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Rejuvenating rishikesh
Jul 25, 2012 03:19 PM 10010 Views


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We took a private bus from Dehradun to Rishikesh which is around 2 hrs journey.  Our journey was very comfortable in the long spacious bus which charged a little more than the regular bus.  Had heard that Laxman Jhulla area is a peaceful area to stay so we got off at Rishikesh bus stand and hired an auto till laxman jhula which charged us Rs.120/-. On our way we saw Ram Jhulla and Ganga flowing along our road.  On enquiring, the autowalla got us a room at Raj Resort for a decent rate which had gardens in front as well as the rear side of the room which was on the ground floor with fruit laden trees and variety of birds around.

After freshening up we walked towards Laxman Jhula which was just a 10 minutes walk.  First we had our lunch in one of the bhojnalayas this side of the bridge which serves tasty food at a reasonable rate without any hygiene issue. The bridge is a narrow one and really amazing but the two wheelers plying on the bridge is a nuisance. Beneath is the river Ganga flowing calmly with a few boats and rafts here and there.  Just after crossing the bridge on the bank of river Ganga is a multistoried temple with idols of almost all of the Hindu Gods.  We went round and round the building and took blessings of all the gods.

Took a walk around the temple where various shops and vendors display their wares mostly puja items and precious stones.    Had a dip in the clean and cold waters of the Ganges and sat on the white clean banks of the Ganga which is formed on both side of the river.

The flow of the river here is very calm. The heat in the month of May is too much and be well equipped before venturing out.  The only bliss is the lack of humidity hence atleast we can walk even during peak noon without sweating like we do in Bombay.

We enquired about rafting as had heard Rishikesh is the best place for rafting.  They charge Rs.300/- for 9 km and Rs.450 for 18 km track but looking at the rafts which were calmly floating on the peaceful river before us it seemed better to hire a boat and just sail instead of rafting as you enjoy rafting only when the river is rough and the raft goes up and down with the flow of the river.   We had done rafting in Manali and enjoyed it in the Beas river with many ups and downs which they call ‘Rapids’.   So we dropped the idea of rafting.   We saw many ads for jungle safari at Rajaji National Park which is around 16 kms on enquring we came to know that they only offer Jeep Safari at Rs.2000/- from Rishikesh to Rishikesh but the Elephant Safari had stopped few years back.

On returning to our hotel room my daughter was glad to play in the garden and click the photos of the variety of birds who visited the garden.  The place was really calm and quiet with the only noise being heard were the chirping of birds.

Late in the evening we walked our way from our hotel to Ramjhulla which road overlooks the flow of Gangaji.  On crossing the Ramjhulla which is a shorter version of the Laxman Jhulla we walked for a while on the right side to Parmarth Niketan which is a beautiful ashram covering a huge area with lot of statues from our puranas which is a must visit.  Just opposite the Ashram at 6.30 on the Ghats of the Ganges they arrange Ganga Aarti which really should be attended to evoke the feeling in you about mother Ganga.   A permanent structure or a semicircular structure is built just opposite the ghat so that people can watch the aarti on the ghat from that platform also.  We really enjoyed the aarti which was so systematic, well organised and touching the hearts of citydwellers like us.

Immediately after the aarti was over at around 8 pm one by one the shops on the pavements closed for the day and we were left with no option but to have an early dinner at chotiwala. We hired an auto while coming back from Ramjhulla to our resort as the road is mostly isolated with only vehicles passing by.  I had heard that one could get great rabri at Haridwar and Rishikesh but the much hyped rabri was nowhere to be found neither did we find the same near Laxman Jhulla nor near Ram Jhulla.

Next day morning we set out to explore some waterfalls which were supposed to be around 3 kms walk  on the upward road from laxmanjhulla and some 2 kms from our resort.   We started walking on the lonely road where only private vehicles ply that too going to or coming from Char dhams.  Gangaji flow alongside the road.  Here there is no development at all and you are walking through the road made by cutting the mountains.  The walk would have been great but the heat spoilt it.  We must have walked more that 3 kms when we finally reached the foot of the mountain where the waterfall was supposed to be.  We had to pay Rs.15/- per person as entry fee for waterfall which was as told to us 1 km uphill.

We started climbing the lonely mountain with not a single soul in sight.  Next to the path they have made small chirandees through which the water from the waterfall flows so you are assured that atleast the waterfall exists.  But even after climbing more than 1 km there was no waterfall in sight nor people who may be going to or coming back from the waterfall.  We decided to give up climbing and came back disappointed.

Very difficult to get a vehicle while returning so we just requested a lift from a milk van driver who was kind enough to drop us outside our hotel.  We wanted to purchase the ganga jal kalash for giving away to relatives but decided against it as we decided to purchase it in Haridwar instead of carrying the same from here.  Next day morning we hired an Alto to Haridwar which took around 2 hrs.

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