Saturday, March 14, 2015

Trip to Rishikesh

13-March-2015: Our driver picked us up at 6am and we headed off to Rishikesh aka Yoga capital of the world where int'l yoga festival was held earlier in March. It was a 5 hour drive and quite an introduction to driving in India. lots of disregard to every known traffic law and almost continual honking as the car passed, swerved, went three abreast, etc. buses and trucks approaching in our lane with headlights blinking, etc. We stopped for a great breakfast along the way of freshly prepared parantha - filled nan-like breads baked in tandoori style oven and served with butter. Rishikesh is on the Ganges river where it exits the foothills of the himalayas and has an interesting old section - filled with temples, yoga and meditation centers, ashrams, small shops and restaurants with lots of western "hippies", young and old. We spent 3 hours walking around with a guide and were embarassed by our lack of knowledge of Hindu deities. Then we sat along the Ganges for awhile, took a boat to the other side and attended a very interesting sunset ceremony at an ashram. Music with songs, chanting, etc. and ending with the passing around of fire filled brass bowls. We returned to our small hotel and enjoyed a simple and delicious dinner wirh our driver. We've decided to restructure our post-Nepal week in India and cancelled existing reservations in Agra and Jaipur so will trust our driver to make other arrangements. We will spend less time in Agra and go elsewhere, and still end up in Jaipur but stay at a different hotel.

14-March-2015: returned to Delhi but stopped a short drive from Rishikesh where lots of pilgrims were bathing in the Ganges and also where they put ashes of their relatives into the river. It was another long and "interesting" drive and we made it back into Delhi around 6pm. Had dinner at our favorite Dosa restaurant - the dosas only cost ~$2.50 each and are soooo delicious. A very popular place.

Midmorning breakfast stop along the highway

Suspension bridge across the Ganges in Rishikesh

View upstream gives an idea of how the river comes out of the himalayan foothills here

On the bank of the Ganges

View of Rishikesh looking downstream.

Ganges crossing by boat.

Sunset prayer ceremony

Interesting participant

Flames set afloat

Passing around fire at the end of the ceremony.

One of these is not like the others! these old ladies really liked me and wanted their picture taken.

sunset on the Ganges

Posted by AlmostAdventurous

Location:Rishikesh, India

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