A Day In Rishikesh: A Travel Photo Blog
|A Sadhu dressed in Saffron, smoking a beedi against the backdrop of Massage and Yoga boards, and the mighty Holy Ganga: This picture captures the spirit of down-town Rishikesh at it’s best!|
Travelling to Rishikesh is always a delight! And though I have been here several times, this is the first Travel Blog Post I am writing about Rishikesh, primarily because there is just so much to write about and I didn’t think I’d do it complete justice in just one post. There is so much culture, and so much history that I my plans on writing about it, always kept getting delayed.
|The Banks Of Holy Ganga in Rishikesh. Truly #IncredibleIndia|
But during my recent, and the shortest visit to Rishikesh, I felt the compelling need to write about the city, and starting with a Photo Blog seems like the right thing to do. Baby steps, I know.
|The Laxman Jhoola in Rishikesh.|
Rishikesh is the city that enchants and overwhelms at the same time.
We spent a lot of time just walking the street of Rishikesh. The mystical environment give you the feeling of inner peace, just by being there and breathing in the city! The holy river Ganga, the Sadhus, the Yoga, the international touriststhat mingle here like locals and the Hindu mythology! There is just so much to absorb and imbibe here, that just a day can feel like a trip of the lifetime. And that’s what I recently did, a one day trip to Rishikesh. And trust me, it was the best!
|Overlooking the busy streets of Rishikesh.|
As everyone knows, Rishikesh is famous as the Hindu Pilgrimage town and is regarded as one of the holiest places in the Hindu Culture. Rishikesh is located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as The Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas. It is a part of Uttrakhand, and is around 45 km from Dehradun, the state capital. Rishikesh is also famous as the Yoga Capital of the World.
|Streets of Rishikesh.|
The city of Rishikesh is surrounded by the very beautiful Himalayan districts of Tehri Garhwal (I love it and I wrote about my Offbeat Trip so Surgingdhar in New Tehri), Pauri Garhwal and Haridwar. Hindu sages, better knows an Sadhus, have travelled to Rishikesh from all over the globe since ancient times to meditate in search of higher knowledge, in search ofNirvana.
|The Ganga, and the Yoga ashrams on the Ghats|
This holy city is vegetarian by law, and meat and alcohol are not legal here. Cows are revered and protected, and they roam freely in the streets. Here is one right on the internationally famous Laxman Jhoola:
|Rishikesh is known for protecting the Holy Cows.|
Laxman Jhoola is one of the most famous attractions of Rishikesh, and it is resplendent! The view from the ghats down below, is just stunning. Walking on the Laxman Jhoola, across the Ganga, is something I absolutely love. It is serene and powerful and oh-so-exhilarating – all at the same time. The Ram Jhoola is also at par and both the Jhoolas (suspension bridges) are always crowded. The two Jhulas are pedestrian-only – though scooters and motorcycles freely use them, and as seen above, even cows.
|The tourist at Laxman Jhoola|
Coming back to Yoga – there are numerous Yoga centres here and almost every establishment seems to be popular with international tourists seeking Spirituality, Peace and Enlightenment. Even the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram, known locally as the Beatles Ashram, has also opened its doors again! No wonder Rishikesh has a very strong spiritual vibe, and you feel it while walking the street or just sitting by the Ganges. We visited two yoga centres near Laxman Jhoola.
It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings the human soul closer to attainment of Moksha, as does a dip in the holy river Ganges that flows through the city.
|The Yoga Training Centre right next to Laxman Jhoola|
Rishikesh is also known for White Water Rafting. The Rafting season starts from the month of March and ends in September, and the season sees a lot of young adventure seekers for Rafting, Kayaking and other Water Activities. There are a lot of Rafting camps here, and so are trekking kiosks that take you further into the Himalayas for camping and hikes.
|Rafting on Ganga, and the beautiful Ghat|
According to Lonely Planet, Rishikesh is one of the most famous destination for international tourism planning a trip to India. Travel to this town and you’ll feel it’s high energy! Rishikesh is divided into two main areas: the crowded and very lively Rishikesh town, where the local bus and train stations are situated and also the popular Triveni Ghat (a popular travel destination, an auspicious bathing ghat and place of prayer on the Ganges), and the riverside communities that are 2 km upstream around Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, where most of the accommodation, ashrams, restaurants and travellers are ensconced. Swarg Ashram, located on the eastern bank, is the traffic-free ‘spiritual centre’ of Rishikesh, while High Bank, west of Lakshman Jhula, is a small enclave popular with backpackers.
|Ganga Ghat, Rishikesh.|
For this one day trip, we decided to eat at the Little Buddha Cafe, and it was jam packed with international traveller. This is a pretty, tree-house themed restaurant with a lounge-like vibe – but can get very hot in summers because it is open with no fans or air conditioning. We did manage to get a table, but this place is only worth the wait if you get one of the three / four tables right by the edge of the terrace – overlooking the Ganga. Those are splendid!
|Little Buddha Cafe in Rishikesh|
The food at Little Buddha Cafe was pretty average according to me, but then, it is catered for foreign tourists who travel across the town and are the regulars here. Their menu has a variety of dishes like three cheese Salads, bland (VERY bland) nachos and other non-spicy food items that seemed to be a hit. The vegetable platter is famous. Shakes are good, and the staff is friendly. The service though, is slow.
I know Little Buddha is very famous, but I give it an over all 2.5 stars out of 5. If you are an Indian tourist, you might want to check it out once and see if you like it (and you might!), and if you are an international tourist in Rishikesh, I am sure you will love the food here. And oh, it is a smoking-allowed-everywhere kind of a place, and you now what most people smoke in Rishikesh. So, you might want to stay away from here if you have kids with you.
|View From Our Table in Little Buddha Cafe|
If you want the authentic Rishikesh food experiences, do not miss the vegetarian thali at Choti Wala in Rishikesh. It is probably the most famous Indian eating joint here, so you’ll find it easily. Also, you definitely have to make a trip to The German Bakery in Rishikesh which is a total bliss. Below is a click from my one day trip to Rishikesh, and even through the glare of the glass and my messy photography, you can see the mouth watering delicacies. It will make your Rishikesh Travel experience, a great one, trust me
|German Bakery, Rishikesh.|
So, this is my dedication to mesmerising Rishikesh – the city that I absolutely love and the city that captures the essence of #IncredibleIndia to its fullest. I will write more on the city soon, when I travel to the Yoga Capital again.
Until then, Happy Travelling!