Life in Delhi is not very attractive, to put it mildly, with all its disadvantages. I really wanted to leave the city and go for new adventures to the north, where it is not so stuffy and the views are more pleasant.
Mark and Vidhi suggested that the best way to get to Rishikesh is by train. Trains in India are not expensive, and according to the locals, we cannot get there by hitchhiking. A convenient way to get to a good seat on the train is to book a ticket through the website, but it has a drawback. This must be done at least one day before departure. But we didn’t want to wait an extra day.
In the morning we went straight to the railway station. There are several metro stations around the city, which cost us 25 rupees each. This is the most comfortable way to get around the city. Sometimes, however, there is not enough circle line so as not to waste time on big hooks from the metro lines.
There are many people inside and outside the station, mostly not rich in appearance. I think everyone who is richer uses airports, of which there are a lot in India. So the decoration of the station corresponds – there are not even benches. People are accommodated wherever they can: on the floor, on the windowsills, on the railings. On the one hand, this is unusual, but in Asia it is customary almost everywhere to sit on the floor, sleep on the floor, even in wealthy families.Railway station in Delhi. Sit back and wait however you want
Having stood in line, we achieved nothing. There are no tickets, even for the common carriages, for the cheapest tickets. As Valya and I understood, there was no train with the appropriate class of carriages that day, and the recumbent seats were all taken. We were directed to the hotel of the station for foreign tourists, where they offered to fill in a couple of some forms, but this did not help us with tickets.
Valya tries to get a ticket to Rishikesh
Railway station with notes of India. All stations are so similar, but still, each has something of its own
We even thought to jerk without tickets, but the train really turned out to be without empty seats. It remained to either wait for the next day and try your luck there, or try to hitchhike. The spirit of adventurism pushed us towards the latter.
After leaving the station, we went to the metro and teleported to the northernmost station of the city of Delhi. Where the metro ends, the city does not think to end. The best option is to get on the track outside the sleeping areas and the chance that you will be picked up increases significantly. But this is India, baby! From the metro station we crossed the street and got up with Valya in a more or less convenient place on the road from the city. Thumbs up… and here’s the first car, right away! A couple of funny and friendly guys agreed to give us a ride along the way!
Probably the charm and beauty of Vali had such an effect, we didn’t have to wait a minute, and it’s cool! The guys are sociable, speak pure English, even among themselves, and the Indians themselves.
We made our way out of the city to a less populated area, but never got far.
Which doesn’t happen along the way. Repair on the go
A slight scratch on the wheel made us excited to get out of the car and assess the situation. It was all bad. At least with the wheel. There was no spare wheel and this is not surprising here. The driver disappeared to the horizon in search of help, and maybe a new wheel. We were offered to just wait, just a minute!
The minute business dragged on for an hour. We whiled away him with light conversations about nothing among ourselves. So it was until a group of Indians vacationing at a cafe invited us to their company. The company was not boring, but every now and then it was necessary to dodge offers to drink local alcohol of unknown origin.
The car was nevertheless repaired, which allowed us to drive about 50 km more together and leave, as is usually the case in a dramatic hitchhiking.
The next car was not long in coming. The driver, a man of about 40 years old with an unpronounceable European name, threw us another hundred kilometers to our goal. And outside the windows the sky was covered with stars. He dropped us off in some small town and then the problems began. With the darkness you need to look for a place on the track where you can be seen. Not only so that a successful companion driver does not miss it, but also so that the distracted driver does not blow away. In India, the rules of the road, like the pirate code, are not laws, but only instructions. Therefore, the whole process on the road is unpredictable and dangerous.
While we were catching the next ride, which was no longer than 20 minutes, a crowd of onlookers gathered around us. And they got the attention of the police. The police are not like in Russia – just give a reason, they will create problems for you, here people try to help you, even if you don’t really need it. We are min. 5 convinced that stopping here is especially dangerous, especially at night – maniacs, murderers and just Indians, of different castes and varieties. All this was observed by the driver-fellow traveler we stopped)
In the end, we were persuaded to take the bus to Rishikesh, the final destination, and paid for the ticket. Apparently, the comrade policeman paid from his own pocket, for which special respect is paid to him. Arguing with the police in such a situation would be fundamentally wrong.
The bus is old, but in the evening, after a long day, it is very comfortable. Valyusha took the opportunity and slept a little. Haridwar almost slept through the festive lights – thousands of candles and lanterns that adorned the city during this festive time. The sight is mesmerizing. It’s a pity night photos on the way are hopelessly blurred.
Step of the way – Ancient bus. Valyusha does not miss a chance to rest. The path is not close.
We arrived in Rishikesh late at night. Silence and coolness. The city sleeps and does not wait for visiting travelers. We needed to find a quiet and safe place to sleep.
We walked around several streets, walked away from the bus station. Ashrams were one of the options for overnight stay, but now they were all closed and a tent was the best option. We installed it in a pretty place on the banks of the Ganges. No one was supposed to stop us here until the morning.
Dawn from behind the mountain. Nice view from the tent!
Morning was not long in coming and burst in the light of the rising sun through the thin fabric of the tent. I was more expecting to be woken up by someone, a jogger on a morning run or curious Indian policemen. We were lucky and slept well. Outside, the sun kindly invited to a new day! Have you ever woken up in a tent on the banks of a sacred river for the whole country?)
Valya and I packed up a tent and went in search of adventure! No, not like that, looking for a place to have breakfast. Adventure finds you. And the first we came across the Sikh temple. Why is there a temple, a Palace! And in it everyone is fed for free! I did not know this, my companion initiated me into this.
You go into the temple, take off your shoes, wash yourself, cover your head, for example, with the proposed orange bandana, and go inside with a tray. Several people are already sitting there. A temple attendant comes up to you and puts a couple of chapatis in your hands, and a few traditional Indian dishes on the plate-tray. The portion is refilled until you say it is enough, but you must eat whatever was offered to you as a sign of respect.
Housing for the poor .. It happens, of course, worse, but rarely.
Dry bed. Rubbish slides, poisonous stream and survivors
The town of Rishikesh is not rich. There are many poor areas where residents live under oilcloth. Even a large flow of tourists does not greatly affect the local economy. But the atmosphere of this sacred place for many people is preserved.
View of the sacred river Ganges
While we were wandering around the city, the first person who agreed to take us on couchsurfing answered us. Valentina found him, she does it better than me. Our new friend was named Vivek and he is a yoga master. He took us to his high-rise building. The rooms are like hotel rooms. Nothing more, a couple of beds, a table, sockets, a fan, a bathroom on the floor with cold water. And it’s all free. For rubber, they usually take for a couple of three days, but Vivek offered us to calmly stay with him for a week, or even more!Backpacks are left on the list, and it’s time to get to know the town better! A favorite way is without any guidebooks or tips to go out into the city and wander wherever your soul pulls you. Enter quiet places, small cafes and wander through the narrow unpredictable streets, watching the real life around.
These are the bamboo forests. H-Reliability!
We sit high, we see everyone!) Lovely Indian kids
Trade flourishes in the busy streets. Prices are not high, but you still have to restrain yourself.
Thirst quencher. Cane juice. This is really delicious! Especially if you ask not to put Masala in it
Rishikesh fruit and vegetable market. Here are the cheapest prices, checked!
We walked until the evening, and in the evening Vivec prepared a wonderful Dinner and invited all his guests. Amazing kindness and hospitality people!
The next morning Vivek invited Valya and me to take a ride to the neighboring town of Haridwara, where he conducts yoga classes. Yoga was of little interest, but the town beckoned with its festive atmosphere.
How do they do it!)
That’s how I can already))
Here they are, people carrying loads on their heads in traditional outfits. Real colors of India!
“Baba” and the flock. Lie under a tree and wait for revelations, insights
Haridwar is a place of pilgrimage for many believers. Here they are looking for their enlightenment, flock, recognition. Everyone has his own path!
On these days everyone plunges into the Ganges from the heart!
There are always many people by the river, but on holidays, whole crowds come to the banks of the Ganges to wet their feet and replenish their spiritual strength.
The ability to catch the attention of local)
Bazaars of the city are also bursting with goods and their customers. There are not many foreign tourists, but there are many Indians from different regions of the country. Here Valentina and I continued to get acquainted with the interesting offers of the merchants. In addition to the standard offerings, there are a lot of offerings, for example, from decorated coconuts, which people present to their favorite deities in the temple on the hill.
The road goes up significantly, from where you can enjoy views of the city. There are not many steps. On the way, there are cute kids playing on the slopes and funny monkeys entertaining the audience.
They are cool!)
They differ from people only by increased hairiness)
Top view of Haridwar
Top view of Haridwar
In the temple itself, there is nothing special to do, no views, no landscapes. Each deity will try to rip off money in tribute and respect for him. Here no one will convince me that this whole establishment serves only for this purpose.
Ways to get money out of your stocks are simple and effective. Donations in exchange for promises of benefits from the powers of mysterious deities. Sometimes you are offered to make a point, that very point on the forehead, right between the eyes, and then o5 they ask for money. If you give a little one, they look like a leper in an extreme stage of the disease.
But on the shore, we again found a holiday.
Here is the moment of the holiday with the dip. Find the Russian flag)
Hello, tanned palms!)
A beautiful place!
It’s nice to just walk. Walk wherever you want. Enjoy your surroundings, discover something new, try, wonder and try again. Amazing and beautiful everywhere!
Uh, who are you ?!)
Away from tourist places, life flows more slowly, measured, calmer. Here I myself want to slow down the course of time a little and love her every moment.
Cricket on the bed of a dry river.
With the arrival of night, the speed of life increases and fills with colors. The best option is to put off sleep until later and soak up the best that the night has to offer you, wherever you are.
Colored temples are especially visible at night and are open to everyone
Rishikesh night embankment
In the morning, go hunting again for everyday things for the locals, but not for you!
Inadequate Indian milk ad
There is a very pleasant beach in Rishikesh. Here you can meet monks, “enlightened” people, local residents who have come to rest, and, in Indian terms, cows! And where without them!
Calm and Nirvana
Before swimming in the sacred river
An interesting bridge will be stretched across the river for everyone! You walk along it with cows, with passing motor scooters, the bridge shakes, vibrates on the cables … beauty!)
The same city dweller!
It’s so sweet, lovers! .. Um no, I’m lying, of course.
Some moments touch to the very depths of the soul, even people like me. Impossible to pass by!
This girl has no hands! She draws with her feet to make a living !!!! After thousands of just lazy poor people, it just blows!
The signs in these places are also funny, if you look a little, think about the meaning.
Autism school! Uncover a special talent in your child! What about_O?
Krishna Electronics! Cashier!)
The most Indian kind)
I’m fine here too)
Sometimes, walking around the city, you can find very nice viewpoints. It is they who, after a long time, emerge when you are already in another place, in another country remembering India
The flag of India, the Ganges, the Sun, a slightly littered horizon .. everything is there!)
At the end of the day, I went on another adventure. While wandering along the banks of the Ganges, I came across an abandoned building. Most of all, it resembled a hotel from a horror movie. I acted like a standard stupid character in such films and went inside at dusk. The entrance was only through the second floor, where there were no doors.
The hotel itself is inconspicuous and uninteresting, except for what was on its roof.
Powerful place!It was the Shiva temple. One of the most powerful and bloodthirsty deities. Part of the temple was closed to most visitors due to its deplorable state. It was there that I went up. And at the very top of the building was the active part of the temple, the exit from which led to the higher part of the city.
The monk, who was about to close the temple, met me and instead of pushing me out of there as soon as possible, he offered to walk to the statue of Shiva. Just look. But I know them already, even from the temple in Haridwar. I immediately said that I had no money. The monk was a little surprised, but still insisted on visiting the statue. There he put the sign of Shiva on my forehead and tied a string on my right hand “for good luck!” I’m never against such things, but I love tied strings since my work in the children’s camps “Orlyonok”.
there they tied this thing to me! I love this thing since working in a children’s camp!)
the second stump is all in ornaments)
that’s how they marked me!)
Quiet, measured life still bored me. It was necessary to get to a new place for new adventures and a portion of adrenaline. The choice fell on the area a little more northern and high-mountainous – the Indian Himalayas, and hitchhiking! I looked at the map of the path in the Sikh temple a few days earlier, I also learned there that the path was not yet open because of the snow, but would that have stopped me? ..