So that’s a curve ball, supposed to be in an Ashram and end up at a Cake Shop? Well there’s a big 'coffee and cakes' culture in Rishikesh, probably the need to supplement the Ashram diet with some much needed sugar?!! I can vouch for the mini chocolate ganache tartlet. Our tuk tuk driver knew the best cake shop it seemed, we returned several times, the drinks and cakes were amazing! Ginger, lemon and honey tea became the drink of the trip!
After ambling out of the cafe and a couple of doors up we stumbled upon the world famous Sri Sitaramdham Temple, sometimes the unplanned unfolds in the most surprising way. We entered through the gates curious to look around. Drawn towards the ‘back’ which we eventually realised was actually the front, we could not believe the view of the mountains and Ganges river. The temple faced the river and we were on the top floor, with many floors beneath us, it was spectacular.
A few people were milling about ringing the big bell outside the tiny temple on the top floor, we were greeted by the most friendly monk who invited us in for a ‘puja’ (ceremony) to bless us and our families. He spoke enough English to communicate with us, but chanted endlessly adorning us with rice dappled bindis and red and yellow cotton wristlets he expertly made. We needed to get the whole group down here asap, it was a fabulous experience, which made us all rather emotional.
Then we were off down the hill through the little passage Bazaar, so much to see and buy. All of life on show in a tiny corridor in India. This took a surprisingly long time as there were so many shops and people who wanted to chat. By the time we got to the bottom of the steps we really did need reviving. This was fortuitous as the Revive Cafe was right in front of us. We ended up in there having a few nibbles and lovely beetroot juice drinks. The best thing was the amazing view, we could see the front of the Sri Sitaramdham Temple and right down to Ram Jhula Bridge. Squeezing in a quick walk down to the beautiful Lakshman Jhula Bridge as we were getting very tight for time, we needed to be back to do more meditation and Yoga!! Wonderful to see the sights but a lesson learned for me, Ashrams know about how much and what sort of food best aids your practice!
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