Saturday, April 2, 2011

Faith Restored

In the midst of rush and cacophony of our daily life, the heartiest desire to steal some peaceful moment rises often.  One such serene place is Rishikesh. 5 to 6 hour drive from Delhi and you will indulge in the complete tranquility of nature and that much needed rest for your soul.

If it is your first visit, you’ll surprise by the number of foreigners that, this small city hosts. Travelers from across the globe visits here to get the first hand experience of India’s religious and spiritual offerings. The best place to stay here is the ashrams situated at the river bank. In the dawn and dusk you can hear the clear voice of roaring river, ready to wash your contaminated mental hazards and to fill it with pure serenity.

Foreigners experience Rishikesh in their own way. They stay here for weeks, indulging themselves in activities like Yoga, learning different instruments, religious practices, and most of the time simply roaming with kid like curiosities. Just listen their conversation on any of the restaurant, they are mesmerized, updated, critic and sometime offensive too, but every time offers something new about their experience of India.

Sometimes Rishikesh seems like a biggest version of Delhi-haat. Almost every shops are seems to offering various kinds of souvenirs.

Religion is an integral part of daily rituals here
The city restaurant offers entire range of Indian, Continental, Chinese, Mexican, Lebanese, Italian……and many more to suit every needs, but strictly vegetarian. Chotiwala restaurant is most famous and worth a try. You’ll notice a mannequin almost in front of every good restaurant with a platter in his hand. The platter is filled with the fresh food and precisely suggests the menu of that time. A quite attractive and innovative welcome to the guest!

Most Famous Chotiwala Restaurant
Religious books publisher like Geeta Press, have big presence here. One can buy Bhagmat Gita, Ved, Ramayan and many other books, that perfectly accompany the mood and sentiments that builds here.

Start your day early with a walk towards Lakshman Jhula (a hanging bridge over river Ganga) and en-route visit Ram Jhula (another hanging bridge) and many temples and ghats.

Ram Jhula
You can also trek to “Neelkanth Dev Temple” or hire a cab for the same. It cost you 100 bucks for a return trip. Rest of the day visit Ashrams of Rishikesh. They are plenty in number and offer every possible kind of religious and spiritual things. Finally the evening prayer at Ganga is an ideal way to enrich your-self with all the positive energy.  It is a daily ritual and one of the most religious activities of the day. A large number of devotees chant the name of goddess in chorus, which create an aura of divinity.

At the time of evening prayer
Haridwar is another place of worship and considered as an abode of god. Just a few kilometers from Rishikesh it is one of the most sacred place of Hindu pilgrimage. Clear green water appears as serene as the environment itself. A holy dip in the river followed by prayer will take you more close to that supreme power.

Ghats of Haridwar
Visiting these two places completely rejuvenate the mind and one can feel the calmness and entire different meaning of life.

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