Ten on Tuesday – 19
Ten Things About My Recent Trip to Haridwar – Rishikesh
- Last week had to travel to a camp site at Shivpuri which is some 19 kms from Rishikesh. The car journey from Haridwar railway station to Shivpuri via Rishikesh, gave a glimpse of the 2 holy cities. On both the sides of the highway, there are big buildings with huge compounds and gardens which are actually the Ashrams of different sadhus and saints, Maths of various religious outfits, or the yoga centres or temples.
- Another striking feature is plethora of road side dhabas or eateries or food stalls. A perfect business sense as the cities cater to huge number of pilgrims round the year!
- Witnessed the evening aarti at Rishikesh at a ghat on the river Ganga. The chanting of the mantras, with the sound of gushing river and a slight nip in the air gave a sense of peace and serenity.
- It’s money, money and only money in the temples of Rishikesh. Rows of temples of various Gods and Goddesses. You get into one, try to have one to one conversation with the Lord above, in peace and there’s no peace… all you get is, pestering by the vendors selling flowers and pooja thali, prasad and even the priests, order you to ‘offer’ cash to the Good Lord!!
- Walking down the market lanes, came across an amusing sight… Saw 4 beggar children speaking in English with a foreigner. They spoke so fluently and confidently, that I was simply amazed! Then there was this kid, who had drawn some things on notebook papers and was asking us to buy his drawings for Rs 10!! Ingenious!
- Went to the famous Chotiwala. Now, there are 2 Chotiwala outlets, next to each other. The usual story… 2 brothers separated and thus 2 outlets. While the Chotiwala guy sitting outside the first restaurant was very patient and posed nicely to my some 20 shots of him. The second one did not appreciate me clicking him. In one of the picture, I had captured his scorn too. And as luck would have it, we were to eat in the second outlet !
- Not to miss the business bandwagon, saw a Topiwala restaurant too!
- The market abounds with old sadhus or men, begging or just sitting stoned in some corners.
- This is the sight at the Haridwar Railway Station. This is cooking in progress for a large number of people. And guess, who were these people?? The Uttrakhand Police! Yeah some huge battalion was at the station, must be travelling to some place by train! So, cooking on the station before the train arrived! Incredible India indeed!
- On my return journey, I had good 2 hours to wait at the Railway Station. While reading my book, I had this sudden urge to have a pizza for dinner in the train! So, immediately googled about Pizza Hut and Dominos in Haridwar. Google, the God gave me the number of Dominos Pizza outlet. Dialled the number, ordered the pizza and gave the address as Platform No. 1, Haridwar Railway Station. A few seconds of confusion at their end and 30 minutes later, I had the hot Pizza in my hands!! I was sooooo thrilled at my brainwave!! A pizza never tasted so good!!
February 21, 2012 8:46 pm|
Been to Rishikesh once. For the insightful observations you have listed above, somehow didn’t take to the place.
February 22, 2012 5:17 pm|
I know, what you mean! The place is still not as developed as it should be!
February 22, 2012 2:16 am|
مشكوور والله يعطيك العافيه
February 22, 2012 2:31 am|
Awesome list. You sure had a great trip. I loved the picture of the chotiwala. The pizza story is awesome.
February 22, 2012 5:15 pm|
Yeah, an interesting trip! 🙂
February 22, 2012 2:57 am|
And that is a short post that covered quite a bit. Never been to Rishikesh but plan to do it some day. Heard a lot about the arti on the ghats of Ganga. Wow, google came to your rescue. And, it is certainly a good idea. Next time, I can try Pizza or something else delivered to the platform!
February 22, 2012 5:15 pm|
The arti in Haridwar are much more grander!
Google is GOD!! 😀
Do that next time! :))
I got a call from Dominos customer care yesterday and no marks for guessing, I rated their service as excellent!! And you know what… I got the landline no. from Google and when I made the call, there was a lot of disturbance in the line. The person on the other end, disconnected the call and called from his mobile! I was impressed. I mean, it was a STD call for him and still he went the extra mile for customer satisfaction!! :))
February 22, 2012 4:17 am|
Rishikesh ,it is one of our most favorite and most visited destination.Chandan is in love with it.Shilpa ordering a pizza at railway platform ,Wow! This can be used as a great ad. idea.Chotiwala clicks are great .
February 22, 2012 9:00 am|
Most visited destination… that’s cool!
Hmmm… hope somebody is listening! 😀
The food at Chotiwala is good too!! You liked the food there??
February 22, 2012 4:28 am|
Even in Chandigarh you can find little children begging in English to foreigner tourists.
I came to know about this chotiwala a while ago, saw it on a travel show on National Geographic Channel.
I like that 3rd man in 8th point, the one who’s giving a thumbs up! 😛
February 22, 2012 8:54 am|
Amazing, wish they’d use their skills in something nice rather than begging! 🙁
Yeah, it’s pretty famous! And there are so many Chotiwala restaurants in the city, though the original has no branches anywhere!!
February 22, 2012 6:57 am|
Fascinating. Rishikesh, though my journey to there was just once till now, I long to go there and beyond in winter.
Good pics to boot
February 22, 2012 8:39 am|
Yeah, winters is a good idea. And while we were there, the weather during the day, changed everyday! Though the mornings and evenings were pretty cold! Thanks 🙂
February 22, 2012 7:48 am|
I wanna visit this place. For the river rafting too you know.
February 22, 2012 8:38 am|
I did river rafting too!! It’s so damn cool and great adventure too! Will be writing abt it shortly!
February 22, 2012 1:59 pm|
During our last visit,what I liked the most was the evening Aarti at Risjiesh.
I wish,they had managed to keep Haridwar and Rishikesh cleaner.Certin areas are really bad.
Doesn’t Chotiwala remind of Bhranwa Da Dhabba of Amritsar?Similar family history.
Pizza a the station?Amazing.
November 26, 2012 8:11 am|
Agree with you, completely! Considering, it’s such a big tourist/pilgrim destination, it’s neither clean nor developed!!
Ok… didnt know about the Bhranwa da Dhabha story!
Yesss… I feel so wonderfully happy about ordering a Pizza on a station! 😛
February 22, 2012 2:20 pm|
Hvng pizza like that is so much fun 🙂
I luv the ‘Ten on Tuesday’ idea. Loved reading abt ur trip 🙂
February 22, 2012 5:23 pm|
🙂 Am glad you liked it! 🙂
February 22, 2012 3:57 pm|
well we are a nation of ingenious 🙂 lovely pictures I liked the one of the old man showing a thumbs up, ALL IS WELLL 🙂
I have been to rishikesh twice now and felt the same its all about money … but then its the same everywhere
February 22, 2012 5:25 pm|
Yessss, very innovative and creative people we are!!
Somehow, this money business in temples etc just leaves a bad taste in mouth! 🙁
February 23, 2012 12:34 am|
Wow! Interesting facts! Think all temple these days have become more commercialised. They demand offerings! It’s sad to know that these educated children are sent to beg instead of becoming school toppers! Ah..that’s nice idea of ordering pizza in a railway station!
March 9, 2012 4:53 pm|
The commercialization of these places, is terrible… leaves a bad taste.
Yeah, you are right… if only they are directed in the right direction!
Hmmm… that’s a cool idea actually!! 😛 :))
February 23, 2012 9:59 am|
Enjoyed reading about your trip to the land of temples and sadhus! I am wonderstruck to read about the beggar children talking in flawless english!
And Domino’s rock, dont they?
March 9, 2012 4:51 pm|
Even I was so zapped, that I simply stopped and listened to what was transpiring between them!! And missed the opportunity to click them!!
The service at Domino’s is simply outstanding!! Though I prefer Pizza’s from Pizza Hut more!
March 8, 2012 7:46 pm|
pizza at railway station!! now thats an idea sirji! oops madamji!
March 9, 2012 4:47 pm|
Try it sometime!! :))