Soul Enriching Experience with a Plan Less Travel
Being hard core South Indians, we took a trip to Ujjain and got hooked onto it. It was not all that difficult as my husband knowing not even a word in Hindi made it out to be. I studied Hindi in school and also lived couple of years in North India and so was quite confident of managing the trip well. It brought about a change in my husband who started enjoying trips to North and he was proud of his language prowess he had gained during the trip. So bang came our next trip and this time with our daughter to Haridwar and Rishikesh. All people and the internet told us is about Ganga Arati and its spiritual specialty in the evening on the banks of Ganga. The trip we planned was in the month of May to align with our daughter’s holidays. With people scaring us on the heat, we, as Chennaiites are never to be discouraged by heat, after all we live in a place where the sun rules most of the months in the year.
Our daughter put the first block saying if it is only about Ganga, she is not interested. I assured her that we will make the trip worthwhile for her. We decided to hire a 4-wheeler from Delhi and retain it till we return to Delhi on the way home. The only thing we arranged was the stay, again a shot at #TheBlindList we had curated from the net. We arrived in Haridwar and we had booked a solid 4 days there with a trip to Rishikesh in between. It did not take us long to understand that we were at the base of the Himalayas and the town of Haridwar meandered along the banks of the Ganges.
Many of the places were reachable only by foot and we walked along the Ganges taking a dip now n then. There is one major place, Har ki Podi, around the Ganges Ghat where all the places we would like to visit such as temples and markets are located. Since we decided to explore on our own, every time it was a walk into the same area with a different purpose. Street side vendors, parking assistants and local tea shops started recognizing us and then started our best sightseeing sessions. We had pani-puris, aloo tikkis, Bel milkshake, seasonal Himalayan flower Buran juice at the local popular specialty shops and suggestions poured on the things we must do in Haridwar.
Three devi temples known to bless us with our choicest blessings are located in Haridwar. Manasa Devi temple, Chandi Devi temple and Maya Devi Temple. We have to take a cable car to Manasa Devi mandir and then from there, another cable car to Chandi Devi temple, both located on hilltops. Maya devi mandir was located next to Ganga Arati place in the plains. Locals gave us the idea how to cover all the temples without wasting time in queue and we must say it was one of the best sightseeing trip moving across Himalayan Ghats in a cable car.
We also went to the Himalayan Zoo Safari – 32 kms inside the forest and had some sightings of wild animals – it was in the month of May and so we had to be satisfied with limited sightings of animals. Talking about the heat, we were wrong, it was much hotter than what we thought and the day times we were forced to remain indoors much to our disappointment.
We paid a quick visit to Rishikesh, we still had 2 more days in our hand and on the way back, we decided we will move up and stay in a hill station for the next 2 days. It was an out of the blue decision and after a brief discussion, we decided to go to Nainital.
One of the best experiences of our impromptu travels, we stayed in a colonial home and was pleasantly greeted with hailstorm and rains that changed our moods and put us on a lovely experience. We visited the Snow point to have a glimpse of the snow-clad mountains, it was from plains to peak and from high heat to absolute chill climate. This is what happens when we are Openminded, the travel experience becomes the travel inspiration for the next. Ujjain started our travel to explore and led us to Haridwar and to Nainital and now we are waiting for the next to #SayYesToTheWorld . This time too, we are set to Exploring the World as what it offers us than what we define as we want to see.