Travelogue on Rishikesh - An Ode to Peaceful Mind
Around 9 or 10 years back, in 2009, I was working in one of the companies on the outskirts of New Delhi, to be precise at a place called Noida. During the weekends, there was nothing much I could do at the local place as my accommodation was away from the city center, near my company. I came into contact with a person living in that locality.
The ethereal sound of River Ganga flowing along the banks here was so soothing to the ears and mind.
Respite from Scorching Heat of Delhi
During one of the weekends in the month of April 2009, I inquired with my friend regarding taking up a trip towards mountain areas further north of New Delhi as I was always enthusiastic about exploring new horizons and as I felt it will give some respite from the scorching heat in Delhi. He suggested me 2 places - one was Haridwar and second Rishikesh. I felt nothing special about these places other than them being places of religious significance, but as I was open to travel to any place I agreed and so finally embarked on a journey to Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Starting the Journey - First Destination - Haridwar
Haridwar is just over 220 kilometers (137 miles) north of New Delhi. My friend suggested a bus trip instead of hiring a taxi as that would be a nice experience. We started our journey late night by bus and reached Haridwar by early morning. Haridwar is a pilgrimage spot on the banks of the holy river Ganga or Ganges, of course, a place worthy of visiting due to its religious importance. We visited the famous ghat at devnagri (Haridwar), Har Ki Pauri. Here people generally take a dip in the holy water of ganges and offer their prayers. We also visited one of the temples on a hill top using a ropeway car service. That was an unique experience.
As we were planning to stay overnight at Rishikesh, we packed our bags from Haridwar and took a bus to Rishikesh without further delay.
Visuals from Haridwar and RishikeshClick thumbnail to view full-size
Final Destination - Rishikesh
Rishikesh is around 20 kilometers (12 miles) further northwest of Haridwar. It is almost on the other side of river Ganges. We reached Rishikesh before the darkness set in. We opted for a not so expensive accommodation on the banks of river Ganges, refreshed ourselves and retired to bed as we were so tired after the long journey. The fact that we couldn't sleep properly in the bus en route to Haridwar made us supersleepy.
Hypnotic and Refreshing Rishikesh
I woke up early in the morning the next day, despite that being a Sunday. Also, last night didn't have a good glimpse of Rishikesh. The view I had when I opened the door to the verandah or balcony was very mesmerizing and refreshing. The green mountains overlooking the Ganges, sun still trying to escape through the mountains, the ethereal sound of River Ganga flowing along the banks here was so soothing to the ears and mind. It was such a fresh Sunday morning unlike the lazy Sunday mornings I used to have back home. After a while, we decided to go down to the banks of River Ganga to take a bath. The water was so cool down there that I had a hard time taking bath. I saw a group of people getting ready to go for rafting in their raft boats. Rishikesh is a perfect spot for adventure enthusiasts.
Visited some temples en route to Ram sethu and Lakshman sethu, 2 suspension bridges across river Ganges. My visit to Haridwar and Rishikesh, especially Rishikesh, etched on my memories since then and for years to come.
What to do and When to do
The best time to visit Rishikesh is just before the onset of winter i.e., September-October or just after winter, March-April. Our journey was in the month of April when it was scorching heat in New Delhi. River Ganges in these parts is famous for river rafting. The best time for river rafting is from the late September to mid November when Ganges will be flowing in its maximum capacity. Rishikesh is known for a large number of yoga centers, also known as yoga capital of the world, the atmosphere around Rishikesh makes it the most suitable place for yoga. Rishikesh is the gateway to the Char Dham, the 4 popular holy temples on the Himalayas - Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.