Haridwar & Rishikesh – Days 1 – 4
The latest tour of India with my yoga group has been amazing. Sometimes you must take the bull by the horns and make the most of the unexpected twists and turns.
Although our early morning train to Haridwar was cancelled, I took the group (+2 extras: Raven and Bridget from Aussi) to the Lotus Temple which was also closed! Then at the Lakshmi-Narayan Temple, which was open, we rested in the cool marble compound and drank chai. We finally caught the afternoon train to Haridwar.
When we got back to Haridwar the Ganga’s flow had been stopped for pre-Diwali cleaning! The once fast flowing river was now a slow trickle, so we headed over the bridge by autorickshaw to bathe in the ‘real’ Ganga.
At Chandi Ghat we found the sacred waters flowing fast and headed down onto the marble steps to bathe. Many western people think the waters of the Ganges are unclean, but actually the waters are amazing. Fresh, filled with Himalayan minerals and with a pH level of 8.9, these waters are seen as sacred. Bathing in the Ganga leaves you felling refreshed and alive! It is so clean and so natural. The water actually sparkles!
We spent a day and half in Haridwar, enjoying temple life and taking in the charismatic vibe of the place. Westerners are few and far between giving the place a friendly upbeat vibe.
Our next stop, Rishikesh, allowed us to find some time to relax, take in the sights, and catch up on a bit of shopping.
You can always find sacred moments in India which give us a chance to offer simple thanks for all the beauty and bounty of this extraordinary landscape. Then again, you can also find moments which make you think … only in India!