To find solace amidst our professional lives drove us to picturesque spiritual place in the Himalayas “Rishikesh”.Although Haridwar- Rishikesh are more synonymous to Devotion & yogic sentiment, but we categorically chose it to sense our passion for Adventure & find solace amidst.To chill out ,our 2 friends drove from Jaipur & we started our Journey from delhi ,early morning @5am. Initial feelings viewing lush green paddies ,beautiful sunrise aroused a sense of pleasantness & a lively trip ahead.Our stay was per-determined @the Natural habitat of”tents” besides the bed of River Ganges.Post drive of 4 hrs ,chants of Mantras ,Bhajanas ,ringing Bells embarked the onset of Haridwar & all of a sudden religious feelings surrounded me. Crossing Haridwar& reaching our tents on the suburbs of Rishikesh took another 1hr but that route drove us crazy.Arrival @ “A-Star” tent was signaled by the hoarding aside the hill ,but we could no where find it.It wore a deserted look ,but as luck would have it ,we saw a Nepali man(our attendant) approaching us & sooner we realized that our Tents were deep down the hill & it took us 40-50 steps climbing down into a deep gorge sort to reach our place for hibernation for next 1 day.Wow! What an affectionate welcome! Our journey to adventure had already begun as soon as we entered the “green house shed as our Lunch & Dinner room” ; a huge sandy beach pertaining s our playground ;& Tents as our sole shelter (& not to forget natural rocky loos but yes with water facilities).Just a panoramic view sparkled my eyes & I exclaimed! Just 20 ft from our tent ,was river Ganges flowing gracefully. Fresh Sweet lemon water & a simple “home-made” lunch with wide variety was the next surprise awaiting us!We quickly immersed ourselves to get pampered by the compassionate management @the tents.Next adventure in line was tier 4 River Rafting, which took an hour for us to drive to the spot “Sangam” where our co-rafters hanged around. Post getting coached for the rafting ,with all preparation to avoid any untoward any incident ,we were all set to begin our 2nd Raft experience (post River Teesta@ gangtok).We dressed as Rafters & got ready full of energy for a bumpy ride lasting for 3.5 hrs .Initial 5-6 kms were simple sailing & more of a preparatory sessions for the forthcoming “tier 3-4 Rapids named as –Seven sisters,3 Blind Mice & bla bla). But within next 15 minutes, we encountered our first rapid ,2 huge tides roaring & moving hastily towards us, with all our strength ,we rowed in sync & got thru’ ,but soon realized that it got us completely wet through .It aroused a sense of exhilaration & more preparedness for the upcoming biggest “Seven sisters rapid”.
As we saw the raft ahead us approaching the Rapid ,& it vanished the very next moment ,left us with our hearts thumping hard ,but soon we saw the edges of raft getting pushed out of the tide post 30 sec , gave us a sigh of relief & encouraged us all the more.Hard rowing begun moving against the huge huge seven sisters (7 tides together)& OMG!! This was splendid,simply superb as the tide threw us harshly inside the tide & river ,then pushing us on the top ,then again deep inside & finally on emerged out of the tide ,took our breaths away .But that was not the stop to it ,as we saw the very next rapid (3 Blind mice) moving in agony towards us. With all our might to counter the mighty tide ,we somehow managed to prevent overturning of our raft (as the earlier raft had over turned ),nothing could have been more magnificent than this . Gosh! Our hearts pounding loud enough ,we screamed , yelled ,tears flowing down the eyes with a smile on the faces thanking “Ma Ganga” for giving us such a scintillating memories of all our lives.But this was not the end of our adventure ,as we soon saw an opportunity for Cliff JumpingI was the first one to announce to have this part of adventure (being non-swimmer) & it was confirmed by our guide who informed that this hillock was some 25-30 ft high & higher one was some 35-40 ft high, giving us an adrenaline rush.Tying our Raft to a rock ,we disembarked & started climbing the hill (pre-ordering Hot delicious Maggie on the side stall) & reached the lower cliff (30 ft)& my hubby on the higher one .But standing at this height for the first timer ,blew away all confidence out of me in nano seconds & gave me a realization –God! I cannot! Fight between my mind & heart started as usual , unnerving me ,sensation less feeling ,sudden shivering of my hands & legs, face turning pale & driving me Numb all through, standing at the edge of the hillock .But ,I had to encounter this ,& my Hubby’s (good swimmer)jump from higher cliff alarmed me & aroused 5% confidence ,which I felt was enough at that spurt of moment .Thinking & praying all the Gods & pardoning for all misdeeds ,I just wished GOD to be my savior & yes I did it .I plunged myself in the hands of Ma Ganga.
No words of Oxford could have ever described those flash of moments ,as soon as I bumped deep in the river & came out with loud thump & a sense of satisfaction aroused ,but none later I realized that i was all alone in the midst of the river (my hubby was far away taken by the water current) & a tide slowing moving towards me .Crying for help ,I realized that my guide had taken a dive post me ,ensuring that someone was close to me for my safety. With his initial help I crossed the tide & had a miraculous feeling on seeing my hubby moving swiftly towards me . His touch & sense gave me a sense of bliss & I relished inside the river for some more time & pounced on the hot Maggie coming out of my Brave Act;)We did encounter ,2 more huge rapids but those were noting in front of my Brave & Mighty jump.
Out ,post 3.5 hr Rafting ,pledging happiness ,we drifted slowly towards our “Natural habitat” .What a warm welcome to our delight, Bonfire ,light melodies of Kishore Kumar ,next to free flowing Ganges ,we savored to hot Kebabs, Paneer pakora’s & Adrak Tea ! It had a big big relaxing effect .As the moonlight spreadened, stars coming out from their shelters sparkling, provoked a sensation of tranquility & we soon decided that our sleep Bed’s would be on River bed & not inside the tents .So my next round of Jungle adventure started ,with deep silence , no noise ,all in deep sleep.Suddenly ,I woke up with trees whistling loudly ,river gushing with high tides (tides get on peak during nights) ,God that was unnerving ,finding all deep asleep & me alone was pondering with fear that night of horror. With a feeling of deep conjuring amidst the black night, hovered by huge trees ,I had actually lost my sleep for the next 4 hrs. I indulged in the thoughts of all spirit stories ( had spelt on me by our Nepali attendant last evening ) assuming & self deciding their factual. I just kept praying & really God must’v had pity on me,as soon as I heard Birds chirping ,bidding bye to black night & welcoming the beautiful “rays of life”.
One of the most scenic morning saluted us & we sipped our hot tea sitting on our beds, admiring the Nature & all discussing of the sound & gracious sleep they had last night (except me ,who just accepted their views of sound sleep ,with a panicky smile;)) .
At 6am ,we were ready from our beds & aroused a sportsman with us , equipped to start with Badminton on the beach ,followed by Beach Volley ball”.In the need of relaxation ,we practiced yoga & meditation (with sun bath) aside the river ,which did cast a spell of freshness in me.Post breakfast ,it was packing back to re-enter the busy hustle bustle life of Delhi ,but that could not get complete without taking a feel of River Ganga again! For an hour we played inside the river ,did lots & pots of “Chai chap chai” to bid final adieu to the amazing nature & realization of all over in Love again!
Distance from Delhi -Approx. 240 km to Haridwar & further 40 Km to Camp site.
Mode of Travel – We went by car ,frequent Trains & Buses available from Delhi.
Best time to visit- Anytime during the year except May-Aug (Summers(spl for Tent stay) & rainy season)
Best place to stay– Rule out luxury resorts & opt for some Jungle tents available at
What not to miss– Rafting ,Cliff jump ,Trekking,Evening Aarti at Ghat .