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Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh March 21st 2019

We took the night bus to Rishikesh from Delhi. It took about 10 hours, so we arrived there early in the morning. We went to a guesthouse and first slept for a few hours. The bus ride wasn't really comfi so we needed a bit more sleep. Once we woke up we went for a walk through the town. We crossed the bridge, sat on the stairs next to the Ganga river. There I called mama because it was her birthday. Meanwhile, behind me a monkey was eating a papaya and in front of me there was a calf begging food to other people on the stairs. It was pretty funny. After I finished calling her, we walked through a street on the other side. We got sugarcane juice, which is really delicious. It's super refreshing ... read more
Sugarcane juice machine
Waterfall
On the bridge

Asia » India » Uttarakhand January 22nd 2019

You can't go all the way to India for work and not have an extra few days to look around. The work up in Uttarakhand was great; the few days looking around Madhya Pradesh was typical of travelling in India with occasional glorious bits (temples, palaces, forts, etc) mixed in with horrendous bits (open defecation, ubiquitous odour of urine, trains that inexplicably stop in the middle of nowhere for 3-hours, a lot of rubbish everywhere, constant spitting, appalling Delhi air quality, food-belly collisions, a lot of hassle, shouting at plus once getting physical with tuk-tuk drivers, etc). Unfortunately, perhaps inevitably, and entirely predictably, this particular blog has ended up being similar in format to my India blog of a few years ago. That one was titled “The Ups and Downs of Travelling in India” and alternated ... read more
The view from the study site
Raja Mahal, Orchha
Sunrise behind Mehman Khana

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh September 26th 2018

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 ... read more
Procession for Ganesha
5.30 every morning!
Swami Chidananda leading the chanting at the fire puja

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh September 21st 2018

Survived the overnight train journey albeit grubby, sticky and hungry. So breakfast in Rishikesh was great after another hour by road. Just a few hours to look around nearby before we wandered down to the Ganges to cross the famous Lakshman Jhula bridge. Made our way through endless little shops, streetfood,cafes, cows and dogs to Parmarth Niketan Ashram for the nightly Ganga Aarti cermenony on the riverbank. The guru Swami Chidananda and various students and followers chant. It was chanting, music, clapping and mixing with Indians who grabbed the lamps like it was life or death! I knew one of the chants so could join in. The next day we went up the mountainside to camp! The idea being that everyone could swim in the Ganges. The campsite was very civilized and the food good. I ... read more
Lamps passed round the crowd
The joys of camping
Mother Ganga

Asia » India » Uttarakhand August 30th 2018

A dwindling cobbled path crossing a primary school with chirpy voices, and a rain shelter takes you down to the village center of Dhar from Altitude Moksha. After paying reverence at the Ghandiyal devta temple, walk down the steps to discover the village "Pyau". The word "Pyau" in Hindi is any place which people use to quench their thirst and rest in the heat. Mind you this is not some ordinary pyau, this is fed by the roots of 350 year old banyan tree. Towering above the Pyauis the Ghandiyal Devta temple along with this banyan tree resplendent with prayer flags and tinkling bells. The Pyau’s water gush out of a brass spout shaped like a lion’s mouth which was installed eighty years ago by the villagers. Water channels through a spring at the top of ... read more
The ancient banyan tree

Asia » India » Uttarakhand July 24th 2018

So..I had been planning this trip for a while. I explored some of the least visited areas of Uttarakhand in a unique way. Daily adventurous road trips, homestays with the locals and many more offbeat experiences- this was my idea of a holiday! I started with an overnight bus journey from Delhi to Rishikesh. Reaching Rishikesh early morning at 4am I spent my time at the Triveni ghaat. The ghaat as the name suggests marks the confluence of India's three most holy rivers: the Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. Triveni ghaat gave me a cool and peaceful environment to sit and enjoy. I filled my lungs full with the early morning fresh air as much as I can. With sunrise, I could see several people coming up for their first holy dips and prayers. Next, I took ... read more
Beautiful morning at Kulsari
Scenic beauty on the way to Gwaldam
Gwaldam

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Chopta May 5th 2018

It had been stressful at work over the last few weeks and the temperature had soared to around 40 deg Celsius in Hyderabad. Staying at home getting fried did not seem enticing given the heat. As it had been a while since I had been to any trek, I thought what better way to chill than at the Himalayas. I looked for a few options in my bucket list but most of them were more than 7 days and I was not in a position to take such a long vacation. As I was browsing through Indiahikes, I saw Deoriatal Chandrashila trek as one of the options since it was of 5 days duration and was supposed to have beautiful views. The trek was also popular for the wildlife especially the variety of birds along the ... read more
Confluence of Rivers at Devaprayag
View from Sari
Wheat grain macro

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Chamoli March 24th 2018

How about a hot cup of coffee and maggi high up at 12000Ft., with a view of sun’s first rays falling on the Snow-capped Himalayas, sleeping under the blanket of stars at -10 degrees in a cute camp tent ? Sounds beautiful right. That’s exactly what I experienced in my Himalayan trek to Brahmatal peak About the trek: One of the popular winter treks, the trek has been named after the Brahmatal lake, located in Uttarakhand. Even though the trail doesn’t climb to the highest of altitudes, yet it is known to offer views of some high peaks. A small lake and a few forests act as the bonus offerings in this trek. The magical journey starts on day 1 itself. So here I started my journey to the Himalayas, it was 4th of Jan 2018, ... read more
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Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Rishikesh January 26th 2018

1st Dec Ohhhh.. Its actually really sad to check out of this place, being ill, it was perfect to chill and regain my strength.. haha.. Bloody Delhi Belly!! URGHHHH!! But today is the first day I've woke up feeling good :) Yess!! I don't know how, but I've gained four bags.. All this stuff I've been buying and being in Sunny's car, means I'm not carrying anything, maybe I'm not packing properly either, coz i know its going straight in the boot of the car.. gona have to sort this out soon :o Stocked up on mandarins (they're life btw) and set off to Rishikesh :) Should only take about 3 hours but coz the roads are so windy it takes longer. We've arranged to meet Geraldine there, who Sunny has travelled with and I've actually ... read more
Laxman Jhula
Ganga Aarti Ceremony
Gange views

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Mussoorie January 25th 2018

28th November My alarm went off at 6am, so went to wake Sunny up, he was relying on my alarm, i didn't mention anything and went back into the communal room, he came in and said William isn't coming on the road trip with us now? Yessssss!! He was so oblivious to what had gone on last night, or shall i say this morning, coz he was snoring away in his bunk.. haha. Hadn't even unpacked, so grabbed our things, we had already paid the day before and loaded up the car whilst brushing our teeth in the street.. haha. We explained what happened, he was glad that William decided not to come, coz he was doing his head in as well.. hahaha. He couldn't believe he slept through it all!!. Next stop Mussoorie.. Mountains and ... read more
Domas Inn
Views from Cafe Ivy
Streets of Landour




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