“All you need to do is say this little word, I know it sounds absurd but it’s true. The magic in the mantra will give you the answer and swallow this that’s all you gotta do.” – Beatles’ Happy Rishikesh Song
Going back to Delhi after our Golden Triangle package tour (see previous blog entry), we met up with our local friend, Anurag. He helped us to book our bus going to Rishikesh and a ride around Delhi the whole day! Without him, we don’t know if we could make it on time to the right bus terminal! Once we saw our bus, I knew right then that the REAL India adventure is about to begin! Haha! It was a small non-air conditioned old bus with wooden chairs, and we sat together with the locals and their chickens :P
It was a 5-6 hour travel from Delhi to highlands Uttarakhand region, somewhere close to border of Nepal. It was a night bus, and we were also so tired that we slept all the way the journey, though at first my sleep gets interrupted by non-stop horning of our bus and everyone in the road, they just LOVE to horn for every reason >.<
Rishikesh is the “Yoga Capital of the World”, it’s a place where yoga masters were being trained by yogis etc. most of the tourists there, came there for that sole reason, most of them are yoga instructors and some of them were just searching for peace or for answers or to enhance their spirituality per se, and some were just curious tourists like me.
At Rishikesh, we stayed at Swiss Cottage Guesthouse, it was not a spectacular guesthouse but the area is very peaceful and people (tourists and staff) are friendly. Most of the backpackers stays at the High Bank, west of Lakshman Jhula, while the eastern bank, is the traffic-free ‘spiritual centre’ of Rishikesh.
Also, we found out, that Rishikesh is where The Beatles stayed during their stay in India, and the mansion was now abandoned and they call it now Beatles Ashram. It was rumored that the reason why the Beatles stopped maintaining this mansion coz of the Sadu that took advantage of them financially. Now, it was just a tourist spot to see its ruins :(
At Rishikesh, you’ll get to see the Sadus, yogis, spiritualists, worshippers etc roaming around, calves and donkeys are mixed with people in the street, popcorn maker is way too primitive, people bathing and offering flowers at Ganghes River, and the most amazing is: There is no alcohol! Wow! But “ganja” here is somehow accepted or tolerated because some Sadu need this actually in their rituals.
Most tourists here never planned to stay longer but it will end up they will, unfortunately I am just a plain curious tourist who cannot stay longer if I wanted to.
India has so many beautiful places to go to that one week isn’t enough. If ever I’ll get a chance to go back in India, I will. This time I wanna go extreme! Feel the serenity of the Himalayas and get smashed at the city streets of Mumbai. Jai Ho! When I go back, I wanna fulfill my goal why I really went there, their MUSIC.
I have yet to experience the wonders of this country that its culture has remained untouched. We owe them the cradle of our civilization, without them we cannot count numbers. There are perhaps very few nations in the world with the enormous variety that India has to offer.
My experience is really incredible!