The thrill, the feeling of being unsure, the feeling of cynicism, endless questioning of what next to yourself & overcoming all those emotions and finally landing below the mountain, in front of Ganges, on the sand, with the wind. This is what solo-traveling to Rishikesh offers you.
Exactly after a solo trip to Mcleodgunj, I decided to take this thrilling ride once again and this time Rishikesh treated me with open arms and a mysterious smile.
It was something about this place; as if it has an own soul, a character, an identity and as if Rishikesh itself is watching you through chirping of birds, high mountains, the flow of ganga. It was mesmerizing and heart touching.
Initially you will feel this destination does not belongs to solo-travelers, but don’t underestimate Rishikesh, it offers you with a lot of freedom. A freedom to choose your own life, away from home, near the ganges, maybe river rafting, maybe practicing yoga, or taking a lesson on Ayurveda massage or just relaxing @ The Beatles cafe. You need to feel Rishikesh, pulse by pulse, sink in the aura, realize the purity, the beauty, start the expedition because Rishikesh has it all. A road from a small valley slowly expanding into multiple horizons of camping and group activities. Rishikesh will never disappoint you if you choose to explore it in the right manner.
There are 2 versions of Rishikesh and third one cannot be talked about 😉
- a) The adventurous Rishikesh.
- b) The spiritual Rishikesh.
Both of the two versions have different level of community of people to serve. While the former is for the families and friends to enjoy a weekend full of life, the latter is for the regular people full of life enjoying for some time. It is important to understand that both of these two versions have different characters and souls and both offers peace in the form of fun and adventure in its own way. You can choose to solo-travel for either versions or both as both of these versions offers a sufficient liberation from your worries in its own magical way.
Things to do
1) Solo Camping. YES! That’s the big step you would want to take. My solo camping experience was so breathtaking it just pulled me out of any possible denial left in me. It gives you an opportunity to meet some similar people and when asked ‘why do you travel solo?’ you actually get answers. 🙂
2) River Rafting: I don’t even have to explain this. Find a group and get along. Pro tip: – Get out of the raft during high rapids 😉
3) Meet other solo travelers . That is where the true magic of solo traveling comes alive, when you meet someone living the same story in a different reality. Someone is also running only to be found, someone is answering the call by escaping it. Someone is searching for you like you are searching for them.
4) Take Meditation/yoga classes: – Something that is on my bucket list. Is to stay in Rishikesh for a week and take the right classes and purify my mind and refresh my thought process.
5) Take a dip in the Ganges: – A fellow solo traveler mentioned ‘I don’t know what is it like to be in a womb, but when I took that dip I guess that’s the closest I can get to that.’. Enough said.
Some tips for ensuring an amazing solo traveling
1) Research for right Camps, do not stay in ‘camp colony’ as they call it, where there are 100s of tents. It won’t give you peace plus it won’t be worth it. Neither go to a forest camp. Personalized camps with 30-40 tents is what you should be looking into it. 1200/- maximum to pay for a night.
2) River Rafting is not risky. So relax.
3) Go to the other end of Laxman jhula and go and search for cafes you will get a chance to meet actual travelers there.
4) Visit places like Vashisht Gufa and hear stories of legends and ancient history.
5) Don’t forget to journal. 🙂