Holy city - foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas

Rishikesh Travel Blog

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After the harrowingly late night train, my train to Haridwar was a welcome relief. It was very comfortable and right on time. It brought me to Haridwar close to noon. I stepped off and headed for the bus station, which is bang opposite the train station. Waited a while in the bus, and got to Rishikesh after little more than an hour. In the course, the bus wound its way around the popular Hari-ki-paudi "ghats" of the Ganges river (Ganga).

On reaching Rishikesh I went to some travel agents to ask if I could make reservations for my travel the next day to Gangotri. Also enquired if river-rafting/kayaking was still going on, but was told to enquire the next week - which was fine with me since thats when I planned to do it anyway. I took a rickshaw, and went straight to check in. I had booked a room at GMVN's lodge in Munni-ki-reti area. GMVN's lodges are usually one of the best in each city in the Garhwal region of Uttaranchal, although a slight bit expensive than most of the stuff one can find at whim after reaching any particular city.

I was particularly not feeling like doing any touristy things at Rishikesh that day, probably because I had planned on coming back for a day. So I just lolled around at the lodge, having lunch and watching the India-Australia cricket match that the Indian team seemed to be losing. Post-lunch I walked around on the main road Munni-ki-reti to enquire about how I should prepare for a trek to Tapovan and how one could make arrangements for the same. I was told that Gangotri itself would be a good place to hire a porter or guide or both for the trek. Makes sense too to take a local person there instead of having someone tag along from a distant place like Rishikesh or Uttarkashi and pay them for the extra days. Got some contact numbers just in case I wouldn't find anyone at Gangotri.

By late afternoon I was feeling quite tired because of the odd hours the previous night. So I crashed into bed and only awoke at around 21:00. Headed straight for dinner at the lodge itself, and ended up watching TV waiting for my meal to be prepared since it was a busy time. Did some reading meanwhile, I think it was "Eaters of the Dead", before falling asleep for the night.

-- Ashish Bhambhani
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