(Hello readers, I leave for Budapest and Vienna tomorrow and hope to meet some travel buffs on this trip! My usual once-a-week post may be delayed this time, though I will try to upload my next post during these travels. Let me know if any one of you is in the region…we’ll catch up for a drink!)
It was my first time on the road from Rishikesh to Dev Prayag. The road, which covers approximately 80 km, runs along the Ganges and offer breath-taking views of the valley. Believe it or not, there is not a single bridge that allows vehicles to cross over the Ganga, so if you are looking to get on the other side, it’s either in the lower Rishikesh region or at Dev Prayag. Make sure you fuel up as well, as I hardly saw any petrol stations along the way.
What was interesting to notice, were the many pedestrian suspension bridges that came along the way. My google research shows that there are as many as twenty-six such bridges along the Ganges! I think I saw only five during my drive, out of which three have been mentioned below. All of the three bridges were built-in the Pre-Independent India by the British. Except for the Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh, most of these are scarcely used, and that too by the locals who live across the river. The bridges at Dev Prayag (8km short of Dev Prayag) and Singtali provide serene views, with no pushing or shoving like the Lakshman Jhula, which was built in 1939.
Lakshman (Name of Lord Rama’s brother) Jhula (swing) and Ram Jhula in Rishikesh are the most popular suspension bridges in this region, and are used by thousands of pilgrims daily. Legend has it that Lord Rama and his younger brother Lakshman crossed the Ganges at the very same point, thus, giving the name to the Bridges! These two actually shiver and swing slightly with the strong winds in the region. It is worth a visit!