Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vedanta Retreat at Rishikesh: A trek up the hills!

The trek I was eagerly looking forward to finally happened! It was difficult to find time for this activity in our very busy schedule. Thanks to Bharadwaj it was finally organised and we set out after our Mundaka Upanishad classes on Sunday. We took a ride till Tapovan and then began our trek right in earnest!

You can see that I am full of determination as I walk with a bag on my shoulders ! Vanessa and Geeta look more relaxed!

We stopped often to admire the view and take pictures and I would take a welcome break from my climb!

Trying to catch them unawares!

What is David doing in this picture?

It was wonderfully cool and clear water! Later Geeta and Vanessa decided to halt here! They had a great time wading and bathing in the water for more than an hour while I trudged up the hill! I wish I could have done both!

Looking at the stream going down the hill. It was tempting to walk down along the stream, but it was too steep!

Geeta posing for Arun!

I realised that I was slowing down as we climbed higher and I felt that my neck was burning. I wondered why and then realised that the shoulder bag was too heavy for me to carry up the hill!
Bharadwaj came to my rescue to my great relief!
(I still have hopes of going on a trek in the Himalayas !)
Finally we were at the waterfall! Bhardwaj had earlier said it was an hours climb but it was much longer for me! I often would ask him 'How far from here?' as I strove to catch my breath and he would encourage me by saying 'We are almost there!'

We all took turns to get under the waterfall; it was an unforgettable experience to feel the water thumping down on us! My shoulder felt better after the pounding!

As we were wishing to stay there forever a buffalo strode in purposefully and we had to perforce make way for her and her calf. The calf moved out when we tried to drive them away, but the mother stood firm.
Even the ( Buffalo!) girl was unmoved and stood there calmly until she felt that the buffalo had its fill and only then moved away. The buffalo followed her quietly! I learnt a little more about the order under which we all live. The buffalo had a priority over us humans here and we sensibly yeilded!

Now you know why we had to move out of her way!
Surya making an attempt to be friends with the calf!

We were happy to go in again and Neema finally decided to join the fun!

A shrine where Neema, Surya and Bhardwaj performed a puja.

We all joined the prayer to thank Ishwara for his creation, especially for this beautiful spot which by his grace is still unspoilt and we could enjoy as well as truly appreciate his design!

The climb down was easy and fast! We were also hungry and looking forward to our lunch at a special place Bhardwaj had chosen for us. We had a really good lunch at this satvik vegetarian restaurant and Neema had the concluding session of The Bhagwadgita in its small cute garden. Great location except for the mosquitoes!


Varsha Nair said...

Nidhi... thank you for the detailed reports, your dedication to posting them is much appreciated. Also, makes me feel like Tara and you are still in BKK, not far down Sukhumvit from us!
I have heard much about the retreat from Toom, and seen the photos she took. And, now your writings make me feel as though I was there with you all.

h n srihari said...

Thank you so much for the pictures as well as your comments.
I enjoyed reading and feel motivated to join one such retreat in the future.

srinidhi said...

Thanks Srihari for your nice comment! I am sure Neema and Surya will be too happy if you join one of their retreats!

Marisa Narula said...

The pictures are so beautiful and I wish I had been there also. They are so beautiful. But thanks for sharing as it makes me realize the beauty of the region.

Prakash Kamath said...


I have thoroughly enjoyed your blogs about your 'vedanta' retreat. It was as if I was also there at Rishikesh. I only wish your first blog had given a 'cast of characters' who were at the retreat as at times I was at a total loss trying to understand who or about what your blog was referring to.

Keep blogging.

Best wishes.


srinidhi said...

Dear Prakash
Thanks for your comments! I am happy that I am able to give you a feeling of being there with us at Rishikesh! Yes I should have introduced our group of participants at the outset! Will take care of it in my next blog!
Best regards

VATSALA said...

Dear Nidhi, Thanks for a good report. You seem to have had a good trip. I am sure Manduka Upanishad etc apart the scene and environs would have invigorated you.Peace with the environment is the essence of the effort. Great

mohan NS said...

Hello Nidhi Uncle,
It was an excellent reading & also the photographs were very good.
Made me feel a bit envious & I am thinking of reiring & starting off to these retreat :-)
As usual, missing your Golf blogs :-(

srinidhi said...

Hi Mohan
Glad you liked the blog. I am sure you can find time to do a retreat without retiring!!
May be a round of golf with you in Bengaluru will inspire me to blog on golf again!

srinidhi said...

You are welcome Vanessa,
Thanks again for your nice comment! It feels worthwhile.