If you want to experience the spiritual side of India and the holy Ganges in all its glory, spend a few days at The Glasshouse on The Ganges by Neemrana Hotels in Rishikesh. By Kumar Shree
The cab ride from Haridwar railway station to The Glasshouse on The Ganges is not without anticipation—I am at a total loss about what to expect from the trip. After a while, I give up, rub my sleep-deprived eyes, and decide to settle for the soothing views around.
However, the moment I set foot inside The Glasshouse On The Ganges, the light babble of the river washes away my fatigue, along with any idea of sleep that I might have nurtured earlier. There’s something therapeutic about the air here, because I feel instantly energised. The Glasshouse premises is a harmony of sweet sounds—think bird songs, light murmurs of the breeze, and the constant hum of the River Ganga, waiting to unleash its magic upon its visitors.
The walk from the reception-cum-waiting area to the rooms takes you through the manicured garden that is lush, and adorns the place. I spot many mango and lychee trees and can’t help but think of the smell of fruits wafting across the property when the garden is in full bloom. The Glasshouse stays true to its name, with just a glass wall separating you from the holy waters. It has a dedicated dining space serving scrumptious buffet meals. While most of the dishes on offer are familiar, the local greens indigenous to the area surprise my palate. I remember a line from the Neemrana information booklet that lay on the table in my room. “Each property showcases the culture of that region—its dress, its cuisine, and its people.” I couldn’t agree more.
The intimate Ganga aarti in the evening adds to the heavenly aura of the space. Post the aarti, I spend my time lounging on a chair and listening to the majestic river, before dinner is served.
Once dinner is done, I do not feel like retiring to my room just yet. Instead, I spend some more time romancing the river. If you want to spend the night outdoors, the property offers tented accommodation too.
Next morning, after a relaxing massage at the Amrit Kashi Spa, I bid adieu to the serenity and head to my next stop—Camp Panther by Snow Leopard Adventures. Camp Panther is an ideal choice for anyone visiting the area on a day out from Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun, or Mussoorie, and offers several adventure activities including rafting, trekking, rappelling, mountain biking, and elephant safaris in the Rajaji National Park.
It is here that I try the thrilling zip lining activity with Flying Fox, India’s only zip tour company. The tour consists of two zip lines named White Water Flyer (400m) and High Times (350m). The White Water Flyer takes you downstream over the rapids of the River Ganga, while the High Times, brings you back to the base.
I listen intently as the safety instructor double checks all safety measures and repeats the instructions. Then, I’m away. Slicing the air, hair billowing. It’s all too fast for fear to take a grip. It’s left far behind, counting down from five at the top of the zip. Gravity takes hold of my stomach and ozone my nostrils as stunning views of the Ganga, pine and rock rush by. My veins pump like the rapids. Within seconds I am back on her gentle banks, but etched with a memory that this mighty river really does run wild at heart.
Rishikesh is well connected with Delhi via railways as well as roadways. While a drive can take anywhere between four to six hours, you can also opt for a five to six hour train ride. Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport, which is 35 km from Rishikesh.
The Glasshouse on The Ganges, near 23rd Milestone, Rishikesh – Badrinath Road, Tehri Garhwal District, Gular Dogi, Uttarakhand.
Tent prices start from INR 10,000 (USD139) and rooms from INR 12,000 (USD167).
September to November and March to May are the best times to visit Rishikesh.
Rishikesh is ideal for adventure, solace, a fun trip with friends, or even a romantic getaway.
Triveni Ghat, Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Beatles Ashram, Neel Kanth Mahadev temple, and Neer Garh Waterfall are must-visit tourist attractions in Rishikesh.