Rishikesh – Shivpuri

Ever since the Beatles rocked up at the ashram of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the late ‘60s, Rishikesh has been a magnet for spiritual seekers. Today it styles itself as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, with masses of ashrams and all kinds of yoga and meditation classes. Most of this action is north of the main town, where the exquisite setting on the fast-flowing Ganges, surrounded by forested hills, is conducive to meditation and mind expansion. Rishikesh is a city in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand, in the Himalayan foothills beside the Ganges River. The river is considered holy, and the city is renowned as a center for studying yoga and meditation. Shivpuri is particularly famous for Adventure Activities such as Body Surfing, Cliff Jumping, River Rafting, Zip Lining, Bungee Jumping, Jungle Trekking and Beach Camping, Bonfire, Beach Volleyball etc.

We stayed at The River Lap camp in Shivpuri near Rishikesh for 1 night and 2 days. It was an unofficial tour with my office colleagues.  The gist of the whole trip has been adventure and unlimited fun. We booked a 25 seater deluxe bus from Noida for our group of 18 people and reached our camps after doing an overnight journey with a couple of halts. The whole idea of the bus was to have midway fun which we fully made use of. Playing dumbsherads, singing songs, eating, drinking all the way made the entire bus travel of 6-7 hrs an experience in itself. Reaching early morning, the camps made such a sight with bamboo huts on a small hill along with various sports activities such as Volleyball, Table Tennis, Badminton etc. and all of this hardly 300m away from the banks of Ganga river. We trekked down to the river banks and spent some fun time.

The main attraction of this place has been River Rafting. The experience was so thrilling. We got down and did some body surfing but couldn’t do cliff jumping due to low water level in the river. Rafting over the rapids in the white water gave such an adrenaline rush. We were given instructions by our raft guide on how to paddle when he give us certain commands. Life jackets and helmets also added to our safety. It got some scary over the rapids when the raft was in such a high, but that was the ultimate adventure. Other than rafting, we also did  Zip Lining.  Also known as Flying Fox, in this activity you are harnessed to a cable wire and on release by gravity roll down the wire upto 7 mtrs above the river level and then going up. We accelerate upto speeds of 160 kmph and feel the air gushing past. It was such a breath-taking view above the river while hanging free from the wire. The whole experience lasted for a couple of minutes but was totally worth it.

Another attraction of the place was trekking to Neer Garh waterfall. However the scorching sun made the whole idea of trekking to the waterfall a bit discouraging but still we managed to reach the spot after several halts and taking lift from the vehicles going on that route. We dived, splashed and enjoyed in the waterfall and ate maggi with tea. It was fun. The wind was gusting at such a speed that we were air dried soon after we get off being fully drenched in water.

Camping is by and large the main focal point of Shivpuri. And if you got a large adventure loving group then you got to stay in those sweet bamboo huts and tents. There were all the facilities in the camps. We even had music system for our late night party. It was rocking. The whole journey lasted for merely two days but left behind moments to cherish and remember for weeks to come.

Must do activities – Camping, river rafting

Can also do – Zipline, bungee jumping, trek to Neergarh waterfall, visit rishikesh temples