On an excruciatingly hot day, I decided to walk around Rishikesh. It was not my first visit to this mystique land but things have changed much since the 2013 floods.
My eyes looked for the landmark statue of Lord Shiva, facing Parmarth Niketan and not having located it, I asked a passer-by, who told me it was washed away by the floods. I stared at the empty space for a few minutes and felt the hollowness.
Rishikesh is one of those place whose invigorating vibes and detached people have always made me feel comfortable. In my head, I tend to compare it with Varanasi, though I know the latter is far more complex and curious, as I have felt in my travels. On the other hand, Rishikesh feels more connected and scenic, owing to its wider landscapes.
Often called the yoga capital of the country, this city welcomes thousands of yoga aspirants and spiritual gurus from the world. It is also popular for its beautiful rapids which allow many adventure enthusiasts to raft on River Ganga.
I, as usual, walked aimlessly, spoke to a few people and basked in its warmth. The only thing I did differently this time was taking the inner pathway from Ram Jhula to Laxman Jhula. This 3-km stretch was a quieter and greener experience.
Which are your favourite unexplored walking trails?