Day 3 & 4 - Apr 7-8 - Haridwar-Rishikesh

Day 3 - Haridwar
It was a decision taken after considering Corbett/Rajaji National Park and others in the vicinity for a 2-day trip. After considering the options and the fact that we are travelling with 3 kids, decide to visit Haridwar and Rishikesh. Our original plan was to visit Haridwar and Rajaji National park but changes to Rishikesh after noticing that Rajaji park will need a full day which will affect our schedules in the days to come.So it was off to Haridwar on the April 7th in the same Qualis with the same driver who took us to Jaipur.


We started around 9AM hoping to be in Haridwar by 2PM. Well, by the time we left behind Ghaziabad it was 11.30AM and I felt that we made a mistake by doing this journey in car. It should've been by train. But it was too late and the sun was blazing and we were going at a pace where Haridwar seems to be at a distance far, far away. We went through Meerut, Muzzaferpur and other towns but the road was very bad and made the travel seem longer than it was. After taking a small break for lunch in a road-side dhaba, we continued our journey with the kids tired and sleeping and all of us losing our patience. By the time we reached Roorkee, I was agonizingly looking at the nearing of Haridwar. The problem when we neared Haridwar was that I had no hotel bookings done in Haridwar and when I called up Ginger, they had no rooms available. Now, it was a gamble and after a tussle, my brother told me to go for Hotel Alpana.

After parking the vehicle in the Ram Leela Maidan (hotel had no parking as it is in the middle of a bazaar near Har-Ki-Paudi), we took a rickshaw ride to the hotel, which, I must say, was really enjoyed by the kids. The hotel was neat to our relief and was recently renovated. When I fell on the bed at about 4PM, I wanted to get to sleep. So, after a bit off rest, we were off to Har-ki-paudi for the evening aarti.


We walked through the bazaar and it ended on the banks of Ganga. River Ganga was a sight to behold and cherish. Obviously, it has been tamed and banks were built to contain the flow. But just looking at the flow of the river and the force, you became reverential. I started thinking of the time when the river must have been running wild across the plains with no check dams or banks. It would've been terrific. Although J compared the river unfavorably to Missisippi, I believe both were terrific.

There was much crowd sitting in Har-ki-paudi (which BTW was believed to have been built by King Vikramaditya in remembrance of his friend). Lots of kids selling plastic sheets for 5Rs so that you dont get with the water. The aarti, decked with flowers, was available in different sizes for different prices. We sat down on the banks and the evening was magical.

At about the time the sun set, bhajans started in the Ancient Ganga devi temple. Ofcourse there were peddlers of matches (for lighting the aarti) and volunteers from the maths around cheering the crowd with 'Ganga matha ki jai' slogans and then the river itself flowing at a terrific speed. Then the aarti started with the priest in the Ganga devi temple came out with his aarti to much chanting and shoutings. A lot of people started floating their aartis in the river and J floated down one as well. After about 15-20 minutes, the ritual is over and we all walked back. J had a little mehndi done by a local meanwhile.



Dinner was at a restaurant on the bank of the Ganges 'Chottiwalas' and the food was excellent. After which, we walked back to the hotel through the bazaar. J and mom did a bit of shopping and then got back to hotel. Me and J took a stroll through the bazaar till closing time and got back and slept.


Day 4 - Rishikesh
We started the day by checking out of the hotel and starting to the Manasadevi temple. This temple lies on top of a hill and there is rope car service to the top. The kids enjoyed the ride. The temple was small and crowded. We took pictures in the local dress which actually looked funny. There is a guy who runs a small canteen there which actually sells Idlies and Dosas and it was real good.


Rishikesh lies 25Kms north of Haridwar. We checked out in the morning and started to Rishikesh. It was a slow ride along the Ganga and there were share autos (called 'vikrams') all along with the terrain changing from flat to mountainous.

Our plan was to visit the Lakshman julla and retun. It was a diffcult ride to the Julla and since the terrain suddenly becomes mountainous. the walk was tiring. They are a couple of suspension bridges, the Ram and Lakshman Julla and there is a temple on the other bank of Ganga.We walked into the bridge, which is narrow with motor bikes running wild. There are a lot of aggressive monkeys around this area and it is not safe to carry anything that gives the hint to the monkeys that its food. After the mandatory photosessions, we walked back to the car. When we reached the car, we realized that my father was missing. Luckily he carried his cell phone and when I called up, he replied saying he is walking to the car. Apparently he took a wrong turn was walking towards Haridwar when we found him.

After a fantastic lunch in the Country Inn in Haridwar, the gruelling drive towards Delhi began by 3.30PM. Surprisingly the return journey was fast and although I suspected that the driver dozed off in the middle, we reached safely to Gurgaon by 9.30PM.

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ராமானுஜர் - நாடகம்

இந்திரா பார்த்தசாரதியின் 'ராமானுஜர்'  வருடங்களுக்கு முன் வைணவத்தின் மீது இப்போதிருக்கும் பிரேமை வருவதற்கு முன் வாசித்தது. எனவே இப்ப...