Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Rishikesh, Gateway to the Ganges - Delhi Weekend Gateway

Happy New Year 2020 !!! Wishing you all a spectacular year ahead...

With new year winter vacation break, we decided to visit Rishikesh, a small city in Uttarakhand by the river Ganges and also known worldwide as the "Yoga capital". It is a perfect tourist spot offering variety of experiences - Spiritual, adventurous and relaxing. While for spiritual seekers it is the gateway to the Himalayan shrines - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, similarly it also offers white water rafting experience to the adventure lovers. There are plenty of resorts by the Ganges allowing one for soul searching walks amidst the nature and offers plenty of room to meditate. There are numerous Ashrams which are recognized as centers of yoga and meditation. An international yoga week is organized every year by the state tourism between 2nd and 7th February. 

How to reach:
One can reach Rishikesh through both road and air means. Plenty of trains run from Delhi to Haridwar from where one can take a cab(taxi), bus or auto ride to Rishikesh. Auto rides vary from Rs 300 to 600 and cab(taxi) rides vary from Rs 900 to 1200 (depending on your bargaining skills­čść). It is approximately 1 hour distance from Haridwar to Rishikesh.

Surrounding Places:
One can explore Dehradun, Mussoorie, Dhanaulti, Tehri Dam and the four dhams (Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri) depending on your travel days and budget. 

We opted to club Tehri Dam with our Rishikesh trip and the standard cab (taxi) fare for 1 day trip is Rs 3000. It might go up to Rs 3500 during peak season.

Stay:
Rishikesh has numerous options to choose, starting from budget hotel to luxury resorts and there are plenty of Ashrams as well. We stayed at the Summit by the Ganges Resort & Spa and it was a blissful experience. It is situated at 20 Kms from city center in Shivpuri, the house of Shiva. The hotel offers all the space one needs for rejuvenation, solitude, thrill and self discovery.
For detailed review please visit: Summit by the Ganges Resort & Spa Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Tourist Spots:
  • Ram Jhula - It is an iron suspension bridge across river Ganga and connects Sivanand Nagar of Muni ki Reti in Tehri Garhwal district to Swargashram ashram in Pauri Garhwal district. 
  • Lakshman Jhula - It is a suspension bridge across river Ganga and connects Tapovan in Tehri Garhwal district to Jonk in Pauri Garhwal. It is said that Hindu Lord Laksham crossed the river Ganga on jute ropes.
  • Triveni Ghat - One of the biggest and most famous ghat in Rishikesh on the banks on river Ganga. It is a confluence of three sacred rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Devotees take dip in the holy river to get rid of their sins. Devotees also perform the last rites and rituals of their loved ones on this ghat It is believed that Lord Krishna also visited this ghat after getting hurt by an arrow of Jara - a hunter.
  • Rafting and White Water Rafting - One of the must do activities for adventure junkies. There are numerous rafting tour operators and different packages are listed as per the level of difficulty and distance covered. It offers a lifetime experience and creates memories for life time. The Shivpuri white water rafting is a 16 km stretch and usually gets completed in 2-3 hours.
  • Cliff Jumping - Another thrilling experience for adventure lovers. One needs to ensure that appropriate safety measures are taken before the free fall (life jacket, helmet followed by guide's instruction). 
  • Beatles Ashram - Located on the eastern banks of river Ganga in Rishikesh. During 1960s and 1970s, it was the training center for students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and named as the International Academy of Meditation. It gained fame as the famous rock band beatles visited there in 1968 to study meditation.
Best Season:
Mid Sep - May. Avoid travels during monsoons

Gallery:

On the way to Rishikesh

Glimpse from Laxman Jhula

Stunning views 
Ganga Aarti @ Triveni Ghat

Lit diyas floating in the ganges

Nature at its best
White beach with glistening green waters 

Sun kissed mornings ...

Spectacular view

Happy Traveling !!

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