Rishikesh

Rishikesh is one of the holiest cities in India. It’s known as The Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas and Yoga Capital of the World.The Beatles (you know George, Paul, John, and Ringo) visited Rishikesh in the late 1960’s. Rishikesh is located on the Ganges or as the locals call it Ganga River. As a holy city, Rishikesh doesn’t allow or sell meat, fish, eggs, or alcohol.

We didn’t know that part. Especially the alcohol part. It was fine but would have been nice to know our time in the town was going to be dry. The power in the town is spotty especially in the evening hours and downpours were frequent.

Why did we end up in Rishikesh? Andy always wanted to get into the Ganges River. Yeah I was pretty surprised too.

Where is the hotel?

Where is the hotel?

We flew from Goa to Delhi and then took a short flight to Dehradun Airport. It was very stormy when we arrived and started down pouring when we decided to pay for a cab to Rishikesh. Our cab driver was a super nice guy but couldn’t find our hotel which was a little nerve-wracking. The roads in Rishikesh are very narrow and not great. There is a tremendous amount of traffic trying to get around so people are honking constantly. And there is no sidewalk so pedestrians and cyclists are competing for space on the narrow roads. It makes you a little scared.

We found the hotel that Andy nervously booked a day prior. When you spend less than $20 American dollars you shouldn’t be surprised with what you get.

There was no separate space for the shower. Just a shower head and a drain the floor. So if there was more water pressure, you could have sat on the toilet and showered.

There was no separate space for the shower. Just a shower head and a drain in the floor. So if there was more water pressure, you could have sat on the toilet and showered.

Local scenery

Local scenery from our hotel window

These soldiers kept watch on an Israeli home/hotel and kept an even closer eye on their weapons.

These soldiers kept watch on an Israeli home/hotel and kept an even closer eye on their weapons.

Posing in front of the bridge and Ganga River

Posing in front of the bridge and Ganga River

The mighty Ganga River

The mighty Ganga River

Ganga River

Ganga River

Andy on the Lakshman Jhula Bridge

Andy on the Lakshman Jhula Bridge

A local class at the river and Andy.

A local class at the river and Andy.

The boys LOVED Andy and wanted to take their photos with him.

The boys LOVED Andy and wanted to take their photos with him.

This boy instructed Andy to put his hand on his shoulder.

This boy instructed Andy to put his hand on his shoulder.

This guy was so serious.

This guy was so serious.

A cleaner portion of the road.

A cleaner portion of the road.

Roadside advice

Roadside advice

Our Israeli friend Shai took this photo of us.

Our Israeli friend Shai took this photo of us.

The river dominates the landscape.

The river dominates the landscape.

IMG_9746

The ashram by our hotel.

The ashram by our hotel.

Like many places in India, they throw their trash on the ground.

Like many places in India, they throw their trash on the ground.

One of my favorite photos that Andy took.

One of my favorite photos that Andy took.

You can get tattoos as well...

You can get tattoos as well…

Suspension bridge that has tons of pedestrians and scooters.

Suspension bridge that has tons of pedestrians and scooters.

Monkeys everywhere including the cafes.

Monkeys everywhere including the cafes.

My favorite photo!

My favorite photo!

Prior to getting into the Ganga River.

Prior to getting into the Ganga River.

I'm in the Ganga!

I’m in the Ganga!

Such a beautiful site.

Such a beautiful site.

Andy's in the Ganga!

Andy’s in the Ganga!

IMG_9796

Here's a tiny trashcan and no one uses and no one dumps.

Here’s a tiny trashcan and no one uses and no one dumps.

The picture that you won't see on Lonely Planet.

The picture that you won’t see on Lonely Planet.

Andy with a colorful holyman.

Andy with a colorful holyman.

IMG_9814

Rishikesh was beautiful but also noisy and dirty. There were a lot of stray dogs, cows, oxes, and monkeys everywhere. So there was a lot of feces on the road. I mean a lot! When it started down pouring the puddles on the road were really gross because you knew there was a lot of shit in the rainwater. And you try not to think about how dirty it is but it’s hard. Then the power goes out so you hustle back to your hotel and clean off. There are few lights in the town and due to the dark (due to the height of the Himalayas it gets dark at around 6pm there) and the weather, you are stuck in your hotel room. With no beer. No tv. And suddenly you feel very American. And very spoiled.

I think I found spirituality in Rishikesh a bit differently than most people but I did feel a pull to the mountains. They were beautiful. The Himalayas reminded me of the mountains in Oregon especially how the clouds and mist surrounded them. There are wild elephants in the area but Andy and I weren’t lucky enough to see them. I would like to go back to the area again and trek up into the mountains.

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One response to “Rishikesh

  1. Sounds like such a cool trip! Love seeing all of your photos, like getting a real glimpse of life 1/2 around the world!

    I remember being in Barcelona when the streets flooded in the middle of a rainstorm and I was all of the sudden standing in water a foot deep downtown. Agreed, just try not to think about what is in the water until you get back to the motel and rinse off.

    Thanks for sharing your photos!
    Andrea

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