Towards Prayag (II) – the journey from Rishikesh

this is a continuation to my post on the Devprayag road trip with Manu. Read the first part of this travelogue here: https://deejthtraveller.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/towards-prayag-a-journey-to-devprayag-i/

I sometimes wonder whether i am getting older by dog years!  This trip is one of the most relaxed trip i ever had, traveling slowly, absorbing the surroundings. Quite contrary to my style of travel – stop only to sleep or eat.

We made the right decision to stop by Rishikesh, in spite of coming here many times, this year. Yesterdays find (Beatles Ashram, thanks to two travellers i meat at German Bakery) has given me another reason to  be back to this place.

The stay at Rishikesh was cheaper & more peaceful than expected. A decent room at dirt cheap price, overlooking Ganga, what more can i ask for 8 hours of rest.

Our stay at Rishikesh

We woke up at 7 in the morning to the heavy rains & cold breeze at Rishikesh. It was beautiful outside, the mist coming down from the sky, enveloping the mountains like two lovers hugging each other after a hundred years of separation. A quick bath and we were on our way to Devprayag. I was sceptical whether we would make it to Devprayag, considering the heavy rains & unconfirmed news of landslides. My fears got stronger when we faced the first hurdle.

A part of road got swept away by a newly formed waterfall, few miles uphill from Rishikesh. I decided to turn back, but Manu wouldn’t listen. He went ahead and checked the depth & flow of the stream. Few minutes later we were on the other side with a relieved me safely inside the car!

pic: Manu examining the depth & flow of the stream

After a pit-stop at Gular for breakfast & an hour long drive, we reached Malakhunti. Though it was almost 9:30 A.M., the mist hadn’t subdued & it covered the bridge, making it barely visible from the road.

Malakhunti is also known as the Marine Drive, around here. A low lying area, next to Ganga, this place can be dangerous due to landslides & falling rocks from the overlooking mountains above it.

Further down (or should i say ‘up’), we reached a point where the road carves its way between a huge boulder & the steep mountain, and turns sharply to the left.

It was a traveller’s delight moment, for all you see is the road between the rocks, leading to the clouds. A lone sadhu stood on the edge, beside a small temple, which apparently is his abode. It was magical & spiritual at the same time.

Mesmerized, we drove further to the next surprise – the most amazing view of River Ganga ever. Muddy brown in colour, she looked more like a snake making its way through the steep valley surrounded by mountains. That view made our travel worth every dime we spent. I wish my photography skills could have justified what we experienced.

Throughout our way, random pit stops revealed the beauty of nature & her rage. We saw remains of what was once a neatly paved road. Travellers will have to thank BRO for making them commutable within hours after the landslides. In fact, they were in better commutable condition than the roads in Gurgaon city.

It took us almost 3 hours to reach Devprayag, thanks to the heavy pilgrim traffic to Hemkund Sahib (a holy destination for Sikh community) and our pit-stops to bow at the beauty of Uttarakhand.

Finally Devprayag appeared in front of us, contrary to what i had expected of a holy city!

the third and final part of this travel note can be read here: https://deejthtraveller.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/prayag-a-journey-to-devprayag/ 

the third part was also published in thealternative.in (read it here): http://thealternative.in/travel/a-journey-to-devprayag/

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