Rishikesh was on my original plan but I almost left it out because I was thinking about heading straight into the mountains to a place called Munsyari. It’s a good job I didn’t because Rishikesh was one of my favourite places to visit.
If there is one place that good karma is all around us, it’s Rishikesh. This is the home of many ashrams, yoga schools and the spiritually enlightened, hippie-types. The creative, musical and pot smokers flock here in flocks, high on life and looking to get higher as they embrace the dread lock hair, shoalss, and buddha looking robes. Regardless of how the people dressed, it was a very happy and peaceful place with good people and I liked it very much.
Two Side of the River
When I arrived I rode through the main town and uphill towards an area that looked much more peaceful and relaxed. It was, so I stopped in at one of the hotels and asked about prices and rooms. They only had 1 night available because the other nights were fully booked. They guy who was working there was Australian, so I really trusted him automatically. The room rate was 2,000 but he said he could do it for 1,500. I agreed and he said that all the hotels in the area were around the same cost.
I didn’t have anywhere to stay for the 2nd night so I rode around the other side of the river. There are two ways to get there. You can go across the bridge by foot or even by bike as a lot of people do, but they’re not supposed to, or you can ride around the road which is around 10km but an amazing ride.
I found a place called Hill Top Hotel and they were only charging 600 a night, after a little negotiation. They had a lovely roof top restaurant overlooking the large temples and a large area in the north of Rishikesh. I could tell that I would like it there and I was right.
In my first day there I met with a girl called Louise who was Swedish. I also got speaking to the hotel staff, Mani, Rahul and Pawan. They were really nice people and very friendly. Pawan even started showing me how to play the hand drum (I have no idea what the actual term for it is). He also had a digaree doo which he played.
I wanted to stay longer there and I did stay one more night than I had intended because I liked it so much. I would definitely go back there and stay longer and participate in some more yoga.
Yoga on the Roof
I didn’t fancy going to a proper yoga session because I didn’t have any kind of map to use and I was a little intimidated by how yoga-pro all the people there looked to me. But I found out that the guy at the hotel, Rahul, ran classes every morning. I think it was just a case of him doing the class anyway on the roof for personal reasons and he allowed others to join in for 200 rupees, so I did. It was nice to see how to do some of the poses, some of which I had done before and it was like a more advanced and structured stretching session.
I have been keeping it up almost everyday since then, which was around 1 week ago now. I really enjoy it and it makes me feel so much better for doing it in the morning when I wake up.