Random images from my flickr stream...



The 28 hour Recharge

Just around midnight on Saturday, me and Tushar leave home for somewhere... During our walk on the road, while looking for an auto to ISBT, we discussed our options to go in all possible directions, but froze on Rishikesh ... His responses to a 24 hour trip to Bharatpur, Agra, Jaipur were funny, keeping in mind the Gujjar agitations happening around these areas :)

And it was interesting how our families let us go... with a disclaimer that we had lost it !!! and that nothing could be done !!! what else would you say about two guys, who just pack and go somewhere at midnight !!!

Just then, an auto stopped, we hopped on, reached the ISBT and took the bus after a few difficult choices of a bad bus, a not so bad bus, a not so good bus, the UP Roadways or Uttarakhand Roadways bus stared at us in the face... We finally took a decision and took the UK (Read UttaraKhand) Roadways for Rishikesh :)

Tushar did overhear a small issue when we boarded the bus, but too bad that we did not take it seriously... We realized after 15 minutes that one of the twin tyres at the back of the bus had a puncture and we could not move at more than 30 kmph till the time it gets fixed.... Which was a major disappointment as this clearly meant that our plan of reaching Rishikesh around 0600 hrs was fukked up pretty bad !!!

Li'il that we could do, but laugh at the situation :) for some reason we did enjoy the slowness on the road... Every vehicle honked and passed us while we were cruising at a top speed of 30-40 kmph on the HIGHWAY !!!

The first pit stop was at some Nataraj Restaurant, in front of the Cheetal Grand, Khatoli ( some 40 odd kms ahead of Meerut)... This is where the driver found a Puncture Shop and decided to give the tyre for a repair... It was around 0415 hours that the guy removed the tyre, and though the conductor said we should be good to go in some 30 minutes, I had a feeling it was not going to take anywhere less than 60 minutes, maybe more !!!

Me and Tushar walked around the place, discussing the entrepreneur skills of the guy at the tyre shop, who was managing the operations, the finances, and infrastructure etc etc all by himself !!! I had a cup of warm sugar with bits of coffee in it !!! We also discussed taking a different bus to Haridwar just to save sometime, but did not do it thinking that it would make a difference of about 30 odd minutes only... the slower part of the journey was already over... We finally moved at 0545 hrs ( as expected ) and dozed off almost immediately.. All I remember was that the driver suddenly had changed the entire tempo of the journey... It was his turn now to honk and pass !!! and he made a full generous use of the pressure horn in the otherwise not so quiet bus :)

The Laxman Jhoola...

We reached Haridwar around 0800 hrs and had to wait for another 20 odd minutes before we got another bus to Rishikesh... We reached Rishikesh, and then took a Tempo to Ram Jhoola... Breakfast was planned at Govindji's Prasadam (one of our favorite eating places in Rishikesh, for its hygiene and tasty food at decent prices, but extremely slow service and a strange combo of Tea, Lassi, and Curd in the same combo breakfast)... Unfortunately the quality has deteriorated over the last 3 years... Anyway... this is where Uncle God decided to start playing a few games :) and it started raining... Our entire plan could have been washed out, had it not stopped raining in a while... It thankfully did, and we were now ready to move too... A long walk and we were on the other side of the Ganges at the taxi stand for Neelkanth Mahadev Temple...

The Rains left us with some lovely pearl like momentos ready to be captured :)

A very interesting door I saw while walking around... this ladder is the only way to reach the door...

Buddhist Prayer Flags on the Laxman Jhoola

Neelkanth is about 25 kms (drive) and 14 kms (Trek) away from Rishikesh... The taxis are available near the Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula, near the Choti wala Restaurant and Trayambkeshwar Temple respectively... It's a little tricky to get a taxi here, because the drivers/operators are not keen on any empty seats and because a lot of people travel in groups, it's tough to get the exact number of seats in a cab... We were lucky and an operator helped us get an Amby shared between the two of us and family of 3... The travel time to and back from Neelkanth was not much thanks to the good quality car and very efficient driver...

Pooja Thalis at a shop near Neelkanth Mahadev...

Pooja Thalis at a shop near Neelkanth Mahadev...

Tushar's Thali... The Plastic glass has Gangajal, Honey, Gulab Jal and Milk mixed in it...

We however were stunned to see the amount of people who were there at the temple... We took the pooja thalis and moved towards the end of the queue, walked for about 10 minutes before we saw the last person in the queue... And this meant that there were at-least 200 people in the queue ahead of us...

A part of the loooong queue....

Just a tap... nothing specific... I click leaking taps...

It was already pretty hot by then, and I was in no mood to stand there... Tushar did not either, and we turned back towards the temple where we offered our prayers at a different Shivling, lucky us that we realized there was a view of the main temple and Shivling... and offered our prayers through that window :) smart US :)

The place for Incense Sticks and Dhoopbatti...

Another view...

A lady tying the Holy Thread (Kalava) on a grill...

A Lady looking at the interesting roof of the Neelkanth Temple... Though it's in the north, the temple's roof and top resembles the temples in the South a lot...

Kids need Papas and Mamas to ring the Temple Bells :)

Friends of all ages were around too :)

Tired, and yet managed to smile a bit :) Tushar must have said something cheap :P

We moved back from Neelkanth, got down at the Laxman Jhoola, took a few pictures and walked for about a km or more in the heat looking for a Tempo towards Ram Jhoola... we finally got to enjoy the best ride of the trip with our bags inside the tempo and we standing outside with the cool breeze whooshing past our faces drying up all the sweat and fatigue :)

The Trayambkeshwar Temple, near Ram Jhoola, has 11 floors in all, here is a list of all the Gods you can meet there :)

A view from the top of Lakshman Jhoola

The motor boat near the Laksham Jhoola... The same As#$%#le had hit our raft head on at full speed on one of my rafting trips... It's only Gods grace that I am alive right now, otherwise he had made sure that the people on the left of the raft had their heads ripped off from the bodies... No idea how we managed to survive... Thank you Uncle God :)

We reached the Ram Jhoola, and spent sometime trying to figure out which beach/Ghat we could go to take a bath... It was not a very difficult decision, however once we were there, getting inside the water which seemed freezing cold was tough !!! took us a while before we decided to give up all our fear of the current, and cold water and just jumped in !!! spent some gooood 45 odd minutes before we decided to leave...

I could try some splashes too after clicking some on the recent trip to Kurukshetra :)

And I emerge a winner :) against the current and the cold water !!! Omie you rock !!!

Some relaxing time pass too :) By this time I was ok with the water :)

And then I made Tushar do some chapaak chapaak :) He is lighter... you can see his head going in... with me being atleast 100 kgs heavier than him :) my fall was quicker :D

But the two brothers were very happy after the 20+ dubkies, the throwing water at each other, the running out of water because it was cold, and the chapaak chapaaks :)

Had good food at the Chotiwala... waiting for a bus at the bus stand... thought of coming via Dehradoon for the charm of AC buses running between Delhi-Dehradoon, but finally took a decent Pawan Gold to Delhi... slept most of the way in awkward positions on the seat :) just to wake up at times with a painful lower back, or a pulled musled in the neck, or legs :) change the position and sleep again :) This time as well the journey took much longer than usual, thanks to the freaking jam at the border near Dilshad Garden... must be about 2 kms long and it took about 100 odd minutes to pass !!! We managed to reach the ISBT, Kashmiri Gate around 0400 hrs and then home around 0445 hrs....

The Ram Jhoola...

What a trip it was !!! just the perfect 24 hour recharge that my mind required... I can now wait for some 10 days before I start getting itchy about another travel :) hehehe...

I did not know that Lakshman Jhoola was this old... Now I do...

Some more information, not necessarily about this trip but for the Delhi- Haridwar- Rishikesh Route:

1. Distance
Delhi - Haridwar : 208 kms; Delhi- Rishikesh : 230 kms
2. Approximate Time :
Delhi - Haridwar : 4-5 hours, Depending on the time of the day you are driving
3. Best way to travel:
Hire a cab or drive yourself...I would say hire a cab, its better to be driving around on the bad roads instead of punishing your own vehicle... The 4 lane highway is under progress for good on the stretch, however it would take a good couple of years before it can get fully operational..
4. Eating options enroute and on location:
Cheetal near Khatoli, Moolchand just before the Muzaffarnagar bypass; Mohanji Poori wale near Har Ki Paudi, Chotiwala Restaurant near Ram Jhoola, Govindji's Prasadam near the parking in Rishikesh
5. Bus Tickets and other fare : Rs. 150 per person (Delhi Rishikesh in the UP Roadways bus); Rs. 5 for the boatride one way near the Ram Jhula; Rs. 5 for Tempo per person from the bus stand to Ram Jhula in Rishikesh; Rs. 600 for the Amby ( Seats 5) for Rishikesh-Neelkanth and back
6. Staying options: Many hotels ranging from Rs. 500 per night for a double occupancy to Rs. 2500 double occupancy


  1. sahi hai.....nice pics.....the worst of going to rishikesh is so near yet so far from the mountains :(

    its been so long, since visited the hills now.....

  2. Someone cropped his tummy out of that picture. :D

  3. sahi hai yaar, that you can actually just take off whenever you feel like it. I wish I could (I can't coz I get lost! ;)

    That list of gods in the temple, I found very amusing :)

    And you took a bus ride and all...so seems like your aches and pains of a few posts back are all healed?

  4. Even when I asked about where you went, I knew it HAD to be Rishikesh!

    Lovely pics as usual. @Tushar: Bhai, when are you planning a trip to the mountains. It's been a long time!

    I don't know if you have omitted the best staying option in Rishikesh on purpose - the camps by the river!

  5. # Deepu...
    long is an understatement !!! its been ages that we have seen the hills :( this was still ok, looking at how long it has been...

    # Anony...

    # Aneri_Masi...
    yes, I do... its like a volcano... has to erupt and travel all around :)

    Bus Ride was the best way out as it was just the two of us... I went with some healed pains, and brought back a few too :) lower back and neck thanks to the long hours in the bus :P

    but pain because of travelling is always welcome :)

    # Subbu...
    :) yes Rishikesh it was bro...

    Tushar is dying to plan a trip... we all are :) last we went together was Tungnath.. isn't it?

    Bhai, in the camps you cannot just go and check in, thats why I did not mention it...

  6. You are amzing photgrapher man!! really... pics really speak :_)))

    damn good:-))

  7. Here's a link to my photoblog...saare ke saare dekhna :) there's quite a few

  8. # Chakoli...
    hope you have read the post too :) and not just seen the pictures :)

    thanks :)

    # Aneri_masi...
    Did not get the link, but I did reach the blog through your profile :)

    # Anony...

  9. argh! I always do that! I send emails to ppl at work explaining some mighty work I have attached...without the attachments of course :)

    but you got there, so cool :)

  10. lol @ cup of warm sugar with bits of coffee in it

    and your killer rocky look in that water shot. :-P

  11. TO be honest Nopes..
    pics are so catchy....;-))

  12. # Aneri_masi...
    smart guy me is you see :)

    # Nitin...
    Oh tell me about it.. ugh !!! But then if he does not put shitloads of suger in it, he would not sell...

    LOL @ Killer Rocky look :P

    # Chakoli..
    too bad !!!!

    Thank you !!! :P

  13. Its not bad... the culprit are ur pics...and poor and innocent victim me...;-)))

  14. Aisa hai miss poor and innocent victim !!!

    Please read the post too... kuch interesting wahan bhi mil jaye shayad...

  15. LOl....

    you are bound to make it read...:-)))

  16. man, i DO envy you.. the freedom u hv, the kind of friend u hv and the trips nd the foto ops... :) nice fotos man... like most of them.. excellent... :)

  17. # Anoop...

    Bro the freedom needs to be created !!! don't envy me for it :)

    I will not take the travel and photo Ops thing from someone who has a bike and stays in Bangalore !!! NO NEVER !!! :)

    And thanks :)

  18. hmm...miss those days when i cud do the same thing:)

    lekin... every dog has his day...

    mera bhi ek baar fir se aayega

  19. # Aseem...
    bhai you are always missed on any such trips... Hope the days come back sooner than expected :)

  20. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
    raat ke 1 baje chotiwale uncle ki yaad dilayi :(
    waise chotiwale uncle coming up on DFZ (hopefully soon)

  21. The first few pictures are very well taken om...

  22. # Reeta...
    Chotiwala is now just another restaurant... I don't see anything special or different except the made up man who sits outside the restaurant. Honestly !

    # Mon...
    thanks Mon...

  23. Wait till you see my take on eet...waise I am not sure but I haven't been to the original chotiwala uncle...love the choti mascot though :D there are bloody so many chotiwalas out there...

  24. Hmm... sure... The original one ( as per the claims) is the first one on your left when you cross the Ram Jhula and walk towards the Taxi Stand for Neelkanth....

    And there are just two of them there... and there is one more which recently opened in Haridwar near the Har Ki Paudi...

  25. Actually, the two Chotiwala restautrants at Rishikesh are the original ones. They are owned by two brothers. Food is equally good in both though

  26. I thought that way too... the first time when I went to Rishikesh, there was only one restaurant !!

    Thanks for the info !