Garhmukteshwar, weekend destination from Delhi
I read about Garhmukteshwar in an article and looked for its map. It wasn’t very far plus what my guidebook suggested it was the closet to Delhi where the sacred Ganga flows. It was enough for me to get into my car and head off down the Delhi Lucknow highway on Saturday morning to hit the closest weekend getaway from Delhi.
Two hours later, at a fork on the road, a series of stalls, all selling modhas in various shapes, sizes and colours appeared and where they ended the Ganges showed up almost suddenly at a place called Brijghat.
Garhmukteshwar is like mini Banaras. The main attraction is the Ganges and the bathing ghat along it. The Ganges here can be seen flowing water as far as the eyes can see. The river here was of the colour of cold coffee, but unlike how she is at Haridwar and Rishikesh; the Ganga is much cleaner here. As there are no pieces of legs or length of arms that suddenly appears out of water, and there is no creepy feelings when you stick your legs in the water.
Along the left bank is a large marble platform that overlooks the river. In the middle of this is a walk away, I walked to its edge and stood looking at the scene around me. At the water’s edge was a line of small boats bobbing up and down. And in a break between two boats, a few pilgrims were taking a dip in the river. Next to the walkway, a series of flights of steps or ghats led to the river. And from its edge few boys were diving into the water from a mud flat to gather the coins which pilgrim’s offers to the river.
I went boating for Rs.100 and crossed the bathing ghat to the farms on the other shore. The ride took half an hour, but since it had rained recently, the river was full.Then the Ganga Devi temple is on the road that goes to Garhmukteshwar, the village near the Ganga is quite old and famous. From this temple the road twists and turns through the sleepy town of Garhmukteshwar.
Follow the twists for five minutes and you will reach a gate with an archway and a large bell hanging at its centre. Inside is a complex of temples, surrounding a central courtyard: Jarkandeshwar Temple in the north, a Shiva temple in the centre, a Kali temple in the left and a Hanuman temple at the entrance. In front is the well that gives the name to the place as Nakka Kuan.
After the temples I went to view the chattris of local Gurudwara. It is said that at Garhmukteshwar the Sikh Guru Teg Bahadur has said to release Raja Nakh from the curse of the celestial being Rambha, who had turned him into snake.
There is no hotel in Garhmukteshwar to stay however towards Amroha side and 10kms from Garhmukteshwar is the Vasant Continental hotel and Midway Mortal approx 15 km.