My Himalayan Travels – Day 9
On Day 9, I intended to cover back the distance to Rishikesh from Rudra Prayag. My one solitary place to halt was at Dev Prayag where I wanted to do some Pinda rituals for my ancestors. Hinduism believes that it is the duty of everyone to pay obeisance to their ancestors. To me, it is a day where I get to remember all my dead relatives and hence I do like doing these rituals. These rituals benefit the Pandas (the people who do the rituals) who haunt the areas in search of possible victims.
Since the route is simple, I am not showing a map for this day.
After breakfast, I set out and reach Dev Prayag within an hour and half. The route crosses Srinagar which is a big town in Garhwal district of Uttar Khand. (not to be confused with the one in Kashmir)
As stated before, Dev Prayag is at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and the Alakananda rivers. The Ganga river starts officially from this confluence and hence this is considered doubly auspicious. Sree Ram (of Ramayana fame) performed the Pinda rituals to his dad, King Dasharatha here.
At the confluence, one can see the footprint of Sree Ram.
Rishikesh – Lakshman Jula
From Dev Prayag, I proceeded to Rishikesh where there is a beautiful resort on the banks of the river Ganga. This place is called Divine Resort and is very close to the Lakshman Jula bridge. The Lakshman Jula bridge was supposedly constructed by Lakshmana the brother of Sree Ram in the Ramayana. It is a little rickety bridge serving both humans and monkeys alike as they try to cross the Ganga. Rishikesh has become famous with a lot of foreigners. It has yoga ashrams, meditation centers, myriads of temples, Lakshman Jula and Ram Jula bridges, massage centers, book shops, bike rentals, restaurants that server all kinds of cuisines, nice hotels and the omnipresent monkeys which can be photographed by ever eager foreigners so that they can take these tales back to their country and put us all in BBC documentaries.
After all the hectic work in the days before, today seemed to be a light day.