Five of us (college friends) planned a trip to Rishikesh. We started off from our place at 4 AM in the morning. We took our first halt at road side dhaba and had tandoor aloo parantha with dahi. I also got the chance to see sunrise which rarely happens.
We then stopped at Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar, Baba Ramdev Ashram. I was astonished to see the facilities provided in ‘Ashram’. There were big buildings and in each room they had installed ACs. A thought came to my mind that if we compile the list of richest saints of the world, Baba Ramdev will be at the top.
We had previously done the booking so we reached at the camp site around 2 PM. The camp site ‘The river view’ is 37 KMs from Rishikesh (3 KMs from Byasi). There were other sites which were near to Rishikesh but these were flooded with people. So if you want to be in the crowded place, book the place near by Rishikesh only. The charge per head was 1450 including Lunch, Dinner and next morning breakfast with Kayaking, Rock climbing, Rafting and Cliff jumping.
After reaching at the site, we had our lunch. And after half an hour of rest, we kayaked down the river. None of us were able to balance the canoe even for a minute. Then we played Volleyball for an hour and were able to defeat the opposition team (People who were at the same camp site) just once and lost 1-2 to them.
Gradually the started to wear off. We went to the river shore with our canes. The water was very cold there. We put it for better use. We spent 2:30 hours there chatting and laughing. It was the memorable evening with friends. We had our legs immersed in cold water and cold breeze was making the atmosphere pleasurable.
As the night wore on, they lit the bonfire and people started to gather there. As I was very tired so went to bed (inside the tent) early and missed the dinner which was very delicious (Or may be my friends were saying this just to tease me). They had both veg and non-veg in dinner while they served only veg in Lunch. Everyone was asleep by 10:30.
We had to wake up early for rafting but then we love our sleep more than anything (It is good to have at least one enthusiastic guy in the group so time can be utilized effectively). We woke up at around 8:00 and got ready by 8:30. (There was queue to use bathroom but we were late so did not have to wait for it). In breakfast, they served poori sabji bread butter and boiled eggs.
We reached the site where rafting has to be started around 10:30. As it was weekend and there were more people and had less no of rafts so we had to wait till the last group had finished their rafting.
As in one raft they accommodate 9-10 people, and we were 5, so there 4 people from other group and because of that we couldn’t enjoy as much as we would have liked to. So it is better to go in a group of 9-10 or confirm first hand if you want the separate raft. It was a 16 KMs track with 3 major rapids in between. It was really enjoyable ride especially when we had to face the major rapid and when raft stood still for a couple of seconds vertically. We finished it in 1 and half hour. The guide wasn’t a good one as he wants to finish as early as possible because people were waiting for their turn. So it is better to go on weekdays than on weekends. The good time to go is between Starting of March to End of April as after April it becomes very hot. And there is nothing to do except to be in water in day time.
After rafting we had our lunch in Rishikesh, which was very delicious. I can not remember the name but they served awesome Lassi. There is famous restaurant named Chotiwala as well but we did not have to go there as we were already running late.
We started off from Rishikesh at around 2:45 PM. We stopped by at a dhaba near Muzzafarnagar for tea and were startled to see they had swimming pool there. If you drive from
to Rishikesh it is 6 KMs before Muzzafarnagar, and the name of the dhaba is
‘Picnic Spot’. They charged 50 rs per head for one hour. After the tiring day
we relaxed there for 45 minutes and then had Aaloo paranths. One thing was very
surprising for me as I asked the lad (who happened to be the son of the dhaba
owner) that they were Muslims and had named the Dhaba as ‘Punjabi Dhaba’. Don’t
get me wrong but when it comes to business people care about running the
business and making profit out it.
As soon so we got in the car, it started to rain heavily and we opened the car’s window. The rain drop hitting on the face made the ride really enjoyable.
That was my first rafting experience, and I really enjoyed it.