I had never imagined that meeting dad this summer would be so exciting and fun! Seeing him after so many months was very strange. Well, this time I felt like this all grown up daughter and he thought I’d changed and stuff ( It’s a father-daughter thing you know..)
Uttaranchal (now Uttarakhand) is one of India’s most beautiful states. Stunning scenery, mighty rivers, huge gorges, impressive rapids and wild white water, in areas of wilderness and stunning natural beauty! From where dad stays, one can see the whole Himalayan range! It’s like living on the green mountains right under the clouds!
We visited many places. Haridwar and Rhishikesh were filled with temples ( obviously ). Sucha holy place! There is the “maha aarti” that happens everyday. That was good to watch. So many lights everywhere! The whole of Ganga was filled with diyas!
I cannot stop myself from talking about the sadhus there! I went mad seeing so many of them. Everywhere on the streets there were these men dressed in orange clothes! Later I learnt that all most of them fag, booze and even do drugs ( like big time! ) I even saw some of them doping and looking half dead!
I just love this pic which I took. The green grass, the flowing water and an (orange) sadhu meditating; experiencing peace and harmony.
River rafting on the Ganga river ( in Rhishikesh ) was one of the unforgettable experiences! We were 6 of us on one raft. It was a 15 km journey. We experienced 6-7 rapids ( or the “roller coasters” as they calll it ). On the way, when the water was flat and calm, we were allowed to dive in ( this is called as “body surfing” ). At one place, we could dive from a 10-15 feet rock from top into the river and then swim to the raft. I was amazed to see how confidently my dad jumped into the water! It took me 5 minutes to make my decision and jump down without getting scared!
During rafting, we saw some of the foreigners in their extremely small outfits and sun bathing on the banks of Ganga! One of our co-rafters commented “yeh kya Rhishikesh ko Goa bana rahe hai!” ( what! they’re turning Rhishikesh into Goa! ).
I forced my dad to take me to The Jim Corbett Park. We had to take a gipsy and follow some 101 procedures before actually entering the forest. Our gipsy even broke down 3 times inside the forest! ( that was scary! ) We saw all possible animals there except the tiger(s)! Aaargh! It’s all a matter of chance. The whole thing about entering the forest and wittnessing the wild life so closely was amazing. Atleast we saw the tiger pug marks! Its like there is a whole big different world out there; away from the rest of the life.
On a personal note, it was a good break for me away from Bangalore. Spending time with dad this time was very exciting and I’d never imagined he would be so adventurous! When he dropped me at the Delhi airport, I had a wired feeling. I wanted to say so many things to him before leaving, but just ended up with “thanks” and “bye”.
Then I turned back while he stood there and watched me walk away…