Saturday, November 28, 2009

Welcome to the Land of the Sages... Rishikesh




"I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."   - Robert Frost


    Although Rishikesh is dotted with a number of temples (Pawan dham, Bharat mata, etc), nothing is more sacred than the river itself, Ma Ganga. We longed to get a glimpse of the Ganges and finally succeeded after reaching this beautiful ashram in Rishikesh, Dayananda ashram.
[Dayananda Ashram]

The ashram exhibited a marvelous canvas of natural grandeur. We had prebooked our room so getting accommodation was not difficult. The ashram houses a huge garden, a library, a temple facing the river Ganga and a large dining hall. The rooms are clean and spacious. The food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) is very saatvic (pure) and home-like. 
[Ghat at Dayananda Ashram]

It has its own ghat which the visitors staying there can use to take a holy dip/bathe in the river. The atmosphere here was very peaceful which provided us the perfect ambience for our stay here -- A far cry from the Mumbai concrete jungles...

[Ram Jhula]

After making ourselves comfortable here, in the evening we set out to explore the city. A five minutes walk from the ashram to the main road and then a rickshaw (Rs. 5/person) to Ram Jhula. One can either take a boat or utilize the Ram Jhula to reach the other side of the river. We took a boat (runs every half hour, Rs. 10/person) as Parmarth Niketan ashram was on the opposite side of the river. 5 minutes walk and we reached the Parmarth ashram.

[Parmarth Niketan ashram]

The place was abuzz with activity and lots of people. Small Parmath Niketan students dressed in yellow dhotis were running around as if little yellow flowers swaying in the gentle breeze of the holy river. We realized we were just in time for the famed ashram Aarti and took a seat on the flight of stairs. The atmosphere was truly enchanting and spiritual. Words fail to express the serenity and the divinity that one experiences amidst the ringing temple bells, the chanting of the mantras, and the innumerable diyas enlightening the entire place as well as (to some extent) your inner soul. I felt a oneness with the surrounding which energized my spirit and cleansed my mind. It was something I won’t forget in a long time. After reconnecting with ourselves, it was dark and time to return to the ashram. The boat service was closed now and we crossed the Ram Jhula on foot this time. The entire stretch of the bridge gives you a marvelous view of this exotic city. I longed the stretch to be a little longer cause the view from up there was amazing.
[Triveni Ghat]

We started the next day with a holy dip at the most revered ghat- Triveni Ghat. After the Ram Jhula, I definitely was waiting for our trip to Laxman Jhula which is older and bigger. After crossing the Laxman Jhula, we walked to Ram Jhula up to the Parmarth ashram, on the way feeding many langoors (monkeys) and cows with bananas which we had bought quite cheap. Slightly ahead of Parmarth Niketan is Gita Bhavan where many prominent saints like Swami Ramsukhdasji used to give pravachans (preachings) in front of packed crowds.

[Sunset]
        
 By this time the sun had started to set, a blazing orange circle slipping into a soft delightful sleep after a long and a weary day. We retired in our rooms and packed our bags as the beautiful journey had neared its end.

I closed my eyes And thanked this enthralling city for rejuvenating and replenishing my soul for the life ahead....


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10 comments:

  1. That looks awesomw.
    I have been planning to goto Rishikehsh, and i am sure, i could check oput for this dayanand ashram.
    Fro the pictures i can gather the serenity there.
    Thanks.
    Ramaswamy

    ramuswamy55@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. @ Ramaswamy
    Thanks Sir for your lovely comment..
    Glad it helped you..
    What more joy can I get if my blog helps someone to plan their trips better!!!

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  3. awesome pics.I can smell purity in your photographs.http://pratibhathetalent.blogspot.com/

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  4. i have seen ram jhula,laxman jhula n all...nice pics..
    even had a dip at d vip ghat n did deep daan too..

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  5. Hi Arti,
    nice too see such a lovely blog aka your travel Dairy, awsome to make it gigital. . hmm I Belongs to the dev bhumi so its my pleasure..you visited risikesh...and I very like ur travelling passion..are you into tourism sector or its ur passion.?
    I came to your sphere via Indiblogger where u had posted an issue regarding post posting error coming in Html tags.. hmm I too hv encountered same issue, and found there was some coding issue in html not properly closed resulting in that... you might have faced it while putting pic or either video. .so just remember. .1st make a backup of what you have written in notepad or word file.
    then you can click on compose n html edit to check code or just look at the pic or video section. .thats where issues arrised at times.
    if issue persits comment back..
    take care
    and Happy new year in advance :-))
    ks.

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  6. Need your email id. Please contact me. neenu.babu@yaatrika.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thats a nice travelogue!, The photo's are pretty good. I also recommend you to visit IIT Roorkee, which falls on the Rishikesh-Haridwar route.

    Its a educational institute, no doubt, but one fantastic place to visit.165 years old, grand buildings, lawns,The IIT atmosphere, surrounded by the holy environs of Haridwar and Ganga. I currently study here, and visit rishikesh too often, but i still loved reading your posts.

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  8. Hi... Thanks for the blog. So you stayed at the ashram. Could you let me know the prerequisites for a stay at the ashram. Also would be helpful if you could share the cost of living at the Ashram and any person we could contact there.

    Subhashaniv@gmail.com
    Thanks :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Subhashani,

      There are no prerequisites as such or any charges for the rooms, however you can make a donation at your will.

      Here are the contact numbers - Swami Shraddhanand: 0135-2430769 / 1769

      Hope this helps! :)

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