Traveller Speaks: Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Written by Shweta Salvi
May 14, 2016
One visit back in 60’s by the Beatles and ever since this pilgrimage site has taken a more hipper route.The narrow streets of Rishikesh are bustling with furore of activity. Everything surprises you initially – right from an Icecream eating monkey to cows pooping bang in the centre of the road – and then, nothing really surprises you. The town slowly grows on you, as it rightfully should… When it embraces pilgrims, spirituality seekers, gypsies and ignorant tourists all alike.
But to avoid the frenzy, Black Swan Journeys had put us up in a cosy stay almost 15Km above the town. The place has an enviable view of the Ganges from each cottage and is just a kilometre away from ‘Vashishta Gufa’, a great find, especially for those seeking peace. There is a certain air to the place that puts you in a meditative space. Not really spiritual individual myself, I confess, this place did me in.
Though we didn’t get to witness the clear water of the Ganges for which Rishikesh is known for (it had rained the morning that we arrived, making it murky), we certainly enjoyed the thrills of rafting through its notorious Rapids. My heart was singing with excitement as we paddled forward, duelling with the turbulent water. Our expert asked me to jump, and high on adrenaline, I did! The experience of swimming (briefly) and rafting was so exhilarating that we didn’t notice we had rowed along 18Kms. The view of Laxman and Ram Jhullas from the bottom is fairly special.