I was ready for my out of Delhi experience and it brought me to Haridwar. Haridwar as they say is the door step to come face to face with Haridwar or the gateway of gods. I made plans for Haridwar trip all of a sudden after my friend Vivek Arya invited me and the traveller in me couldn’t say no. After wandering in Delhi and getting lost in traffic and noise I wanted to spend some time in peace and this was my perfect opportunity.
So I took a train from New Delhi railway station and it took some 6 hours to reach Haridwar. Although Nature’s blessing started once we crossed West UP and Uttrakhand started. I spent half on my train journey trying to talk that pretty girl sitting next to me trying to look for a topic and yet couldn’t come up with a single word. Finally she started the conversation that continued till we reached Haridwar.
With my stay was already arranged at BHEL’s Guest House situated in outskirts of the city with nature’s beauty falling along in the most blissful way possible. The only precaution I was asked to take was not to wander away in night from the premises as this place was a visiting location for wild elephants and leopards at that hour.
Next morning since Vivek was busy I had to go visit the town alone. We started from guest house to the town early morning towards the city. My Haridwar darshan started with Mansa Devi temple that is an Udan Khatola trolley ride to the mountains and even if you are not on a religious visit to Haridwar you should visit this place by trekking or by ropeway because you just can’t miss the view to the city from here. You can also see the same from Chandi Devi temple but it is way too busy and waiting time takes longer than Mansa Devi.
After this we drove around the city and moved towards Raja Ji national park. Unlucky for me it was closed because of rains and the recent flood and safari would only start after November. I drove around Chilla up to the Hydal power plant that is said to be the route of Wild Elephants, although I was unable to see even a single Elephant in that area. We took a ride around the temple area of Haridwar that was cluttered with man-made modern temples and among them I found Bharat Mata and a temple that was made only of mirrors and glasses caught my interest.
After driving around a little bit more we finally stopped at Hark ki pauri in the evening. I have been waiting to see Ganga Aarti in Haridwar and finally I was here. There was still time left so I decided to take a food trail around that area. I tried the hot Gulab Jamuns and Malpuas followed by samosa and kachori. Everything here was delicious and the bill was simply too genuine. I tried Kulfi in the market followed by peda at a local puja store ending my Haridwar food raid with sweetened milk that I forgot what it is called.
It was evening and Ganga Aarti had started. For an advantage the place was not that crowded as it normally is due to recent floods tourists are not turning up here right now so I got a chance to watch the aarti up close and clear.
Ganga aarti was over and I had to return to my stay. Haridwar had nothing much to visit other than temples but this is just the starting point and everything better lies beyond this point. I had dinner and beer planned with Vivek was an amazing host, the kind of person every traveller wants to meet and it will take me one more blog post to tell about it.
Before I start writing more about Vivek you can check out his amazing clicks on flickr.