Friday, November 21, 2014

Rishikesh – Where Gods Reside!

The Ganga? The Himalayas? Then head to Rishikesh — you are sure to encounter the river, the mountains plus yourself in this beautiful abode of the Gods!


Set on the foothills of the Himalayas, on the banks of river Ganges, Rishikesh is a starting point for the Char Dham pilgrimage (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath) which makes it an ideal destination not only for pilgrims but also for those who want to slip into adventure mode, meditation and yoga.

A glimpse of Ram Julah Hanging Bridge, Rishikesh
A statue of Hindu God Shiva on the Ganges in Rishikesh

Rishikesh lies 25 km north of Haridwar and 45 km south west of Dehradun - the capital of Uttarkand. The city of Rishikesh is 24 km from Jolly Grant Airport and is well connected by air to Delhi, Lucknow and Mumbai.

The city is famous with legend and history entwined in its name. Stories of yore and the millions of pilgrimages, all contribute to enriching the enchanting place that Rishikesh is. Adi Shankaracharya, Ram and Laxman, sage Vaishishtha and more recently swami Sivanand --- are not mere names but form the very fabric of what India is all about.

Rishikesh catapulted to Western fame ever since the Beatles visited the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram in Rishikesh. John Lennon recorded a song titled, 'The Happy Rishikesh Song'. The Beatles composed nearly 48 songs during their time at the Maharishi's ashram, many of which have appeared on the White Album.

Hardiwar and Rishikesh are the ultimate pilgrimage sites for every believer. Whether you are a religious believer or not, it really does not matter for the beauty of nature at her very best in these parts of the world, will make a believer of you. With our hectic life, that is not a bad thing at all. Or perhaps you are looking for adventure and a holiday with a difference. Place your bet on the offers of Aloha on the Ganges in Rishikesh and return with a bag full of memories and a heart loaded with smiles.

River Rafting on the Ganges in Rishikesh
So, when in Rishikesh, we don’t think your choice will be anything but Aloha on the Ganges.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

A date with Paharganj – A backpacker’s paradise.

If you are lucky enough to be in ‘mini India’ - well that is what Delhi is fondly referred as, for embracing people of myriad beliefs and cultures who breath in here with peace and harmony, Paharganj should never slip your must-visit-spots list in Delhi.

Flooded with the visitors from India and abroad, Paharganj has remained a shoppers-stop with an ocean of shops selling everything that you can imagine of. Anything ranging from books, music, jewellery, bags, clothes, shoes, incense, textiles, wooden statues, and handicrafts, you name it and the tiny shops on the narrow lanes will offer you on negotiable rates.

A bundle of tiny shops on the narrow lane of Paharganj

A few steps from the New Delhi Railway Station, the Paharganj bazaar, widely known as ‘backpacker’s paradise’ is stretched for roughly one km. The place is favoured by backpackers and budget travellers for its multitude of cheap accommodations. The place, however, also has some internationally inspired hotels offering opulent accommodation.

Jam-packed with buildings and shops, a walk on the roads of Paharganj will surely take you on a unique shopping voyage as many of the shops here deal in wholesale and export to foreign countries, making it an idea place to hunt out unique and inexpensive goods to shop back home. Wait. There is more to add on to the Paharganj’s cart. The street, of course, has a bundle of tour operators luring the visitors with lucrative packages.

A glimpse of Cheh Tuti Chowk or Six Tuti Chowk, Main Bazar, Paharganj, with historic Qazi Wali Masjid in the background.

Paharganj which never sleeps and is abuzz with one or other activity, has successfully sneaked into the list of Delhi’s one of the five areas of reference - on par with Old Delhi, New Delhi, Connaught Place and south Delhi.

Paharganj in past
Paharganj turning out to be the busiest market in Delhi is linked with Mughal Empire’s idea of establishing a principal grain market of the city in the 18th century, where grain was ferried, across Yamuna River, from wholesale markets and warehouses in Patparganj and Shahdara. Paharganj then was the only market outside the walled city.

Inner Tomb complex of Dargah Qadam Sharif in Paharganj
Religious touch to Paharganj 

Firuz Shah Tughlaq, Sultan of Delhi during 14th-century built a Qadam Sharif Dargah, dedicated to the footprint of Prophet Mohammed.

Paharganj also houses Qazi Wali Masjid, known for its intricate engravings, and arched doorways. Paharganj, besides this, is also a home to numerous temples, adding the charm to the street with the holy sound of the temple bells touching your eardrums.

The tourist culture of Paharganj has been a theme for many films, including, Kate Winslet starrer, Holy Smoke! (1999), parts of which were shot when she stayed at a Paharganj hotel, in September 1998. Later in 2008, parts of the Hindi film, Dev D (2009) were also shot in Paharganj area.

Now if you've made up your mind to stay in Paharganj, why not in Le Roi Delhi? Le Roi Delhi is conveniently located near the New Delhi Railway Station and is one of the famed hotels in Delhi. Amidst the chaotic and noisy streets of Paharganj, we provide you a place which is a source of peace and tranquillity in itself.