Rishikesh And Haridwar
As a person who lives near Delhi, I can surely tell that if any person looks for a place to visit near Delhi, Rishikesh and Haridwar are on the top list. And there is a reason for it. Haridwar is considered as the gateway to Lord Vishnu’s place. So It remains on the top list of Hindu spiritual destination. Also, It is one of the places to host world famous Kumbh Mela. On the other hand, Rishikesh is known as the Yoga capital of the world. It is full of temples and ashrams. In recent years, This place has developed as adventure sports hub in India. Ganga river rafting in Rishikesh, Bungee jumping, flying fox, camping are some must-do activities for all adventure lovers in the city.
In this blog post, you will get to know the two places with the help of my experiences that I had on my 2-day trip. So keep reading until the end.
Day 01: The Planning
Since We hadn’t traveled for a while, I proposed Nitish that we should visit Rishikesh. It was going to be my first trip there. He was free next weekend hence we fixed the date. On the day we had to leave, I woke up early in the morning. I packed my bags and rechecked for all items that were necessary. Since it was December, I made sure I had some warm clothes in my bag. We had made our bucket list already. Nitish has some friends in Rishikesh, So our Accommodation was already set up.
Our Bucket list for this trip:
- Neel Kanth Mahadev temple
- Rafting in Ganga
- Ganga Arti in Rishikesh
- ram Jhoola and Laxman Jhoola
- Har ki Pauri
- Mansa Devi Temple
These are the things that we actually ticked after the trip. The following things are also eligible for everyone’s bucket list:
- bungee jumping
- flying fox
- bonfire and night camping
- yoga sessions in ashrams
- Chamunda Devi temple
- Rajaji national park
So, Now everything was set and all we had to do was to leave for the destination.
01:00 PM, Day 1
We got into the bus at 12:30 PM from Modinagar. There was no two seat together, So we had to sit in the available seats. I bet you should travel in public transport buses, You will keep yourself entertained throughout the journey. This ticket collector of our bus was a funny person. When I first saw him, I thought him as a decent and friendly man. But as our journey proceeded he showed us the colors of the chameleon. Every time a person called him to stop the bus, I bet you would get shivered by the scolding if you were present on the bus.
Anyways, we stopped for refreshment near Muzaffarnagar at a Dhaba. We filled our bellies with snacks and changed our seats. Till now buses had 2 consecutive empty seats. We reached Roorkee at around 04:00 PM. As we are pursuing Civil Engineering as graduation, We consider Roorkee as our Mecca. So we literally bowed towards the IIT campus. You know na that IIT Roorkee is the oldest Campus to have Civil Engineering in the prospectus and most reputed one. ( Hint: This Paragraph is a Sarcasm. No offense intended. )
Day 01, 06:00 PM
We reached Rishikesh at 06:00 PM. We left Haridwar for the last. After getting freshened up we got out for an evening walk. Since our guest house was near the bank of River Ganga, we easily reached there in 10 minutes. The shore was filled with waves of Ganga. The feeling and peacefulness can’t be expressed in word, my friend. You will have to feel it yourself. After one hour of walk on the coast of River, we returned. We had a simple and tasty dinner that was presented by our hosts. The food which is already tasty seems too tasty when you are hungry and tired both at a time. It was time to go bed. The next day was going to be very much exciting.
Day 02, 08:00 AM
Maybe we always wake up as late as 11:00 AM, But this was not the day. I was ready to explore the city as early as 7 o’clock. So, we sipped our morning tea and left for our first destination. This was going to be Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. You can easily get SUVs near Laxman Jhoola which will take you to the temple. The temple is situated at 25 km long trek. In August, when There is Sawan month going on, thousands of pilgrims walk to the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple on foot. For all who might want to know the traveling charge will be 130 Indian Rupees if you go by the vehicle.
So, we reached this temple at around 09:30 AM. The driver told us that he will be waiting for us in an hour. We got ourselves some Prasad and visited the temple. It was very cold there as compared to the main city. Now we got to know there that there are two temples that are right above the Mahadev temple on the hills. One is Hanuman temple and other is Devi Parvati temple. But due to the winter season, Parvati Temple was closed for visitors. So It became necessary to reach the temple.
A little pilgrimage walk to the temple on the hill
We found a narrow passage which led us to the stairs. These stairs were either made by cutting down the rocks or little masonry work for making a walkable platform. There were about 300-400 stairs before we actually got to the temples. After you reach the top, It’s amazing to see the valley and mountain range behind it. After taking blessings from Lord Hanuman and clicking some pictures, we got down to the cab. He and fellow passengers were already waiting for us. We descended back to Rishikesh for next dose of adventure and travel.
Day 02, 12:00 PM
Though I had already researched about rafting in Rishikesh, talking to locals is always good. So, I talked to the driver about the rafting and stuff. He told us that talking to local agents can be much more economical. We will have a chance to bargain also. While our returning journey, we crossed a point where a narrow way led to Neelkanth waterfalls. But since we had other plans, we left that for next trip.
So, we got to Laxman Jhoola at about 12:30 PM. I bought some wheat flour balls to feed the fishes. Firstly we thought that It was just a tantrum to sell these balls and fishes would not actually show. But, when started throwing balls, We did saw these little creatures jumping for the flour balls. I am a little obsessed with animals and I get emotional when I get a chance to connect with them. It was indeed a great feeling feeding the fishes, even If I was about 100 feet above them. We got to a nearby rafting agent after hanging out on Jhoola for about half an hour.
Rafting in Rishikesh
There was a person named Nitin on the counter. I talked about the price rates for each rafting trip. Since it was our first time, I asked for 12 km plan. It is level 2 as per distance. He told us that there were 9k, 12k, 27k, 32k and even 70k plans available on demand. We finalized on 12km Plan. We had to wait another 15 minutes when 2 people from Maharashtra joined us on his rafting trip. So now, we were 7 people going to be on the raft. Nitin was our rafting guide and his associate 3 star( yes they called him the name for his tattoo on his neck). Nitish’s friend Priyansh had joined us as He also wanted an adrenaline rush. FYI, Priyansh was one of our hosts in Rishikesh.
So Raft was loaded on a Scorpio, we got in with our safety jackets and headed to the starting point. This was a beautiful scenery with mountains in the backdrop. We were so excited for the rafting. Nitin dropped the raft in Ganga and told us to tighten our jackets. We all kept our smartphones and stuff in the carry bag attached to the raft.
A small Rafting Tutorial
Nitin checked out our belts before he started to give us basic training. We came to know that a raft is actually made of nine different components. So if unfortunately any component is hit by something or gets damaged the raft will not sink. The stuff he told us was basically to assure that we are safe on the raft. Now he told us about the Ram. It is also made of 3 parts. we got to know the handling of raft and ram. After a basic guide for co-ordination between fellow rafting members, we were in the river.
My first Rafting experience in Rishikesh
The moment we entered in River Ganga I was filled with an adrenaline rush. It was the first time I was stepping in a river with such a turbulence. There were three commands we had to follow: Forward, rest and backward. When the river was flowing steadily, we had to be in the rest position. Similarly, Whenever we encountered a Rapid, we had to move our ram forward as fast as possible with a rhythm. Those two hours were one of the best moments of my life. It was about 3 o’clock when we were back on the river bank.
We thanked Nitin for such an amazing experience that was possible because of him. He was also a good rafting guide. By the way, after shaking hands and saying goodbye, we moved towards Ram Jhoola. We covered the distance on foot exploring the city. As There was some time in Ganga Aarti.
Day 02, 05:00 PM
If someone is going to Rishikesh just for few hours and he asks me,” Prabhakar, which is the one thing that I should do in Rishikesh?”. I will definitely suggest being Part of The Ganga Aarti. I am not a spiritual kind of person and I went to Rishikesh for nature and adventure as my priority. But the feeling I got while at the aarti was Simply amazing! The aroma of camphor fills the environment with positive vibes. We took blessings from the priest, got the Prasad and got back to our Room.
Even since we had so much amazing experience whole day, we had got tired. Also next day we had to go back to Haridwar as per our plans. So we had our dinner and went to bed at about 09:00 PM
Day 03: 08:00 AM
The day was going to be engaged. So we had to hurry and reach Haridwar ASAP. We got freshened up, took our morning tea and left for Haridwar at about 08:30 AM. We said thanks to our host for such a nice stay. On Our way back I encountered one of the entry gates for Rajaji National Park. It is indeed on my bucket list, but due to the tight schedule, we moved forward. We reached Har Ki Pauri at 10 o’clock. It was time for taking a Holy bath in River Ganga(Ganga Asnan). Har ki Pauri is one of the most visited places in Haridwar. Daily, Thousands of people bath here in hope of washing out their evil deeds.
Mansa Devi Temple
Mansa Devi Temple and Chandi Devi Temple are two Goddess Durga Shrines in Haridwar. Since Mansa Devi Temple is just near Har Ki Pauri, We decided to visit there. The Temple is situated on the hilltop, and you have two ways to reach there. One is ropeway service which takes you directly to the temple and It will cost you minimal charge. Other is traveling on foot. We decided to hike to the temple. The hiking experience was more memorable than the visit to the temple if you ask me.
It was about 04:00 PM when we got back to the bus stop. We took the Bus back to Delhi and thus our 2 days long trip ended. There is so much to do left there and I am now waiting for my next trip to Rishikesh.
Tell me in comments How much You liked the Post. Also, I would love to hear your travel stories of Rishikesh. Till my next Post, Happy Traveling! Safe Traveling!
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