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    Rafting in Ganga river

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    Celebrating the festival of colors with an adventurous trip to Rishikesh sounds like a perfect weekend adventure thrill. Saurabh and his friends enjoyed a well-deserved break on a 1 night/2 days weekend trip to Rishikesh. They pushed themselves to limit and conquered a solid course of river rafting in Ganga.

    Trip Cost: INR 3,999 per person on triple sharing basis
    Trip Duration: 1 night/2 days
    Month of Travel: March 2017
    Inclusions: bus ticket, transfers, accommodation, meals, and bonfire party
    Exclusions: any entrance fee, misc exp

    Having just gotten rid of a large stockpile of work with the festive season approaching, it was almost inevitable that a vacation was needed. The festival of Holi provided me with just the right excuse to blow off some steam and unwind on a weekend trip with friends.

    rishikesh campsite in the evening
    group trip to rishikesh

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    It felt inevitable because a week before the trip to Rishikesh, I came across an ad on Facebook by TravelTriangle promoting their weekend getaways. It was like the universe was giving me signs for a vacation that felt overdue (if we consider the amount of work I did in the past month).

    As expected, it didn’t take much of convincing before my friends were onboard for the idea of spending Holi whitewater rafting in Rishikesh. The spiritual town in the foothills of Himalayas had a certain allure and charm that attracted our minds and convinced us that this is the exact place we need to be for a short holiday.

    Off we go to the mountains..

    burma bridge crossing
    checking into the campsite

    We assembled at Akshardham Metro Station at night for our bus to depart for Rishikesh. I saw a lot of faces filled with curiosity, excitement and almost a sense of relief that they were heading out of the big city for the weekend. New Delhi, as a bustling city, often drained the life out of people with its fast-paced merciless style of living.

    Saurabh indulging in adventure activities
    saurabh and friends posing for the camera

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    The people traveling with us were unknown for sure, but there was a sense of ‘I know what these guys are thinking’ right from the moment we stepped onto the bus. As everyone introduced themselves to each other, it became evident as to how similar our reasons were to go on this trip to Rishikesh. There they were, 25 people escaping from Alcatraz (although temporarily) on an exciting adventure.

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    When even mother nature wanted to play Holi

    celebrating holi with friends
    enjoying the fine weather in the pool

    We checked into the Vatika Luxury Camp the next morning at 7 am. The road to the camp took us at away from the population and a kilometre into the wild, untamed, and green forest reserve. Post breakfast, we got ready for the adventure activities lined up for us in Rishikesh. We headed over to take part in the Burma Bridge and River crossing activities situated a 10-minute walk from our tents.

    A lot of people seemed to enjoy their time hopping around bridges and getting across to “safety” with a harness. But, to be honest, these activities for me were pretty light on adventure and all of it felt like a photo-op or a warm up for the bigger adventures to come.

    Ready with arms during holi
    Nice resort pool in Rishikesh
    having fun with friends in the pool

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    All these strenuous activities like selfie sessions, photo-ops with placards, and posing on the bridge ropes had made me hungry. Soon after lunch, we were scheduled to begin with our pool party cum holi celebrations. Just as we were leaving our tents, it started to drizzle. Instead of waiting it out under a shed, I decided to take this as a sign of positive affirmation from mother nature to play Holi!

    My friends and I were the first to jump in the pool start celebrating Holi. Taking a cue from our enthusiasm, the others joined in. The sky might’ve been gloomy and gray, but the mood in the skies definitely didn’t reflect on our faces. With water guns, herbal colors, and splashing buckets, I celebrated Holi with friends old and new.

    making new friends in rishikesh
    ready to fire
    camping with friends in rishikesh

    As the day ended, we returned to our tents drenched in water and splattered with colors on our faces like an artist’s palette. After sneaking in a quick nap, I got ready for dinner by the bonfire and DJ party. A delicious dinner, light drinks, and conversations with fellow travelers by the fire ended what was a smooth and relaxing day for us in Rishikesh.

    A fearless day with blessings from Poseidon

    many enthusiasts riding a raft

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    The next morning, we checked out of our scenic jungle camp and headed towards the grand finale- river rafting in Ganga! A lot of emotions, ranging from fear, excitement, anxiety, and restlessness were floating through my head at that point.

    As advised by our boat guide before we paddled out in the river, the chances for a mishap were minimal. But, like any adventure as daunting as this one, the fear of the unknown was writ large on my face. Soon enough, I grew in confidence as our boat group paddled through the fierce rapids and winding course with utmost dedication.

    rafting in himalayas
    submerssed the cold water of Ganga
    tent stays are common in Rishikesh

    As if rafting without the ability to swim wasn’t enough, I even decided to try cliff jumping at our mid-way point. Whatever little fear I had of drowning, had pretty much dissipated by then. Our raft streamed through to the finish point with ease as the finishing of the course gave me a massive adrenaline rush combined with an overwhelming sense of achievement.

    As we got off from the rafting boat, onto our bus, I just sat on a seat quietly thinking to myself and taking a moment to absorb what all we had just accomplished. This weekend trip to Rishikesh for me was truly humbling, adventurous, challenging, and relaxing all at the same time. Long story short, thanks to TravelTriangle, I got just the weekend I was looking for.

    enjoying some solo time on travel

    High Points:

    • While river rafting, the overcoming of fear and it turning into exuberance was memorable.

    Low Points:

    • The breakfast and lunch at the resort could’ve been slightly better.
    • I would have preferred staying at a campsite right next to the Ganga on the sandy river banks.

    Enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. Book your weekend getaway and get the much needed adrenaline rush!

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    Category: Travelogues, Uttarakhand, Weekend Getaways

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