Adventure and fun at Rishikesh. - Part I3, Apr, 2017, by Seema Bhatnagar
Rishikesh is a small town located in the foothills of Himalaya, in northern India, at a height of around 1,745 ft from sea level. It has a great spiritual significance because the holy river Ganges flows through it. This is a place where Ganges can be seen with its pure and crystal clear water. It has also a mythological history behind it. Nowadays, it has become famous as a “Yoga capital of the World.”.
It is approximately 225 km from Delhi and takes around 5-6 hours journey by road. With river Ganges flowing through with its gushing water, Rishikesh has also become a popular spot for adventure sports, mainly rafting. There are several adventure camping resorts run by private organizations.
With an idea to explore the adventure, planned 3 days adventure trip to Rishikesh with my friends. I had been thinking to experience this adventure since long and this time opportunity presented itself and I simply grabbed it. We were a group of 10 persons. Our stay was for 2 nights and 3 days which included the tent accommodation, food, some adventure activities and rafting in Ganges river.
Itinerary was simple and very relaxed, ensuring that we experience all activities without any rush and hurry. The location of our resort, Ganga Riviera, was a downhill trek from Mahadev Chatti, which lies on the main highway.
We started for Rishikesh, early morning at 5:00 am from Delhi in our cars on Sun, 19th March, 2017. We halted 3 times to freshen up and had light snacks on the way.
For me, the mountain journey always poses a challenge as my stomach doesn’t like it. The moment hair pin curves started on route I felt like puking. Though it didn’t happen but the mere feeling made me a bit uncomfortable. For almost one hour starting from Haridwar (which is the plain region) to start uphill for Rishikesh, I was feeling low and had to get down 3 times to ease myself. My friends were offering me to pop the pill but since I am compelled by habit, didn’t opt for it and decided to experience what comes my way as it was not that harmful or killing.
We reached Rishikesh around 2 pm, from there it was another one hour journey to reach a spot called Mahadev Chatti. This was the point on the high mountain where we had to leave our cars to be parked and from there we had to trek downhill towards the exact location of resort.
The manager of the resort already arrived to receive us. We left our cars and luggage in the hands of staff and started our downhill trek to our destination. It was a steep trekking on the mountain, one had to be careful because it was a narrow and rocky pathway without any support.
Trekking downhill at Mahadev Chatti.
For me, it was the first time that I trekked on such a terrain. It wasn’t difficult for others but for me it was a challenge as I never trekked before. I was the last one in the row of people, taking baby steps on the way, one slip means rolling down and ending up in bushes or in a hospital. It was one hour trekking, going fast means 40 mins. With the grace of God, we all reached safely and intact to our resort, Ganga Riviera. Reaching there took away all fatigue and I felt fresh and a bit accomplished after completing the tough trek. Our luggage was transported by mules who were quite adept at walking such terrains, just wondering, how come they are considered dumb when they are so smart at climbing and walking on such a terrain, on comparing them with myself, :-)..
After freshening up and changing clothes we were all set to immerse ourselves in the breathtaking landscape. It was a crisp sunlight warming the sand, and river Ganges was spreading the coolness through soft and gentle breeze. We were strictly instructed by the staff to wear life jackets all the time whenever we are going for any water activity. As per instructions, we all wore life jackets and got ready to jump in water.
View from our tent.
Had lots of fun with sand and water, tried kayaking and tried few strokes in deep water. Since I feel no water phobia so felt quite comfortable with water. Played on music and enjoyed the dip in Ganges water. Enjoyed for almost one hour and by the evening around 5:30 pm when it was falling dark we came out and washed ourselves of sand.
Sand beach, where we had fun with water and sand.
Getting friendly with mother Earth.
Tried hands on kayaking.
Got up early to capture setting moon.
On the second day, it was a calm day and we picked up activities which we liked.
A flower, giving its best.
As per my habit, got up early in the morning, freshened up and sat for my daily yoga and meditation. Mind it, I did not take a dip in mother Ganges, but used the bathrooms as it was cumbersome to wear jacket and then again change before sitting for yoga. Though it was possible but I chose other option.
Water bodies always fascinate me deeply and doing meditation near the flowing water of mother Ganges is no lesser than a fortune. It was quite all around and a gentle breeze was flowing and Sun was just rising.
Within an hour the Sun started rising in the horizon and I could feel the warmth while sitting eyes closed. At that very moment I could not ask for more. Once again, my deepest gratitude to Divine for aligning everything so perfectly and giving me such an enriching experience.
Sitting for daily meditation.
Had our breakfast and went to enjoy the nearby waterfall. Reaching that point involved walking on stones and climbing the broken trunks of trees lying on the way.
On the way to waterfall.
A step to cross for reaching waterfall.
The water was falling from the height of approximately 100 meters with full turbulence. It was really a fun standing under it. We all stood under it one by one to enjoy the power of water.
Standing under waterfall to experience the turbulence.
Feeling the awesome experience.
While coming back, once again we all went to enjoy the sand, water and cliff jumping. Spent almost 1 hour before settling down for lunch.
After coming from there we all enjoyed our lunch and took rest for a while and went to play beach volleyball. It was fun playing together. I played after so many years. I used to play during school days and it was almost after 20 years I played again, was a bit out of practice but played just for the fun of it.
In the evening there was a bonfire where we had some snacks, sang some songs and enjoyed being together. After a long day of fun filled activities, we had our sumptuous dinner. Food really tasted awesome. The quality of food was conveying that chef had really poured his warmth and thoughtfulness in it. There was a spread of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. As I am a vegetarian so opted for vegetarian dishes. The balance of spices and oil was just perfect and the sweetness of veggies could be felt in mouth.
Before ending that day, wanted to walk under the clear sky, studded with twinkling stars. Such a site is not possible in a city like Delhi, where the air is filled with smog all the time. Walked for almost an hour and it was almost midnight when I turned in.
Walking near the river enjoying the sweet and tingling sound of flowing water, clear sky, dark all over with dim lights of lanterns in the tents, was a moment to be cherished. Lights were being used sparingly to get an experience of real jungle camping. It was like, away and disconnected from the world and being pampered in the lap of nature.
Continue reading part II.
Adventure and fun at Rishikesh. - Part II