"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be." - Patanjali

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


So I went to Rishikesh, Uttarkashi and Gangotri after going to Haridwar. As a more structured way of posting let start where the Ganga starts - at Gangotri.

The bathing ghats, the white domes of the mandir and the colossal peaks of the mountains in the background. The entire town of Gangotri consists of one very commercialised street stradling across both banks. The other side to this bank is filled with accomodation places.

I was at the bathing ghats at 7am, collecting some Ganga Jal (the water), and just dipping your hands in for 2 seconds was sufficient enough to make it turn blue. But I tried holding the canister for 10 secs only for the container to half fill. Out of nowhere this pandit-sannyasi comes along, does his pranaam and starts pouring water over himself with a container. In a perfect exectution of separating the mind and body he just continued through the cold, towelled himself, and continued on with no fuss. Was breath taking to watch.

Here's that money making street...

The Shiv peak at 4:55am, still covered in snow, in May, pointing to what I think is the Morning Star? Or is that just a myth?

The might Suraj Kund. Its quite amazing actually, when you sit and watch the force of the Ganga. If you were to fall in here, it would be all over, I'm afraid to say...actually the rage is that intense, that at night I thought someone had turned on some electric motor, but after a while it clicked...
And finally, the mandir itself. I found it a bit uninspiring, preferring a view of the Ganga from the bathing ghats...


Mahesh said...

amazing photos man!! esp the morning star........

did u go upto the glacier at gaumukh??

BK said...

i was exactly there last june.
make sure you visit Swami Sundarananda who made the Himalaya book. He has an amazing hut with shrine to Swami Tapovanam.
It is the most amazing place.

flygirl said...

wonderful! i've been obsessed by the gaumukh since i first saw the glacier on a tv program. love the photos esp the morning star!

Arun said...

What is the typical night temperature in these months like in Gangotri? I see people dressed easy in the pictures. Is it not much cold?

Anonymous said...


The water is not as cold as you make
it out to be especially at this time
of the year.

I have taken bath in Alakananda on my
way to Badrinath at various prayags
right from Hardwar.

I have seen most ordinary people do so, certainly it was not limited
to half-naked yogis. I agree it
takes a bit of courage, but no more
than what is required to take cold
water shower in June in Canberra.

Matthew Jepsen said...

Great to see you're still having a great time.

Take care hirishi-ji!

Hrishi said...

Mahesh: no I didn't get a chance to go to Gaumukh...it would have been awesome...alas, next time...

BK: I found Tapovanji's kutia (that was a stroy in itself!) but he's out of station as they say...

Flygirl: well I didn't make it to Gaumukh, but I just came back from the Rothang Pass which is 500m higher...will put up pics soon...

Arun: The weather was quite weird...when I arrived it was hot enough for the temple caretakers to frequently wash the floor of the madir courtyard in water to cool the soles (hehe...that can be taken two ways...soles/souls...hehe!!) of the devotees. Later in the afternoon though, it rained and rained heavily and the evening was just plain cold!

Anonymous: you're probably right...it probably wasn't that cold...but I was freezing...been living quite the materialistic life and so it will take a few years of pennance to get to that level...or just to live in Canberra?

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I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Christian, iwspo.net