Being a travel addict myself, my college days were mostly stuffed with unplanned trips to routes less traveled. The ironic part about these trips was that they were always organized with almost broke pockets. Keeping our individual economic conditions in mind we decided to go for trekking in Rishikesh. Rishikesh is considered as a synonym for rafting but our plan was something different. We decided to go for trekking to Phool Chatti in Rishikesh, a place with a small natural waterfall at a decent height. Never heard of it?, well ask the localities of Rishikesh and they have a lot to tell.
The place is mostly known for the Phool Chatti Asharam. On reaching Rishikesh, and crossing the famous marvel of Laxman jhula we started with our adventure. Phool Chatti is at a decent distance from the main Rishikesh market and as you go further and further, the whole market glitter vanishes and the beautiful nature and trees prevail. There are numerous private jeeps and vans which can give you a paid ride to Phool Chatti, but we preferred our legs rather than wheels mostly because of our light wallets.
The road to Phool Chatti is itself a trip worth cherishing and as per my opinion it is highly recommended. As you walk down the roads there are two things you will notice the most, the first being the tourists enjoying their rafting experience in the below visible river rapids and the second being a small budding water sources that show no sign of their origin. About 200 to 300 meters before the actual spot where the trek to the waterfalls begins, a rotten metallic board will surely give you a sigh of relief signifying that you are on the right track.
A quick sip of tea in the nearby tea stall and we were ready to climb up the mountain in order to reach to the waterfalls. The path to the waterfall is tricky but manageable. There are two waterfalls at Phool Chatti which are near to each other, one being at a decent location where as the other being at a little height above. We preferred the latter and believe me our decision couldn’t be better. As soon as reached beneath the waterfall and dipped ourselves in the water, our exhausted body and soul got replenished and we were in a state of bliss. The view from the waterfall is so mesmerizing, that we captured as much as we could in our camera till our batteries charged out.
We made our way down the mountain and on to the road to the main Rishikesh as the sun was about to fall. Even with our strict budgets we managed to full fill our appetite in decent vegetarian restaurant. For a nice comfy stay, one can go some decent hotels, we preferred the local dharamshala which provide a safe stay with well maintained and tidy rooms at freakishly low prices.
The waterfall in Phool Chatti is surely a place worth visiting for those who are really into trekking and also for those who enjoy nature’s beauty at its best.
Note : Before visiting the place do give these tips a sure thought.
1. If you not comfortable covering the distance on foot, opt for a van or a jeep service to the location from where the mountain track to the waterfalls begins.
2. Avoid the trekking to the waterfall if your are uncomfortable of heights.
3. Before beginning your Journey, do carry along some snacks as the shops above may or may not be open.
4. Try to visit the waterfall in groups in order to support each other as the place is very slippery with narrow tracks and can prove to be fatal. Keeping in mind the slippery issue, avoid wearing flat souls or slippery footwears.
5. Since it becomes dark early in winters, try to start your journey a bit early so that you can make it back before the sun fall.
Bus ticket from Roorkee to Haridwar : Rs.15
Bus ticket from Haridwar to Rishikesh : Rs 55
Cost of local auto to Laxman jhula: Rs. 10 per head.
Cost of snacks and other small items: Rs 100
Cost of dinner at a decent restaurant: Rs. 100-140 per head
Cost of lodging at a dharamshala: Rs. 100-120
Travel tips from local crowd : Free!!
Contributed by : Manish Kukreti