Tag Archives: Rishikesh

Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh!

Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh!

Absolutely clueless about what we would visit in Rishikesh, we landed in Rishikesh by Rishikesh Tourism bus boarded from Dehradun. After alighting at Rishikesh, I realized…now what next? Where do we go?  I must admit that it was the first trip of its kind where we had no plans in place like which hotel to embark, which places to visit and in what order. Suddenly it occurred to me that Lakshman Jhula is a famous destination, and we should go there first. We boarded an auto from the Stand, after a minor altercation with the auto driver but finally, he dropped as Lakshman Jhula Auto Stand. We asked him, “Where is Lakshman Jhula”. He showed us a tree on the right side of the road and said, “Take right from the tree.” Happily, we started moving, suddenly Mukund spotted a hotel and we decided to park our luggage there and then move on towards Lakshman Jhula. It was the bright sunny day but we decided to move because we wanted to attend “Maha Aarti” at Triveni Ghat in the evening. We started moving towards Lakshman Jhula from our hotel which was ideally located near our destination, which is probably in the center of the city. No sooner we realized that Lakshman Jhula is not that close as we were told. Voila, what a walk and the distance it turned out to be. We enjoyed our walk on the downward slope but when I realized how we will take an uphill walk, I became very jittery. There was hardly any transport available from Jhula till our hotel, so we had no option but to walk and just walk.

After walking for nearly 30 minutes, we reached our destination about which we were very curious since we had planned our trip. Lakshman Jhula is a famous landmark of Rishikesh where almost all tourists come to enjoy. Friendly Langoors and monkeys welcome you as soon as you enter the Jhula and I must say Ganges – in all its glory and splendor descending from the Himalayas looks just amazing. I forgot all my pain and was just enjoying the sight. The sight will not go off my mind for long! We walked Lakshman Jhula, which lies suspended over River Ganges, is 450 ft long and connects Tehri and Pauri district.

But do you know the story behind its name? Legend has it that Rama’s younger brother Lakshman crossed the Ganga using just two jute ropes. To honor his feat, a 284 ft long hanging Rope Bridge was built at the same place and named Lakshman. Until 1889, it was this very rope bridge that was used to cross the river but it was washed away during the floods of October 1924. After this, another bridge was built which opened to public use in 1930.

This is still in use but its name remains the same in honor of Lakshman. After crossing the bridge, we treated ourselves with chilled Jaljeera and Bunta (Soda) and then I and Tanya set out for some window shopping. The market here stocks stuff which appeals to foreigners mainly like idols, junk jewelry, dresses, Ramnami Jholas, stoles, kurtas, jackets, skirts, semi-precious stones, Rudraksha and other knick-knacks. We had a great time in the market while picking some stuff for us, whereas Mukund passed time with Langoors. We also saw the famous 13-storey Trayambakeshwar Temple which is on the other side of the Lakshman Jhula.

Indeed, it was great fun being on Lakshman Jhula, the suspension bridge in Rishikesh, where I felt like a child.

I must note here that to encourage tourism in the State and Rishikesh in particular, it is very important to keep Jhula spic and span. Many two-wheeler riders were freely crossing the bridge which made the movement of tourists difficult on the bridge and I could notice many tourists complaining about the same. It is high time Rishikesh Tourism paid attention to these things and made use of the amount we tax-payers are giving as “Swachh Bharat Cess” and bring alive the dream of PM Modi of “Swachh Bharat”.

Also, some signages at prominent destinations in Hindi & English should be displayed as I could notice some foreigners struggling with ways. It will certainly help all tourists and pilgrims alike. Hope Uttarakhand Governance is listening!!

Splendid, Spiritual & Musical Gangaji Maha Aarti, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

I would certainly like to visit, revisit & revisit the breathtakingly beautiful RISHIKESH, the religious abode of Himalayas, Ganga, Sadhus, Temples, Ghats, Truly religious and humble people, Maha aarti, Friendly Langoors, Ashrams, Yoga Centres, Adventure seekers, Students and Foreigners!

Read on to know, what all mesmerized me (A hardcore Urban Soul) in Rishikesh!

Our all of a sudden decision to visit Dehradun turned out to be a religious trip too, when as per plan on third day of our stay in Dehradun, we left for Rishikesh. We were super excited about visiting Rishikesh, particularly me as I had visited Rishikesh many years ago and had very feeble memories of the place. For the first time, I decided to move out of our comfort zone (read: hiring AC Cab) for our travel and decided to board State transport bus for Rishikesh from ISBT, Dehradun. It was a well-thought decision as I wanted to know how locals travel, think and behave in Uttarakhand. Believe me, my purpose was not defeated as I could see many college students, women and Government servants accompanying us on this ride. I wanted to touch the pulse of the people of UK who had voted so heavily in favour of BJP. People are happy about BJP rule and accepted that there was “Modi Wave” in the State. They accepted that since BJP is diligently moving on developmental agenda as many highways, flyovers, connecting roads in the vicinity witnessed fierce activity. But yes, to promote tourism in this naturally beautiful State, public transport needs to pull up its socks and provide better amenities to tourists. Buses are just the same as they were 50 years ago, AC buses need to be introduced with better access, but roads are better than any of the States in India. Believe me; it is not easy to make roads in the hilly terrain…

Hotel, where we were staying, owner told us that road work enroute Badrinath is on, so there is limited supply of electricity in the area. People are happy that their visit to the Shrine will be easier and happier now. & voila, next morning when I stepped out to enjoy the breeze across Ganga, I was surprised rather delighted to see, road nicely built on the route till where my vision could accompany me. This is good administration and governance, no wonder; Nitin Gadkari is the top choice for this coveted job. I am sure; Uttarakhand will be a changed State when I visit next.

Evening turned out as we had planned, we boarded Vikram (local means of transport) for Triveni Ghats from Laxman Jhula for the evening “Maha Aarti” which was truly Maha Aarti in letter & spirit. Believe me I had never seen anything so splendid, religious, musical & sentimental on any of my sojourns. Ghats were decked up nicely for all of us to sit and watch aarti comfortably where many foreigners too were awaiting keenly before we reached. The stage was set for aarti which started at 6:30 Sharp with the chanting of Ganga Aarti by Singers/ Pandits sitting on stage, before that Hanuman Chalisa was rendered. It was first day of auspicious Navratri so Vaishno Mata Mandir was decked up to the hilt with many pilgrims paying obeisance to the Goddess of Power.

I came to know that this Maha Aarti is major Tourist attraction taking place at this ghat.

This aarti is accompanied by chantings of bhajan, beating drums, bells and big diyas lighted all over the place. The devotees release small oil lamps placed on leaf boats in the water. These lamps float down the river and provide a beautiful view.

Ceremonies like “Pindha Shraddha” are also done at Triveni Ghat, which my husband Mukund also undertook for his recently demised father, late Shri Jamnadas Vaghela. We believe that we tearfully sent him on his final journey. The main Panditji performed this ritual for our forefather – our beloved “Pappa”.

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Triveni Ghat is the confluence of three holy important Rivers in Ganges, the Yamuna and Saraswathy which is most revered sacred bathing spot in Rishikesh and is situated on the banks of Ganges River.

It is a belief that holy dip here washes away all the ties and purifies the soul and will have salvation, a relief from sins carried out; the water has the power to purify them. It is very soothing to sit on the banks of the river and enjoy the cool breeze with many sentiments at a time at play.

Devotees make many offerings at Triveni Ghat; in the early morning at sunrise they offer milk to the river and happily feed the fishes in the Triveni Ghat.

Visit undertaken on March 28, 2017.

 

Off to Dehradun, Can I miss Sahastradhara?

I am planning a trip to Dehradun, Mussourrie, Hardwar & Rishikesh, end April. Besides extensive sight – seeing in these places, I have zeroed in to breathtakingly beautiful Sahastradhara which is on the way to Mussourie. I had visited this place as a child, and now I am a mother myself…obviously visiting these places with my family. I am really looking forward to this trip.

While researching on Dehradun, first spot which crossed my mind was Sahastradhara. What could be better than visiting Dehradun and revisiting my childhood? So you want to know why I am so keen on visiting the place. I would love to share with you…but if you have some places to share with me in and around Dehradun, then please feel free to share with me. You can post your experience of Visiting Dehradun & Hardwar.

To begin with, Sahastradhara, literally means “Thousand fold spring”. Sahastradhara is a beautiful waterfall located 11 kilometers from Dehradun. Sahastradhara is famous for its sulphur water springs which contain medicinal properties and can cure skin ailments. Flanked by the Baldi River and caves on each side, Sahastradhara is renowned for its natural beauty and is a popular picnic spot. A year round destination, Sahastradhara is best visited in the monsoon when the water comes gushing off the cliff, but that I cannot help. The water in Sahastradhara contains lime due to which is noticeable by the deposits it leaves behind. Popular with tourists, Sahastradhara is a relaxing getaway from the bustling city of Dehradun. The Baldi river and the caves provide a breathtaking view.

Sahastradhara lies on 30.387231 latitude and 78.131606 longitudes. The place has an ecstatic beauty of nature where water drips from limestone stalactites, making the water sulphur abundant and thus the place is also called as sulphur springs. It is sulphur water spring of relatively lower temperature than its surroundings. It is a warehouse of excellent beauty of caves, waterfalls and steppe farming by local people. Its extreme magnificent essence of nature thrive people from faraway places. It surely rejuvenates the soul and mind. All the transport facility like buses, taxi, autos or cabs are available to get to the Sahastradhara.

A ropeway is provided to reach the hill top in Sahastradhara to find a park and a temple. The view is pleasant from the hill top. A very old Shiva temple along with guru Dronacharya cave is present in this location, providing a good mythological scenario and an essence of historical importance to the place. People visit and worship here. This place is also housing a manmade water amusement park and to attract the tourist from various places. Swings and water slides in the Joyland Water Park adds the fun and making this a very popular picnic spot.

This place has numerous hotels for stay and restaurants for the food. Having food besides the nature adds up the pleasantries and keeps you fresh and healthy.

The nearby villages increase the beauty as they thrive on steppe farming. The hills cut in the form of steps are marvellous to watch and is simply a visual delight. The main season is summer and October to March in winter, during which the water has its natural flow.

I am coming Sahastradhara…

Happy New (Travelling) Year 2015, travel fraternity welcomes you!

Friends you would remember my blog post few days ago for Holiday (Holics) 2015 is for you where I had shared with you how you can club your leave with paid holidays and fulfill your sigh-seeing / travel plans which you have been yearning for from years. This is the ideal year for holiday seekers who want to explore more & more travel destinations but are unable to do so because of lack of leave/ holidays. You are privileged that this year – 2015, you need not disturb your official commitments, spouse’s maika trips and children’s school schedule – you can squeeze in so much in just one year, obviously if you plan wisely. As a first measure – list out those destinations which have been on your wish-list. Oh! Difficult!

So many, don’t scratch your head, I am presenting before you the photo-essay of some exotic national and international destinations, you can certainly take your pick from there:

PHOTO – ESSAY

1. Skiing in GULMARG, Kashmir

Skiing in Gulmarg

2. DUBAI Shopping Festival

dubai-shopping-festival_550x250

3. MAHABALESHWAR Strawberry Farms

Mahabaleshwar

4. GOA Carnival

Goa Carnival

5. PUSHKAR MELA, Ajmer

pushkar

6. JAISALMER Music Festival, Rajasthan

jaisalmer-tourism-tour

7. COORG

coorg

8. MUSSOURIE

Mussorie

9. JIM CORBETT, Nainital

Jim Corbett
10. DARJEELING

dARJ
11. MALAYSIA for FESTIVALS

Malaysia-year-of-festival-2015
12. GANGTOK international Flower Festival

Gangtok
13. KERALA BACK WATERS

Kerala-Backwaters-91
14. BHUTAN

Bhutan
15. OMAN

Oman
16. LONDON

London
17. RISHIKESH River Rafting

rishikesh river rafting
18. MYSORE Dussehra

mysore dussehra
19. TARKARLI for Diving

tarkarli
20. THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for Christmas

us christmas
21. AUSTRALIA

australia-sydney

22. NEW ZEALAND

newzealand
23. KENYA

Kenya-sunset
24. SOUTH AFRICA – DURBAN, BOTSWANA

south africa