Hiking in Rishikesh

It’s been five months since I’m in India and I find myself thinking more and more about home. What I miss the most is being invisible, being able just to walk down the street without thousands of curious eyes watching me. I am tired of chaos, noise and pollution in Indian streets. I miss proper order, cleanliness and freedom. As soon as you cross the threshold of the street – you can never be relaxed. That’s the kind of life is in here. 

Rishikesh, called capital of yoga, is a city next to Indian Hymalayas. Sacred river Ganga divides it into two parts with a lot of ashrams and myriads of foreigners seeking to experience Indian spirituality. I’m not one of them though.

Early in the morning I pack some food and water and leave for a hike into the mountains. The route is not marked and I don’t have a map – so I just trust my intuition and go where my eyes lead me. I know that there should be a Shri Kanjapuri temple 4 hours away, though I am not sure that it is even in this part of the mountains.

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I don’t meet any other trekkers, just a few local people, on the way. Sometimes I pass little villages, with small houses, cows and people who don’t speak any English. After less than 4 hours I find a temple, which is not very impressive, but still I’m proud of myself that I did it without any guidance. Actually, there are a lot of companies offering hiking tours around Rishikesh, but I am not a fan of guided tours.

I decide to hike more and descend into some beautiful green valley with some villages on the slopes. While walking I meet two most adorable kids on Earth. They were probably a brother and sister about 3-4 years old with dirty clothes, but so beautiful and surprised to see me here. I gave them two apples, they quickly took them and walked fast, sometimes just turning back to see if I am still there.

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The weather was nice so as soon as I was feeling tired I just lay on the grass looking at the mountains. It was so good just to be there, all alone, without any sound and disturbance. I was thinking about this moment for a past few months. When I am in the mountains looks like all the world is beautiful, there is no evil, no poverty, no grudge, no war – just a spectacular nature, so eternal and divine. Sad, but as soon as I came back to the city everything got back to their places.

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