Dienstag, Juli 31, 2007

Galeshwara to Tatopani (1300m)

Tatopani reached after a very exhausting walk of 9 hours in total with my lagguage. The village is calm and very peaceful in the time we trekked there, but be aware in season time (april/ may and sept./ oct) it is very crowded with backpack tourists doing the Annapurna round trek (famous by westerners, takes usually 10 - 15 days), and no hotels or rest rooms are free then.
We were the only ones in our hotel and most probably the only ones in the whole village.
I was so finnished after this first day of carrying my stuff (15kg) and walking in the same time, it was a good opportunity to take bath inside the hot springs here next to the Gandaki. Tato means Hot and pani means water, so that place is called after the hot springs, and Rishis also came here and did there penance inside these hot springs.
I could stay only few minutes inside, so hot was the water, but while inside one had the darshan of Gandaki and the mountains, - what a feeling i tell you.
Also here you are unable to find Salagramas inside the Gandaki as she has a very strong current and big gush of water waves...
The houses inside the village are all made with big rocks and sand, the people are newaris (mainly Hindus) who live by the tourists and in none seasonal time by cultivating the mountain fields of barley and rice.

Beni to Galeshwara (950m)

That walk takes you trough the jungles of the himalayas, were jaguar, bears and deers still roaming inside. We saw a lot of jungle monkeys on the way and one has to be careful with the grass area, as the leeches are very hungry here. One passes to a ancient village with the name Galeshwara or also called Jadeshwara, where Jada Bharat worshipped the present Linga, after the village got its name from. There is also a Rahu Ghat near by, after the King from the same story. It is here a confluence of three rivers, meeting with the holy Gandaki. Sages like Pulastya and Pulaha had their hermitage inside one famous cave near by.
Next to the Shiva temple is a nice Radha Krishna Temple of the Sri Vaishnava Mutt of Srinivas Muktinarayana Ramanuja Jeeyar. That Temple was built under his direction after a dream ordered by the Lord. Pictures are from inside.
Outside the Shivatemple one finds a big Rudraksha Tree, as Nepal is famous for. These rudrakshas give healthy support and releases one from stress tensions etc.They are worn around the neck by mostly shaivaits as sacred tears of Lord Shiva. These seeds from the tree are coming with different forms, and some are very rare and cost tousands of dollars on the market.
Next to this is a simple dharamsala for pilgrims, and many indian saddhus stay here. It is said in the Galeshwara Mahatmiya that doing all kinds of spiritual activities here gets multiplied and are very efficacious.
We went further for our days goal Tatopani, the hot springs of the Gandaki, another walk of 6 hours.

Yatra Start to Damodar Kund

As we wished and prepared our self for this pilgrimage for more then 8 years, we finally got all the money and informations together. As Nepal had a very bad time in the last 7 years, it was not advised to do trekking up to Damodar Kund. In general Nepal was under the sway of civil war, and no place was safe. After the King stepped down from his dictatorship last year, the country became peaceful again. Of course it is not everything "smiling face", but the main thing is, peace is in most parts of nepal settled.
Also the trek to upper Mustang (forbidden Kingdom of Lo* called for many centuries) for western foreigners are very expensive (a minimum of 10 day visa permit for 700$!), then only a group is allowed to go inside (no individual trekking!) and one has to book it over a agency in Nepal. Previous one had to take a political officer who checks that one is not doing any trade with the tibetans, going only one the permitted trail or other illegal activities (like support of the tibetan resistance who where operating from Mustang against the chinese occupants of Tibet).
But that officer was cancelled from the goverment for Mustang permits, and we saved some money for that. But still we had 6 porters with us to complete the restrictions made by the goverment to go to Damodar kund on our own. I wanted to keep it simple, but Nepali officials didnt care about our request. So our tour was quite packed with our own kitchen stuff, 2 tents and 2 horses.
We decided to start our trek from lower region of Himalayas in the village called Beni (altitude of 970 meters) near Pokhara. The whole trip from Kathmandu by Bus to Beni takes more then 9 hours. The last 2 hours goes over sand and rock tracks, what makes a brainshake* of yours.
The village lies direct on the Gandaki River, the water is strong and currents are dangerous. For Sila Collectors not a very good place to search.
Inside the main Bazaar is a ancient Devi Temple overgrown with a mangotree. Here you still have electricity, and running hot(!) water. But the normal road for cars ends inside the village and only walking is now our carrier (as Lord Vishnu finally carries everyone).
From far away, if weather allows, one has allready darshan of the Annapurna mountain range, the holy abode of Parvati and Sage Marici.

Montag, Juli 30, 2007

From this day onwards...

I will report from our trip to Damodar Kund / Nepal in May/June 2007, the highest place of Worship for Hindus all over the world, and known as the source of Salagrama Silas inside the Holy Gandaki River. This place is situated over a altitude of 4700 m above sealevel, and very difficult to trek there. We called it the "Land of No Man", as practically nobody is living in and around that whole area (VERY close to the chinese/tibetan border). It took us more then a 16 day trek to go there and come back to Jhomson (the little town with the only airport connecting flights to Pokhara and Kathmandu). As i have collected a lot of infos and stories from this trip, i want to share them with all of you. Jaya Sriman Narayana!!
PS (picture is taken from a pass (5400m) close to Damodar Kund, and the holy mountain "Damodar Himal" with his ice glacier is very clear to see. It is here where Rishi Marici did penance called Dvikuta or Damodar Himal).

Freitag, Juli 27, 2007

Vrindavana and back home to berlinnnnnnnnn ufffff part 3

In vrindavan is a very ancient Temple of Lord Salagrama Murthy. It is said that this temple even existed before Lord Chaitanya visited Vrindavan, and the Deities are from the time of the Alwars (2th BC century). The Big Deities certainly not (from observing the detail work) but if you see the utsava deity as well the Salagramas, you might come to the same conclusion. This temple is nowadays hidden as it where when the Muslims came in the 17th century and destroyed most of the big temples around. That place survived without damage, and one can feel while visiting the protecting Mood of the Lord. It is right on the Loi Bazaar and the main circus for material buisness, a ancient shopping mall for all kinds of items for pujas, cloths, beads, food etc.. everyone comes here to do his shopping.. but dont miss this temple... it is like Badrinatha, very steep steps bring you up to the temple, inside a house, and there you find these two big Salagrama shilas, Nara and Nara Narayana Silas. A bit below you have the Dasavatara salagramas and others as well. Very nice and special place.. you even allowed to make picture.. you see....?
The other picture is Krsna Balarama Deities... installed by Srila Prabhupada 1974, Ki Jayaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Vrindavana and back home to berlinnnnnnnnn ufffff part 2

Vrindavana and back home to berlinnnnnnnnn ufffff

After 3 days we went per flight back to dehli and from there to Vrindavan to relax and visit some temples for prayer and blessing. Radha Shyamasundhara and Krishna Balarama Temple are the main center for the white elefants*, the western hare Krishnas. Often this temple is stormed with hunderds of indian visitors to see how it looks like, how is the deity worship etc.
Far away from this, there is a individual by name Kurma Rupa Dasa, a Srila Prabhupada disciple and very found of Cows. He realized in the late 80's that the cow living nowadays in india is not so holy as one may think, and he bought land and built a barren to help the lost cows in and around vrindavan. We came there and feed some cows with good foodstuff for them, comb them and hugged them... indian cows are very soft and friendly, not so agressive like western cows (i was hunted by big cows when i was a young boy in my fathers home village, and from that time on i was always scarred from them). Neverless to say please visit and support this great service with some of your contribution www.careforcows.org GO matha Ki Jayaaa!!

Also they have found a very rare deer still living in and around Vrindavana, from time Vrindavan had some forests. But as almost all forests is gone due to the over population, pollution also the vrindavan deer is disappearing. Very sad story.... But in kurma Rupas Place you can see one of this rare species!! And they are very curious... this one looked right into my camera...!!!

Suhotra Swamis puja

As Maharaj was staying the last few years in Mayapur, he set up his puja place also inside the Gurukula House. His personal straw house was also on the Gurukula Place, and there he did live up to his last breath in april 2007.
He studied exclusively Srimad Bhagavatam and gave discourses for the visitors every day. Here you see his Salagrama Silas as well his shoes, photos taken in March 2007. More was not allowed for me to see.

Mayapur Gurukula part 1

As every year the Ganges was washing the Gurukula from Mayapur Iskcon away, they got a land a bit further inside and built on a high elevation the new place for the school. The main house is the puja room for all living students as well the library store room for more then 5000 books. The rest is built like natural living in grass huts - a mixture from japanese and bengali style. Cool looking at!

Sthanu Narasimha Swamy inside the temple complex of Panca Tattva and Sri Radha Madhava

This Deity is very nice and powerful. Have met few sri Brahmans in south who appreciated the worship done in mayapur. Even Pejawara Swami Tirtha (main leading Sannyasi from the Madhva Matha) have visited this place in the middle of 80's. To see the Lord here is very nice and one feels blessed to be here.

Landed in Mayapur part 1

One of the first thing we visited was the Samadhi of Annapurnas Guru HH Sridhar Swami, The Temple of Lord Sthanu Narasimha and the new complex of the Gurukula.
We came actually that Annapurna could take part in the disappearance day celebration of her Guru. She was cooking whole day and helping other arrangements to make it a nice celebration.

Calcutta the way to Mayapur...

We left Varanasi behind and entered a different cloakroom in india, one of the craziest city Calcutta. Most over populated where one can see Tram and walking riksha with a walla in front pulling it! Im always happy when i can leave Calcutta, and the same here this trip again. We landed on the wild trainstation with other millions of people, then it was hardcore to get a Taxi to mayapur and finally ahhh we are out after 2 hours of wild drive trough the city!!!
On the trainstation we saw a big delegation of communist activists, i was ready to talk them their shit out - but mostly no one would understand why i would call communism same as fascism. Bengal is one of the communist leading country inside india, and people are suffering from corruption and other bad politics. But that kind of comunism they proclaim is not really similar to that in our countries past ago. Anyhow the ancient indian culture is so great, but they have forgotten about, so they stick to temporary gods like marx and nietsche.
Good night dear india....

Donnerstag, Juli 26, 2007

Today is Sayana Dwadasi of Lord Vishnu taking rest for the next 4 month

In ancient times the first Sayana Dwadasi is considered as very pure and holy. As it marks the 4 month of Caturmasya Vrata, were Vaishnavas fast from different foodstuff (milk, dhal, beans and joghurt) and do other special efforts to please the Lord. Today every one can make his commitment of service and worship to the Lord afresh, while chanting his holy name, do puja or perform fire ceremonies.
For this commitment i have placed this ancient picture of Lord Narasimha as Ugra Rupa (killing the demon Hiranyakashipu) made on the Kedarghat in Benares. May Lord Narasimha guide us all and protect our devotion to Lord Hari!!!

Montag, Juli 23, 2007

Mendicants and sannyasis

here you see two different saddhus, one in front wears clearly the pierced earring, a typicial sign of the very extreme and austere saddhus belonging to the Goraknaths. When they get initiated they piece the whole ear!!!


The difference between the Naga babas, Aghoris and tantrics are sometimes not seen from the outside. The Nagababas are in general more a loose community, their practice is not so much rigid to follow varma marga (see article before), nor do they want to be powerful magicians. They are more concerned about rejecting duties of the society and life in a secluded place like mountain caves etc.
They smoke often ganja (marihuana) instead of eating, as they consider this a special herb given by Lord Shiva to give inner visions and spiritual progress. Their lifestyle is vegetarian nor do they harm other animals. They practice very hardcore yoga and finally they are trying to get mystical power by completing such yoga practice (astanga and Raja Yoga). They try to merge into the light of Gods effulgence, what makes them Brahmavadis (worshiper of Gods Power). Nowadays western people find a excuse to use marihuana to call it a spiritual practice, but it comes with addiction only. Their attention is only on the outer world and leads nowhere. To immitate is worse then to practice such a sadhana.
Vaishnavas reject usage of all kinds of drugs, at such visions might lead to a wrong concept of this world, a good understanding of our position as servants of God and bring only laziness to ones mind, intellect and will power.
Of course one has to be careful to judge any of this indian saddhus living like walking mendicants, beggars etc. as some might be very advanced devotees of the Lord, but it is quite famous also in practice how to life a life to cheat others and finally ones own self.

Aghoris and Naga Babas

Tantrics (not aghoris so much) normally follow the pancaopasana worship from the branch of vamamarga while using the left hand practicing sadhana. That means 5 kinds of M are used for their worship, Matsya = Fish, Mudra = postures, Maithuna = Sex with a female yogini, Mamsa = Meat and Madhya = alcohol. These items will be trown in the fire on the smarshan (burning ground). A spirit will test the sadhana of his worshipper, and if he is unfit he will be killed or loose his sense of behaviour (become mad!). If he sustains the test, he will control that spirit and vice versa that spirit will fullfill all his needs and desires. He may go back to the society after complete his practice (after certain years living as a aghori), and becomes a very powerful and influential person as he manipulates his people around. He can forecast future, predict and ward off evil events, all by the help of his controlled spirit. After 7 years that contract with the spirit may be re initated*, otherwise he may loose his power. But the main goal for tantrics, doesnt matter of aghoris, nagababas or other worshipper of the female power of God, is to merge their existence into the Power of God, or even become like God. They dont follow the path of humility in service of God, as they think they can become like God. Vaishnavas in general (doesnt matter which branch) reject such a idea, and vedic injunction warn the condition soul for such attitude, as that may never free him from this ongoing wheel of material existence (samsara).

Aghori Sect

The aghori Sect is one of the most extreme practicing spiritual groups in india. It comes from the ancient Avadhoota Gorakhnath and many branches have developed from that saint. He practised mauna (no speaking), agnikarya (sitting inside a fire in summer time), varunakarya (sitting in icecold spring water in winter time in the himalayas) while chanting plenty of rounds of holy recitations (Mantras) and other very complicated vratas (vow). He got many followers in north india, and has his main seat in Varanasi (see pic) by the command of Goddess Kali. He organized a more solit programm of practice, even that kind of devotees living outside the society, while worshipping spirits or Lord Bhairava (ferocious form of Lord Shiva) exisited from the time of creation. They want to shed off the shackles of material life by practicing very extreme sadhanas, like living on burning ghats (were humans are burned), living from the dead, do asanas on the dead bodies and smear the ashes of the dead all over (from toe to the hairs). The living dead... a hollywood movie of zombies cannot compete with this practice. They eat stool and drink urine to overcome material comforts and tastes, eating remnands of the dead from a special collection, a human skull (only from a dead saddhu or a child they will take such a skull). That human skull is for their rituals very important, and a special spirit who helps him in his sadhana will be invoked there. Normally this spirits are servants of a higher Demigod, mostly from Lord Shiva or Goddess Parvathi/ Kali.

Ganges Puja

evening event on the Ganga Aswamedha Ghat 7 pm

One of the most trilling experiences is the evening arathi on the Aswamedha Ghat to Goddess Ganga. 7 priest do a very elaborate, or better to say a big show to worship Ganga. Bhajans are played live, big bells are hammered and they do a really impressive worship with big Dhoopstands (frank insence), large Champor and gheewick lamps and nicely fanning with the Chamara (yaktail fan). All takes more then 1 hour to finnish. After that you can buy a small leafbowl with flowers and one gheewick, light it and send it with good wishes down the ganges...

Sonntag, Juli 22, 2007

Holi in varanasi

anyone experienced Holi Festival in North India?? Maybe only in Vrindavan it is more wild and crazy then in Varanasi. We looked our self inside the hotel room, but even there the drunken holikas where trying to enter... it is the festival of spring, colours are thrown on each other on that day... but hey we are in the year 2007: people get drunk and beat each other, tourist are better doing in home in that day otherwise you are merged into all kinds of liquids (colour water, pie water, stool water, engine oil,etc...) and will never forget that day... 1992 i was foolish engough to celebrate here in varanasi with the locals, but my experience was doomed to be tarred and spring mounted... so better try to avoid that day in the north except you like tar! That picture was taken from our hotel room, while the kids throw colours from the roof on people down

while walking around in Varanasi part 3

Then he escaped from me and taking shelter in another homakunda next to the yoni one... how sweet that dog is...

while walking around in Varanasi part 2

This picture is a snapshot early morning on the Kedarghat in a Yoni Homa kunda. The young doggy was taking shelter inside, as it was still warm inside.

while walking around in Varanasi part 1

yes after a stressy week we spent some days relaxing and explored some parts of varanasi for us. We found a nice jagannath Temple (near prahlad Ghat), the Nila madhava Temple was super cool (nice puja to see early morning!) and one Salagrama Temple near pancaganga ghat. This picture of Lord Jagannatha was taken secretly...

Recording of new Malola CD

The musicians are Mr. J.N. Goswamiji (sitar),Mr. Sohan Lal (Flute and Shennai), Mr. Sandeep Mishra (Sharangi) and Mr. mani Shankar (Tabla).
The sound will be purely classical with some elements of Varanasi City, temples and chantings... See for it!

New recording in Varanasi

After the shock of accident we came back slowly to this world, but next project was waiting for us. We did arrange a new recording of hindustani music in varanasi, and for this we got some of the best musicians around this city. The music is flute, shennai, Tabla, Sitar and Sharangi, one of the ancient instruments of north india, and we got some good pandits chanting Samaveda in a very melodious way. Mr. Pandit Kiritji Trivedi Samvedi is one of them....

Dienstag, Juli 17, 2007

heavy accident in the night close to varanasi part 2

heavy accident in the night close to varanasi

I was hoping we get a deluxe*bus (in south india you can a easy ride with a semi*private Bus, called Deluxe!) back to varanasi, but dont place your experience 1:1 on every place in india! There where no bus going straight to Varanasi this time, what to speak about Deluxe****
So we got into a bus, supposely close to Varanasi... but i tell you, only drunkards inside the bus (annapurna was the only female inside the bus), horror deluxe (seats stuffed with grass as cusions), loud horror music clips on screen (i tell you the most cheapest and terrifing clips i ever saw as bollywood style..brrrrrrrrr) and the driver didnt care about his car*** so driving like a tunnel of horror!!! I got a bit sleep after putting my chaddar around my face... but in the middle of night the bus stopped and kicked us all out... in a place of nowhere!!! That was even more scarry!!! This crappy busstand smelled so badly, that we decided to take any chance to get on the next bus, rikscha, motorcycle, bike, cow .... i was affraid of some dacoits are hounting this area, as one hears a lot of stuff around bihar and uttar pradesh, so we started to pray ...
Then one bus came i didnt care where he goes, we just jumped on it... and he took us in the direction of Prayag (Allahabad). This bus was a bit cooler, but still far off from any idea you could call it save*trip...
Our ticketguy got us close to varanasi- again in some very lonely and dark village of barking dog gangs and wild looking, wrapped in cloths village hunters. my watch showed 2.30 am and we felt so tired... suddenly our only chai shop keeper yield at us "Benarrrresss"... and showed with the finger to a quite good looking bus, stopping next the main road... so we all jumped up (with us few stranded indian boys) and run to the bus. But he was packed... and either we would sit in front next to the driver or just take 2 last seats squeezed between 10 other sleeping and snorring mens in the back. Annapurna went straight to the back, and we pushed our lagguage upstairs inside some minimal spacecabin over our heads. I thought "finally.... we come close to our goal, varanasi..." and i slowly sank into sleep as the bus inside was totally dark. I guess i cant remember probably but i think after 1/2 hour, the bus was driving very loudly as he had overweight with all of us, suddenly a tremendous screaming from the front cabin was coming and next second a very heavy crash made me wake up zack! ... the back of the bus where flying in the sky, we all flew from our seats, our lagguage flew around and all of them where screaming like if they all will be killed. Hoorrrorfying!
Then next second another crash..... and silence.... only the fizzling sound from the engine of the car one could hear...! This moment i will not forget. I grapped towards anna and she was under some boxes, bags and had obviously a shock... people where lying around and coming back to consciousness ... we broke open the exit door next to my seat and i pushed my Deitybox inclusive annapurna out from the now transverse standing Bus of us.

slowly people got out from the bus, some where bleeding, and making weird noises... i went to the front of the bus .. where only smoke came out, and i saw we collide with a big track frontal.
from the front window a bleeding driver was coming out, lamenting but living...!!!
Our accident blocked the village road, some traffic jam was pilling up, and some people helped the wounded...
annapurna was still under shock, and i tried to help her as good as i could. Now we were stranded even worse... in the total jungle... somewhere on some village road near varanasi...
After another hour, the traffic jam became so heavy that they tried to push away the two crashed busses. Over the field a new road appeared and we could get further on one of the vehicles to land around 6 am in varanasi.
As i was reading a book on the Aghoris, the saddhus who give up all society titles, cloths, behaviour etc. to get ready to be dead even while living, i felt like them... we both realized again how fast ones life could be finnished in a second. We had luck in badluck, we where not sitting next to the driver, and we did not get hurt physicially (accept annapurna a bit because lagguage fell on her, but that was only minor compare to some other passengers)... but we got a very good teaching. Be aware for every minute you waste, dont rush into unknown areas and be prepared for everything!

crazy drive back in india

when we left next day back to varanasi, we thought it would be a easy ride, but not realizing how dangerous travelling can be.
We took a normal bus early morning back to the border of nepali/ india and up to this point it was compare speaking to indias travelling easy.
We landed around afternoon in sonali and we guess we could take a normal taxi or bus back... but you know if Bhairava (Lord shiva who is tormenting us with some trouble to realize that we have to surrender to His Lord) doesnt want, you will not proceed... so we got a drunkard as driver, they was fighting over our budget and pushed in our taxi a group of nepalis who also wanted to travel back to gorakhpur (next big city with main trainstation connected with almost all cities of india). Finally when he started it became dark... The driver ate a lot of betelnuts after every ten minutes to stay awake, and talked to him self. The drive was quite frightning..... But wait for gorakhpur i call it the anus of india (please forgive my bad words dear Bharat varsha)! Very poor city with a very bad infrastructure. We scramble trough the big station, with million of other people, hundreds resting on the floor, or eating, cleaning etc... what a chaos... we decided to take the night bus and leaving this place of madness, as there was no information booth, and also no train going this night... all the people where waiting for a early morning train... forget i will wait here* so we packed and went straight to the bus stand... but huii wait what comes after....

Hrishikesh Temple on the Gandaki river in ridhi Bazaar Nepal

great rishis from the times of Ramayana as done great austerity and special pujas for Lord Vishnu in this place, and even the priests doing a everyday homa for the pleasure of Lord Hrishikesha ("the Lord of the senses" or as some would translate "the Lord of the place were mostly holy mens reside")...

Hrishikesh Temple on the Gandaki river in Nepal 2

The deity is a four handed Lord Vishnu made from black stone (people say he is from Salagrama, but it looks a bit to big he is more then 1,70 meter in height), one each side is Garuda and Sri Devi standing. a lot of carving is done around him, and fotos are not allowed from the Vigraha (as in most temples).

Hrishikesh Temple on the Gandaki river in Nepal

one of the ancient spots is this self manifested Deity on the bank of the River Gandaki. Here in the lower range of the himalayas, there are few spots of Lord Vishnu worship, and this one is not very well known.
The deity revealed his place trough a dream of a ancient rishi, and was digged out by a king of the old newar tradition. The temple was re built 1700 AD. and from that time onwards the pujas are maintained.
It takes 5 hours by car from the border of india/ nepal (Sonali/Bhutwal) by taxi and is a very exiting trip up to a altitude of 1500 meters over sea level.
It is a very peaceful village and only on certain days pilgrims visit this holy Ksetra.
Ridhi bazaar is even very difficult to find on maps, and one can only make out the spot one follows the Gandaki from upper mustang down close to india and where it makes a very U turn, there one can guess Ridhi Bazaar. It is near to Tansen the next hillstation in that area.

Montag, Juli 16, 2007

Narasimha says thanks to His friends part 3

Narasimha says thanks to His friends part 2

Narasimha says thanks to His friends

Lord Narasimha here in berlin says thanks to Radhanatha and his wife Rasamanjari who are doing so much service for their Lordship Sri Sri Gauranga Gandarvika Govinda Sundaram with their Pusha Seva.
Radhanatha Prabhuji has a wonderful garden outside of Berlin and grows only flowers for their worship of Sri Radha Krsna of the Vrinda Mission Berlin. He and his wife also grows Rasberries in their garden specially for Lord Narasimha and his consort, and sometime a special hand made garland comes to our home as well... enjoy the new pics!

Mittwoch, Juli 11, 2007

ridhi bazaar and puja on the Gandaki side

Early morning i was going with my big bag of puja stuff and Lord Narasimha and did right on the side of the river a very calm puja for our beloved Lord. But before starting with my puja i took a bath in the cold stream of holy Gandaki. Trilling experience when the sun comes over the mountain peaks and gives darshan.

Gandaki in the lower range

when we finally landed in Ridhi bazaar after a 5 hour car trip from the indian border we were so happy. Seeing the Gandaki river forcing her way trough the big mountains makes on feel peaceful.
Ridhi Bazaar, or also known as Rishi Ksetra (place of saints) comes from the ancient believe that great sadhhus from the vedic lore has camped here and did their tapas inside the mountain caves around this place. And i tell you feeling that kind of vibe while standing on the river side looking up the big mountains makes one really tune back in history.
Also it is believed that Lord Hrishikesh (Lord Vishnu as the controller of the senses) appeared in a dream of a King to reveal his Deityform inside the riverbed. Next to the Riverbed the King built a Temple for the Lord, and up to this day nicely puja is done here.
Also it is part of one of the ancient kingdom "kushinagara" (the kingdom of Buddhas bloodline), and naturally many saints have come here to do austerity or mantra japa, as the surroundings are so suitable. See for your self...