It was an incredible and long drive from Kanpur to Haridwar driving the Toyota Fortuner on the day three of the Toyota River Drive. 670 kilometres, straight highways, and sometimes congested inner roads. The arrow straight stretches of the Lucknow-Agra expressway left us quite stupefied. Also left us co-passengers deep asleep as the Toyota Fortuner’s rear seats are like luxury sofas on wheels.
The next morning, the weather was chilly in Haridwar. A local lad took us to Hari ki Pauri ghat by the banks of the Ganga. It’s believed that Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu visited the Bramhakund at this ghat during the vedic times. It’s also said that Hari ki Pauri is the exact point where the Ganga exits from the Himalayan mountain region, entering the plains and flowing east towards the Bay of Bengal. The religious place was jam-packed with tourists and locals. With the morning prayer playing loud in the background, hundreds of worshippers were bathing in the river, irrespective of the ice-cold water, wishing to clean off their sins.
After dipping our feet in the holy water of Haridwar (the water was way too cold for a bath), we drove the Toyota Fortuner to Rishikesh. Inspite of winter, this adventure sports hotspot didn’t seem to experience a drop in the number of tourists. Infact, the streets of Rishikesh resembled the ones back home in Pune. Nonetheless, we cajoled the Toyota Fortuner upto Tapovan, from where one can drive down to Neem Beach, one of the ending points of the rafting in Rishikesh. It was a superb setting. A group of international tourists indulged in a riverside yoga session, multiple rafting groups ending their thrilling ride and us in the Toyota Fortuner, getting a taste of its off-roading capability while Rohit and Alameen were trying to place it as perfectly as possible by the riverside for a perfect shot.