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Ganges widens close to Uttarkashi
I woke up realllly early, at around 4:15 to catch the 5 o' clock bus for Rishikesh. But I missed it nevertheless, because the guy at the hotel reception was sound asleep and took his own sweet time having me check-out. Fortunately, the next bus was at 5:30 where I found a decent seat. The scenery was especially peaceful in the early morning, especially close to Uttarkashi where the river becomes very wide and placid. Had some excellent chai (Indian tea) at a roadside stall at the bus stop, and then some more roadside food on the way to Rishikesh. Breakfast was "aloo pakori" (fried potato savories) at Chamba I think.
Ganges widens close to Uttarkashi (Chinyali Saud).
The bus dumped me around 13:00 at some place in Rishikesh I didn't know, and had to take a shared Tempo/rickshaw to the market area. I decided to walk my way toward Munni-ki-reti and look around for travel agents/adventure sports guys to ask for rafting. Turned out to be a decently long walk to Munni-ki-reti, and tiring since I was lugging around my heavy back-pack.

By 13:30 I had talked to a couple of people that operated daily river-rafting expeditions, and found that there was little hope of rafting that afternoon. All the rafting expeditions seemed to start in the morning. So I finally decided to check into some hotel. Since GMVN was a good experience and not far from where I had reached I conveniently took up a simple room there for less than 200. The dorm would have been cheaper, but was entirely booked I was told.

Meantime I decided to find a good place for lunch, and then go find out if I could somehow backup the photos from my camera online or on CD. I found this nifty restaurant "Brunch" on the mainroad itself, close to where I was put up. The meal was excellent - just hit the spot after the long journey back to Rishikesh with erratic meals. At an internet cafe around there I was told I could write my pics onto a CD, so I did that later in the evening. All important chores almost done, thought might as well see the tourist spots while I'm in Rishikesh for the last time in a long time.

The two important tourist locations in Rishikesh are Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula - both are suspension bridges that span the Ganges river at different parts of the city. They are both located a bit outside the city, upstream. One can take many of the shared rickshaws that run between the city and Ram/Laxman Jhula. The bridges are open to pedestrians and two wheelers, and there are extensive markets around both of them. Lots of restaurants, hotels, lodges, clothes shops, handicrafts, religious stuff shops and commercial area around them. Overall, very busy areas - especially when I was there in the evening. There are also some "ghats", close to both bridges, where one can take a dip in the Ganges. Decided to have a nice lemon tea at a "Germany bakery" overlooking the Laxman Jhula - its bang opposite one end of the bridge.

On the way back I fixed up my rafting session for the next morning at 9:30 with one of the adventure agencies "Himganga Adventure Holidays" on the main road at Kailash Gate. Generally, rafting is done in a group and the tour operators prefer that people come in a group for the booking. Since I was travelling solo, it was a bit of a hassle finding someone who could find a vacancy with another group.

After another nice meal at Brunch, and some reading it was time to sleep - in anticipation of my first white-water-rafting experience to be.

-- Ashish Bhambhani
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Ganges widens close to Uttarkashi
Ganges widens close to Uttarkashi
Ganges widens close to Uttarkashi …
Ganges widens close to Uttarkashi…
Rishikesh Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Its a clean restaurant, the ambience is decent and so is the service. At first sight it looks like an expensive restaurant. The owner is a nice man wh… read entire review
photo by: Mezmerized