A Weekend Trip to Haridwar-Rishikesh (1)
Reading the heading, I’m sure most of U must have begun to guffaw about my choice of destination! Theek hai yar, its not the typical place you would say you went to spend your hols, but then, its a quick, easily reachable (for me) and a good hideout for a day or two, for a summer recluse like me. Added to that, given my love for water and comfortable travelling, these two places seem the easiest getaway. Now U must’ve been wondering all this while, why did I call it a “hideout”. Hmm.. well, the word came just because my bro and I are kind of running away from our bosses on weekends when they are trying to tighten the noose round our necks to get us somehow to our workplaces with or without a justified reason; so we, for once, switch off our mobiles and rush to the place that has water, tradition, multi-hued markets, cultural amalgam, spiritual colour and an ethnic-holy confusion, all mixed together in gay abandon. Another thing that I discovered about these two places is, that the mystique associated with them is such, that each time I visit these two places, I discover something absolutely new for myself.. something untouched out of the natural splendour spread around and something new within me. As it is, nature fascinates me. But I am those forever weary, lazy travellers who would any day want to travel in trams and ropeway trolleys than go trekking or kayaking. River rafting is an absolute no-no for me or for that matter, for anyone in my family. 😮 😛 But other than that, The Himalayas in Uttaranchal are visited for pilgrimage, adventure and holidaying. Some of India’s most sacred pilgrimage sites are perched on the Garhwal Himalayas. Haridwar, Rishikesh, Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri and Kedarnath have been visited by saints, sages and ordinary mortals since many centuries.
Anyway, after this blah-blah, let me talk about the actual travelling. As bhaiya and I had managed just the second weekend this time, it was an outing meant merely for precisely three days (II Saturday, Sunday & a bonus Monday on account of it being some holiday). We slept late in the night as we were chatting away hastily deciding where to stop first and what all to do. Finally we dozed off unknowingly, yawning away in the wee hours of night. We had decided to take a driver instead of bhai driving us up to the place as both of us were too tired to be volunteering for any driving. We got up early in the morning to pack our bags and got ready to move for Haridwar. We had to make a little haste in early hours of the morning because we wanted to travel on less crowded roads and reach early. We all (mom, dad, me & bhai) just took a cup of tea and dumped ourselves in the car. We didn’t have to worry about our food-supply as mom had arranged our breakfast well in advance. There were matthis, achaar, namkeen, poori and bhaji for the rest of the way along with cold-coffee in the flask, and it was a satisfying stumptuous meal arrangement for the rest of the journey. For immediate instant breakie, mom had prepared some nice mayoineses-black-pepper-cumcumber sandwhiches. All of us liked them the way mom made them so it was not an issue and we enjoyed our light breakfast in the speeding car.
We had been able to manage this trip in the month of August and so, as a sign of welcome, an overcast, clouded dark sky greeted us with sudden bursts & shouts of rain, surprising us now and then and overzealous rivulets, streams and dreams overflowed on the way. We arrived at our pre-booked Haridwar rest-house around 11:30 AM. Although, there are many good resorts and hotels available in Haridwar, we had arranged the best for us as bhai was entitled for the stay as a perk. After checking in into the rest-house, we had rest for some time in the afternoon and took lunch in the mess before we started our visit to the holy land, Haridwar which is the land of holy river Ganga where millions of Hindus take a dip in the sacred river wash off their sins. The city Haridwar is regarded as a gateway of Heaven, as the name suggests. The town is so old that it is believed that it was born prior to many of the world’s ancient towns.