Thursday, 14 June 2018

Delhi to Rishikesh: Har Har Ganga

Has it ever occurred to you that each time you visit the same place, you experience it differently? This time when I went Rishikesh, I felt so.


On 9 June 2018, I, my husband and our 1 year old daughter, planned to visit Rishikesh with my cousin and his family. Since they live in Meerut, our 2 day journey looked like:

Delhi-Meerut-Haridwar-Rishikesh-Haridwar-Meerut-Delhi

At 7:15am, we started from Delhi and reached Meerut almost famished at 10am. The otherwise trustworthy google map, ditched us that morning and we were commuting through some unknown villages, bad roads and dead-ends.
Thankfully, my sister-in-law and brother made for us delicious vegan burgers with potato and black beans.

Without any delay we parked our Ciaz and started for Rishikesh in their Ecosport.
We made one halt for coffee at Muzzafarnagar food court.


It is a landmark place and has plenty of options like Haldirams, Costa Coffee, McDonalds, Subway, etc.
Bad roads, frequent diversions, traffic jams, etc. made us reach our pre-booked hotel Amaris by 5pm.


The hotel itself, is nestled between the city roads and therefore nothing is in walking distance for sightseeing.


There is a large dried up river visible from the room windows and their terrace garden, which I am assuming was flowing before and made Amaris an excellent choice for visitors.
 Rooftop Garden
View from Terrace
A dried up riverbed
Nevertheless, I found Amaris somewhat okay.


The hotel service was spot-on. Any requests made by us, was attended well. The food was a hit. We ordered several times, and each meal was flavourful.


A point I earlier thought I would not mention, but I am doing was that when I ordered Pasta, I asked for Arrabiata, which is pasta in tomato sauce. But, when my order arrived, I received Pasta Alfredo, which is pasta in white sauce. I could have complained, but I did not because
A. I was very hungry and did not want to wait for another 15-20 minutes for the new dish, and
B. Arrabiata was looking delicious and it tasted good too.
So, I went ahead with the wrong dish.


My husband's dish, Hyderabadi Vegetable Pulao was good.
Moving on.


The same day, after a quick shower we headed out for Triveni Ghat by a local vehicle.


An auto is cheap and the drivers know the best about the roads and ways to reach a destination quickly.


Triveni Ghat is a famous Ganga River Bank in Rishikesh and a major attraction for devotees from all over the world.


Interestingly, Triveni means "three" which symbolises that this river bank is a confluence of 3 rivers, namely, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.


Since we reached there at 7:30pm, water level was gradually rising.


However, visiting the ghat in the evening was an apt choice because the weather turned pleasant and the rush of devotees was less.


The Ghat has a nice flee market and one can do some street shopping of items like cups, utensils, home d├ęcor, clothes, bags, toys, etc.
After some relaxation, we headed straight for our hotel and slept well.


Next day, we planned for Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula, but both of our babies were sleepy and unwilling. So we never went. Perils of parenthood!


At 9:30am we went for the breakfast which was inclusive in tariffs.


I found the sitting hall, the breakfast buffet and service good.
 Poha was tasty, not too dry. The Indian Style Stir-Fried Soya Lentils was fine too. I think they wanted to replace baked beans with soya.
 There could have been more fruit options considering Haridwar and Rishikesh roads were filled with fruit vendors having like peach mango, lichee, etc.
  
 The butter and jam must be individually packed in Chiplet form. The way it was served was little unprofessional and looked unhygienic.
After Checkout from Amaris at 11:30am, my brother drove us to the Rajaji National Park.


Its a famous tiger reserve of Uttarakhand.
An area for restroom, canteen, sitting arrangement for visitors, and a souvenir shop
 The Entry to Park
We did not enter the reserve as we had to reach Delhi soon.


The road to Rajaji was fabulous.


We were passing by ganga canal all throughout.
 
After some sightseeing, we started for Meerut.


For lunch we stopped mid-way at a food court called National Court.
We reached Meerut at 5pm and after a break of 15 minutes I, my husband and baby started in our car for Delhi.

Extreme rush and traffic jams made us reach home by 10:15pm.

Completely exhausted, our short weekend tour came to an end.

Concluding Remarks:

  • Haridwar and Rishikesh are religious sites. Ensure before planning a visit to not just these two but any religious place in India that there is no ongoing or upcoming holy ritual. In thousands people flock and you are bound to face issues regarding hotel accommodation, traffic jams, over-price room charges, lack of cleanliness and absolute rush of people.
  • The ganga water is much cleaner and fresh in Rishikesh than it is in Haridwar. So, if your purpose is not religious and you are not aiming for puja, then go Rishikesh.
  • Rishikesh offers adventure sports like paragliding, kayaking and rafting.


2 comments:

  1. it's just like reading poetry!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your words are very encouraging. If interested, click the section on voyages and see some more of my travel guides to places like ranthambore, kurukshetra, rajasthan.

    ReplyDelete