The monsoon rains trailed us along the Rishikesh in the 250 + Km from Delhi. The trip took us longer than usual, thanks to traffic jams along the Haridwar-Rishikesh route & when we finally reached Rishikesh it was 5 in the evening, a dreary monsoon evening. The Ashram in the Swarg Ashram (literally means Heavenly hermitage) area of Rishikesh, where I wanted to stay was overflowing with pilgrims, so I was forced to look for some other place to stay. Luckily I got a place in a nearby Ashram. The rooms were quite bare, but I had wanted just that.

I stepped out with my new camera in the light drizzle & weaved my way through the throngs of pilgrims to Ramjhula. This cable suspension bridge built around 17 years ago, compliments the only other bridge in Rishikesh, spanning the River Ganges – the Laxmanjhula (which was built in the early 20th century as a cable bridge). No vehicular traffic is allowed on these two bridges (they are too narrow anyway) except for two wheelers. But the throng of people is enough to make the bridge sway when overloaded!

Rishikesh is located at a height of about 1360 feet above sea level & represents the Gateway to the Himalayas in the Tehri-Garhwal region of Uttar Pradesh. It abounds in natural splendour. The spectacle of the Ganga rushing through the Himalayan foothills is an awesome sight. Several temples dot the banks of the Ganga at Rishikesh. Literally, Rishi’s (holy man) locks, this small town is the point where the holy Ganges crashes down in full glory onto huge boulders and creates long stretches of white sandy beaches.

As the heavy moisture laden dull grey clouds hung low, I reached Ramjhula. A pall of mist hugging the surface of the river water & rising up the bridge created an amazing sense of mystery & mood. I had never seen such a spectacle before & as I wondered what created the low mist, I reached down to the riverbank. As I touched the water feeling the rapid current of the Ganges, my hands started to feel numb in the ice cold water. The ice cold water & the air laden with moisture, created the mist.

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