January 9, 2010 – Back to Nature and the Music of Water

January 9, 2010 – Back to Nature and the Music of Water

Waking up this morning I had to choose what I would do today…the choices were many: Go to the market to do some shopping and visit my friend Manju, go for a walk down laxshman jhula and back up through ram jhula, go aback to sit by the ganga, go to the waterfall, go walking up through and past the village. During my meditation the answer came through crystal clear and I not only knew that I would be walking up the mountain through the village, but also exactly what I would wear and what I would carry. Had a breakfast of masala chai and paneer parantha up on my terrace, got dressed and headed off. The weather was beautiful, (although it has now gotten a little hazy at 4 in the afternoon), and began walking across the gorge and up to the village. One thing I noticed immediately is that I always had a fear of stray dogs. I actually love dogs, but only those I know personally…all others I’ve always had an irrational fear of and this has been a reason for me not doing many things in the past-like riding my bike around town where I live, walking through neighborhoods where I know dogs roam freely etc. And as soon as I got near the village, dogs began barking, some ferociously, and there was absolutely no fear in me. I simply walked past, sometimes stopping to say hello to the barking dog or staring directly at him, and then walking on. None of them ever followed me. It was quite amazing and very different from my experiences in the past.
Walking up through the village, was initially similar to the walks there last year which you can read about and see pictures of here: Link to Village Walk Post).
But there were new things to see…especially new houses which were being built last year and were now complete

Compare these with this typical village house and you can see the new middle class of India moving up, even in the villages:

This year I decided to take more videos to capture the sounds along the walk…for the entire 1 ½ hours I was walking
up the mountain, I was accompanied by rapids, and the beautiful music of the water was with me all the time.

Other than the occasional bird-call, that was the only sound I heard most of the time. The sound of the water became progressively louder the higher up I walked, until it was the only thing I heard. And if I ventured off the main path for awhile, I was greeted with almost an eerie silence once the water sounds could no longer be heard.


I hope the video captures some of this lovely “music”. I passed lovely fields, ,

friends walking , bridges

and even saw a lovely house for rent or sale!!

as well as the usual small temples along the way.

The walk was straight up the entire time, and although the weather was cool, the sun was very strong and at one point had to even cover my head to keep the sun from beating down on me. It was coming from behind as I walked up but would of course be in my face coming back down.

I stopped to rest several times along the rapids or to take pictures,

but mostly I walked. The scenery was a treat for the eyes…so much lush greenery and beautiful blue sky… the terracing going up the slopes with the musical rapids passing along the path…
the occasional donkey, or buffalo
being lead by its owner,

the children along the way asking for chocolate, a woman leading her calf home with his dinner on her head!

the women coming down from the forest with fodder

…all beautiful to see and experience. At one point I really felt that I should turn back, but so wanted to keep going and decided NOT to listen to that inner voice which quietly said “you’ve gone UP for long enough”. So I continued going up and the way got even steeper and after less than 5 minutes one of my knees shouted at me: “YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY! TURN AROUND!!”. And I did…and had a lovely walk back down, which was no less pleasant than going up. It was just long enough for the walk to be considered pleasurable, and upon my arrival back in town went to a lovely ayurveda restaurant for chai and kheer (rice pudding ), relaxed there for awhile, and then headed home. Spent another while up on Seema’s roof with some of her young tenants just chatting about this and that, and even having my age guessed at 42 (and then corrected after a more careful look to 52(!) which was very nice. I am now up on my rooftop again, and will put together the pictures and videos I took today to try and give you a sense of the lovely hours I enjoyed back in Nature….it was a perfect way to spend a day…hope to do it again soon.

5 Responses to January 9, 2010 – Back to Nature and the Music of Water

  1. Trevor says:

    hello jane. where is this in rishikesh? i have never seen such a lush looking area there.

  2. Jane says:

    this is in Tapovan Village, which is up above and near the Swiss Cottage Enclave if you know where that is. I can give you more details if you want. Tell me what part of Rishikesh you are familiar with and I will easily tell you how to get up to these village paths. It is truly glorious up there! Let me know

  3. Trevor says:

    namaste jane! i’m not sure what the swiss cottage enclave is, but i am familiar with the main road in laxman jhula (where the pundir store is) and where the new bhandari swiss cottage is, then the road that takes you toward ram jhula that Sivananda ashram is off of. happy to describe more if that will help. i am heading to the area again in the next few months and would love to see this area while there. in all my travels there i never saw grass or green areas like your beautiful photos. any plans to be in india this year?
    thanks! trevor

    • Jane says:

      Namaste!! OK…let me try and describe it to you. If you are at the New Bhandari Swiss cottage, you can go out of the area via the main road that twists down to where the rickshaws wait at the bottom of the hill. (It goes down past the old bhandari swiss cottage on the left, also past Seema’s guesthouse on the corner opposite the internet cafe where Sachin and Viki sit.)
      Or, you can turn left and go through the Garden Restaurant under the trees and then keep going to the very end where there is a back road that leads down to the main road to both Laxman Jhula to the left and Ram Jhula to the right. But instead of going left down the hill, you turn right and you will come to a place a little ways up where you can cross over the wadi and up the other side which will put you into the private yard areas of homes in Tapovan village. you walk through them until you get to a main road and then turn left and keep walking up for as many hours as you want. OR, an easier way, is to walk along the main road where the Pundir shop is, but instead of turning left to go down to Laxman Jhula (going past Red Chili on your right), you keep going straight up the main Bhadrinath road which brings you further into the village of tapovan. You walk for about 5 minutes and on the right you will see down below the Ayurpak restaurant, near the Anand Prakash Ashram and directly across on the left side of the road is a triangular shaped building on the corner with statues in niches, and that is the main road which leads up into Tapovan village. Just start walking up and keep going for as far as you like. Could be hours and it keeps going up, if you like, all the way to kuncha devi temple at the top of the mountain.
      It sounds confusing, but taking the main Bhadrinath road is the easier way to find this road up through the village. Or ask one of the guys in the Pundir Shop (give them my regards), to explain to you how to walk up the main road through tapovan village.
      I will be back in India towards the end of the year, God willing.
      let me know if this helps.
      Jane 🙂

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