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One Day Sight-seeing in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

On Day 1 (23 April 2023) of our Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh after a short stop at Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar, we started at around 8.30 p.m and continued our journey to Rishikesh. On Google map the travel time from Haridwar to Rishikesh was around 45 minutes. But we reached our hotel in Rishikesh at around 10 p.m due to heavy traffic jam at every point.

It was quite frustrating after a day long journey from Hyderabad to New Delhi by flight, cab drive from New Delhi to Haridwar and from there to Rishikesh. I felt it was not a favourable day as our disappointed started with the horrible condition cab. It continued in Haridwar where with the jam packed pilgrims and added to that we couldn't watch Ganga aarti. Next it took almost 3 hours car drive from Haridwar to Rishikesh and finally it peeked when the hotel room was too congested. We booked the hotel room through Makemytrip but unfortunately the pictures shown in the website did not match with the actual room. Somehow we made up our minds to adjust in the room as it is only a night's stay.

As it was past 10 p.m the hotel kitchen was closed so we had dinner in a local restaurant which was not up to the mark and were back to our room. We thought of watching Ganga aarti in Rishikesh the next day morning but on inquiring the locals told that it doesn't take place in Rishikesh. We didn't know whether we were misguided by the locals or by Google where we saw that Ganga aarti takes place in Rishikesh. At the end of our Day 1 tour which was full of disappointment and disgust we retired to bed.

Day 2 (24 April 2023) in Rishikesh

Rishikesh is a spiritual town in Uttarakhand. It is the place where the crystal clear waters of river Ganga touch the foothills of Himalayas before entering the plains in Haridwar. The place is popularly known as the Yoga Capital of the world. As we moved around in Rishikesh in the morning I observed that there are many foreign tourists here who mainly visit this place for Yoga and spiritual elevation amidst nature. While many young Indians visit the place for adventure sports and rafting. And the oldies and traditonal pilgrims visit the place for religious purpose.

As we were not sure whether Ganga aarti takes place here or not, we dropped the idea of going for aarti. After completing our daily morning chores we had breakfast in the hotel which included poha and aloo parantha. Breakfast was not for a typical South Indian like me who is a idli and dosa lover.

After breakfast we left for Triveni Ghat which is one of the sacred ghats in Rishikesh. Locals told that this ghat is a confluence of 3 rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. After Day 1's upset in Haridwar, we found this place quite peaceful and serene with not much crowd. The river water was chill and as it was Ganga Pushkaram, my husband had holy dip in river Ganga. But I couldn't dare.
We spent some time in the lap of Ganga Maiyya and really enjoyed the place. Our hotel check out time was 11 a.m, so after some local shopping we rushed to the hotel and checked out the hotel. As we didn't know anything about the place, the driver took us to the main spot where we had to book a local guide otherwise we would have been moved aimlessly. The guide charged Rs.200/- for one hour which I felt is worth. Here also bad luck followed us and we came to know that the famous Lakshman Jhula bridge was closed as it was under construction. We walked through crowded narrow lanes (gullis) which has shops on either sides. The guide took us to Ram Jhula from where we had a beautiful view of river Ganga and the ghats.
Tourists can either walk on the Ram Jhula to go to the other bank or they can go on a boat and see some popular spots on the other side. The guide showed us those spots but I am unable to recollect the names of those spots. We opted for a boat ride in Ganga so we bought tickets for the ride which costs Rs.40/- per head during our visit in April 2023.
After that enjoyable boat ride in Ganga we reached the opposite bank. From here we had a beautiful view of Maa Ganga, tourists walking on the Ram Jhula bridge and the view of the other bank from where our boat ride started.
The enjoyed the view from this bank for a while and took few clicks and spent some time watching Ganga waters. While we were admiring the beauty of Ganga my naughty daughter took a click of a calf (I think a young bull) that was standing at the edge of the bank and enjoying the sight of Ganga while the pilgrims were busy taking pics and selfies. Hahaaa! There was laughter all around at this sight.
From here we just followed the guide as we had no idea of where to go, what to see and kept listening to him what he was explaining. On the way he showed us one Rama Sthambam which was constructed recently.
Ramkoti Sthambam is the pillar in which the Ramakoti books in which devotees write Sri Rama, 1 crore times, are kept in the pillar. After long walk we rested for a while and had freshly prepared adrak (ginger) kulhad (clay cup) chai at a local roadside chai vendor. We also had some local cookies and biscuits available with the vendor which were super taste. The vendor looked like a rishi with matted hair and spoke beautiful English.
Rishikesh is one of the sacred places where you can have real peace of mind with good hospitality from the local people. After showing us various spots the guide took us to a shop and forced us to buy Rudraksha and Sphatika mala which I felt was somewhat expensive. This is one thing where we tourists (esp tourists from South) need to be extra careful with the local guides. Anyways we bought those two items and felt okay for being a part of promoting tourism of the place. After spending the day enjoying the other bank of river Ganga we took the return boat ride (the ticket included to and fro ride) and reached the bank from where we took the ride.

From here we proceeded to Mussoorie, a beautiful hill station in Uttarakhand which is at a distance of around 3 hours ride from Rishikesh via Dehradun.

Also Read My Next Posts of This Trip:
  1. Our Enchanting Road Trip from Rishikesh to Mussoorie.
  2. Peaceful Stay in Hotel Mussoorie
  3. Visit to Kempty Falls
  4. Relaxing in Company Garden, Mussoorie
  5. Visit ot Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Happy Valley, Mussoorie
  6. Mussoorie to Shimla Road Trip on the Ghat Roads
  7. Hailstorm Experience at Kufri in Shimla


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