Haridwar and Rishikesh India: Another perspective

“Rishikesh” is located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as the ‘Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas’ & Yoga Capital of India. “Haridwar” is the place where holy Ganges enters the plains of Northern India {Haridwar is regarded as one of the seven holiest places (Sapta Puri) to Hindus}. If you are really interested in understanding science of spirit, Hindu culture & lives which revolve around our gods, this is the place to start with. These two places have been an abode of the weary in body, mind and spirit. For me this place gives me an opportunity to enter Shivalik ranges of Himalayas & see the enchanting beauty of Ganges which transforms into a giant river.

   Day1

  • I reached Delhi from Bangalore around 9:00 PM IST. The interesting part was we nearly missed our flight thanks to our booked cab. One Pointer to all travellers, we should always have some buffer time to subside delays on route.
  • From Airport reached Delhi Aerocity Metro station, Airport Metro is an easy & convenient mode to reach Railway Station{NDLS}, the station is few walks away from New Delhi Metro Station.
  • I had a reservation in Nanda Devi Express, It leaves at 11:50 PM IST & reaches Haridwar around 3:50 AM IST. You may found this train a bit crowded as it is used by locals a lot but if you have reservation then there shouldn’t be anything to worry. There is no pantry so don’t expect food or snacks in the train so it is advised to full your tummy before you board the train.

Trains to Haridwar via Delhi

Day 2 (Haridwar)

  • One of the main attraction in Haridwar is ‘Har-ki-Paudi’ which means Lord shiva steps. This revered place is the major landmark & can be a bit crowded in day time, especially during ongoing festival season like Karthik Purnima {full moon}.

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  • So I decided to spend my morning here. You have to trust me on this there are things which can not be explained & can only be experienced. There is something divine about this place & you can spend hours here & looking at the morning rituals & listening to prayers.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy local delicacies here like hot Rabri & dense milk served in Kulhars.
  • I couldn’t go to Mansa Devi temple because access to cable car was closed because of Diwali Celebration and time was on shorter side.

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After spending almost 4 hours here, I hopped on to my Hotel Urmi Haridwar’ which is located in Motichur, 5 KM away from Main Haridwar. From my experience this is more like is guest house which is build in a residential area but the kind of hospitality I got here was amazing, staff was amazing & food was too good {no garlic or onions}, this is something which can’t be explained in mere words, you have to taste it. 🙂
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The reason I boarded this hotel because it’s near to ‘Shanti Kunj’ which was one of the main reason to visit this place. For me this place act as an catalyst of an alternative life style which it followers learn here & follow in their lives. This ideology was propagated by Shriram Sharma Acharya. This is a beautiful place & even if you are at distant from any religious beliefs but their certain core value of this place which will attract you for sure. Meditation & disciplined life style & respect for each living being is one of the core values of this place. One thing which really got my attention & did overshadow my thoughts foe couple of nights, was a concept of “Stray god”. I’ have shared more about in this post. May be travellers like me, who relates traveling as a spiritual science or quest to learn more about yourself, may be able to relate to it.

The next spot was ‘Saptrishi Ghat‘. Unadulterated beauty of this place will amaze you. This Ghat is named after ‘Saptrishi Ashram’ which was established by Guru Dutt in 1943. I spent my whole evening here, celebrating Diwali at the banks of this Ghat.
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Day 3 (Rishikesh)
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I understand a lot of travellers explain Rishikesh based on their experiences & trust me all of them are true. I have been to Rishikesh several times but every-time it was either to enjoy water sports or get high at the banks of Ganges but I never tried to understand the perspective of people. What makes it so special among foreigners & devotees? This is called Yoga Capital of the world & if we spend some time here, it may change the perspective towards life. Rishikesh is just not a place it’s a way of life.
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May be the lyrics of song from Beatles “Happy Rishikesh Song” can help us understand what I mean by this. “The Beatles” visited Rishikesh in February 1968, where they composed approximately 48 songs, one of which was the Happy Rishikesh Song.

All you need to do is to say this little word;
I know it sounds absurd but it’s true.
The magic in the mantra will give you all the answers.
Just swallow this, that’s all you got to do.

Everything you need is here,
And everything that’s not here is not there,
And if there’s something missing in this God almighty plan
Could it be you need a woman?

However this song may help you understand why people love this place. I may not be able to  explain it as this song by Sky Slansky.

“Rishikesh” by Tomas Sky Slansky

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