Haridwar to Rishikesh – Day 2
You can read Day 1 journey here.
After an intensely religious journey, thanks to our co-passengers in the train, I never realized that we had reached our destination. Actually, I was still trying to get some sleep when we pulled into Haridwar at around 2 PM. 🙂
Haridwar station is not big and as usual; sensing we are not locals, a large number of Auto and taxi drivers were after to ferry us where we wanted. We mechanically responded that we did not need one but still they wanted to know where we were going! One of them said “Arre nahi jana to koi baat nahi, knowledge ke liye to bata do!” (Even if you don’t want to go with us, tell us for our knowledge). 😀
We had read a few places that we could get shared Rickshaws or Sumos to Rishikesh from outside the station. But this was off season and obviously not our day. So options with us were to either take a bus, which were not so frequent or go to a place called Laltara Pul (ललतारा पुल), where we were assured by one auto fellow, there would be a large number of “Vikrams” for Rishikesh.
We took a shared rickshaw to Laltara pul. We found only 2 Vikrams trying to get as many passengers as can possibly fit. Ten in this case where hardly 6 can sit comfortably! Again, being off-season, we had to wait for more than 40 minutes to get the desired number. Our rucksacks went up the roof. All the better as we hardly had much space for people. I was literally sitting on V’s lap!
The drive was bumpy, even though the road looked ok to me. After 45 minutes of mostly uneventful journey we reached Triveni Ghat from where we decided to take a local rickshaw to GMVN near Natraj circle. Because of our uncertain plans we had not reserved a room there but we had stayed there earlier & getting a room in low season was not a problem.
A flower seller at Triveni ghat
Lined up lamps ready for Maha Ganga aarti
We made a beeline back to Triveni Ghat after a 5 PM lunch to see if anything had changed in the past one year. Nothing much had changed. The preparation for Maha Ganga Aarti was on.
We decided to turn in early so went to the bus station to enquire about the earliest bus to Joshimath and book our seats. Again low season played its part. We were told, the first 4 AM bus doesn’t ply and the next bus was at 6:00 AM which was fine with us. Also, since there were very few passengers, we could pick and choose our seats.
Next stop. Joshimath. The story continues.
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