Saturday, April 2, 2011


A tour to India’s Yoga capital Rishikesh is always full of pleasant surprises, as it offers so much in its vicinity. Sacred Ganga River on the foothill of great Himalayas, whole lot of adventure sports to explore, and feel the lifestyle of a city where religion is very much embedded in their daily rituals. There are few who have already devoted their life to a greater cause and the rest have a piece of it, but everybody is into this.

As the day started either people prefer to take a holy dip in Ganga or pay their respect by simply visiting the ghats. This is the beauty of Hinduism where we worship every aspect of nature, be it river, trees, mountains, forests even animals. This practice is at its best in Rishikesh. Foreigner too are seems to be inspired by this very fact.

I stayed in Birla Dharamshala, nearby Ram Jhula, which is more like a holiday home with one bedroom, drawing room, kitchen and an utility balcony with straight view to river and hill, all this for just 500 bucks. But more than this I was amazed by the fact that the other part of this Dharamshala which was kind of cheap option i.e. 200 INR per day, was occupied by foreigners for more than 2 years. They have done paint work, modified kitchen as per their convenience and a “cease fire” outside their rooms. Call them devotee, backpackers or just wanderers looking for cheap accommodation by paying their social security money earned back home, but they are very much comfortable and accustomed in their imported lifestyle which is also exported to locals in return.

Rishikesh is not about looking for monuments or traditional ways of tourism, it is all about feeling the nature, serenity and a fusion of east and west. Start from Ashrams nearby Ram Jhula and walk up to Lakshman Jhula, a hanging bridge, open for both pedestrian and motors, and you’ll cover entire Rishikesh. But don’t forget to pay your homage to Chotiwala Restaurant, there are two side-by-side with the same name, but the one which comes first from Ram Jhula is the original one and offer better delicacies. Try their awesome 150 Rs thali. 

But this write up is not about Rishikesh it is about Eureka…and word should be justified if used. On Next day it was drizzling and that compelled us (me and my friend Neeraj) to visit on hills. We enquired at taxi stand, and came to know about Kunjapuri, which is highest peak around Rishikesh. So we took a bus ride (costs some 45 bucks each) till Hindolakhal which is after Narendra Nagar at 6500 ft from sea level.

From there one can hire a private cab for 150 bucks for one side journey. I’ll tell you later that why it is wise to hire cab for one side.

The moment you reach Hindolakhal you’ll feel thrilled. Hills on one side and clear view of Rishikesh from other side, nature at its best, what more one can ask for?

From Hindolakhal to Kunjapuri, the 6 km drive is through steep road and one should be very careful while driving. Locals are expert driver and they will drive you in 20 minutes to the foot of the temple, where more than 250 staircases are waiting to conquer.

From temple it’s a great view with snow capped Himalayan range and Ganga valley on sight. Now starts the actual fun, we decided to get down on foot, the weather was awesome, little drizzling, rainbow was about to formed, and we two great soul on one of our happiest day of life, descending down, while capturing from every possible angle what was just meant to us.

That 6 km downward walk (why not upward, because our senses simply refused to take unnecessary load) was like road to Santiago for us.

Each turn was offering something new, something what we never expected and something that we’ll cherish forever.      
Thanks for Reading.

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