Thursday, September 21, 2006

A few Rishikesh pics

At the Laxman jhula. This enterprising young monkey came up to me and snarled fiercely until I gave him what was left of the Snickers chocolate I was having for breakfast. Blatant extortion. However, he agreed to pose for this shot afterwards.

A typical restaurant banner.

(click to enlarge)

To fully appreciate the claims made for “French”, “German” and “Swiss” food, you have to remember that Rishikesh is completely vegetarian. (This also clears the mystery of why I was eating chocolate for breakfast.) By “Thai” food they probably meant the paneer hakka noodles on the menu. There was also something called the “crispy paneer cheez sizzlar”, though I didn’t wait to find out what it was.

There are large signboards advertising Yoga classes nearly everywhere you go, most of them clustered together around the Ram jhula and Laxman jhula. (Since I was conditioned to look out for them for the story, my eyes lit up each time I saw the word “Yoga” anywhere.) Tourists flock to these boards in droves but the local cows are more nonchalant.

At the Ganga Beach Resort, where I stayed, a little swimming pool situated a couple of metres from the riverbank. Somewhat redundant if you ask me.

The ferry that takes you across the Ganga.

The ride was very nice but I could have done without the dozens of co-passengers who kept throwing water indiscriminately at each other (and me), all the while chanting “Ganga Mata ki Jai!”

And even in Yoga-land, you can’t escape J K Rowling...


  1. anyone who has had been to rishikesh for some days, would remember a restaurent named, "CHOTIWALA" this is so famouse that some other hotel also copied the name. a statue of a man with choti and dhoti with thali full of laddus, a complet dramatic attraction to foreign visitor to come and take a picture standing along with,
    hope u had also seen this, if its still there.

  2. ItaLION ? And must try Israeli....

    Btw, the swimming pool is probably not redundant since I assume there is a difference in the cleanliness of the water in the pool versus that in the river.

  3. Nice pix Jai. I liked the dynamic yoga one the best. btw, if you are itching for a non-veg meal, I can suggest you a few places within Hrishikesh only. Or else just take a Vikram (or a taxi) to Raiwalan (it is a noman's land between Hrishikesh and Haridwar where you get booze and meat (cooked, raw as well live) on main road. More, if someone needs hash (charas) or Ganja, I can give you a number for that too. It will be cheap Rs 300 for one good stick (never buy the 'balls', they mix charcoal in it :) But I also know you won't need the number, not atleast for yourself. right?

    1. Lol. Give me the number please :p

    2. ganja connection pls ?? ty :)

    3. Hey molekhi im in haridwar ryt now n travelling alone. Hesitant to go for a score alone. Plz reply asap wid da no. To score some hash from haridwar. Tysm

    4. Hey molekhi im in haridwar ryt now n travelling alone so hesitant to go for a score alone. Plz reply asap if u have any number.

    5. Hi
      Can u email the telephone number of the charas guy in rishikesh please.


  4. I love Haridwar. It is one of my favourite places to visit in India, and I've been there several times since I was a kid. I haven't been back in several years though, so I guess I've missed out on the Western tourist boom.

    However, I do remember a few annoying characters, who'd think nothing of pointing cameras at groups of women taking a dip in the Ganga. Not that Indians cannot be voyeuristic pervs as well.

    We usually stay in a small guest house in the middle of town and eat at the excellent Bengali restaurant "Dada Boudir Hotel" in Haridwar - absolutely the best Bengali food outside Bengal. Go early, there are usually long queues snaking around the place.

  5. Ah. Rishikesh. Been there often, but usually only after I've run out of film. So, nice to to see some pictures. Must visit with a digi.

    And you can get scrambled eggs at the Garwahl Mandal Vikas Nigam guest house. :)

  6. Aaah...Rishikesh.

    Just live on the huge parathas with scoops of white butter with a dollop of aachar.

    And Shubhankar, don't know if it's the same Chotiwaala Baba you're talking about, but there's one (which Molekhi took me to on one of my trips) which has a short, fat completely bald man with a looong choti standing outside, with Pepsi logos on his two cheeks.

    He is actually sponsored by Pepsi, as is the shop and spends his day posing for photographs with squealing tourists.

    This actually happened after all the Pepsi and Coke ads were removed from the rocks...

  7. where are the naked yoga pics?

  8. Pankaj: thanks for the tips, but I doubt I'll be going there again soon. One trip more than enough. Will keep the charas/ganja info in mind though.

    Samit: down, boy - isn't one naked monkey pic enough for you? (There was human nudity, yes, but at Ananda, and no pictorial record exists.)

    Shamya: Pepsi and Coke ads on the rocks reminds me of the pebbles at the spa, which were taken from the Ganga and had "Ananda" printed on them.

  9. arre there's no water in that pool .. now whoz sayin it aint redundant ?

  10. that eating joint offers "indian" and "south indian" food. can you blame us for demanding sovereignty?
    - ags

  11. The restaurant menu was even more elaborate - it included Punjabi, Rajasthani and Bengali as separate categories (it also had "Arabian").

  12. And *this* is the place that gave the world "White Album"?

  13. har har gange!!!
    I really dont buy that story about snickers....i do rather stick to the one about peanuts and monkeys.
    Out with the truth Jai!!

    bovine indifference to yogic charms yes that’s utterly believable mirror tells me that story everyday :-(

  14. KM: Yes. Many would argue that's the best thing about it. *Sings - Life goes on, braaaaa...*

    Vineet: you can't stick to peanuts. you can stick to peanut butter.

  15. The "Yoga in a no-nonsense way" sign was probably the best one I ever saw in Rishikesh, not to mention the immense "Police Your Friend" ad on crossing the bridge to Laxman Jula. Neither of them are really too tempting to try...

  16. Very sweet. Lakshman Jhula is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the whole of India, legends connect it to the days of Ramayana. Check out more about Lakshman Jhula.

  17. Bhaiya no send krdo aaj rishikesh jaa rha hu almost raste mai hu