Banyan by the Ganges – Exploring the Mellow Riverside Himalayan Retreat in Vyasghat, Devprayag!

Read this travelogue and explore the riverside Himalayan retread in Vyasghat, Devprayag (Uttarakhand), written by traveller Sandhyaa Venkatachalam.

Banyan by the Ganges Uttarakhand travelogue

A mellow riverside Himalayan retreat in Vyasghat, Devprayag (Uttarakhand) – 74km from Rishikesh in Pauri, which is unique because of its location that is far more inward downstream than the mainstream {where Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers meet}, with a majestic mountainous backdrop and a lapping river-view in the front.

If truth be told, we had a trepidious journey hunting for it and slowly felt a paranoia setting in as the darkness grew. There was no road, just a muddy path around the ridge and to make matters worse we spotted a Black Bear on the way! Our driver mocked us that we might even encounter a tiger inside the resort itself!

Vyasghat, Devprayag Uttarakhand travelogue

After a long drive into the cold night, when it seemed as though we had almost reached the end of the mountains, we finally eyeballed at a small and quiet settlement, peeping out from the eerie darkness of the valley with dull yellow lights. It was a lonely stay-out on the banks of the river Ganga, with a small open hut as the reception. Just as we began regretting this height of adventure and went further in, we realized that it was actually aesthetically designed to merge with the wilderness.

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Swiss Cottages in vyasghat devprayag uttarakhand travelogue

Very well-spread over 3 acres, the resort has luxury ‘Swiss Cottages’ housing spacious balconies, comfortably big attached baths with running hot and cold waters, and large bed-cots covered with fresh and clean linen.

multicuisine restaurant vyasghat devprayag uttarakhand

A multi-cuisine restaurant is the focal point of this resort – built exclusively with local stones and hence named ‘Riverstone Diner’, where we could enjoy our meal whilst watching the Ganges flow by. The mild night-time illumination actually made us feel somewhat romantic rather than frantic. One corner of this restaurant was made typically cozy with cane sofas to lie down, stacked up with board games and an interesting bookshelf filled with publications on nature, travel, and wildlife. What’s better than curling up on the snuggly sofa with a plate of delicious food in one hand and a book to read in another?!

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Besides the bonfire-n-barbeque settings for dinner, guests were amused with a telescope that was placed on the lawn and everyone tried their best at the ‘sky-watching game’. By now, this place certainly seemed reassuring, apparently safe from wildlife {no chance of tigers or any other animal as we had been told}, and also packed with incredible experiences for nature lovers, anglers, bird-watchers, and star-gazers.

river rafting in ganga vyasghat devprayag uttarakhand

Waking up to the melodies of chirping birds the next morning, we came out and noticed the greenery all around the resort that lent a cheerful vibe to the atmosphere. Specifically, there was a very huge banyan tree about 300 years old, by the river side and I only then understood how appropriately the resort had been named. A few steps down from the tree led to a sandy patch on the river bank, like a small river beach where people performed yoga, meditation, and morning stretches. Some of the guests were already out and about with their binoculars, and were busy looking out for ‘kingfishers’ and ‘sparrows’ on the trees. Some were playing volleyball, some were getting ready for rafting and kayaking in the river, and still others were gearing up for mountain biking, village walks or rock climbing nearby.

Banyan by the Ganges Uttarakhand travel diaryThe unwarranted fears of the previous day completely vanished into thin air, and the warm rays of the morning sun helped “Banyan-by-the-Ganges” to turn out to be one of the perfect destinations to peacefully unwind, slow down, de-tox, and reconnect with the calm of the encompassing natural environment.

Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat” – Laura Ingalls Wilder

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