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Ahoy Aloha!

Aloha on the Ganges in Rishikesh offers a holistic experience, catering to all those looking for a spiritual yet adventurous retreat in the lap of nature. With exclusive services and easy access to all the hot spots, it is a perfect holiday destination

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Everyone, especially spiritual seekers would admit nothing defines luxury better than nature itself- as luxury is all about feeling good and nature with its many charms is instantly relaxing. Add to it a living experience that spells comfort and blends into its ecosystem; You have the perfect answer to your city jangled nerves. ‘Aloha on the Ganges’ a resort by Leisure group of hotels, is located right on the banks of the holy Ganges in Rishikesh and caters to itinerant tourists as well as those looking for a home away from home. Guests stay anywhere between weeks to months in this blissful retreat.

 The sight of a beautiful globe of soft sun creeping over the mountain peaks in view captures your senses as you greet the morning glory in the best way possible. The crisp air owing to the thick woods all around and the graceful flow of the river beneath lends to the exotic experience. There are enough activities in and around the resort to keep the guests enthralled. There is a yoga teacher and meditation guru coming to kick start the day followed by a wholesome breakfast that one can choose to have at either the main dining ‘Latitude’ or the Al fresco offering ‘Patio’  that overlooks the Ganges. I for one could not decide at what time of the day the outdoor Patio looked it's most appealing. At night with darkness spread, it stands out like a lit-up deckhouse with the cheerful clatter of residents and swish of trays carrying dishes inspired by local cuisine with a gourmet twist or vice versa. I loved the healthy menu options, my favourite being ‘Peacock salad’ with Pahari greens and forest nectar.

 Apart from the many indoor activities, they also organize the much sought after adventure sport of Rishikesh, Whitewater rafting, for an adrenal high. Rishikesh has been ranked as one of the world’s best-rafting destinations. Giving an extra dimension to the place, white water rafting has been a major draw for tourists who earlier came only for pilgrimage. Expecting it to be one of those hyped pseudo activities; I was pleasantly surprised to experience the absolute joy of trying to hold onto the paddleboat with the toss and turn of each rapid that saw us squealing each time. It also gave us the opportunity to take a plunge in the chilled waters of the Ganges that was rather clean and fulfilled our wish of the symbolic “Ganga dip” even if the fun way. The best time for rafting is from March to early May and then again from September to mid-November.

 Rishikesh is interestingly known as the yoga capital and hub for Ayurvedic treatments. Yoga and Ayurvedic centres dot the sides of the busy road of the ancient town bursting with domestic and foreign tourists. Aloha extends the Ayurvedic flavour with its Spa that is in collaboration with the international brand Tattva. It is sheer bliss to surrender yourself to the expert therapists trained in Ayurvedic rituals knead away the day’s fatigue. The popularity of the spa demands you book your slot at least a day in advance.

 The mountains have been an abode of ancient sages and the caves where they meditated continue to be a pull for seekers from around the world. One such cave, the Vashishta cave just 17kms from the resort is where sage Vashishta is known to have meditated for several years and some believe his spirit is still present. A disciple can be seen sitting inside the cave or gufa in absolute stillness and whatever the legend be, there is indeed a deep silence and tranquillity about the place as we came out feeling charged.

A visit to this heritage city can never be complete without feeling one with the crowd and so it is suggested you make your way for an “Aarti” on the ghat of the Ganga, that is performed by a group of priests reciting prayers invoking the Gods. The breeze blows down the valley, setting temple bells ringing as sadhus, pilgrims and tourists converge for the nightly Ganga aarti at Laxman Jhula. A stream of oil lamps is floated into the sacred river with every wish made. The combined feeling of jubilation pervades the air as we return feeling touched by grace.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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travel rishikesh

Shveta Bhagat

The author is a Delhi-based freelance writer

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