Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rishikesh-Haridwar Odyssey !

So the time finally came for my himalayan Odyssey to begin.My parents accompanied me for the tour to Rishikesh-Haridwar for their annual pilgrimage.This was going to be my 2nd visit to Uttarakhand.First time I visited Uttarakhand was with my grandmother when I was a kid some 20 year ago.We boarded the train from Howrah at night and started for Haridwar.It was really after a long time I was about to travel in Train for such a long journey and was looking forward to it.I woke up after having a good night sleep when train reached Varanasi.A newspaper hawker came to the compartment t Varanasi.I asked for an english daily as I didn't had change so I gave him Rs 100.He told he will return the change never to have come back.This was kind a welcome call for me for the things I need to be carefull for days to come.

Har-Ki-Pauri as seen at dawn.

We reached Haridwar Railway station in the morning.We got a hotel near Har-ki-Pauri,the main ghat in Haridwar.Propitiously located at the point where the Ganges emerges from Himalayas,Haridwar is India's one of the most Holy Place.The sheer number of pilgrims in Haridwar who come for Holy bath in morning at Har-ki-Pauri Ghat will simply blow you apart.One of the most famous ghat,Har-Ki-Pauri is where Vishnu is said to have dropped some heveanly nectar and left behind some footprints.Every evening hundreds of people gather for Ganga Arati which I truly an enlightening experiance.People burns a flower basket with light and put it on the river to drift away downstream.

Ganga Arati at Har-ki-Pauri at Dusk!

After spending 2 days in Haridwar we travelled to Rishikesh for a day visit.There is nothing much to catch in Rishikesh city except those two iconic Jhulas situated around 4 Km from the city.We spend a day visiting all Ashrams located at Ghats near two Jhulas.I will be writing more about Rishikesh having stayed 7 days in and around this area as my initial plan for mountainering course in NIM crashed in heavy waterfall in upper Uttrakhand.

I standing with Mom at iconic Lakshman Jhula at the background.