Haridwar Travel Blog› entry 6 of 13 › view all entries
So, we couldn't go directly to Rishikesh - we caught a bus from Delhi to Haridwar which took about 14 hrs, when it was supposed to take 10, our bus driver made a quick (1 hr) stop over to attend a wedding on the way...Yes, anything is possible in India. After our rickety mosquito infested bus trip we arrived in Haridwar and a quick autorickshaw ride later and we were at our hotel (Hotel Om Deluxe - it's in the lonely planet). The hotelier told us that check in was not until 12noon and it was now 5.30am. Generously he gave us a room at no extra charge for the interim, and we were to change at 12.
12 came and we changed to a similar but nicer room with a balcony and we had our first look at Haridwar...It was amazing! So vibrant and much more alive and less westernised than Delhi. I couldn't wait to get outside!! Once out there though I kind of felt like an animal in a cage at the zoo - all eyes were on us. It's not really a tourist hot spot. I actually felt a bit sick and couldn't eat anything all day...
After being stopped and asked to pay "tourist tax" we sat down for a meal to gather our thoughts (which I didn't eat) and the waiter helped us to find an autorickshaw driver who would show us around to all the temples for the day for Rs200....BARGAIN!
Being in one of the holiest cities in India we were expecting beautiful mosques and temples that were really ornate and alike, what we got was actually perfect for us because we are quite bad travellers. Easily bored by things like this and once the photos are taken don't see any point in hanging around. The temples in Haridwar are fun though. Honestly, they are interactive - more like little theme parks, but without the rides...there are little cave parts where you have to crawl on your hands and knees, and murals everywhere that are quite cartoon like (photos are coming sooner or later :) ) So as I said - they were perfect for us and we were still entertained by at least the 5th one out of 6.