Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spiritual Journey to Rishikesh

Temples in Rishikesh

Rishikesh where people try to reach for another world, where belligerent Ganges provides a perfect ambiance along with Himalayas, ashrams, sadhus, classical songs, the smell of incense and a divine emotion. Rishikesh is all this and more. Unlike Varanasi Rishikesh is subtle and showy, it’s pretentious, ashrams are neat and clean and sadhus are sober and humble. Most unique nature of Rishikesh that make it separate from other holy places is presence of numerous yoga Ashrams and foreigners throng to this place for little bit of spiritual enlightenment. it’s a city where ancient, religious traditions exist happily together with youthful, adventurous sports. It tempts people with heady, bodily diversions- white water rafting and challenging treks.

Traveler’s Choice In Rishikesh

Ram Jhula – More people talk about Lakshman Jhula but from my experience I tell you Ram Jhula is much better for various reasons. It’s less crowded, during winter and summer ( except monsoon) you can easily step down to ghats and walk along the sandy bank of Ganga. Experience the chill water, crystal clear Ganga. I had an absolutely inconceivable experience of bathing on the banks and that also in the month of January. Ram Jhula connects Shivanand Ashram on the east bank with Swargashram on the west.

Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh
Walk Through The Bank To Reach Lakshman Jhula – It’s a really difficult proposition and I had tried but failed. Big boulders were the biggest problem while walking alongside Ganga. After half and hour of trekking( it was no difficult than any trek) I threw my idea and took a short cut route via various ashrams.

Breakfast At Lakshman Jhula – It is the centre of good times with its noisy bazaars and crowded cafes. The most happening part of the town. Strictly vegeterian Rishikesh has some wonderful restaurants and cafes ( I liked German cafeteria). Inspiring view from a top cafeteria overlooking Lakshman Jhula- temples, bathing ghats, prayer flags and clear sandy beaches shouldn’t be missed.

German Cafe in Rishikesh - my favorite hangout place
Yoga Ashrams – Rishikesh have gained immense popularity among foreigners, as a center for learning yoga, Hindu philosophy and ayurveda. I saw more than 30 ashrams offering some sort of yoga courses and lectures on Hindu philosophy. Some famous ashrams are Shivanand Ashram, Omkarananda Ahram and Swargashram.

Adventure Activities - Apart from Sadhus, yoga and spirtualism, Rishikesh is favorite spot for adventurers. River rafting, Kayaking, trekking, camping everything arrange at several trekking and mountaineering offices that mushrooming fast in Rishikesh. Although I never took any guide or tour package but I recommend to contact only GMVN Trekking and Mountaineering Office.

Mighty Ganges

How To Reach Rishikesh?

By Air- Nearest airport is at Jolly Grant In Dehradun around 25 km from Rishikesh.
By Road - If you are coming from Delhi, you have to take NH58 that takes you via Meerut, Khatauli, Roorkie, Haridwar and Rishikesh. Takes around 6 hours. You will get ample buses from Kashmere Gate ISBT.
By Rail – Haridwar station is better connected with major cities of India. It is advisable to come to Haridwar and take bus or share auto to Rishikesh.

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    January 15, 2013 at 12:53 AM

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