land of sages and of adventure
A place where spirituality meets leisure: it's rishikesh
For Delhites, a weekend' s perfect getaway is Rishikesh. One need not even have a plan for a trip to this place. I planned at night and by 12 in the noon next day I was off for Rishikesh. It's hardly 200-250 kms from Delhi and requires 6-7 hours in a bus. Its a complete vacation of an aam Aadmi. A private vehicle takes even lesser. But if you are going for the purpose of refreshing yourself then I recommend you to take a bus and leave the tension of driving on to the state bus driver. The bus ticket ranges from 500-800 rupees depending on the ac or non ac requirement. If you are traveling in summers -March, April , may, June then u can go for an ac. But in a pleasant weather , one can go for a non ac and enjoy the fresh air from the bus window , sweeping their face.
I reached Rishikesh at 6-6:30 in the evening. From there I had tea at a local tea stall. And searched for the places to be visited next day. I interacted with few locals and google sir was of great help.
So I finalised for rafting and the temple visit. I them headed to an economical hotel. Don't listen much to the auto drivers and do assert your choice in selecting hotel and places to visit.
I preferred a hotel in the vicinity of ganga ghat. During a walk I learnt that ganga ghat is popularly known as marine drive. (marine drive is a popular hang out spot in mumbai).
When I checked in to a hotel at 8:30, went straight to ganga ghat to enjoy the fresh breeze of air flowing over the Ganges. I sat there for quite a few hours meditating alongside the ganga ji. There are people who sleep by the ghats and its divine and beautiful under the embrace of wholesome full moonlit sky by the river flowing aside.
The food joints are open late in night. There's a famous rajasthani joint. You can try that. Also there are other options you can try that too. But after 11pm the chances of finding food dims.
At late night I reached hotel back refreshing myself for the next day.
I woke up at 5 am next day and headed straight to ghats. I walked down as my hotel was in vicinity of ghats.
The river was serene and the mountains added beauty. People were carrying their chores and enjoying the beauty of place.
I performed yoga near the ghats. It was divinely pristine. After an hour I left for rafting for brahmapuri. Shivpuri is to be avoided as the risks are higher. The water level is high. So I did at brahma puri where u experience three Rapids during the rafting course. The best time for rafting is from September till end of may. Duration of rafting is for 1-1.5 hours. Shivpuri has 16kms of rafting course while braham puri has 12 kms. There's even camping available in Shivpuri. So one can easily spend a day do camping at night, play sports in evening and do rafting in morning. They also provide you with three course meals. Per person cost in camping is around 1500 but one can negotiate.
And if one wants to do only rafting then it cost around 500-600. But one can always negotiate and pay 400 rupees.
Rafting gave an adrenaline rush. They put on a life jacket so even a non swimmer like me could dive into the river and move along with it safely. Elderly people who are fit should also not shy away from rafting. A highly spirited woman of 63 years weighing more than 110 kilo grams in my raft happily enjoyed the rafting.
After rafting I headed to Neelkanth mahadev mandir. One gets a local transport from Laxman jhula. But do take a transport to go till ram jhula and then one needs to walk to sharing taxi. Its really far and takes more than half a hour of walking to reach a state taxi stand where they then take you to Neelkanth mahadev mandir in 120 rupees. A private taxi will take round about 1800 rupees to cover two hour distance to the mandir and back to the state transport stand.
So from the place where one leaves rafting, one can either cover mahadev mandir or the kunja puri mandir. For the kunjapuri mandir, even a Scooty is available. But if you know how to ride in hills then u can take a scooty. In the month of June, rishikesh was sweltering hot. So one can prefer to go in early months of the year when its pleasant and cold.
I completed my one day trip to rishikesh by seeking blessings of Lord Shiva. I booked a state transport bus again and was here in Delhi. Two kinds of buses are available- Volvo which is an expensive one and janrath the economical one. Though both are air conditioned buses but the beauty with janrath is one can open the window anytime in case of any discomfort which is not possible in completely enclosed Volvo. In the night drivers usually drives very fast and hits Delhi within 5 hours.
So if one needs just a days break Rishikesh is the best place to hangout and get your energies back. Go and give enjoy the adventures.
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