Eight morning hours Chandan and I started journey from Ram Jhula. One trekking pole, two bottles of water each of us was carrying and bread and butter. A blanket and woolen clothes because of winter days. Walking passing through Geeta Bhawan, Vanprasth Ashram we reached the road that connects to Barrage ( 8 km ), Chilla ( 22 km ).
The road is silent. Dense jungle both side of the road. Elephant dung on road.
After 40 minutes of walking towards Chilla we saw a left turn for Neelkanth Mahadev temple. Manikut parvat this is said Chandan and actual trek starts here only. A cemented steep path. Eight km the distance written on board.
At 9 we reached Shri Siddh Mauni Baba Gufa on the left side of the path. Upon request we were shown Gufa (cave) by a baba. A very small entrance for one person to enter at a time. The cave is in oval shape and good space for few people to meditate. Dhuni burning.
9:50 we had a stop at Nimbu Pani shop. This is Dhandlapani village (upon query) said by the makeshift shop owner Sanjay Rana. Neelkanth Temple is 5 km far from here. 3 km further steep climbing and then 2 km downwards journey. After paying Rs. 10 per nimbu pani glass we started our journey again.
Elephant dung we saw many times during our steep climb. Yes, Elephants are there in the jungle even up in the mountains. The more we climb up the more cold the temperature was. Maybe 9 am start will be much better rather than 8 – little early. On the way we saw few tourist foreigners and locals climbing but very few.
10:55 we stop at Pani Pau village to have a cup of tea along with bread and butter. We were hungry. Mohan Singh Rawat is running tea shop. We requested for tea which was very tasty. Rs. 7 per cup.
11:30 we reach Pundrasu Tanki. The steep climbing ends here only. Here you will find many dhabas. Though dhabas were not opened but during season that is Shravan months (July and August) they are packed with devotees – said Chandan.
Now we were going downwards. At 12 noon we were inside temple-area.
How many hours trek from Ram Jhula, Rishikesh to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple?
Four hours trek.
I am from plains. If you are from mountains physically fit maybe you need three and a half hours only.
While returning sharing jeep the best option. Rs. 60 per person. I was dropped at Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh. One hour journey by road.
If you are unable to do trekking of 8 km and still wish to do the trek one of the other best way is to reach Neelkanth Mahadev temple early morning by 9 or so via sharing jeep and start trekking from Neelkanth Mahadev towards Rishikesh. Then you have to do only 2 or 3 km of steep climbing and rest 5 km it is downwards journey.
If one is visiting Rishikesh I will say one should do Rishikesh to Neelkanth Mahadev trek or vice versa. Once you reach on top of Manikut parvat you can watch Rishikesh city along with Chandrabhaga and Ganga rivers. Lovely to watch. And jungle trek – lovely.