A Short Day Walk in Rishikesh India

A Short Day Walk in Rishikesh India

Laxmanjhulla To Garurchatti

Rishikesh India is situated in the Himalayan foothills, surrounded by Rajaji national park to its west and south and lush green hills on its east and north sides. It is known for its many adventure activities, the gateway to the Chardham Yatra and world capital for yoga and meditation. Travelers, musicians, and adventure enthusiasts alike have enjoyed and continue to enjoy visiting this beautiful town. The Holy Ganges flows tenderly through its banks, where there are many ashrams and temples. There are two suspension bridges called Ram and Laxmanjhulla which connect the main town to its tourist centers and ashrams. These bridges are crowded by tourists taking photos and feeding fishes all while crazy monkeys jump and swing around. There are many silver sandy beaches around the banks of the Ganges where people practice meditation and yoga or simply enjoy a walk along the sand and water.

Walking along the Ganges and around this area is a delightful experience.

Before there were road connections in the mountains, pilgrims used to walk to Badrinath and Kedarnath along the Ganges. It took several hard days to accomplish their pilgrimage. Today you can still experience a short day walk from Laxmanjhulla to Garurchatti. This easy 5km walk on the left bank of the Ganges starts from bustling Laxmanjhulla. You will pass through a few temples and many newly built guest houses and the beautiful sight of turquoise colour Ganges to your left. This route is now a busy jeep road that connects several other villages and the famous Neelkanth temple.

Read: Brahma Temple of Pushkar: An Ancient Pilgrimage Site of India

SEE RUBBER BOATS, MANGO ORCHARDS, AND SADHUS ALL ALONG THE GANGA RIVER

As you head further down you can often see many colourful rubber boats floating down the Ganges with their joyful participant swimming, surfing and jumping off the cliffs in search of their own Nirvana. Rishikesh gets its major tourist inflow for rafting from Delhi and other metros. It is a fun experience for novice’s as-well the more experienced where there are larger rapids higher up the Ganges.

Boat

As you walk closer to Garurchatti, you will be able to see a very old Mango orchard This is where pilgrims rested long ago during their treacherous pilgrimage to the higher Himalayas. There are few tea stalls where local people drink tea and here you can pick up a warm ginger tea and pakora (fried snack of mixed vegetables and potatoes).

There is also a small and beautiful temple dedicated to Garu Ji. Guru JI is Vahan (medium of travel) for Lord Vishnu and this place is the entrance on the long trail to Badrinath Temple which is a sacred temple for Hindus. (You can arrive at Badrinath by either car or bus from Rishikesh which is a distance of over 280km which takes around 5 hours.)

The water has some lime content and people believe that bathing in this water can cure and make your skin shiny

A 500-meter trail leads behind the temple and located there are newly built tea shops. Here you will find a very pleasant walk through rocks and water channels. This water has some lime content and people believe that bathing in this water can cure and make your skin shiny. We recommend showering under the freshwater which is very reviving.

Also Read: Blood Offerings, The 2013 Version- Hadimba Temple Manali

A little further up the trail is a cave, which may have used by travellers and sages during their long pilgrimage to Himalayan shrines. If you sit there for a rest you will be able to hear the thundering sound of water and lots of birds that nest there. During your descent back to Rishikesh, you may well see languor roaming around on walls and mango trees for their last opportunity for peanuts and fruits, which passing tourists offer them. These white monkeys with black faces are friendly and just so you know monkeys are regarded as holy creatures by Hindus. Hanuman the monkey god is worshipped as a symbol of strength and fidelity.

About Peter Rhody

"Loving India is a passion of mine. I have enjoyed several long journeys to all corners of the sub-continent, completed my B.A and M.A in Asian studies, studied languages such as Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit, written on the Hari Krishna movement, lectured on Indian culture and history in university, advised others on their trips to India all the while preparing my next visit to India. There are so many places in India I love and want to always go back to but my favorite destination has to be the holy city of Varanasi. Here you can feel the living pulse and the beating heart of the center of religious India with its overwhelming spirituality and history and just for being a true microcosm of India itself "

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