As a child I have a profound memory of standing at Laksham Jhoola with my dad and a monkey teasing me. I was crying and hiding behind my dad and later after gaining senses we had visited Rishikesh on a holy trip from usual Haridwar tour and once again I had encountered a monkey at the same spot. This time around, he snatched my bottle from my hand and I felt a connection with him like he had been waiting for me since ages, like I had a history I was unsure of, like I am losing it while writing this blog. LOL
Anyways, I got the chance to visit Rishikesh again twice in last two months and my 2 cent advice on holiness of the place is that its not so holy but its a lot of fun. Well, the temples and the holy river is still holy but the larger than life holy tourism of this place is a fad. If you want a weekend getaway from Delhi then please head to Rishikesh, stay at the camp side, do river rafting, go for bungee jumping, cliff diving and eat holistic fresh home cooked food. But if you are looking to stay at an Ashram and learn holistic meditation then do your research and then join as there are many fake holiness groups there my friends.
However, I am sure you could find amazing ones too if you spend some time and get to know the place better. Now as for me, the first time I visited last month, I stayed at a river side camp and for the first time in my life went for river rafting. The water was icy cold as it was winter time and I was scared as shit to die with drowning in Ice water like Titanic’s last scene.
This time around, I stayed at a nicer place at Badrinathjee and I was extremely excited for my second attempt at river rafting. The water was still very cold but rapids were more exciting since this was the beginning of Summer and as expected the Himalayan ice had started to melt thus increasing water strength. In all it was FUN.
However, I came back with one regret and that was not being able to jump off the cliff. I got real cold feet standing there and looking at the water which looked deep blue and since I do not know how to swim, I got really scared. So I have to go there again and jump off that fricking cliff.
My favorite Rishikesh Moments from both the trips:
1) Riding on a bike
2) Morning stroll which easily gets converted into a hike
3) Simple home cooked food
4) River view after morning hike and Morning mountain sun
5) Sugar cane juice
6) River rafting
7) Long – Really long walks