The following is a guest post from Rohit.
India is the land of a thousand Gods and Hinduism is one of the oldest known religions of the world with its origin in this very country. With actually much more than a thousand Gods, the country is spread across with numerous temples and shrines that are well known across the globe for their miracles. These temples are stationed at all the different places you can imagine – from deserts to hills, from plains to plateaus – and are visited by hundreds of thousands of people throughout the year.
Haridwar and Rishikesh are two such holy location in India from where pilgrims head towards Kedarnath and Badrinath.
Har literally means ‘Lord Shiva’ and Dwar means ‘gateway’ and it is actually the Gateway to the two shrines of Lord Shiva (Kedarnath) and Vishnu (Badrinath). The place is also called Gangadwar as it is the point where the river Ganga, one of the sacred rivers in India, leaves the mountains and flows into the plains.
Rishikesh is another city close to Haridwar, which is known as the Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas.
With the number of pilgrims and tourists always on the rise, the services provided in the two cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh have expanded and there are some fun activities that have come into operations. Here are…
5 fun things to do in Haridwar and Rishikesh
Haridwar is renowned for its sightseeing locations as much as it is known for its pilgrimage activities. The countless number of temples in Haridwar provide a great chance to explore and understand the Hindu culture and learn more about the Gods. Being in the hilly region of the country, the temples are located on the hills and one could trek all the way up and down to the various temples or could take the cable car, who would want to miss a trip in the cable car?
The Ram Jhula and the Lakshman Jhula are two other places that are very famous in the surroundings. As the name speaks for itself, they are super long suspension bridges casted from iron which were built in 1986 and 1929 respectively. It is believed that Lakshman had crossed the Ganga where the Lakshman Jhula was built at.
With the growth in the tourists and pilgrims flocking the city of Haridwar, the number of food joints have increased rapidly to meet the requirements. It is literally impossible for a person to not appreciate the spicy food in India and then complain about it being too spicy yet super tasty, in the same was as someone would eat the sweets here only to complain about them being too sugary and then going on for a second bite because they just can’t resist the delicacies.
Once in Haridwar, you’re bound to run into the Pandit Sevaram Doodh Wale for a glass of hot milk kulhar or a plate of kachoris from the Kashyap Kachori Bandhar. For main course, you could try out the aloo puri from at Mohanji Puriwale and finish off with dessert at Mathura walo ki Prachin Dukaan.
How could you make your day much more adventurous and exciting after a sumptuous meal in Hardiwar? Well, you could head out to Rishikesh which is one of the most popular spots in the area for adventure sports. Rishikesh offers one of the best and safest Bungee jumping spots with experienced professionals for the act.
All you have to do is get to the top of a cliff with your rubber rope tied to your jacket, call in the name of Lord Shiva, because you’re in his territory – Haridwar- and jump off to feel your body pump the sudden dose of adrenaline. It definitely is worth for someone who wishes to experience a free fall and is in for some craziness after all the prayers.
White Water Rafting
After you’ve gotten your adrenaline up and running, it’s never a good thing to let it die down, and Rishikesh isn’t the place that would let you do that anyway. The next stop for you should only be at one of the rafting points along the river Ganga where you’d get your boats moving and your paddles running to steer your way through the holy waters of the river.
Rishikesh offers a very popular river rafting experience and is suitable to people of all scales of adventurous nature with the river offering a range of grades (Grade 1 to Grade 4) for the rafting endeavour. So, we suggest you definitely pack an extra pair of shorts and tee-shirts because you’re definitely going to get yourself soaking wet before you get out of the water.
Once you’re in the holy city of Rishikesh, you can only expect the holiness to get to you at every step you take, in your adventures, in the food you consume or the water that flows across all of the city. The Triveni ghat is the biggest and the most famous ghat on the river Ganga and this is where the confluence of the three holy rivers in the Hindu mythology – namely Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathi – takes place.
The point of their confluence is thought to be holy and anyone who takes a dip in the water releases all their sins. So, it’s definitely a task one performs once in the vicinity, and it’s definitely fun to get into the water as always. The main event at the Triveni Ghat is the evening aarti of the Goddess Ganga which is an extravaganza in itself and should not be missed.
Your trip to Haridwar and Rishikesh doesn’t only have to be religious and knowledge pouring because we have just shown you five ways to get your body engine up and running. Just be sure to have your Indian visa before you head over.
Rohit is a blogger at Trans India Travels and an extensive traveller across India. He shares his stories and activities at transindiatravels.com for co-travellers and travel enthusiasts to get an insight about.
Nina Ragusa is an adventurer, messy bun master, breakfast fan, and full-time travel blogger. She’s been abroad and epically failing at the American Dream since 2011. Her sassy yet informative blog, Where in the World is Nina? is all about how to work abroad to live a more adventurous life. If you want to travel longer you have to work to wander.