Tuesday, August 2, 2011

22 hours in Rishikesh

Inside the Little Buddha Cafe
 With only two weekends remaining in India, it is now time to get aggressive on my checklist.  After a delicious cultural lunch in Chandigarh (more about this elsewhere), we had two options for a day trip.

1. Go to Shimla and explore.
2. Go to Rishikesh and explore.

Since I have already been up to Shimla, and I heard that Rishikesh offers adventure tours, we decided to go with plan b.  Just a heads up: This trip was jam packed, it's always wise to plan before leaving, and travelling with S. B. is directly correlated to extremes in physical/mental exhaustion and sheer hilariousness. 

5 of us agreed on Rishikesh about an hour before arriving at the bus terminal.  We had hopes of river rafting, bungee jumping, massages and spiritual/religious experiences.  Again, some pre-planning would have lead us to knowing that during the monsoon season (July to Mid-September), White water rafting, body surfing, cliff jumping and Bungee Jumping are closed due to high and dangerous water levels. The only options we came across on short notice were Jungle/Mountain Treks, Exploring the City, and Visiting Temples. 

Take a Dip in the River Ganges (a source waterfall)
Here are a few of the things I would recommend.

1. Hotel - Shri Sant Sewa Yatri Niwas - 200 Rupees each, Yoga at 7:30 am, overlooking the Ganges

2. Little Buddha Cafe - Slow Service, Delicious Food.

3. Jungle Trek from Temple down to Base of Mountain - 800 Rupees each, roughly 6 hours.  Includes a 15 km drive up the mountain.  Hike begins at the Shri Kunjapuri Temple at the peak of the mountain.  A trek through the jungle leads you to multiple waterfalls, rice-fields and small rural houses.  Booked at the Hotel.

4. Within the City - There are more temples than I can count, so I won't go into too much detail.  Just walk around and explore.  Also, there are a number of small markets where you can find Nepali trinkets and Indian Clothing.

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