I was back to this beautiful and historical place again. This is birthplace of the mightiest and the most sacred river “Ganga” and flows down after the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers.
I had reserved the first half for exploring around Devprayag and in the next half, I would be starting my ride towards Haridwar, the last place on my Uttarakhand trip.
This is what the Wikipedia has to say:
“Devprayag” means “Godly Confluence” in Sanskrit. As per Hindu scriptures, Devprayag is the sacred event of merging two visible heavenly rivers, Alakananda and Bhagirathi, to form the holy Ganga. Its believed that a third river, the mythical Saraswati river is underground and meets these two rivers at the confluence.”
I woke up early considering I had limited time here to spend. In no time, I got ready and was eager to check the place. It was cold but not that shivering kind of. On the ground floor, I stumbled upon a new friend who helped me by telling me what all things were there to explore here. To my surprise, these all places were even painted in serial number wise on one of the hotel’s wall. Seeing so many places to visit, which I hardly knew before, a single day was also not enough to explore all of them. But, I had come here only for one particular reason, to see the formation of ‘Ganga’ river with my naked eyes and up close. I wanted to witness this event and see its birthplace. The river goes a long way in the history of India.
A long flight of stairs from the main road lead me to towards its tip and here I was, right at the confluence. It was really a beautiful sight to see, the mixing of two rivers. I collected some ‘Ganga Jal’ to be taken back home. Also, I was feeding the fishes here which were visible and eager to eat the ‘wheat dough’ balls which the pilgrim/devotees/tourists were throwing at them. Right now, I was the only one doing this activity. This was told to me by my friend and I too thought of doing the same. The two rivers supposedly had its own fishes and I fed them separately, as told to me by my friend. No one catches these fishes as they are believed to be sacred. The friend had also told me to look out for one particular fish that wore the ‘Golden’ nose ring. This fish was again introduced in the water after the ring was put. He had told me that If I ever spotted that one, it would bring good luck to me. I searched carefully among the swarm of fishes gathered in front of my eyes, but could not spot it. At last, the food which I had prepared for the fishes was over and I left the place taking one last good look at it. There is also a stone nearby that bears the footprints of Lord Ram. Don’t forget to see it while climbing your way back.
I came back on the main road after ascending the same stairs through which I had gone down. Breakfast was yet to be done and so I had some light snacks along with tea at one of the hotels which was adjacent to the main road and above which my hotel could be seen.
After the breakfast was done, I headed to the Astronomical Observatory, which was situated on the hill opposite to my hotel. The very same friend had suggested me this place as a must visit. To kindle my curiosity he’d told me that the observatory housed India’s first news paper dating back to pre-independence period. This news was enough to get me going.
The observatory was indeed a Gold Mine. There were a lot of old books and documents there. The caretaker was a wonderful person and even offered me tea and biscuits and made me feel at home. He left for me for observing around. I spent some good 30 mins there before deciding to give farewell to the museum and to the person. It should be put on the must-visit list for persons coming into Devprayag.
After the packing was done, It was time to say a final goodbye to the city of Devprayag. I had really enjoyed my time here and it was a really uplifting experience for me especially after seeing the formation of the Ganga river. I would be following the river along my tracks to Haridwar, one of the most crowded cities in terms of influx of pilgrims to worship the mother river. After having my lunch here in Devprayag, I head off towards Haridwar.
It was my 2nd time driving on this route and by now I was pretty well versed with it. There was medium sized traffic and by the time I reached Rishikesh, I could hear the evening prayers being offered at the banks of the river. The soothing sounds of the ringing bells was really soothing to the ears. I stopped to take a photograph and then moved on. On my way, I could see the beautifully lit “Laxman Zhula” bridge to my left.
My hotel stay in Haridwar was already finalized. When Bimal ji bade us goodbye during the trip and were on the return journey, they have stayed at this particular hotel which they liked a lot. And hence, they send me the directions and name to the very same hotel in which direction I was moving now. Upon entering Haridwar, I could see pilgrims more than local people. Monks walking alongside the roads. The air there was different. I could immediately sense that I was in a holy place. The place where pilgrims from all around the world come to worship the life-giving river “Ganga”.
Upon arriving at the hotel, they quickly recognized me as Bimal ji’s friend and even gave me the same room number where Bimal ji had stayed. The room rate was finalized at 500rs per night. After all the luggage was moved into my room, it was time for good shower and dinner.
I slept early since I was going to start my day early tomorrow. I had a full and final day reserved only for exploring and shopping in Haridwar. The last day of my Tour of Uttarakhand had finally arrived.
My hotel stay details are as above..