It must have been raining in the past few days. When we arrived in Dehradun on the early morning train, it was cold but pleasant. Air was fresh and crisp and the sight of trees of the mountains filled my eyes and my heart. It was still drizzling when we came in. A few hours later, we set forward to a short trip to Rishikesh.
See more about Rishikesh on paintedstork.com
1. Arriving at Rishikesh.
2. Walking around Laxman Jhula
3. Ganga Aarthi at Rishikesh
4. Photo Essay: Babas of Rishikesh
5. Rishikesh to Kaudiyala
6. About Rishikesh
Also see: Rishikesh photo gallery
I had made my picture of Rishikesh. I had dreamt about views of ice-tipped Himalayan mountains, Hermits seen walking around the Ganges, tonnes of pilgrims pouring into the temples, people bathing in Ganges, cold or chill weather that can’t be countered without layered clothing unless you are a Sadhu, and beautiful and scenic locales when you move out of town and so on. This had formed in me after seeing pictures of Kedar, Badri, Amarnath and such Himalayan pilgrimage places. We drove through the planes of Dehradun and reached Rishikesh in an hour. It was nothing of the sort that I imagined.
Rishikesh is a small town that separated the planes from the hills. Fiery Ganges flows in here from far and high in the Himalayas, and mellows down into a gentle and steadily flowing river. In the month of February, the waters were brownish and muddy. She flows undisturbed but for a few rafters seen flowing down with the river. We did not see any meditating Yogis on rocks abound on the banks. It is a calm place, except for the small market area in the center of the town. You don’t see large crowds of noisy pilgrims disturbing the peace of the town.
Loading rafts into a truck. Rafting is a popular activity in Rishikesh. You can see an ashram just behind the truck.
The hanging bridges – Ram Jhoola and Laxman Jhoola are the places normally visited by the casual tourist. There are a few temples near these bridges, which we did not explore. Flea markets selling clothes and woolen material, and a few restaurants crowd the streets lining around the bridges. I bought a few polished elliptical stones called ‘saligrama’. The big attraction to me was the river itself and the green hills around it forming a valley. While I found the town very beautiful and charming, there is not much that a ‘sight seeing’ tourist can expect in the town.
Colorful clothes for sale near Laxman Jhula
A temple at the backdrop of Laxman Jhula
My camera found many subjects of interest in the town. The bright and colorful clothes in the flea market were catchy. The people and the Sadhus were interesting. The market was vivid, and then there was Ganges. Our stay in Rishikesh was short before we proceeded to Joshimath. But I look forward to return here sometime.