I was tired and bugged up with
daily routine so when I got an offer to visit Rishikesh, like an eager
traveller i lapped up the opportunity. I wanted to experience Rishikesh raw, so
decided to give a miss to all the resorts and hotels and booked myself in the
luxury tents named Aspen camps.
We booked ourselves in an
overnight Volvo (would recommend you to opt for sleeper category). They give
you full berth to sleep but two words of advice:
a)One berth is shared by 2
persons, so book tickets in pair of 2, otherwise you will end up sharing berth
with a stranger.
b)Please take a light blanket or
woolen bed sheet otherwise the air conditioner
will freeze you.
Early morning we reached Natraj
Chowk in Rishikesh and from there we moved to Aspen camps, which were located
in Pauri Garhwal region.
The location of the camp is
awesome, it is located on the tributary of river Ganga and surrounded by
mountains. The best part was, that one can reach the camp site after a short
hike. I was totally mesmerized with the place. After ages, in the afternoon, I
slept under a tree shade. I never felt the need of bed sheet, as the grass was very
Once we were over with our lunch, we decided to visit Parmarth Niketan
Ashram for Ganga aarti. I am not a religious person, but once I reached there,
I felt an immense peace and calm. This
aarti happens in the evening and is generally visited by 60-100 people. The
intriguing part is, forget about Indians even foreigners are equal participant
in the aarti.
While returning back from the
aarti , I clicked a picture of pothi baba. There are shops selling eateries,
where outside the shop , on a raised chamber, sits a person in sadhu’s get up
and he is called pothi wale baba. After returning back to the camp, we attended
a barbecue session, talked about life, priorities and spiritualism. I was too
tired so decided to call it a day.
Next day we woke up early and
went for a nature walk to Kaali Kund, this place has a small waterfall. It is
being said that Lord Shiva stopped here on his way to Neelkanth. Oh yes, I
discovered porcupine quills during the nature walk. Also, the naturalist told
us the medicinal advantage of certain plants. This was new to me, as many of
the plants which I considered wild, were good herbs.
After returning to the camp, I
decided to go for river rafting. I would say that river rafting is not an
adventure sport but it is a medium to challenge self. It fills you with an
immense satisfaction, when you navigate through those rapids and reach banks
safely. I went for 16 km rafting, where I came across 12 rapids, in which 4
were really dangerous rapids. Rafting like other sports, teaches you the value
of team work. If that is lacking, then crossing rapids safely would not be
possible. In a way rafting is liberating, it fills you with immense confidence.
After a lovely dinner, I hit the
bed, as early next morning, we were supposed to leave for Delhi by Jansatabdi.
There are few moments, incidents
or holidays which one can never forget. My Rishikesh trip was one such trip
which I will not easily forget.