Wednesday, October 27, 2010

20101022 India - Rishikesh

Have not planned to visit this town, stayed here only because of transit. Somehow the unexpected turned out quite good, not so touristy.

This small town is settled on the holy Ganga river bank. The water quality is much more cleaner and fresher than at Varanasi because of its location at upper stream. The serene and relaxing ambience provides a good spot to practise yoga, meditation and learning cultural music.
Hindu devotees come to cleanse their soul. The ghats (staircase leading people step into the river and bathe) were tidily constrcuted and fairly clean. Iron chains were for holding in order not to be flushed away by the swiftly drifting current.
An Indian lady tried to convince me to dip into this cold water in a morning, to wash away my sins, she said, this opportunity was rare to me. Well... I chickened out... Acc' to what I believe, "sin" is like a drop of ink dripping into a pile of clean water. No one could erase the sin, but to carry out more charity works to purify the contaimination.
I saw a naked sadhu performing his "ritual" on the river bank. His hair was so long till touching the ground. Well, I didn't want to offend him and dared not to get closer. His body was smeared with white ash. It was a little too dark to take a photo of him from far side. I tried to locate a better place the next day but he didn't turn up.
Walking around the town... I was really astonished to see piles of rubbish were dumped here. Water flew over the rubbish before pouring into the Ganga...