One morning, I hired a bike from a friendly guy nearby and decided to drive up to Kaudiyala. I have gone on Rishikesh – Kaudiyala road a few times in the bus, but taking a bus does not justify the journey. The road traverses along the bank of Ganga, climbs up into the lower Himalayas as soon as you leave Rishikesh behind you. It is so beautiful that you would like to reach out for it, but the confines of the bus holds you back.
With my own transportation, I took my time to cover the road. The Ganges, somewhere far below in the valley looked beautiful early in the morning and I kept stopping for a good view and photographs. I kept looking out for birds too – especially hornbills and magpies which I had spotted earlier, but I was not lucky today. But the views of the valley more that made up for the loss.
View of the Valley
As I drove further, I went past many tented accommodations that litter the sandy banks of the river. It must be nice to stay in one of those places for a few days. Nothing like living a pampered life in a pristine and beautiful valley with a river running next to you, and with no hassles and nothing to bother about. Most of the tents serve as overnight camp for people rafting downstream.
Tented accommodations litter the sandy banks
I walked into one of the empty beaches. The water wasn’t very cold, and whenever I get close to the Ganges, I get this irresistible urge to swim in its waters. But the current was fast and the banks were rocky, and with an empty beach and no one to rescue if something goes wrong, I had to skip the idea.
I passed a couple of picturesque bridges as I drove further. There were no rafters at this time of the year, since there wasn’t much water. I left behind a few resorts, including the well known ‘glass house on the Ganges’ as I moved on. All along, I looked for rapids that make Rishikesh a famous place for rafting, but I could not see much of them. May be it is better when there is more water, but it did not look appealing for rafting with the current levels.
River at Kaudiyala
It was around 11am when I reached Kaudiyala. GMVN’s rafting camp and a few restaurants welcome you to the village. I notice what could be a grade 2 rapid close to the GMVN camp, and a deeper area a little upstream where they probably start rafting. I was hungry by now and went for a couple of Aloo Parathas at the restaurant, and started my drive back to Rishikesh. Another hour later I was back in Ram Jhoola, where I had started from.
More on Rishikesh at paintedstork.com
* Rishikesh photo gallery
* Arriving at Rishikesh.
* Walking around Laxman Jhula
* Ganga Aarthi at Rishikesh
* Photo Essay: Babas of Rishikesh
* Rishikesh to Kaudiyala
* About Rishikesh