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The Pure Wonders of India, From Haridwar to Pune, Half 1

By Murli Menon

After having travelled down the Mekong from its supply in Tibet by means of China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to the South China Sea in 2006, it had been one in every of my targets since 1995 to journey down the Holy Ganges. I lastly achieved my purpose in 2010 by means of a mixture of artistic visualisation, ZeNLP meditation and auto-suggestion mixed with a strict vegan weight loss program. Common train, fasting and a non secular connection to nature helped me to create significant coincidences, which guided me each minute throughout my lengthy and arduous journey by means of North India in probably the most extreme of winters!

Having my brick Nikon and netbook with a two-hour battery life enabled me to doc my journey because it occurred, thereby giving me the luxurious of clicking greater than 5000 excessive decision photos alongside the way in which!

My journey plan was in depth to say the least. I deliberate to journey 5,000 KM throughout India, spanning ten states and cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad and Pune. My actual route is elucidated beneath:

From To Distance Mode
Ahmedabad Haridwar 1208 km. Prepare
Haridwar Rishikesh 0025 km. Taxi
Rishikesh Kaudiyala 0042 km. Taxi
Kaudiyala Rishikesh 0042 km. Raft
Rishikesh Haridwar 0025 km. Taxi
Haridwar Allahabad 0725km. Prepare
Allahabad Varanasi 0130 km. Bus
Varanasi Allahabad 0130 km. Bus
Allahabad Jasidih 0586 km. Prepare
Jasidih Kolkata 0311 km. Prepare
Kolkata Canning 0050 km. Prepare
Canning Kolkata 0050 km. Prepare
Kolkata Bhubaneshwar 0439 km. Prepare
Bhubaneshwar Chilka 0094 km. Bus
Chilka Bhubaneshwar 0094 km. Bus
Bhubaneshwar Hyderabad 1150 km. Prepare
Hyderabad Srisailam 0220 km. Bus
Srisailam Hyderabad 0220 km. Bus
Hyderabad Manmad 0690 km. Prepare
Manmad Nasik 0125 km. Taxi
Nasik Tryambakeshwar 0025 km. Taxi
Tryambakeshwar Nasik 0025 km. Taxi
Nasik Pune 0211 km. Taxi
Pune Bhimashankar 0160 km. Taxi
Bhimashankar Pune 0160 km. Taxi
Pune Ahmedabad 0660 km. Flight
Complete Distance 5664 km.

I deliberate to raft down the Ganges from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh whereas additionally going to the Kumbh mela in Haridwar, and journey to Kolkata by means of Allahabad, Varanasi, and Jasidih. From Kolkata I deliberate to go to the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve the place the Holy Ganges meets the Bay of Bengal. I’d journey by boat on every vacation spot on the banks of the river. Being a vegan, who lives on fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and greens, I photographed all 100 per cent vegan avenue meals and put it on my weblog for fellow vegans who wish to comply with in my footsteps. Being a vegan additionally meant surviving the tough North Indian winter wearing sambhalpuri kurtas, a khadi scarf, and a lightweight artificial jacket. I wanted to discover the pure wonders at every of the locations I stayed at and doc them in my weblog. I’ve simply returned after finishing my journey from Kaudiyala to Jharkhali.

Boating on the Yamuna River

A number of the most stress-free moments of my journey had been skilled whereas river rafting down the Ganges, boating at Allahabad, climbing the Chitrakoot mountain in Jasidih (Jharkhand), or in the course of the sundown cruise at Jharkhali in Sunderbans, whereas on a speedboat on the Chilka lake in Orissa. Trekking contained in the Srisailam Tiger Reserve in Andhra Pradesh was additionally a pleasure. I may make time to take a leisurely dip within the Ganges, Krishna and Godavari throughout this journey. The luxurious of having the ability to take limitless excessive decision digital pictures, meant each dawn and sundown was captured. Each chook throughout my journey was clicked and greater than 4,000 excessive decision photos are safely backed up in my pen drive, two laptops and netbook.

The journey from Ahmedabad to Haridwar was uneventful apart from the gorgeous sundown clicked over the hills of Mount Abu. The practice was crowded with devotees continuing to Haridwar for the Kumbh Mela in order to succeed in earlier than 14th January, which was probably the most auspicious day to take a dip within the Holy Ganges since 1998. By a significant coincidence, at Haridwar station I met three younger girls, every from England, Netherlands and USA, who had been in search of instructions to go to Rishikesh! Quickly, all 4 of us had been in a taxi to Rishikesh. The journey took us by means of the outer fringes of the Rajaji Nationwide Park, the place we may sight some stump-tailed macaques! After checking-in on the Garhwal Mandal visitor home at Rishikesh, we proceeded to Kaudiyala to finish the joys of river rafting whereas returning to Rishikesh. Physique browsing whereas hanging on to the raft within the ice-cold waters of the river in mid-January was a bone-chilling expertise.

Kathy, Kristen and Naomi, who had been instructing English in China, had been travelling to Rishikesh for a break. After returning to Rishikesh, I headed to Haridwar for the Kumbh Mela. Lakhs of pilgrims from throughout India had gathered for a as soon as in a lifetime expertise. Taking a dip within the freezing waters of the Holy Ganges at 4 AM in mid-January, jogged my memory of my dip at Lake Mansarovar in Tibet! Nonetheless, it was a boon to my immune system as all my cells obtained rejuvenated after swimming within the placid waters of this mighty river. It absolutely is without doubt one of the strongest experiences to find the facility of mom nature. Exploring the impromptu meals stalls on the Kumbh as a meals detective, looking for one hundred pc vegan delicacies (meals which doesn’t comprise any product of animal origin and even traces of any animal product) was one other goal of my travels for my forthcoming ebook “ZeNLP-The Energy of Veganism.”

The food-stalls on the Kumbh had idlis and dosas jostling for area with samosas, dhoklas, and theplas.

Feasting on samosas, Photograph Credit score: Murli Menon

The consequences of the extreme winter had been compounded by the chilly winds and slight drizzle that appeared to pervade Rishikesh and Haridwar in January. Warming up close to group bonfires and sipping sizzling ginger juice (as a strict vegan I don’t drink tea, espresso or devour sugar as a result of probabilities of adulteration of those commodities by merchandise of animal origin). Additionally, I don’t devour any manufacturing unit manufactured food-stuffs, offered throughout grocery store cabinets. As a strict vegan, I keep away from all foodstuffs containing caffeine, chlorine, fluorine, nicotine and iodine. I favor to eat contemporary fruits, greens, seeds, nuts and grains! I by no means devour solids after sundown however as a substitute follow water fasting! Neighborhood bonfires, are a perfect socialising venue to seek out out in regards to the newest occasions and to know the instructions to succeed in the hawkers who promote probably the most scrumptious avenue meals on the town.

Rafting down the quickly flowing river from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh within the wee hours of the morning — shrouded in mist and fog and caressed by a lightweight drizzle — was a memorable expertise. The spotlight of the journey was leaping into the ice-cold waters after reaching Rishikesh. The frenzy of adrenaline as one scurried to the security of the shore in search of the heat of the embers, whereas the physique overcame its numbness after a thrill a minute rafting expertise, is troublesome to explain in phrases. A superb evening’s sleep underneath a thick cotton quilt, was sufficient to rejuvenate one’s aching muscle groups and numb fingers for the subsequent journey.

Dawn from Manmand to Nashik, Photograph Credit score: Murli Menon

The journey from Rishikesh to Haridwar was like shifting with a caravan. 1000’s of pilgrims strolling barefoot to succeed in Haridwar on January 14. Alongside the way in which, I met peasants from Bhagalpur, Rabaris from Gujarat, Bauls from West Bengal, villagers from Andhra Pradesh, sadhus from Uttar Pradesh, and gypsies promoting all the things from sandalwood-paste to vermillion. It was a “mela” in the true sense of the phrase! A lot of the pilgrims braved the results of the chilly by sleeping open air. Many ingenuous devotees slept on the shores of the river to keep away from the early morning rush!

After reaching Haridwar, one wakes up at midnight to organize for the trek to the ghats for a dip earlier than the group begins to pour in. This can be very chilly and visibility is restricted to the primary three steps one takes. Nonetheless, one trudges alongside the slim path to succeed in the holy river earlier than daybreak and take a rejuvenating tub within the rapids as the primary rays of the solar strike the earth. Probably the most thrilling a part of the expertise is the sensation of numbness within the fingers which makes buttoning one’s kurta an achievement in itself! On the ghats, pink-coloured ghagras of the rabari girls vied for consideration with saffron Rajasthani turbans which had been a putting distinction to the sadhus smeared in gray ash. It was a free for all with everybody for himself. Hawkers promoting towels had a area day. I deliberate to journey from Haridwar to Allahabad to finish the subsequent part of my analysis on vegan Indian avenue meals.

Murli Menon, is a journey author, stress administration advisor and author-based at Ahmedabad, India. He’s the creator of “ZeNLP-Studying by means of tales” printed by The Written Phrase Publications, “ZeNLP-the energy to succeed” printed by Sage publications and “ZeNLP-the energy to loosen up” by New Daybreak Press. He might be reached at zenlp@rediffmail.com

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