Back to Rishikesh



Emotions are difficult to be captured in writing. But perhaps you are familiar with it. You must have experienced it someday - that feeling you get after you have done a long trek or after a vacation for example, in which, you have sort of been away from your active world and were immersed in exploring the new place. By the end of it, you feel a certain state of tranquility. Your mind is clear of all that might have bothered you. At that very moment, you are in no hurry. And you observe life as it is and not as you perceive it to be. You become a mere observer with a clear mind and therefore easily flow with the situation. Philosopher, Jiddu Kirshnamurthy called it mediation. On the morning of 15th of October, I was in such a state. 

After having tea, we freshened up and got ready. Sheetal, Rahul and Nandesh left before us. They were continuing their journey to Rudraprayag and then to Kedarnath. Racksha joined them till Dewal, so that she could catch a local transport to her next destination. That left Mithul, Divyesh and me. In some time our taxi arrived. We thanked Dev Singh ji and left the beautiful village of Lohajung. 


Our driver was a 24 year old young boy, a good driver but a bit inexperienced in handling challenging situations. But this trip was about to change him for ever. First, we stopped at Dewal for some breakfast. 


Somewhere near Karanprayag I think, we came across a landslide. There was only one other vehicle before us and therefore, we were right on time to stop. The rocks came flying down in force. Our driver panicked and backed a little. As the land slide slowed for a bit, vehicles began to cross rapidly. But the rocks came down again. In that rush, a bus window was damaged by a rock and a motorbike rider missed a huge rock by inches. Though we were parked at a safe area, our driver was anxious. Finally, after about 30 minutes of waiting, we finally decided to race past. When the landslide slowed a bit, we rushed past the gap and missed a few rocks by inches.  


A few distance ahead, we were met with another road block due to a landslide. The government is constructing wide roads on this Chaardham route and ecologists argue that the landslides are increasing due to that. 


We stopped for a tasty lunch near Srinagar. By the time we reached Rishikesh it was 7:00 PM. We had taken the route to the other side of Laxman jhula. Which was not a good idea. As the road narrows down and reaches the junction at Triyambakeshwar temple, it gets very crowded. Our driver panicked. Somehow, we directed him to a safe parking spot and got off quickly. 


The next two days, we relaxed at the hostel. I did not want to do much. This time we stayed at Skyard hostel. It is a nice place. Their roof top cafe is amazing. 

For lunch, we went to Rishikesh town and ate at a Rajasthani restaurant - Rajasthani Misthan Bhandar. I had Dhal bhatti and it was delicious. If you have time, do visit this place for some authentic Rajasthani food. Divyesh also got a special jain meal. 

As usual, I took a morning walk to the river and had my favourite Kullad tea. 


In the evening, we walked to ghat near Ram Jhula and Saraswati ghat. Relaxing by the river was a serene experience and a perfect end to this amazing trip. We went back to Tattv cafe for our last dinner at Rishikesh. 

On Sunday, the 17th of October, as Rishikesh began to receive rainfall, It was time for me to leave. I had booked a taxi through hostel. But the driver was stuck in some traffic jam. After waiting for a long time, I decided to cancel the booking and walked to the taxi stand near Laxman chowk and booked a taxi. There are plenty of taxis available from here and it is easy to book one on the go. The prices are fixed. On that day, it was Rs 1200 to airport considering the traffic jam. Generally, they charge around Rs 1000. I reached airport on time. My flight was uneventful. I return back with a state of tranquility that the nature has offered me in these 7 days. But, I know for sure, that I am already addicted to the Himalayas, and there will be more trips soon. 




Comments

  1. Taking a break from a daily routine is extremely good for one's mental health. I am glad you did that. I am also happy you and your friends dodged the landslide. Looking forward to read more of your trekkelogue in the future.

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