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Rishikesh - quiet flows the Ganges
Oct 10, 2008 11:24 PM 6000 Views


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Those who think Rishikesh is only a religious place, I can bet, that they are missing something of nature’s beauty.  It is quite close to Delhi but having a beauty rarely found. Of course, Rishikesh is abounding with temples and Dharmasalas.  What makes Rishikesh unique is its wonderful climate, the flowing Ganges winding its way through the hills and the cool breeze that blows. If you are a nature lover, you have plenty of options.  Take a boat ride across the Ganges, Take a walk along the river side road.  Watch the ganges flowing somewhere it is quiet, somewhere it is turbulent.  You come across another hanging bridge, ‘Lachman Jhula’

If you are not interested in temples keep on walking, suddenly you feel a quietness enveloping you.  The noise is gone, only chirruping of birds and the sound of the flowing river are there to give you company. Chose a place, and sit down by the river on the sand or a bolder.  See the river flowing.  The clear sky and the greenery all around and the towering Himalayan range will make you feel you are part and parcel of the nature. You can carry your music player and enjoy the sun and the Breeze.

You tend to be philosophical here, comparing a hectic life in the city and this quietitude. Which one is better? You question yourself. Why not life could be so smooth as it is here.

The best option is to catch the Dehradoon Satabdi at 6.50 a.m. from the New Delhi Station.  The train is air-conditioned and provides you with your morning tea and breakfast. You reach Haridwar around 11.30 a.m. The bus for Rishikesh is just across the road.  It takes about 1 hour to reach Rishikesh because the road is in pathetic condition.  Be ready for a  rough journey. From Rishikesh bus stop take a shared auto to go to Muni ki reti.  Just go a few yards ahead and you find a point by the ganges from where you can take a boat ride.  It is Rs. 15/- to and fro. Alternatively you can take the ‘Ram Jhula’ route. It takes about 4 minutes to cross the ganges by boat. For lunch, if you want spicey food, you can go to Chatiwala or if you want simple homely food go to Banaprastha Ashram restaurant. It is also called Baba Kali Kamli ashram. For your stay the best place we have experienced is at Banaprastha Ashram.  This ashram is in two parts, both are neat and clean.  The only drawback with Banaprastha Ashram is that you have to walk a bit and the narrow road is not as clean as you wish it to be. But once you reach this Ashram it is really rewarding. Do try. The telephone number of Banaprastha Ashram is ; 0135-2430811.

Why I am advising you to stay in Rishikesh is because it is relatively quieter place than Haridwar.  Not only that its beauty definitely surpasses Haridwar. You need not go to any temple, you can just sit down by the river and meditation will happen to you. Bathing in the Ganges is another pleasure, especially if you have kids, it is really enjoyable. I myself not fond of temples, but I prefer to see God in nature. Some people join in the Evening Ganga Arati but the prayers and songs are not very soothing and musical.  So I generally avoid the crowd.  I prefer watching the floating Diwas or candles that devotees release, after the prayer, on the water.  If you are not going anywhere to nearby places, you can go back to Delhi next day by evening Satabdi express and here also you are provided with tea and good dinner.  You reach Delhi around 10.45 p.m.

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