Monday, April 26th, 2010 | Author:

If you are suffering from a midlife crisis visit Rishikesh, I don’t say this infact the Lonely Planet declares. My midlife is far and crisis hasn’t arrived as of now, touch wood. By the way, it was a tough choice between choosing an office outing that happened after a long time and the other place in subject. Cherry and I had zeroed in the time and spot long time back. Going by the plan, we’d be pushing one day early to the promised destination.

Googling in Office

Not sure about where to stay, I did some google search. A tip free for travelers hunting an affordable stay. Step one – Type in your destination’s name, hotel and currency you are comfortable with like for instance ¥, Rs, $, ₤ etc. Your search becomes easier after this exercise. Yes, I spoke to the manager who also happens to be a Bengali, got me a place where I intended to stay, a Ganga facing “view”. Cherry was naturally more excited than me. We had 2 nights and 2 days in hand. Step two – remember, always do some research about any place you visit. Things like local fooding, culture, weather and things to do and other things. Plan your outing and think like a tour operator. You should have a flow chart ready.

Bus Adda

We moved as per the plan and boarded out bus as per the plan from Kashmere gate at 3 PM. The journey was shaky but the excitement was palpable. We reached Rishikesh only after 11 PM. Pretty late and we were wondering if the hotel was shut for us. There were cops for obvious reasons. To my surprise the manager was awake and waiting. After completing registration formalities we were guided to our Ganga ‘facing’ room. I was dead tired and very soon crashed on my bed.
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Day One

The morning next day was refreshing and the first cup of cardamom tea was very soothing. A fresh wisp of air was constantly beating my face. Smell of incense sticks, sounds of mandir bells together was making the moment more heavenly. Rishikesh is a peaceful place with lot less noise made by piligrims. Atleast much less than its cousin Haridwar. Can you believe it the CM of Uttarakhand intends to run for a nobel prize for organizing a record shattering Kumbh mela this year? At least I know what does it takes when you submit yourself to the state transport department for traveling purposes during this time of the year.

Anyways, I decided to make a move to Neelkantha. We were lucky to get a jeep in this off season. The journey to Neelkantha was equally fascinating. The serpentine route and my trekker (the jeep) were racing against the young and furious Ganges coming from badri almost moving parallel. Phenomenal.

While returning back, we decided to offload ourself from that jeep and take a 12 kilometer trek back to Rishikesh town. Now, that was a sort of an adventure. We saw things like the purple coloured butterfly, that rare small bird, tasteless wild berries, the unnamed brook (which quenched my thirst), the friendly tea shack wala and the breeze. midlife crisis,Ganga,Rishikesh,Uttarakhand,Neelkantha,trek,foreigners,German Bakery,Laxman Jhoola,nirvana,Lucky Hotel,BeatlesAnother highlight of that small trek was that the road was much less traveled and that proved good for us, no unwanted glances or stares. We were given friendly smiles from absolute strangers, mostly foreigners and that little girl- Lata.

We somehow managed to come back to our hotel. Nonetheless, our legs were aching and stomach empty. We had a hearty lunch from a Vaishnav bhojanalya. It was 5 PM by now and we decided to spend the evening near the ghat. Rishikesh is replete with its temples and innumerous ghats making it a peaceful and spiritual place of interest.

Day Two

I and Cherry Window shopped and she wanted the pick of the day one ‘Afghani pyjama’. According to her it’s the “in” thing. We straddled between the shops checked out the pearls and metal jewellery. I was looking for fancy bags and artifacts. You will find a lot of junk lined on the streets. I sometimes wonder what pulls a lot of Israeli tourists here in Rishikesh? Anyways, out of question and my imagination.

In the evening I prefer hanging out in ‘Devraj German Bakery’, apart from the best view of ‘Laxman Jhoola’ they have an exiting menu on the platter spicy grilled vegetable pasta, potatoe cakes, salad, apple struddle (never tried and don’t know what that means), . cinnamon roll, Italian pizza, croissants, German brown bread with peanut butter, hold on you can have Yak cheese for Rs 30 and most of the dishes I have mentioned are hand picked whatever I could remember from an eight paged menu chart. Much to choose from here. I had this opportunity to have one of the best French onion soups ever @Rs25. What else? The evening was spent near the Parmarth Ashram. The arti along the ghats are magical and surely transcends you to a different world. The night dropped and thought crept slowly. We had to leave tomorrow. Sad but worth it – our trip that was. It was Holi-the festival of colours. Some people were having fun along the bonfire near the ghat, till late night.

Day Three

The next day morning, the manager asked us if we liked their services, I agreed with him
and also told him that I’d recommend my friends who would plan a visit to Rishikesh.
There is a lot more than I can mention in this piece to do in Rishikesh. The stays was relaxing and believe me, you’ll come out a different person from Rishikesh.midlife crisis,Ganga,Rishikesh,Uttarakhand,Neelkantha,trek,foreigners,German Bakery,Laxman Jhoola,nirvana,Lucky Hotel,Beatles

I was surprised to see how locals as well as our foreign guests were playing holi without any inhibitions. They mingled with each other freely. midlife crisis,Ganga,Rishikesh,Uttarakhand,Neelkantha,trek,foreigners,German Bakery,Laxman Jhoola,nirvana,Lucky Hotel,Beatles

It feels good. Rishikesh has definitely changed since the Beatles arrived and it’s not the hippie and yoga happy yappie destination anymore. It’s more than what you think, not just spiritual but developing a premier adventure sport destination count in the river rafting and bungee jumping. Laying my eyes on the river ganges and the untold changes I undergo is something that pulls me again and again to this mystical place. Inspite of sights like the hungry cow or the snappy monkey or for that matter every make-you-believe ‘guide’ appears to be a yoga expert and guarantees you how to attain nirvana, Rishikesh will remain close to me and I will keep coming time to time, irrespective of any time and space I am in.

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10 Responses

  1. 1

    No Comments Palash……
    Is blog se Rishikesh ki mitti ki khushboo aa rahi hai………..

  2. 2

    @Vikram: kya naak hai sir ji aapki 🙂

  3. 3

    er, who is Cherry?

  4. 4

    Loving it:):)

  5. 5

    I know why did u use word “Khushboo”.

  6. Good data!!!!!! Yes it’s accurate the individuals are losing their moral while getting modern. Well matters needs to be developed but holding integral with moral values. As habituation is corrupting the atmosphere of the human race to a great extent, hence there is a demand to diversify the drug rehabilitation centre.

  7. 7

    its good site for all in spiritualism and nature and also worship of lord shiva…

  8. yeszzz
    i love rishikesh
    its spirtuality
    nd all
    wen my changed i wish to live in rishikesh forever
    really becoz of god power this place attract all people who visited one time there
    like varanasi
    every month i visited rishikesh


  9. 9

    Amazing Description….more thn enough to make one nostalgic…..Rishikesk, indeed is a very close-to-heart place..

  10. 10
    Palash Das 

    thanks for your comment. More coming up.

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