We reached Rishikesh by afternoon about 2 or 3 pm. The Sun was beating down upon us. Rishikesh, which is on the banks of the Ganga, is a popular town for many reasons. It is adventure sports hub with river rafting, boating and other water based sports in the fast flowing Ganga. It is also a yoga and spa retreat. Here, there are many schools that teach ancient Indian Yoga in the various ashrams. It is quite a shoppers delight with quaint shops. Here too Ganga aarthi is performed at the banks of the river every evening.
We wanted to reach Haridwar by evening the same day, that’s why we did not linger in Rishikesh. We just walked up and down the famous Lakshman Jhoola. The highlight was that we ate Chanachur, a spicy snack made with chickpeas and a lot of condiments. This is a specialty that is not found in the south of India.
After that, we left the hills and came back to the plains. The heat of the May sun hit us properly now. Soon we were sweating. 😦
We reached Haridwar. There was enough time for us to go to the ghat and witness the evening aarti again. But some of us were not interested. So me, sister, D and brother-in-law went off to see the Ganga aarti again. Brother-in-law had some work to attend, so after he took a dip in the Ganges, we split up after fixing a place to meet after the aarthi.
The last time we were here, 10 days ago, we were about to embark on the char dham trip and here we were again after completing the journey. It was full circle. My sister has been to Haridwar earlier, though it was first time for me. She knew of the best vantage point to see the aarthi. So I, D and sister ran off to the place where she thought was the best place to see the aarthi. It was right in front of the Ganga ma temple, across the river.
There were a lot of people waiting just like us. At the sunset hour, the aarthi began and the sense of peace and devotion poured over us, just like the last time. It was magnificient.
We met brother-in-law at the designated place. He had brought us some hot samosas. We sat at the ghat, with feet in the cold Ganga and had our hot samosas. It was heavenly.
The next day, after a really good breakfast, we drove through the sweltering heat of the plains to reach Delhi by 5 pm. I wanted to do some shopping in Delhi, but the continuous travel had taken a toll and I was totally exhausted and so were everyone. We also had an early morning flight to catch the next day.
K’s school was starting the next day, so he’d have to rush home from the airport to his school. It was going to be hectic for my sister as soon as they reached home.
I, D and S took the airport bus again to reach Mysore by 1 pm.
We were tired, sleepy and drained out but at the same time we were so pumped up too.
The memories of this trip will remain with me forever. Even after a year the fact that I’m able to write in detail shows how much this trip means to me.
Though the trip is done, A2Z is not! So stick around with me till the end to see what more I want to add to the series!
Hope to see you tomorrow too!