"Rishikesh ist gut yah?" Greetings from God’s Own Country

Posted on December 18, 2005

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Man this place is fantastique. There are hippies and seekers (and sikhas) and travellers, mostly european bien sur, everywhere. I mean everywhere. And the place is seriously relaxed. Locals and passers through alike. Never felt safer. We befriended a nice canadian girl, Lindsay, who was heading the same way as us from Delhi for three months of yoga. Her stint includes participation in the world cup of Yoga in Rishikesh in March. 300 US bucks gains entry, top instructors from all over the world. Wow. She explained that its simply amazing for the peak event in any global culture to be so cheap and accessible. So yeah this place is quite serious in its dedication to tourism and to spiritual development. Authentic hard core yoga ashrams jostle for space with new age a bit of everything fusion commercial cults. Interesting to see who wins.

Went white water rafting yesterday. On the ganga. Not sure if thats sacrelige or not. But whatever else it is, its a good environmentally friendly way for locals to make money. Had a dip, bloody freezing. Amazing though. Just great fun great scenery.

Saw worship of Ganga devi and Shiva on the banks in the evening, a floodlit marble statue of teh great one himself sits spookily on a dry piece of river bed. A quality bunch of little indian ashram kids and large haired charismatic preachers conduct a stirring chant and song worship (arati) complete with candle and fire light. It was quite je ne sais quois. Wanky joke i know, but if you heard the number of european accentsw here discussing esoteric matters you’d get me.

We hung with italians today, and went up together into the mountains in a taxi to visit a goddess in her highly elevated abode. We saw snowy peaks of the Himalayas in the distance. Its stirring stuff i can tell you. This place does feel a little like the home of the gods. Thats what its meant to be anyway. So yeah, i think it beats texas as gods own country.

Until next time, stay off the gunja, cos Shiva is one bad dude, father of all rastas and patron saint of generally scruffy people.. Someone tell our taxi driver that.

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