Rishikesh – Final Destination

1st of Jan is meant for party, after all it’s a new year. We dance, get drunk, shout, celebrate and virtually try almost every means to loose ourselves. And this is what I used to do ever since. But this New Year was different! Don’t know why, maybe finally I grew up and wanted more choice.
Well, I did choose. Instead of choosing to loose myself, I made a choice to find myself. This New Year, I went to Rishikesh.

Ganga Aarti at Ram Jhula

It was not the first time I went to Rishikesh. My first visit was more spirituality oriented. And it was my first visit that made me realize that spirituality is best discovered in things you love. I love adventure and this was precisely the purpose of my second trip. The itinerary included waterfall trekking, river rafting, camping besides the Ganges, camp food and most attractively – uncertainty.

Moments before starting our drive from Delhi, all of us were of unanimous view that everything is planned and all is going to be well. But that assumption was thoroughly pounded when reaching the outskirts of Delhi and we realized that we (actually I..) have left our tour operator’s receipt and location map at home itself. No one was sure we would be allowed (or even able to reach) in the camp without the letters.
In a way it was good, after all what traveler you call yourself when you know what’s coming ahead. It’s the uncertainty, the surprise that a traveler accompanies as a companion, which differentiates him from a tourist.

“Anyway, it’s New Year boys, let’s go. We will do something new.”

There’s an amazing or should I say daring charm in leaving your home with all the assumptions behind and travel not for good experience, but just experience.
Do this once and you will realize a cosmic untold truth – Experience is always good. Good ones make you feel well and bad ones make you do well.

I was blessed right before my trip for the very reason that I was traveling with four of my best friends. One would be a very fortunate person if he identifies with someone in this world whose way of thinking, vibrations or frequency of thoughts synchronizes perfectly with each other. And if you find five of them all cluttered in a single Indica car, be sure that you have seen us.

Camp view

So finally we arrived at the camp, around 20 kms from Rishikesh and somewhere in Rajaji National Park. Everything went smooth, thanks to a phone call to the operator at right time. He made sure that message went through the camp, which did not had any phone network coverage. The travel operator was good and very cooperative and why not! After all he was from Rishikesh.

The serenity of the place was so profound that you could actually feel yourself. One could hear the sound of breath, coming in and fleeing out. At once, there was an amazing awareness. Awareness of self! As if everything including the mountains, forest, river is but a mirror, reflecting your image and guiding you to look inwards.

Arriving almost at the sunset, we were offered piping hot bowl of maggi each, our perfect magic maggi moment. That followed by couple of volleyball games. Tell you what, playing it after four years and first time since college, volleyball worked better than vodka.
Already on a high, nights booze started with a group bonfire alongside the Ganges beach. Fire and water, the extremes came together and displayed their aura in full glamour. The water made thundering noise every time it hit the stones on its flow, as if irritated by the fact that the fire is occupying and soothing every one with its heat. The Fire, clearly aware that it is the center of attraction for all, kept beaming with pride. After watching this drama of nature as a spectator and extracting full entertainment, I finally called the day off and went for sleep.
No dreams that day and logical enough since 20 hrs of dream life left nothing more to dream of.

I woke early in the morning, mainly because of two reasons, one since the sleep was deep and relaxed and therefore short, and two that I wanted to see the sunrise amidst the mountains. Surprisingly, If you are in a isolated place like this, one thing that you will never need is a watch. As promised by our care taker, the sun came out from one of the mountains at exactly 8:30 a.m. as if it has finally conquered a long fought battle. I took my bed tea and went to the shore.
I was watching the river. It had a beautiful little stone at its base, stuck in mud. Flowing water had polished it to its brilliance, almost like a gem. All the force of mighty river was not able to perturb that round stone. And then there came a small little paper boat from the far end of river, twittering with the flow. As I watched it, it went past me and over.
Maybe it was the flow; I liked the paper boat better then the gem stone.
The day was reserved for mountain trekking and river rafting. Being a first timer in rafting, I was a shed nervous. And God! I had my heart in my hands when the instructor on the raft announced arrival of the first rapid. As our raft conquered the rapids, that feeling of victory, the sense of fulfillment was something virgin to my otherwise average thoughts. One by one we kept on clearing the rapids. There were total seven of them in our ride. Countdown was always on in my mind. A destination gives its full enjoyment only when you have strived in the journey. If you don’t confirm with this, let me know I will book a rafting trip for you.

Cold, wet, tiring, amazing, adventurous, beautiful day ended with a home made cheese mushroom pasta at the German café alongside Lakshman zhula. This was followed by one of the best authentic hot Chocolate I have ever had.

Time to go back to the clutter, chaos we call Delhi. Hey! What am I doing? I promised my self not to carry any assumptions with me. Its time to give a fresh outlook to everything. Go and find the beauty hidden by the traffic and noise in Delhi and live life peacefully.

Rishikesh, It was a strange positive force there, force that absorbs all aversions, judgment, leaving just me. My thoughts echoed in the mountains for a while but eventually got lost. The river talked to me, extremely patient in listening me as I downpour all the love and hate inside. But all the while it kept flowing, there by indicating to me “Abhinav, just the way I flow, you should also let go of all the thoughts, emotions and be one with yourself.” And while I was leaving, a cool breeze came from towards the river and whispered in my ears HAPPY NEW YOU!


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Dear Abhinav,

    It was your first post on Ghumakkar & your opening was superb.

    Very well written post. When I was going through the post I felt that each & every words were coming from your heart. Did Rishkesh left a deep impact on you ?

    Keep sharing your experiences.

  • Zeevie says:

    nice article….Rishikesh mein aisa kuch hai jo her tome kheench hi leta hai.jai Ganga Maiyaaaa

  • Vibha says:

    Reads like a poem. Very nice!

  • nayan says:

    Hey, Its extremely well written post…..vibha was right in saying……

  • sskagra says:

    very good photographs and written work nice articel
    Thanking you

  • Abhinav says:

    Thanks for liking the travelogue….. I am currently working on another article, till then I will be kept inspired by posts from you guys :-)

  • basudha banerjee says:

    its like i am there when i am reading the the article its amainzing experience thats i am also going through like my mind is fly there i want to the re soon…………………….thanks ABHINAV

  • nandanjha says:

    Welcome aboard Abhinav.

    You are writer material, I am sure you know this already. And I confirm, so please do not book a rafting trip for me. Haven’t been to Rishikesh for last 6 years. My daughter is now 5 so I guess I should start the ritual again. I am not very confident on my urabn-aging body though :-)

    Look fwd to your next story and e-mail me if you get stuck at anything while posting.

  • wow very nice ……….

  • prashant nair says:

    Everthing said and experienced is already felt when I have visited twice …very peaceful location.

  • Thanks for good article. Hope to see more soon.

  • Suresh Reddy says:

    Hello All.

    I’ve had a world of mixed experiences in a life span of 47 years, still single, and globe trotting…yes…strange but true..an MBA by academics, worked in the US for over 17 years, worked in India…….and finally settled to doing business, meeting a variety of people…..just to study the depth of corruption, crime, and filt we have in a wonderful country like ours…I’ve dealt with senior Gov. officials who talk nothing but money…..for every damn file to move from table to table.

    Finally one fine dayI decided to just walk out to the open, travel wherever my intutions take me, and landed up inNagapatinam just when the Tsunami struck, literally felt the sea which is a on in a life time expereicne…my word…man…..its great..just too good to see and feel…..continued to do a lot of rehab work with a group from Netherlands and it was like a dream come true. Helping those fishermen and their families to get themselves together…..children left homeless, lost lives, the small little assets they had saved over the years..all washed away by huge tidal waves….and left with just the torn clothes they wore…..I stayed back there,lived with them, brought them back to normalcy…….roped in micro finances from corporates and private bodies who willingly helped…….and finally left in 2009…..now I have completed my visits to…Shridhi, Tirupathi, Guruvayoor, Kerala, Palani, just to name a few..and on my way to Rishikesh to see how I can involve myself and contribute my services to some good cause.

    Anyone with good suggestions or ideas please write to me at …..sureshreddy122@yahoo.com….or if you want to join me in this mission am open to it as well…….don’t just sit there and wait….pull up your socks and write back, pack up your napsack and get moving…..India is a land of opportunities …..cheers and God bless …SR

  • ipoguru says:

    Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

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