If you are planning a weekend trip to Rishikesh, consider staying at Hotel Samadhi for a distinct experience. Megha Sehgal tells you why…
Rishikesh. Chances are you thought of either rafting or temples upon reading the destination’s name. But trust us when we say there is much more to experience in Rishikesh. Our recent stay at Hotel Samadhi is a proof. Staying away from the regular touristy stuff, we spent a refreshing weekend in and around this small but peaceful hotel.
Located near the banks of Ganga, the hotel has the perfect view for a peaceful stay. Opened in partnership with Hotel Hare Rama, over a year ago, the hotel attracts youngsters, families, and backpackers alike.
Simple is Beautiful
One shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and a hotel by its exterior! Honestly, the red and white building we saw in front of us wasn’t quite what we were expecting to find. Appearing to be a typical budget hotel with perhaps hygiene issues, we entered with a lot of scepticism. However, the perception changed as soon as we walked through the wooden stairs. Yes, it’s a small hotel; there is just a narrow lane in between the rooms. But the rooms (about 20) are spacious enough for a comfortable stay. And hygiene and maintenance of the hotel are nothing to be worried about!
Read, Eat, Relax at Samadhi Cafe
Hungry for lunch, we headed to the Samadhi Cafe. And that’s where the USP of this hotel lies. The flight of wooden stairs seemingly transported us from the materialistic world into the spiritual world!
Talking about the hotel and cafe, one of the business partners Tushar (should have his full name) informed us that it was in fact the popularity of the cafe that drove them to expand as a hotel. “We only had running a unique cafe on mind when we initially started off. The cafe received a tremendous response and so now we are managing the hotel as well,” he said.
Samadhi Restaurant welcomes its customers with open heart and makes you want to spend hours here. The right corner of restaurant has space for live guitar music, which is usually organized in the evening.
There are book shelves in between with a good collection of books. Pick a book and spend quality time reading! There is comfortable seating just beside window to admire nature’s beauty as well. Or else you could go to the roof top and relax on the comfortable chairs. In short, this place will definitely make you feel refreshed, relaxed, energised and help find peace within self.
It’s not just the ambiance of this place that will win your heart but also the food. As we received the menu, we observed it was divided into two – Flavours from India and Flavours from World. Whatever we ordered in our 2 days stay was extremely delicious. My 3-year-kid too enjoyed simple food – Dal fry and Chappati. My most favourites here are strawberry shake and the Exotic Pizza.
The name “Samadhi” might seem odd but it means a meditative absorption or trance, attained by the practice of dhyāna. In samādhi, the mind becomes still and at peace. And that’s what the hotel aims to achieve. Spend a few mins at the roof top restaurant of this place and it will automatically take into a meditative state. Mind gets filled with positive air and will fall in love with the amazing view. This place does true justice to its name.
The location is quite ideal; on the right side of hotel you can view Ganga and on the left side is the border of Rajaji National Park and in between there’s a long beautiful road to take a nature walk.
Things to do in Rishikesh
Rishikesh is a peaceful place where mostly people remain satisfied with whatever they earn. This is place where religious people find peace in temples, youngsters find joy in Rafting and jungle Safari and others could just enjoy view of the holy Ganga and nature’s beauty. We could see more foreigners than Indians here.
Tushar says, “Summers are usually filled with Indian customers whereas winters see more of foreign travellers. We have seen people coming here from different countries, even countries we have not heard the name before.”
Places to visit– Beatles Ashram, Rajaji National Park, Rafting from Shivpuri
Tariff of Hotel Room – Approx Rs 1200/-
Ways to Reach to Rishikesh
Train – The nearest station is Haridwar. You would need to hire a taxi till hotel which would cost around Rs 1500/- or you could take auto till Laxman Jhula and it would be walking distance from Laxman Jhula.(Time from station to Hotel – 1 hour 30 mins)
Bus – Take a bus till Rishikesh bus stand and hire a Taxi or auto till hotel.