So, you are planning to visit Rishikesh, the gem of Uttarakhand! A great choice 🙂 . If you are a God lover, a nature lover, or an adventure lover, Rishikesh has a lot to offer to you. If you are traveling to Rishikesh for the first time, this article will help you with the details of all the spots, adventure, stays, eateries and more. Being in Rishikesh gives many a dream experience. Let me first tell you what Rishikesh is famous for –
Rishikesh is a beautiful town on the banks of the Ganges River. Hills surround it from three sides, giving the visitors a mesmerizing view. Interestingly, it is yoga’s birthplace. The entire city is a holy place and as per many beliefs, meditation here leads to salvation. Thus, it attracts those who are spiritual-seekers and come here to meditate, do yoga, and learn about other aspects of Hinduism.
Despite the fact that the number of visitors is growing every year, the lanes and alleys of the town maintain an old-world charm. And, it remains an amazing place where you can relax and unwind within nature. It has a distinct calm, uplifting and global feeling.
Best time to visit Rishikesh
As Rishikesh receives heavy rainfall, it is best to avoid visiting here during the monsoon months from July to August. At this time, famous river rafting is also not operational due to high water current.
As Rishikesh is at the foot of the Himalayas, during the warmer months, it offers a cool escape. The best time to visit is, therefore, between March and April, and from September to October.
Winters are cold but usually good, i.e. from November to February. The few months just after the monsoon are considered by many to be the best time to visit, as the landscape is alive, lush, and soothing.
The International Yoga Festival is the week-long festival which takes place each year in March. It is one of the largest annual yoga events in the world. Rishikesh celebrates this event in a grand style and if you have interest in yoga you should not miss visiting here.
Main Highlights while Traveling to Rishikesh
Ram Jhula and Laksham Jhula
They both are very famous iron bridges suspended over the mighty Ganges River.The names of the bridges are according to Hindu Mythology. It is said that Ram and Lakshman Had crossed the Ganga through these two bridges. The laxman jhula is most touristy as all the fun activities happen on this side. While, on Ram Jhula, You can find Ganga aarti over the ghats in the evening.
Unfortunately, the lakshman jhula had become old and unsafe. But, there are plans to build a new bridge with glass floors next to it.
Ganga Aarti – a divine experience when traveling to Rishikesh
People gather at the Parmarth Niketan ashram in the Swag Ashram region every evening to experience the Ganga Aarti.
The Beatles Ashram
It is one of Rishikesh’s biggest attractions. You may have learned about the popular English band named “The Beatles”. They visited the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1960s to practice meditation. They have built a living ashram that is almost abandoned. The beautiful Beatles artwork, abandoned building, and meditation chambers made up of Ganga stones can be observed.
Swarg Niwas Temple
It is a fascinating 13 storied temple which has a beautiful construction with a variety of Hindu deities in it. Shrines of various deities comprise each floor of this rich heritage site. A great panoramic view of the Rishikesh and Ganga valleys is provided from the terrace of this temple.
It is located on the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway, right on the banks of the Ganga River. Kaudiyala is a famous site for river rafting and it provides a panoramic views of hills. It is ideal for adventure lovers and getaway seekers.
Neer garh waterfall
It also has another name as Neer Gaddu. It is 7 kilometers from Lakshman Jhula. The waterfall’s crystal blue water seems soothing and serene.
River Rafting – a must do Adventure when traveling to Rishikesh
If you are an adventure freak, there is no better place than Rishikesh for a wonderful River Rafting experience. If you visit there in April-May, you will find the water pure blue. It seems to be an amazing site. And rafting in such water makes it once in a lifetime experience. There are a lot of adventure companies with whom you can book your rafting ride. It is best to book it beforehand so that you can avail best discounts.
Videography of River rafting
Most adventure companies make videos of your river rafting experience. They charge for it, but it is negotiable. It is great to see your expressions when rafting through a rough stream. So, don’t forget to take those memories in the form of the video.
Another great adventure sport for adventure seekers when traveling to Rishikesh is Cliff jumping. When you go to Rishikesh and do river rafting, the later part of rafting provides you an option of cliff jumping. A lot of tourists opt for cliff jumping as it feels extremely exciting. Not only the adventure, most of the cliff jumping points are also Maggie points, so you get to eat Maggie and have some tea after your adventurous time. You do not need to pay separately for cliff jumping. It comes as a free adventure with the package of River Rafting.
A word of caution though, you are mostly on your own while doing this adventure. There are some lifeguards available in water, but it is best that you do this sport only if you are confident in it. As a matter of precaution, first, just see how others are doing it and then make your decision.
Fooding at Rishikesh
Since, Rishikesh is a holy town It is difficult to find eggs, meat and alcohol here. But, Non-vegetarian food is available at selected places like the one offering Continental or Italian food.
However, Rishikesh does have some amazing cafes to hang out in.
Like the “Little Buddha Cafe” . It is a delightfully laid-back tree-house cafe at Lakshman Jhula which provides views of the Ganges River and fabulous international food.
Another such safe is “Cafe de Goa” which is located near Lakshman Jhula bridge. It also looks out over the Ganges River. It serves a wide variety of dishes including Continental cuisine. The 60’s cafe also known as Beatles Cafe in the Laxman Jhula region has a Beatles theme and music to go with it.
Bistro Nirvana , The Sitting Elephant , Jal & Jalebi and Chatsang Cafe are some other great cafes to hang out in.
Stay while traveling to Rishikesh
If you are planning to visit Rishikesh during the festival season, i.e. March then you may find difficulty in finding rooms. A large number of tourists flock here during that time and most of the rooms have advance bookings. So It is advisable to book rooms prior to your arrival here.
There are various types of hotels available in Rishikesh but booking the rooms depends on your budget and need. But the most luxurious hotels provide a panoramic and astounding view of the Himalayas. Substantial discounts are possible at hotels but during non-peak times, so you must ask for it. If you’re looking for inexpensive accommodations, there are a numerous cool backpacker hostels that have opened up in this area.
Camping in Rishikesh – a must have experience when traveling to Rishikesh
Beautiful Experiences wait for you, you just need to pack your bags and travel to Rishikesh. Rishikesh has a lot of camping sites next to the Ganges stream and its sub streams. You can book tents for staying overnight. The night parties here are great fun, especially for bachelors and newly weds. The aura at camp sites is extremely different from the aura of devotional places Rishikesh is famous for. You get to enjoy your time by the sides of Ganges stream. You can play, meditate, or walk around these camp sites. Soothing stream sound gives your nerves the relaxation they need.
At night, these camps usually have DJ parties and liquor, and dinner is available on a paid basis. As I said, it is a great place to unwind for bachelors and newlyweds. So, if you are traveling to Rishikesh for fun and adventure, do not miss out on a camping experience here.
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