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Showing posts with label Riverside. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Riverside. Show all posts

Maheshwar - Cultured by Ahilya Bai Holkar

Once the devil Ravana took up a fight with King Sahastrabahu. However, the result did not go as per his expectations and Ravana was taken as prisoner by king Sahastrabahu. The place where Ravana was kept as prisoner is mentioned as “Mahishmati” in Ramayana.


Yes, the same “Mahishmati” which was mentioned in blockbuster movie Bahubali. But where this city Mahishmati is or had existed in the past? After finished our exploration of Mandu, we were all set to Maheshwar, 45 km. from Mandu situated along the banks of river Narmada.


This small and peaceful town is noted for its mammoth Ghats, temples, and Sarees. Lots of pilgrims and saints come here to offer prayers and worship sacred river Narmada. Lot of Saints, why? Reason being - The mythological city of Mahishmati “, is now known as Maheshwar. Our spirits soared to unprecedented heights to realize that we were standing in legendary mythological city of “Mahishmati”.


To thank the Gods for this fortunate trip, we went to the banks of Narmada River for thanksgiving. That is the first thing to be done in Maheshwar. Neat and clean mammoth structures alongside the Ghats (riverbanks) will ensure every moment spent here is worth. Ahilya Ghat is the most prominent place of worship on river Narmada.


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Trek to the Enchanted - Valley of Flowers

Valley of flowers, at a height of 3046 meters above sea level, lies in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. Challenging trekking route and spectacular beauty of the mystical valley has always tempted botanists, nature lovers, foreign tourists and adventure lovers. Valley boast off over 500 species of wild flowers of unparalleled appearance and fragrances.

 

Although the picturesque valley remains open to the world from June to October, but it’s great to visit the valley around June, July and August, when the flowers are in abundance. For rest of the year valley remains snow clad.

 

Journey to the valley starts from Haridwar, where you can easily hire a cab for your entire trip. Below is the entire itinerary in brief. 

 

1. Haridwar to Govindghat - Around 300 Kms

2. Start from Haridwar - Cab is recommended. Very less frequency of buses.

3. Route: Haridwar – Rishikesh – Devprayag – Jayalgarh – Srinagar – Rudaprayag – Karnaprayag – Nandaprayag – Chamoli – Pipalkoti – Joshimath – Vishnuprayag - Govindghat

4. Govindghat – (Motorable-4Km) – Poolna (Trek 10 km) – Ghangaria – Total 14 Kms

5. Split routes from Ghangaria for Valley of Flowers Trek and Hemkund Sahib Trek

 

Drive to Govindghat around 300 Kms, which would take 10 – 12 hours of time to reach depending on the road conditions, please expect land sliding at various points throughout the drive.

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Jageshwar Dham - Abode of Lord Shiva...

While the Sun had already started the return journey behind the hills, however our wandering souls with high spirits were craving to reach the divine land of Jageshwar. With every passing second, our mind was painting a different caricature for Jageshwar Dham. The fresh air was getting fresher and crispier with every turn.

 

After 40 minutes of drive from the Lakhudiyar Cave paintings shelter, the joyous moment arrived when we entered in to the Jageshwar valley around 5:30 PM in the evening. Staff at KMVN guest house advised us to first attend the evening prayer; check-in formalities can be carried our afterwards.

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Offbeat locations in Madhya Pradesh that will fascinate you

Madhya Pradesh is known as the heart of India as it is the state that is geographically located right in the middle of the country. Madhya Pradesh has seen the rise and fall of many kings and kingdoms with cities like Ujjain playing a pivotal role in bringing prosperity to the city. The state attracts a flock of tourists every year due to the presence of many historical monuments like the Khajuraho temple and Sanchi Stupa. Being the state with the highest forest cover in India, Madhya Pradesh is also home to a lot of rare and indigenous species of flora and fauna. But these are facts that you already know. For travellers who are looking for more, here are 9 Offbeat Locations in Madhya Pradesh That Will Fascinate You.

1. Orchha

The historic town of Orchha lies on the banks of Betwa River was founded in the 16th century by Rudra Pratap Singh, who was the ruler of the princely state of Central India. The town still holds the grandeur of the fallen kingdoms with a lot of temples and monuments that will take you travel back in time. Orchha fort is a visual treat due to its location on the islands of Betwa River. Chhatris, Dinman Hardul’s Palace and Jhansi Fort are the nearby places to visit. The architecture and wall paintings in Laxminarayan Temple, which was constructed in 1662 is a wonder of its own. Read more about Orchha...

2. Mandu

Mandu is a ruin city that is protected by the plateau of Malwa to the north and the valley of the Narmada River to the south. Jahaz Mahal or the Ship Mahal was a construction by Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Khilji. The palace looks like a ship that is about to set sail leaving its reflection on the water. Baz Bahadur’s Palace and Hindola Mahal show the influence of foreign architecture in India. Champa Baoli is a step well that draws inspiration from the construction of Turkish Baths. Read about Mandu.

3. Panna

Panna National Park situated on the banks of River Ken is a home of many animals and one of the best maintained national parks in the country. Just near the Panna National Park is Pandava Caves and Falls. This place is said to be the location where the Pandavas stayed during their exile. The copious vegetation entwined with the whispering rills is a sight to behold. Other attractions in Panna are the diamond mines and Raneh Falls. Panna is also a place with a lot of temples such as the Padmavati Devi temple and Jugal Kishoreji Temple. The Baldeoji temple with its Roman-style architecture is a unique construction that stands out.

4.  Burhanpur

Burhanpur was a city that flourished under the Rashtrakuta Dynasty and there are many forts and towers that still carry pages from the history. The Asigarh Fort and Shahi Kila are located along the banks of river Tapti. The Zanana Hammam in the Shahi Fort is a construction that is a smooth portrayal of Persian architecture which inspired the Mughals. Burhanpur is also a major Muslim Pilgrim Center. Jama Majid and Dargah-E-Hakimi are visited by thousands of devotees every year.

5. Shivpuri

Shivpuri is a place where nature’s colors are at its best. The Bhadaiya Kund is a natural spring for a refreshing journey. The water in Panihar is considered to be holy and meant to wash away your sins. Karera Bird Sanctuary and Madhav National Park add much to animal lovers rejoice. Banganga temple and Siddeshwar temple are some of the oldest temples in the city known for its sacred kunds and idols depicting the various Hindu Gods.

6. Tikamgarh Fort

Tikamgarh Fort or Garh Kundar Fort as it is locally known is situated on the hilltop on a village in Tikamgarh district. The watch towers and citadels stand tall among the granite flooring and fallen masonry. The Fort is visible from far but appears to vanish as you get closer to it much adding to its clever construction. Rock Pillar inscriptions that tell the tales of Khangar kings can be seen on the walls.

7.    Maheshwar

Maheshwar Temple on the banks of Narmada River finds mention in the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Maheshwar is home to the best looms and fabric in the country and Maheshwari sarees are famous for its color and intricate details in the weaves. There are many shopping sites where you will get the best Maheshwari cotton sarees. Maheshwar is a major pilgrim centre for Hindus with places such as Ahilyeshwar temple and Jaleshwar temple that are dedicated to Lord Shiva. 

8. Chanderi

Although Chanderi sarees have been famous for a long time among the womenfolk in the country, this small town is slowly earning a place in the popular destinations in Madhya Pradesh. Chanderi Fort and Koshak Mahal are epitomes of Afghan and Mughal architecture in the country.  Kati Ghati, a gateway which was cut out of a single rock forms the entry to Chanderi from Malwa and Bundelkhand regions. The view from the place is spectacular with Ram Nagar Museum and Ram Nagar Lake on one side and the Jain Temple and the fort on the other side

9.  Tincha Falls

Tincha Falls is located near the city of Indore and is a place for a picnic for families. The waterfalls are opulent during the monsoon. You can just pack some food and spend an evening with the family gazing at the water. Kaligarh Fort near the Tincha Falls and Kajligarh Mahadev Temple surrounds the place. On the way to the falls, you will find wildlife being in harmony with nature with birds like peacocks wandering seamlessly along the place.

If you are looking for new sites to explore upon in Madhya Pradesh, then this list will not disappoint you. Far from the troop of too many tourists, you can find peace in a quirky and peaceful location.

Author Bio
Rohit: A travel enthusiast and blogger, Rohit loves embarking new journeys across India. Read more of his eccentric experiences in his blog TransIndia Travels.
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Pandharpur - Place of Lord Panduranga (Vitthal)


Vitthal temple, Pandharpur – Solapur District, around 200 km. from Pune city – via NH9, is the main centre of worship for the Hindu deity Vitthal, believed to be a local form of God Krishna or Vishnu. It is the most visited temple in Maharashtra. The Warkaris start marching from their homes to the temple of Pandharpur in groups called Dindi to reach on Aashadhi Ekadashi and Kartiki Ekadashi. A dip in the holy river Chandrabhaga on whose banks Pandharpur resides, is believed to have power to wash all sins. All the devotees are allowed to touch the feet of the idol of Vithoba. In May 2014, the temple became first in India to invite women and people from backward classes as priests.

Saga of Pundalik – Pundalik is a devoted son to his parents Janudev and Satyavati, who lived in a forest called Dandirvan. Later in life Pundalik began ill-treating his parents.
In the city of Kashi, Pundalik gets a strong realization that ill-treatment with the parents is the greatest sin.
Pundalik’s consciousness transforms and he becomes entirely devoted to his parents. By seeing his devotion Lord Vishnu comes and knocks at Pundalik’s door. He realizes that God is at his door but due to pure devotion towards his parents he asks God to stand outside on brick and wait until he finishes his duties.
Seeing this act, Visnu gets extremely impressed and the ever-loving God waits for his devotee. Pundalik asks God to stay back and bless all his devotees, God agrees and the Vitthal temple comes up there.

Queue Stand – Way to the temple goes through a 6 storey building. At the time of huge rush during festive season the crowd has to pass through every floor. It may take 3 to 4 hours, or more to get a glance/ the दर्शन of the deity. While passing by each floor you can purchase garlands from the vendors, sitting thereby, and snack, if you need a quick bite.


If you need more prasadam for distribution purpose – the shops are just outside the temple. You can buy prasadam, incense sticks, coconut, for offering, and other sacred items.









Beautiful Panduranga deities, whom you can establish in your home and offer prayers daily, are available with the vendors sitting outside the temple. Buy MANJEERA and perform transcendental kirtana at the holy place.



Janabai temple – A great devotee, Janabai, used to cook personally for the lord Panduranga.




VishnuPad Temple – Lord Vishnu stepped down at this place with his cow named Gopinath.


Narad Muni Temple – When the Dam gets open the temple will be visible completely, rest of the time it is submerged.





There is an ISKON temple – farm community in outskirts, approximately 5 Kms away from Vishnupad temple, where you can offer prayers to the beautiful deities of Goddess Radha and Lord Krishna.






Hare Krishna movement is a medium to make people Krishna conscious and to let them know their only goal, in this material world, is to serve Krishna, the supreme personality of godhead. Hare Krishna movement is dedicated towards awakening the lost consciousness and spirituality of the human society in this material world by preaching the transcendental philosophy of Bhagvad Geeta, Srimad Bhagwatam and Vedas.


Mahamantra – “HARE KRISHAN HARE KARISHNA KARISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE


                             HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE”
The Kali-santarana Upanishad states that if one chants this mahamantra daily, for at least 108 times, and follow the four basic principles i.e. no intoxication, no meat – eating, no illicit sex then he/she can be freed from the painful cycle of birth and death and go back to the supreme lord's planet Vaikuntha.
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, incarnation of Krishna, also instructs to chant this transcendental mantra to get liberation. Remember we are only the visitors on this planet, enjoy and find the true meaning of life...

Keep travelling Guys...



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Orchha - Land of Forts, Palaces, Cenotaphs, Relics and Ruins

Going beyond the ravines of Chambal, we were on the way to explore a small hidden town of Orchha, which literally means hidden. Orchha is a small town on banks of Betwa river in Niwari district of Madhya Pradesh, 125 km. from Gwalior and 15 km. from Jhansi. Kingdom of Orchha was established in the 16th century AD, year 1531 AD by the Bundela Rajput chief, Rudra Pratap Singh on the banks of Betwa River. Orchha was developed as an impenetrable fortified citadel. Orchha fort complex consists of numerous temples, forts and cenotaphs (Chhatris), these all make Orchha an interesting spot to explore.


All good things shall start with a prayer to the Gods; first spot in Orchha shall be the Raja Ram Temple, an acclaimed temple which was earlier in fact a queen’s palace. This is the only temple in the world where Lord Rama is worshipped as King Rama. 

Adjacent to Raja Ram temple is the gigantic Chaturbhuj Temple, built by the king Madhukar to idolize Lord Rama. However, Lord Rama decided to rest in the Raja Ram Temple. 
Read the interesting story about Raja Ram temple and Chaturbhuj Temple...

After praying, time to walk the heritage trail. Orchha fort consists of many palaces like Raja Mahal, Jahangir Mahal and Rai Parveen Mahal. Jahangir Mahal reflects the Bundela architecture. The views from the balconies in the palace are spectacular. Raja Mahal is most ancient historic monuments in Orchha fort. Standing on the island created by Betwa River, Raj Mahal is surrounded by a battlement wall.

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Kullu, the valley of Gods...

A wandering soul searching for a nest can get numerous excuses to surely settle in Kullu, Valley of Gods.


Stunning landscapes coupled with hospitality of people, their distinct lifestyle and rich culture have made Kullu valleys popular as “Valley of Gods”. Kullu is renowned around the world for the woollen Shawls and the Dussehra festival. However, to explore it also has some amazing spots, which despite the popularity of Kullu are surprisingly not so known. When coming from Shimla, spending one day to explore Kullu Valleys shall be a great choice before proceeding to Manali...


Nearest to Kullu is Bijlee Mahadev temple, which is approx. 25 km. from Kullu town by road. Cherish the beautiful Beas River while crossing over the Kullu Bridge on the way to Bijlee Mahadev. You may park your car at a side and click the fabulous bridge and pleasing landscapes...
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Simhastha Kumbh, Hangover that refuses to end...

Yes this is one hangover we will never try to get rid of, in fact will treasure in a corner of our beings, forever. We are talking about our adventure/pilgrimage/ educational tour to Ujjain during Simhasth Kumbh Mela, whatever one would like to call it. Yes the grand carnival or Mahaparv (Grand Festival), celebrated by largest human gathering on Earth in every 12 years, this time from 22nd April – 21st May 2016. Excitement and nostalgia of being the blessed one for getting a chance to take dip in the holy waters and experience the Day 1 Shahi Snan was overwhelming and uncontrollable.
Day 1: Shahi Snan at Ujjain Kumbh
We five ladies having introduced to the sanctity of the dip in the river during the Kumbh set out to have our own trip to Ujjain. The plans begun, tickets booked, all happened as though someone was over looking us and we landed in Indore on our way to Omkareshwar.

The drive to Omkareshwar from Indore was comfortable and we were welcomed by the hottest blow of air as we got down visiting the temple at Omkareshwar. After the darshan at Omkareshwar and a relaxed visit to the temple, we settled down to a comfortable stay at the MP tourism hotel. Next morning we set out for a dip in Narmada, and we were pleasantly surprised by the group of Bengali ladies who joined us. All were much older than us, but their pure joy as they took the dip unabashed was inspiring. Some hung on to our arms as they wished to swing for a while in the water, as we city bred cautious ladies, were looking at the rocks with moss on them cautiously.  Narmada with her quite, magnanimous way had lessons to teach us, in that little while. Mother after all, she is. We were wondering which other culture in the world has so much reverence to the life giving rivers: Calling them rivers, bowing to them, energizing oneself with a dip in them, praying and lighting the lovely lamps that shine as the stars which came down to earth for a walk.

Very soon we left for Ujjain and a brief stopover for a hearty lunch in Indore. The ride was smooth and we reached the hotel after an eventful journey in the last leg resulting from security and logistics issues set out by the MP govt. Those of us who visited Ujjain during the last year could not help but notice how elaborate the arrangements were and the efforts that have gone in to make the visitors comfortable.
The presence of the police and local administration at every corner overlooking each detail is wonderful. Even the hot summers were thought of and sprinklers in the temple made our visit to the temple comfortable and memorable. Water in the river is cleaned regularly, boats with personnel on watch make your dip worry free. Did we ladies go there for a dip in the river Shipra, yes we did, for a darshan of Mahakaal yes we did, for an experience of the ancient holy city of Ujjain which has the liquor drowning Kaal Bhairav, Lord Krishna's school Sandeepani ashram with a beautifully sculptured well in its compound  which would put any swimming pool of the modern schools to shame and the ancient caves (giving us the glimpses of the conditions people set themselves out for to find the limits of human possibilities, etc.). But we were also asking for more as we wanted to visit the “Akhaadaas”.
What are these akhaadaas? Knowing not much more than that these are places where Aghoras, Naga Babas might be present, we were keen to have a glimpse of them after reading and sharing a few books on them not too long ago. We set out to visit the Akhaadaas finally, the ones where the Naga-Babas will be there. The walk through these lanes was nothing that can be remotely termed as serene, spiritual or calming. Each of these tents were as bright and loud as any exhibition a middle class Indian visited at any time in his life. Each of them were open and inviting. We chose to sit with one and found him smoking continuously, we were informed he has an ashram in Gujarat which is frequented by many and his complexion is so spotless and clear would give any fancy facial and makeover a run, that, in spite of smoking uninterruptedly.





To our wonderment, some yogis and sadhus were walking or simply sitting in Digambar Avastha.......a clothless state. The Nagas…! For some, smoking seemed their only interest. Even when they smoked it was not casual, careless. It looked like there was some purpose behind their smoking. Some looked fierce, some were compassionate. They had given up families, worldly life even the clothing...Actually, after a while when we saw many who were smoking and smoking various stuff, were thinking that these babas are actually poster boys for tobacco industry. They all looked fit, energetic and that in spite of chain smoking. What are these people doing that we are missing, our experience from the urban world is - you go to any specialist and if you ask him to cure you, he tells you to stop smoking, and we know how much that is possible.
Another experience worth mentioning is from a baba we named the “Joyful One”. In all my life of five decades and more, I have not met any who is so joyful for so long for no reason. Watching him is being a life lesson; he stands on one leg, and takes support on a swing that has been put up temporarily. Was he told he got 99.9% in SSC today, did his child get into IIT today or did he win a lottery today, none of these or any of the many things which most of us are slogging away all the time for this reason, but HE IS JUST PLAIN JOYFUL ALL THE TIME...!
We were amazed and anxious that how can someone consistently be so joyful for sooo long? We were with him for over 45minutes. He made us chant Om Namah Shivaaya and was open to questions, answering joyfully whatever one throws at him. When asked how he remains so joyful he said what is the reason not to be, all have the same soul, we come and go why not to be joyful. Even I know those answers but WHY AM I NOT SO JOYFUL? When he heard I am from Andhra he quickly dialled a number and wished I talk to the lady on the other end. Even as my group was leaving I could not say no and waited to talk expecting a bigwig from the other end looking at his enthusiasm. After a couple of minutes I heard a lady who was on her way to gulf for a petty job and encountered this Swami in Srisailam. Did someone say “Do not judge people by what they do but how they are?” 
After a couple of hours of this round we were feeling tired so decided to relax on the beautiful ghat, bank of river Shipra under the full moon. It was a beautiful sight and ambience par excellence.

We found a baba with nothing on him but a sack wrapped around his waist. We had been warned before that these people do not like us dwindling into our purses so we ladies took out some money and kept some handy as our budget for the day. Having come to the tail end of both our energies and our budget for the day our last tens were all we were left with. We went down and gave that to him and he graciously accepted without a thought and started talking to us. In no time we knew he was educated and very well travelled. When he found where we each came from he listed out all the holy places around and encouraged each of us to show them to the others in our group. Srisailam to Dwaraka to Girnar nothing he missed. All throughout during the conversation he was with quick wit and understanding and surprised us totally. When we look back today we feel sorry for ourselves and the assumptions we had as we set out on our encounter with him. In our culture, we hear that we should be grateful to those who accept anything from us; this experience indeed taught us that to core.
Also there were Naga Babas around, with ash on their bodies and in all different ways possible, long hired ones, high hired ones, etc, etc. how can one human being with nothing on their body, terrorize everyone around. No one can stand in the way of Naga Babas. We could not but help thinking of them as “Emperors with No Clothes”.
Having more than possible assumptions and expectations cultivated from the urban world getting destroyed in one evening, we could not but wonder which university in the world could have taught us more in one evening. These are people who stretch the physical limits to teach us what is possible with ourselves physically. Having achieved the heights of so called success and material well being, when the junta is lost for happiness and look grim, they show us how to be absolutely joyful with nothing much round you. They are in our world hidden, quietly stretching the human possibilities. Where around us we calculate the value of gifts and return gifts they offer us an opportunity to offer them unconditionally.

Next time you visit Kumbh, just do not go for Snan (Dip in the waters) it has much more to offer.
My Guru said Mahakaal dissolves you – How True.
By Lata Francis, Feruzan Khambatta, Mona Patel, Pooja Mehta and Usha Boppana – Isha Meditators.
Thanks to the blessed ones who got this sacred opportunity to experience this sacred conclave of humanity and one of the greatest festival for the mankind…Waiting for my turn to be at Kumbh, may be this one or the next one... 

To reach Ujjain:
By Train: Ujjian is well connected by railway with most of the major cities in India
By Road: Well connected with major cities
Nearest Airport : Indore approx. 60 km., regular flights ply from all the major cities.
Accommodation: Dharamshalas near Mahakal temple, MP tourism guest house and there are number of hotels in Ujjain to suit every budget
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Varanasi - Divine blessings in the land of temples

........................ is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.....By Mark Twain

This is a city renowned for its religious and artistic activities since times immemorial. This city has been a cultural centre of India since several thousands of years and as per the available historical details this city is older than most of the religions in the World.


Its none other than one of the most colourful, spiritual, and charismatic places in India, welcome to "VARANASI", also known as KASHI or BENARAS. Place where temples outdo the number of people, Varanasi is one of the most spectacular and visited cities on this earth. Considered to be auspicious by the presence of "Lord Shiva" this sacred place is believed to have the power of washing away all the sins; those who die and gets cremated here is liberated from the cycle of life and death and attains " मोक्ष (Moksha)".   


Varanasi is one place where you can venture out without any schedule or fixed program and take my words you will not be disappointed while coming back. There is a glorious history associated with every part of this city. No surprise you can also find people from many nationalities getting familiar with diverse Indian traditions in the city.   

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Haridwar and stopover at Baba Ramdev Ashram...

Rishikesh Trip is not complete without a stop at Baba Ramdev Ashram and prayers at Ganges at Haridwar. Rishikesh is only 23 km. from Haridwar, when coming from Delhi. Dip in the Holy water of River Ganga at Haridwar carry immense religious significance. Devotees from all over the world come to Haridwar for a dip at Brahm Kund, Har Ki Pauri, the most sacred ghat and spot in India.

Just on the outskirts of Haridwar is "Patanjali Yog Peeth", ashram of Baba Ramdev. Baba Ramdev is championing the cause of holy healing and YOGA. Ayurveda, Yoga, Surgery and one of the oldest treatises on medical treatment for Human Body "Charak Sanhita" have originated in India.


Reconnection with the legacy is on the cards as soon as we enter. Check out the sculpture of Maharishi Charak, author of Charat Samhita; the ancient treatise on Ayurveda.


The ashram is a complete health care centre as well, with Yoga centres, Hospital and a canteen.
Ashram is a self sustained unit. Whatever is consumed in the ashram from medicines to food is produced and processed in the Ashram farms only. People from far off places come here for holistic healing and treatment of numerous diseases.




All the preparations in the Canteen is done by the Cow Milk. No worries of any sorts, Happy Eating. We both enjoyed our breakfast, however Min was still on fasting. Now we were afraid, that he might die of starvation...he he he...His tears are real…
Canteen not only serve food, but also healthy eating tips. Very simple but effective.



After breakfast, we started again for Delhi and in next 15 minutes of driving we were in Haridwar at the Giant Statue of Goddess Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge) in the middle of river Ganga.

Ganga or River Ganges is considered sacred and worshipped as the holy river. Dip in the waters of river Ganga cures many skin diseases. 

Why, what is the reason...? The answer is that the self-cleaning quality of river Ganga leads to 25 times higher oxygen content than any other river on the world. That's why the river Ganga is worshipped in India, its scientific. Heavenly ambience of the evening worship prayer of River Ganga at Har Ki Pauri attracts devotees from far off places. Every inch of available space at the ghats is occupied by the devotees.


Watch the evening River Ganga Aarti/ worship...

On top of a hill is the holy Mansa Devi Temple. Cable car will take you to the temple. Mansa Devi is one of the holiest places in Haridwar. The visit to this temple shall be kept on priority as there is always a long queue of people to visit Mansa Devi temple and waiting time to catch a cable car sometimes goes upto 2 hours...


Seeing a number of devotees taking a holy dip in the sacred waters of river Ganges, Min too decided to dip his feet in the holy river...


One day at Haridwar and we again started our return journey. Nothing much after Haridwar, only a stop at local Dhaba/ restaurant for a cup of Tea...Road side Dhabas have their own charm, do try but be careful while taking a halt at night.
Rishikesh and Haridwar makes an ideal weekend getaway from the hustles of Delhi. Only 240 Km., one can leave on Friday night and get back by Sunday. Keep on travelling guys…

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Rejuvenate in JAYALGARH

Far from the Madding Crowd... when you feel to break all shackles and merge yourself into Mother Nature, come to "Jayalgarh"
"Are you not enthralled with the pics, if YES just wait. These are just on way to Jayalgarh". What's waiting for you is the gushing Alaknanda, innumerable treks, trails and rock formations in the nearby mountains. Jayalgarh is approximately 90 kms from Rishikesh near Devprayag. Pitched up on the bank of the gushing River Alaknanda, this would be a wonderful retreat for the entire family, a group of friends or just for you.

This is a story of 2 friends (Gaurav and Gaurav), their friendship, their adventures. In the summers of 2006, they boarded a late night bus from Delhi to Rishikesh. It took them around 6 hours to Rishikesh. Another 1.5 hrs. from Rishikesh and they were in jayalgarh at early morning 7 AM. They missed out several ATM's in the way in hope of finding the most coveted ATM in Rishikesh, which was non-existing.


Rest of the story from them directly, Day 1:
Mighty Alaknanda and the Himalayan ranges were there to receive us. De-boarding the bus, the first things we noticed were the camps alongside the river. In no time we were there, inquiring about a possible accommodation for both of us. What we get to know was "The camps have been booked by a company ALSTOM, our last company and they were to arrive any moment". Next momemt we were running out of the camps "Paaji sir pe pair rakh ke bhaag lo". At the same time both of the minds were busy in devising ways to surprise encounters with Alstom.

We got a resort just above those camps. After our breakfast, with our binoculars, cameras and preparation we were ready for trekking on naked mountains and testing the strong currents of Alaknanda. Next 2-3 hours were the time of our lives, as we totally drenched ourselves to the rigors of trekking with bare hands and no equipment at all. What a time it was?  With our souls we finally conquered the mountain and halted only after reaching the top of the cliff. 

After this adventure, we thanked to GOD in a temple on the clif. Also chatted with local children, the joy we missed staying in cities. Now we felt to replenish our energies. After the lunch in our resort, the moment we sat down to rest, we fall unconscious for next 3-4 hours.



On getting up in evening, filled with adrenaline we started to explore further and left for SRINAGAR (this one not the one in J&K) for another temple visit. In the way we made sure to arrange spirits to keep us in good spirits. While coming back, we managed to give Alstom a sight of things to come (You know Gaurav, what I mean).
"Travellers never think themselves of being foreigners" was our mantra.
The road we chose to wait for a bus to take us back to jayalgarh was worth every minute even it had started to dawn and finally one localite offered us the lift to our resort. After the dinner, we again set out for night walk on totally dark roads, only light was from our mobiles.
DAY 2:
It was morning again in no time. A person from resort came to woke us up saying, a nearby river rafting camp wants to meet us, if we are interested for rafting. I couldn't believe my ears when he told we have few seats vaccant in our boats.....rest others were filled by ALSTOM, ha ha ha we sensed blood and it was the time to go for a kill. What a news it was and we both started waiting for the moment...
Our previous bosses, the reaction seems they wanted our blood. But we were the merrier ones interacting with our old friends. We shared the same bus and again came to Srinagar to start our rafting. We saw lion hearts crying like babies a midst of river. Even some were so horrified they needed water to regain the senses, when there was water everywhere. Water going down in a gush, raft overturning, screams we witnessed/ enjoyed all. But the most we had a duel with the river Alaknanda, check out the brave soldier in me.

All good things have to end, so was with our exploits on reaching Jayalgarh. But we still looking around to have some more moments, we picked up a Kayak to try our hand at that also. We also tried our hand at Volleyball and when everything else got over, we decided to call it a day.


We started in evening, enjoying the TEA and snacks at roadside dhabas. Adventure was still very much with us in our spirits. We had dinner in Rishikesh and by Sunday morning we were back in Delhi. This has been our close to heart memories, we will talk of it rest through out our lives.
We will keep coming to Rishikesh...At this time we have come much ahead in our personal and professional lives. 



As said by Al Pacino in movie Scent of Woman: "Some people live a lifetime in a minute" We lived a lot more than in those 2 days...But we both realize that a trip again to this place is due, lets hope when it materializes...
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