Every long weekend of ours is truly dedicated to travel. Wanting to stick to the norms set by us, we decided to go on an extended weekend trip to Rishikesh. While planning trips to popular places the first thing that pops up is the choice of property for accomodation. Most of the good properties get sold out like hot cakes and one needs to be very quick in making decisions. After moderate research we zeroed in on –ALOHA ON THE GANGES, and what a choice it turned out to be.
The property, the location, the staff and the food were all par excellence! The manicured landscapes, the sound of birds chirping, a sparkling clean pool overlooking the ganga and the sound of the morning and evening Ganga Aarthi only add to the blissful ambience.An early morning walk around the property is a great opportunity to enjoy the view of the great ganges in all its majesty.
We spent the evenings in Rishikesh at some of the popular places such as Lakshman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Triveni Ghat , Paramarth to experience the ‘aarthi’ offered to Ganga. The atmosphere is electric and words do no justice to the same.
Post the peaceful aarthi, some spiritual reflection and great food @ Aloha, it was time for some adventure. White water rafting it was!!!!
All the hotels have a dedicated person who helps arrange and handles all queries related to rafting. Rishikesh is as synonymous with white water rafting as it is to being a pilgrimage center!!
There are different rafting routes depending upon the intensity of the rapids and the number of rapids. The 9 km stretch has 4 rapids and begins from Brahmapuri and ends at Lakshman Jhula. The more intense one is a stretch of 16 kms and it has bigger rapids on the way. This one begins at Shivpuri and ends on the banks of the beach right behind ALOHA. I was lucky enough to do both!
The path leading down to the 9 km stretch starting point is rocky and treacherous. It is very difficult to climb down without having a single fall. The experience that follows more than compensates for this crude downward trek!
The adventure sports are professionally handled and the safety is well taken care off.The real adrenaline rush begins when we sit in the rubber boat. After we had locked our feet in the side tubes of the boat , we were all said to go. Pious or not , the ganges soaks you wet from head to toe ensuring that you get a good holy DIP!!
However the highlight of the trip was a little trek from the hotel (Aloha) to a small clean private beach. It is easily accessible by car and on foot. The cold and lilting waves , the seamlessness of the river, the serene beauty of the mountains – pure bliss, pure bliss and pure bliss!!
With that image in our heads and heavy hearts, we departed from the holy town of Rishikesh with a silent promise to return during a less crowded season!!