Sunday, November 23, 2008

By the Ganges , Haridwar / Rishikesh 1

My Haridwar, Rishikesh trip in Uttarakhand recently was not my first trip there, but I was the more elated. I know that Uttarakhand is a lovely, truly holy place, a picturisque landscape, a paradise for the nature lovers (not excluding Wildlife lovers) a feast and a marvel for the eyes. I have visited there before some three/ four years back and it was an awesome experience. Family Holidays have always been terrific and I count the trip to Haridwar, Rishikesh enchanting enough to remind always my family that we should go back anytime whenever we have the time in the coming future. Staying at Mohyal Ashram was a so nice experience. Loved the simple food we have there and the hospitality was unforgetable for sure, no doubts.

My trip few days back there was remarkable because I was on a business trip. I was too glad to visit the holy place,as please as a punch! We drove down to Haridwar/ Rishikesh early in the morning inorder to escape Traffic hurdles, stopped by Grand Cheetal where we had Great food. The garden there was amazing. It had good ambience. So,clicked some pics eventhough it was damn cold and chilly n frosty to be accurate.

By the Ganges 2

Continued from "By the Ganges, Haridwar /Rishikesh".

After a leisurely Breakfast. We headed to Haridwar. Reaching Haridwar, we were so lovingly and warmly welcome. Official work followed, but then in our heart of heart, we,three of us who were there for the business trip was looking forward to some adventure. So, hoping to accomplish and finish work perfectly at the right time was our motto of the trip. The drive was pretty smooth one except for occassional places. The scenic beauty entralled us no end. I 've to confide here my Mexican colleague was sleeping and perhaps was dreaming a sweet dream on the way. She already told me, she just came back from a disc as she had to bid some friends from Israel Goodbye.I guess, that was important and crucial too. She second it too.

When we were about to reach Haridwar, she told me curtly, she dreamt a dream. I wasn't surprised, I didn't ask her what was the dream about. Well, I was n't in my Dreamland, but among villages of India where anyone can feel the utmost realistic life and enjoy in the greenery and the cool landscape.Official work was swallowing up all the time. Finally,in the pretext of filling up of the Holy Ganges water, we were strolling for a few minutes by the side of Ganges. Later, We got time to sit silently and clicked picture with evening twilight as the background.

I always have the habit of letting people listen to the roaring of the water. I tried that by the Ganges in this trip. Some years back, I tried out that back by the Beas in Himachal Pradesh, before the Airtel Ad. came out with that idea.

I told our Driver to record the roaring of the Ganges water, he had records of so many things like the original chirping of birds n sounds of animals from their natural habitat and he 's always the first one to point/ sort out wild animals in the many Jungle Trips with all the right names.

He can be counted among good ornithologists as well, because of his knowledge about birds. I told him to abreast me of the birds name in the tour inside Rajaji National Park which we did tour.

By the Ganges 3

Continued from "By the Ganges, Haridwar/Rishikesh"

I 've visited and seen Lakshman Jhula, Ram Jhula and many religious Hindu temples nearby those areas in Rishikesh with family as we were supposed to remain grounded ,or Earthly with those Pilgrim cum fun holidays. I was quite believing the mexican to have the same pleasant time like I have had before there, but official work was not letting us that. So, Har- ki - Pauri, that was where we visited on the first night.

The Aarti has just been over with the spectacle of sound and colour. We were just at the right time when, after the ceremony, pilgrims float diyas (floral floats with lamps) and incense on the river, commemorating their deceased ancestors. We hurriedly went amidst the crowds to do that.

Har Ki Pauri is believed to be the exit point of the Ganges from the mountains and entry into the plains. Also known as Brahm Kund, this ghat was built by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Brithari who often meditated on the banks of river Ganga. History records an imprint of Lord Vishnu’s foot on one of the stones present on the ghat, which is indicative of the name. An evening ritual (Aarti) performed by the priests on the banks of river Ganga is a highly enchanting and divine experience.

Lamps are seen floating on the river, immersed after the ritual. A splendid aura of lights and chants fills the atmosphere in the evenings.What we knew at that moment was only that it's auspicious.Later, realised that thousands of people from all round the world do make a point to attend this prayer and pay respect to their deceased anscestors on their visit to Haridwar. We were blessed to do that even without the knowledge (God Willing!). The night followed with some cool ,breezy hours by the water. Just walking by the Ganges and being ourselves unguarded was thrilling,Welcoming. I bet, the Gods will also ask for that. So, The night went by lovingly.

The only compliant , I got from my Mexican fren was the night was lovely , but why was it starless always in India at night unlike in her hometown, Mexico . I corrected her , we have starlit nights in Imphal , Manipur and shared a lovely starlit night experience of Kulu , HP and there were many places with stars every nightin India (But , I haven't seen much stars in all my years in Delhi. ). I shared one experience with her, a night of thousand stars twinking nonendlessly. That was with one of my friends and we kept on gazing the stars ,muttering and gazing up perpetually , we never had this , ever in Delhi all these years . It was truly spectacular and filmy because it was so perfect for any one to believe and besides ,we had reached there through a rope way(True , to the name , being pulled by people from the other end , just like in Adventure books and Jungles )from the other end which had Apple , Peach orchards and lovely ,cute lodges and a hillock behind.We ended that day with that sweet note .

By the Ganges 4

Continued from "By the Ganges ,Haridwar/Rishikesh"

Morning was all ours after a hearty breakfast in Ganga azure, Big Ben Haridwar. As we have had some time, I told to drive till Sati Kunj. The Chandi devi, Mansa Devi and the rope way followed with buying prasads/ flowers for the deities prayers and having food here and there like chana Masala, typical of Haridwar and fruits and gulping dowmn cold drinks to quench the thrist with all the excitement. Rope-way was good. It was the cheapest among all places in India as was seen written in one of the boards. After completing our works (we have not forgotten our official tasks ) ,we sincerely felt truly blessed when we have the previlege and visited Rishikesh, the Triveni,Lakshman Jhula, Ram Jhula even though it was dark to understand anything( as it was late at night).The breezy weather was so good and so, chill out.

Unknowingly and surprisingly lucky, I happened to visit all the 'Panch Tirth' (Five Pilgrimages)in Hindu traditions within Haridwar, which were Gangadwara (Har-ki-pauri), Kushwart (Ghat), Kankhal, Bilwa Teerth (Mansa Devi) and Neel Parvat (Chandi Devi. I Love visiting the Sati kunj, everytime I visited Haridwar, Rishikesh. Even the Daksh Mahadev temple was worth visiting.

Friday, November 14, 2008

By the Ganges 5

Continued from "By the Ganges, Haridwar/ Rishikesh "

Third day was a new day, as we geared to head back to Delhi, after a meaningful, soul stirring visit to the Ganges banks for a holy dip.

People were bathing in the early twilight. It was considered and believed a dip in the Ganges cleansed the humanly bodies from worldly sins. When I told this to my Mexican fren, she dipped her head in the water. Ultimately, it was NIRVANA time for all of us as we three all have a hearty laugh. It was quite funny and at the same time so sweet.

The cute part of the whole trip was she was visiting the interiors of Daksh Mahadev Temple for a prayer the first day we visited the place,remembering she kept on telling me she hardly visited churches (We were thrilled.)and She bought Bhajan songs for her Mexican friends back home in Mexico was quite amusing and sweet gesture too.

The trip was good for all of us with some shopping, picking stuffs just as souvenir.

On our way back,we have a look at the Patanjali, Ramdev Centre and the sugarcane field where we got some sugarcane and Jaggery (Gur)just for the fun sake.

The workers were asking us to click the live making of Jaggery and they have a dekko(look) of it too in the Digicam.

We did that to our and their heart's content,Willingness.

Haridwar was simply a Gateway to God:tranquil and majestic.