Sunday, June 22, 2008


DELHI-HARIDWAR-DEHRADUN-MUSSOORIELAST december I visited delhi, haridwar, dehradun and mussoorie along with my family. as its winter we had ourselves wrapped in heavy wollens. on 25th december we boarded rajdhani from sealdah for delhi.the next day we reached delhi we stayed at one of my cousins' place at shankar vihar army campuss[my brother-in-law is the Lt.colonel of Indian Army].it was pleasant to be back in delhi after 14 long years.last time i visited delhi was in 1993 and since then the city had changed a lot with several high rises,magnificient malls,a number of flyovers,smooth roads and the most recent addition the delhi metro.the temperature use to be low in delhi during this time of the year and so we had thick layer of wollens wrapped around us.shankar vihar was a beautiful place with several trees and parks.its just beside the international airport of delhi and thus we got to see a large number of giant aircrafts flying over just above our head.we stayed in delhi for 3 days. on the first day we did little bit of shopping.on the 2nd day i.e. 27th we got ready early in the morning and were out for our sightseeing. my cousin had already reserved bus seats for our sightseeing through rao travels near their place and so we reached the travel agency office within 9 am.the bus was an a.c. volvo one and our journey started around 9.30. our first destination was qutub minar,which was build by qutubuddin aibek.the minar along with the edifices all around had been restored thoroughly.last time i mean in 1993 we had seen the minar in a bad condition.there we also saw the iron pillar erected by chandragupta maurya.its thrilling to see all this historical edifices which make us proud to think of our rich culture.our next destination was lotus is a place where people from any caste or religion can pray silently in peace. the silent atmoshpere of the place would surely touched pur couls and it soothed our minds a we went to akshardham temple.lots of construction works can be seen around the temple area as the khel gaon for the commonwealth games 2010 is under construction over there.the temple has a tight ring of security following the terrorist attack in gujrat a few years all the mobile phones and cameras had to be left in the bus.everyone had to go through three rounds of checking before entering the temple. inside the temple one will be mesmerized by the architectural garndeur of the temple. the curvings on the walls and ceiling of the temple r so accurate and perfact that one cant think of. we were all thrilled to see such levels of architectural curvings.the temple had a beautifull courtyard and its a pleasant place to spend some time over there.from akshardham we went to rajghat which is the burial ground of mahatma gandhi.after that we visited india gate. by 2.30 we were taken for lunch at the andhra bhavan. the entire management at andhra bhavan was very good and the thali was also delicious. but the fish item that i ordered was disastrous. its tremendous sour and spicy.after lunch we went for rashtrapati bhavab and parliament house. as no civilians were allowed there without special permission so we had to see the houses from the destination was laxmi narayan temple or birla temple. after that we went to indira gandhi's house where she used to stay. it had been now converted into a muesum.we got to know several facts and articals used by our former prime minister.from there we headed for trimurti bhavan, another muesum and the house of our 1st prime minister jawaharlal nehru.over there we saw several historical articles and were thrilled. our journey ended at trimutri bhavan and we returned home in the day that is 28th december we spent the whole day at home.we loitered all around shankar vihar and did a little bit of shopping. by the evening we had our luggages packed and around 8.30 we headed for delhi station for our train to haridwar.
our train to haridwar was mussoorie express scheduled at 22.10 pm. but unfortunately we cant avail a.c. seats so had to travel by sleeper class.we were sad to leave delhi after spending such a wonderful time over there but at the same time we were thrilled by the thought of exploring an unknown place.just after the train started we had our dinner and the entire compartment became dark as everyone went to sleep.unfortunately no one could sleep due to some people who snored throughout the night. it was bitting cold and though we were wrapped with heavy woolens we almost freezed.the cold increased during the morning when the train was running across the foothills of the himalayas through the forests.we tried to look out through the window but found the outside to be wrapped with a thick blanket of fog.the bitting cold made us numb and our legs became senseless.everyone in the compartment had wrapped themselves in heavy wollens like a cocoon. at last around 7 am in the morning we reached haridwar,the great pilgrimage for the hindus.we were excited to have the first glimpse of the himalayas from the seemed that the station is surrounded by mountains.we went outside the station and hired an auto for our hotel mayur located just opposite of mansa pahar, which is a peak on which mansa temple is located.our hotel room was a cosy one and it had an adjacent balcony from where one could get a clear view of mansa temple.after having our breakfast and a brief rest we went out for a stroll to har-ki-pauri, i.e. the banks of the ganges which is considered to be the auspicious pilgrimage of the hindus.har-ki-pauri is a place with several temples with ganges flowing at a tremendous speed just decending from the himalayas into the plains.the sight of the ganges and the temples soothed our souls and we felt very fresh from inside.its was bitting cold but still we spent some time over the afternoon we went to manasa temple, on the top of a mountain about 600 metres in could reach the temple by foot which is quite laborious or by ropeway. we choose to go by ropeway and the journey was quite an exciting one.from the temple we again visited har-ki-pauri to have a glimpse of the evening arati of the ganges at har-ki-pauri. but unfortunately we were late and couldn't view the arati though we floated diyas in the ganges.nextday we got ready early for our sightseeing and reached the busstand in time. the journey commenced just in time and we headed for kankhol.the places to see at kankhol r the ashram of ma anadamoyi and satikund. the journey to kankhol was quite pleasant through the lush greeneries of the foothills of the himalayas with tha ganges flowing just beside. the weather was chilly still we enjoyed thoroughly.we had to leave our shoes in the bus to visit the above mentioned places. the ground was very cold and we had difficulty in walking. at the ashram of anandamoyi ma we saw the famous tree of rudraksh and a glowing diya which is believed to be lighted by ma anandamoyi by herself and is continueing to glow till date.from the ashram we visited satikund a throwing stone distance from the ashram.satikund is a place where according to indian mythology king janak father of sati performed some rituals without inviting his daughter and son-in-law lord feeling insulted sati committed suicide over here.the place also have several temples with ganges flowing beside. after kankhol we headed for rishikesh.the journey to rishikesh was also excillent through the green forests crossing a number of hilly streams, the scenic beauty of outside is awesome.we stopped near the famous laxmanjhulla. its a hanging bridge over the ganges held by strong one could get a different mood of the ganges, very calm river , not so turbulent like that in haridwar flowing through the lush green mountains,over a stony could also go for rafting in rishikesh. the beauty of the mountains as well as ganges, the calm nature of the place touched us. the place also houses a number of temples the most notable is the 13storey temple located just infront of the laxmanjhulla. the place around laxmanjhulla is the homeland for several monkeys and langurs and so one must be carefull about one's possessions like cameras, bags etc.we were instructed by our guide to cross the jhulla and go on the other side of the river to have a glimpse of the temples,from laxmanjhulla we went 4 km downstream to a place having another hanging bridge called ramjhulla, a replica of laxmanjhulla. this place contains several hotels , we had our lunch in one of them. ramjhulla like laxmanjhulla is not the house of monkeys and langurs and so we felt safe here. near ramjhulla gita bhavan is located were one could get exotic collection of woolens and saals at a very reasonable price.there are also several ashrams in and around the area. we visited only gita bhavan and did some marketting. we again crossed the ramjhulla and went on the other side of the river from were we had to hire an auto to reach the busstand where our bus had been parked.the parking ground is just beside th river and its a very beautiful place with gita bhavan just on the opposite bank of the river.from rishikesh we started for our return journey to haridwar.near haridwar we stopped for 3 temples but we visited only one as it took lot of time to see that one. the temple houses all the god and goddess of indian mythology.after that we returned to a place near har-ki-pauri to view the aarti. but unfortunately we were late again and missed the aarti.rishikesh is indeed a very beautiful and calm place in the lap of nature and i think to explore around rishikesh one must stay there atleast for a night. next day as we had no where to go around haridwar so we decided to explore all along the market place and ganges throughout the day.we took a stroll along the river,we went to the bronze statue of lord shiva erected near har-ki-pauri and did a lot of marketting. we brought several woolens at a very cheap rate from a shop in the market area.moreover any one who comes to haridwar ise to had lunch and dinner at a famous hotel called dada boudi;r hotel. though the standard is not as good now as it used to be earlier but still all use to gather in dada boudi;r hotel for lunch and dinner. that day we had both our lunch and dinner at dada boudi'r hotel where one could get a meal for 30 rupees only. we also booked a car from an agent beside dada boudi;r hotel to mussoorie for the next day.that evening we went early to har-ki-pauri for the evening aarti and were lucky this time. we got a sit somewhere among the thick crowd and got a better glimpse of the entire incedent. we were thrilled by the ceremony. the entire atmoshpere of the region changed during the aarti,with the ganges dazzling by the lights of the of the diyas.its really an unique experience and i'm really speechless to describe such an incedent.
the next day that is 1st january 2008 we started early for i told earlier we had hired an ambasador from haridwar and decided to have the local sight scene in and around before reaching mussoorie where we would put up for 2 nights.the first location we went was tapkeshwar temple.the temple contains a shivlingo and its situated beside a hilly stream. it had inheritted its name from the fact that drops of water fall on the head of the shivlingo naturally.but unfortunately we couldn't see any drops of water falling.moreover the entire temple atmoshpere seemed very artificial. we were surprised to see the temple being used as a house by some people. from tapkeshwar we went to sahashra dhara.sahashra dhara use to be a collection of almost hundred waterfalls...but now it has been transformed into an artificial falls with only a few channels...

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