The Complete Guide to Rishikesh, India: the Birthplace of Yoga

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

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Best time to visit, things to do, where to eat and drink, where to stay, things to do nearby.

Rishikesh, as the birthplace of yoga, attracts spiritual-seekers who come to meditate, do yoga, and learn about other aspects of Hinduism. The whole town is considered sacred, and it’s believed that meditation there leads to salvation. Despite the growing number of visitors, the town’s lanes and alleys retain an old-world charm, and it remains a wonderful place to relax and unwind among nature. It has a distinctively peaceful, uplifting, and international feel. Rishikesh is situated on the banks of the Ganges River, surrounded by hills on three sides, not far from Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Plan your trip with this Rishikesh travel guide.

Rishikesh is situated on the banks of the Ganges River, surrounded by hills on three sides, not far from Haridwar in Uttarakhand.

The nearest airport is Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport, 35 kilometers (22 miles away). The airport is actually closer to Rishikesh than it is to Dehradun! Expect to pay 1,500 rupees (around $19) for a taxi to Rishikesh from the airport. Shubh Yatra Travels offers a reliable service. However, it's cheaper to travel to Rishikesh by road from Haridwar if you're on a budget.

As Rishikesh is at the foothills of the Himalayas, it provides a fantastic escape during the hotter months. Therefore, the best time to visit is between March and April and September to October. Temperatures soar in May. Rishikesh is best avoided during the monsoon months from July to August, as it receives heavy rainfall. Rafting is also closed during this time. Winter, from November until February, is cold but generally pleasant. So, bring woolens. Many people consider the couple of months after the monsoon to be the best time to visit, as the landscape is alive, green, and soothing.

Those interested in yoga shouldn't miss the International Yoga Festival , held in Rishikesh in March each year. The week-long festival is one of the biggest annual yoga gatherings in the world. Attendees participate in a comprehensive program of yoga classes and evening discussions with some of India's leading spiritual leaders. There are also vegetarian cooking classes and the Yoga Aid Challenge charity fundraiser.

Rishikesh is one of the most popular destinations for yoga in India. There are numerous ashrams and styles of yoga and meditation to choose from. Hence, it's crucial to investigate which best meets your needs. Check out these top Rishikesh ashrams for yoga and meditation to get an idea of what's available. The main spiritual district is known as Swarg Ashram, and you'll also find plenty of ashrams there. Plus, food stalls and shops.

Rishikesh is an ideal place to wander around and explore on foot, although auto-rickshaws are readily available for transport. Make sure you watch out for the plentiful monkeys that are quite a menace, particularly on the bridges. Unfortunately, the iconic Lakshman Jhula suspension bridge was closed in 2019 because it had become old and unsafe. There are plans to build a new glass-floored bridge next to it. Venture down to the ghats lining the river and relax amid the daily goings-on. You can also take a boat across the river near Ram Jhula as an alternative to walking across the bridge.

People gather at Parmarth Niketan ashram (in the Swag Ashram area) to experience the Ganga Aarti (worship ritual with fire) every evening.

If you're interested in learning about Indian cuisine and how to make it, don't miss the classes offered by Cooking Masala.

You may have heard that the famous English band The Beatles visited the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1960s to learn meditation. They also wrote about 40 songs there. The ashram is located within Rajaji National Park, and it recently re-opened for tourists after three decades. Its remaining walls have been decorated with amazing graffiti artwork by artists worldwide under The Beatles Cathedral Gallery community project. The entry cost is 150 rupees for Indians and 600 rupees for foreigners. Students pay 50 rupees.

Ayurveda is popular in Rishikesh. You'll be able to feast on delicious Ayurvedic, organic, and healthy food. Head to Ayurpak (which also provides homestay accommodations and these jungle cottages ), Ramana's Organic Cafe, or Pure Soul Organic Cafe & Kitchen. In addition, Nature Care Village is a wonderful organic farm specializing in raw food, yoga, and meditation retreats. You can learn about the properties of various medicinal plants and their uses from experts there too. (Read reviews of Nature Care Village and book on Tripadvisor ). If you're keen on getting professional Ayurvedic treatment, Hemadri Ayurveda Center is recommended. Vedic Ayurved also gives some of the best Ayurvedic massages in Rishikesh.

Rishikesh is a great place to shop for religious items, books, clothes, jewelry, and handicrafts. The main market areas are around Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula.

Because Rishikesh is a holy town, eggs, meat, and alcohol are difficult to find there.

However, Rishikesh does have some groovy cafes to hang out in. The Little Buddha Cafe is a delightfully laid-back tree-house cafe at Lakshman Jhula, providing views of the Ganges River and fabulous international food. Cafe de Goa , near Lakshman Jhula bridge, also looks out over the Ganges River and serves various dishes, including Continental cuisine. The 60's cafe (Beatles Cafe) in the Laxman Jhula area has a Beatles theme and music to go with it. Bistro Nirvana is recommended for its rustic setting featuring bamboo and clay furnishings. Head to The Sitting Elephant on the rooftop of Hotel EllBee or Jal & Jalebi at Hotel Ganga Kinare for upmarket and fine dining. On the other side of the river, Chatsang Cafe ("where food meets the soul") offers healthy and contemporary food with a twist.

Substantial discounts are usually possible at hotels during non-peak times, so do ask! For smaller hotels, it's best to just turn up. If you prefer to book in advance and stay somewhere reputable, here are the best Rishikesh hotels and guesthouses for all budgets. The article also contains information about the various areas in Rishikesh to help you choose where will suit you best. If you're looking for inexpensive accommodations, several groovy backpacker hostels have opened up in the area. Zostel and Bunk Stay are popular.

Shivpuri is a highly recommended side trip, especially if you're into adventure. Located 22 kilometers (14 miles) upstream, it's a place of mesmerizing natural beauty. You'll find excellent white water rafting with Grade 3 and 4 rapids. Tented accommodations with attached bathrooms, such as those provided by Camp AquaForest and Camp Ganga Riviera , add to the uniqueness of the setting in the middle of white sand beach and jungle. There's also an excellent bungee jump zone and Asia's longest zip-line on the road to Neelkanth at Mohanchatti village (about 20 minutes from Rishikesh). Mini-bus transport is provided from Rishikesh.

A side trip to Haridwar is also worthwhile to experience the very different atmosphere and evening Ganga Aarti there.

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Third Eye Traveller

Rishikesh Travel Guide 2024 – 10 Reasons to Visit the Birthplace of Yoga!

By: Author Sophie Pearce

Posted on Last updated: January 1, 2024


This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

There’s no doubt about it, I fell in love with Rishikesh as soon as I arrived.

The beautiful hills which fall into each other, the clean, green flowing mother Ganga, and the peaceful vibes that seem to be all over the place are infectious. I was hooked.

Rishikesh is the birthplace of yoga and came into international fame after the Beatles stopped here to stay at an Ashram in the 60s.

Today, people from all over the world visit to learn how to become yogi instructors, attend the annual yoga festival and learn how to better their meditation from the gurus.

Although in the peak seasons of winter it can get pretty crowded, I’ve never felt anything but great as I’ve been wandering around.

People are friendly, it’s incredibly cheap and it’s generally an awesome place to be! There are plenty of things to do here that don’t involve yoga if that isn’t your thing too.

Here is my ultimate Rishikesh travel guide with 10 reasons to visit the birthplace of yoga!

rishikesh travel guide

My Rishikesh travel guide & 10 reasons to visit Rishikesh

1. it’s the birthplace of yoga.

Notably, the main thing that draws people here, aside from the fact it’s on the foothills of the Himalayas, is that it provides lessons in Yoga and meditation.

You can learn from some of the best yogi instructors in the world and what better place than where yoga was born?!

It’s a pilgrimage of the spirit and mind and some say it will change your life. You can get involved in many yoga retreats and intense courses if this is what you would like to do.

Most travellers stay at an Ashram while they’re here. There are so many to choose from, it’s best to just go with your gut feel and/or budget.

I stayed at Yog Niketan by Sanskriti which is a hotel ‘ashram’ not far from Ram Jhula. Every morning, you could wake up to fantastic views of the mountains and the Ganges river.

My friend and I, who are totally NOT yoga bunnies, decided we would try a yoga session here. It was complimentary each morning so we thought why not.

It was a pretty painful experience and I definitely learned that I need to do a lot of work on my flexibility!

The yoga instructors here are pretty intense and they will definitely correct you if you’re going wrong.

Which is part of why they’re so good! So many times I was in the A-frame or “mountain” and the instructor kept saying “keep your back straight, straight, STRAIGHT” lol.

I definitely didn’t find my calling. We essentially did a lot of sun salutations for around an hour and by the end of it, I had a good workout.

It felt really good to get up at sunrise and do something positive to start the day. I would highly recommend it.

yog niketan by sanskriti | Rishikesh travel guide

2. You can take a dip in the Ganges river

The river Ganges snakes through the middle of Rishikesh and it adds such a colourful addition to the foothills around it.

Although the Ganges in Varanasi is extremely dirty and polluted, the source of the river is only 40 kilometres away from here and making it extremely clean.

You will see Sadhu and Hindu pilgrims bathing in the Ganges here each morning and throughout the day. You may also see little empty bottles and jugs for sale as you walk around with ‘Ganga Jal’ on the side.

This is for those who have visited to take some of the Ganges homes with them!

If you would also like to do this, the bottles will cost you around 10 rupees. It’s just making sure it doesn’t leak in your luggage!

You should definitely take a dip in Mother Ganga while you’re here. As a woman, I didn’t feel comfortable stripping off as the boys do. So I just dipped my tootsies in. It was Indian winter time and so the water was freezing!

river ganges rishikesh travel guide

3. You can visit the abandoned Beatles Ashram

Possibly the coolest attraction in Rishikesh is the fact you can visit the abandoned Beatles Ashram.

This ashram became famous after the band visited here in the 60s.

Along with their strict meditation instructions from their guru, this ashram inspired the Beatles to write many songs on the White Album.

Although it does have a hefty price tag of 500 rupees for a foreigner, it’s worth having a peek inside and is a must for any Beatles fan.

To read more about it see my article: Exploring the abandoned ashram in Rishikesh.

beatles ashram rishikesh

4. You can witness the famous Aarti at Triveni Ghat

My favourite part of visiting Rishikesh was witnessing the amazing Aarti at Triveni Ghat.

Hindus make a pilgrimage here as it’s a sacred site and a meeting of the three holy rivers; the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the Saraswathy.

It is said that if you bathe in the waters of this holy Ghat, your sins will leave you.

The Aarti here is something you simply cannot miss on your visit. It is an amazing feeling watching the flames, hearing the Bhajans, and feeling the energy.

It starts around 6.30 pm each evening so get there early to guarantee a seat in peak season.

triveni ghat aarti | rishikesh travel guide

5. Feel some shanti vibes at The Little Buddha Café

This is my all-time favourite Shanti, Shanti café in Rishikesh and possibly India so far! You can just relax here, away from the streets and feel-good vibes.

The café provides panoramic views of the hills, Lakshman Jhula, and the Ganges river from their open viewpoint.

They serve up the most amazing lemon, ginger, and honey tea (which I’m obsessed with) and a great menu of Indian and International cuisine.

I love the ‘Falafel all’ platter on their menu. I could literally sit here all day, listen to their awesome music and just watch the world go by. You have to visit it.

the little buddha cafe rishikesh | Rishikesh Travel guide

6. Walk over the suspension bridges, Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula

The two suspension bridges which allow for an easy crossing over the Ganges should be a bit of an eyesore.

But, they actually complement and even improve the setting as you walk around the town.

Although the bridges are relatively narrow, you’ll find the traffic is busy at all times of day!

Bikes, cows, selfie-takers, luggage carriers, and monkeys are among those that use the bridge so be prepared to make way. They also move quite a lot with the wind, so it may be pretty shaky if the winds are high.

Lakshman Jhula is the bigger and more picturesque of the two and is where many of the hotels and restaurants are including the German Bakery. To get to Ram Jhula it’s an easy 2/3km walk.

Read more – The most Instagrammable places in Delhi!

lakshman jhula rishikesh travel guide

7. It has an amazing white sand beach on the banks of the Ganges

A really beautiful, peaceful place to visit and to dip in the Ganges is the white sand beach.

Located around 500m from Ram Jhula, it’s a great place to sit and relax, meditate or meet some locals.

I’ve visited Rishikesh twice now. Once in Indian winter, when the water levels were low and the sand was white.

Most recently, I visited in monsoon season where the water levels were high and the beach was almost black due to the muddy waters from the mountains! During this time, you need to be careful of the flowing river.

You shouldn’t swim when the tide is high as you could be pulled away by the current.

As the water levels were getting to a dangerous level, a security officer ushered everyone off the beach, including the cows. So, tread carefully unless you want a ride down the river of course!

beach in rishikesh travel guide

8. Go white water rafting, zip-lining, or on an adventure

Although since the 60s this has been a location of peace and tranquillity, nowadays a lot of people visit to get involved in the many adrenalin activities which are on offer.

All over the town, you’ll see shops advertising boating/rafting, ziplining, speedboating, treks into the mountain, and more.

There is so much to choose from, making it the home of adventure!

Personally, I didn’t go white water rafting when I was here last time but it’s definitely on my list.

The second time I visited, the water levels were too high during the monsoon. So, I’m determined to come back and do it another time. Always ensure you book a safe, reputable company for the rafting.

rafting rishikesh travel guide

9. Visit the amazing temples

As Rishikesh literally sits on the banks of the Ganges, there are dozens of temples and ghats here.

In the evening time, you will see many temples performing the nightly aarti.

You’ll see flaming candles and the sound of chanting fill the air. The most striking Hindu temple to visit here is next to the Lakshman Jhula.

The Tera Manzil temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is fascinating to walk around.

As you make your way to the top, there are hundreds of shrines dedicated to different Hindu deities.

When you reach the top, a priest will bless you with a Tilak (vermillion blessing or red dot) of Lord Shiva’s trident.

You can also take home some blessed Ganga Jal in one of the brass pots they have there.

Not only is this temple great for some spiritual awareness and learning about Hindu culture, it provides awesome views of the Ganges and Rishikesh.

shiva temple rishikesh travel guide

10. Feel refreshed in body and mind

A lot of travellers, Indians, and people from all over the world escape to Rishikesh to help their inner peace.

Meditation and Yoga are tried and tested natural ways to help stress and calm the mind. So, where better to come than here?!

I definitely feel that if I felt lost in my life or needed some direction, this is going to be the first place I call on.

Although I didn’t personally visit for a spiritual calling, there’s no doubt that the energies here made me feel at peace.

If you haven’t thought about visiting Rishikesh, I would change that now! Put it on your list and allow yourself a few days of peaceful vibes.

rishikesh travel guide

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Why you need to visit Shimla

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A complete Bhagsunag waterfall guide

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Kedar Singh

Wednesday 15th of February 2023

Rishikesh has the full spectrum of the Best tourist attractions places in Rishikesh that lures in the young and wild, the holidaying family, and the elderly pilgrims.

Sophie Pearce

Thursday 16th of February 2023

Totally agree Kedar! Thanks for reading! Sophie x

Kamlesh Chauhan

Wednesday 25th of January 2023

Oh, What a wonderful way to explain the spiritual Rishikesh, I love the way you have highlighted it. It is really mesmerizing to read such words. Appreciate your work.

Thanks Kamlesh!

Thursday 3rd of February 2022

Thank you so much for sharing all this wonderful info with us. It is so appreciated.

Hi Shivani, thanks so much! I'm glad you liked the post :) Sophie x

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

Hi, Nice article indeed! The image selection and the Wonderful way to explain the holy place of Rishikesh, Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat is famous across the world cannot miss it. It is a good place for holy temples, adventure activities and Ashrams. Rishikesh is a thought year destinations to plan to visit here. I am planning this year in December

Hi Akansha, I totally agree! Rishikesh is the best! Have a wonderful time. Thanks, Sophie x

rakesh Shah

Wednesday 29th of September 2021

River Rafting in Rishikesh is the most popular adventure activity in India in which a small group of people uses an inflatable raft with paddles to navigate the Ganga river. Cliff jumping, body surfing or swimming are the common activities performed during a rafting trip. It is the adventure which fits every traveller or tourist budget. For the safety of peoples life jackets, helmet, paddle & river guide is provided. 

Sunday 10th of October 2021

Thanks for the suggestion! Sophie x

Download GPX file for this article

  • 1 Understand
  • 2.2 By train
  • 2.3 By plane
  • 2.4 By taxi
  • 3.1 On foot
  • 3.2 By rickshaw
  • 3.3 By taxi
  • 5.3 Astrology, Ayurveda, healing, etc.
  • 5.4 Outdoor activities
  • 9.2 Mid-range
  • 9.3 Splurge
  • 10 Stay safe

Rishikesh is a small town in the northern state of Uttarakhand , India . Scenically located where the Ganges River comes down from the Himalayas, Rishikesh catapulted to Western fame when the Beatles dropped by for a visit to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram. The town is still known as the World Capital of Yoga .

Understand [ edit ]

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

Along with nearby Dehradun and Haridwar , Rishikesh is a useful gateway to the Uttarakhand Himalayas. The Northern Char Dham Yatra (Four Shrines Sacred Journey) ideally begins from Rishikesh.

The nearby Shivpuri , 12 km away, is the centre for many adventure sports, not to be confused with its namesake Shivpuri .

Get in [ edit ]

By bus [ edit ].

  • 30.11288 78.29574 1 ISBT ( north of Rishikesh center ). ( updated Aug 2023 )

From Delhi , Rishikesh is about 230 km away and is well connected with buses. A bus journey may take about 5–7 hr (depending on the traffic) and costs you ₹130–350. An AC bus will cost ₹200–500. The right time to visit would be February, March, August-October. In July there is a festival called Savan where thousands of people flock to Rishikesh. Major roads are blocked and hotels are crowded. It is better to avoid travelling to Rishikesh during that time.

From Dehradun ISBT, a bus to Rishikesh costs ₹95 (2023) and takes around 1¼ hr.

Getting away :

Several travel agencies scattered around Swarg Ashram and Lakshman Jhula can book luxury buses to common destinations like Delhi (₹250-₹500), Jaipur , Pushkar and Varanasi .

Public and private buses from Rishikesh to other destinations in Uttarakhand and on the plains leave from the main bus station on the south side of Chandrabhaga bridge.

Buses to northwest destinations including Devprayag, Srinagar and Kedarnath may pass through Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula, however you will be more likely to get a seat at the bus station in Rishikesh town.

By train [ edit ]

There are many trains from Delhi to Haridwar . Some of the better are: Shatabadi Express, Jan Shatabdi, AC Special Express, Mussoorie Express. A quiet branch line connects Haridwar to Rishikesh, but there are only about three slow trains daily. Normally, it is better to take the train to Haridwar and continue by bus (45 min, ₹20), by taxi (30 min, ₹650) or by shared auto-rickshaw (40 min, ₹25). However, travelling by train is recommended in peak seasons or during a 'mela' (fair) when bus routes are diverted in Haridwar whereas trains often run empty and the fares are low (just ₹4 for a passenger train service). You can take share rickshaws (vehicle brand name Vikram) towards Laxman Jhula (₹15) from Rishikesh station. You will have to cross Ram Jhula to reach Swargashram on the other side of the Ganges.

Passenger trains from Haridwar to Rishikesh (approximate travel time 1 hr):

  • Haridwar–Rishikesh 05:20
  • Haridwar–Rishikesh 10:30
  • Haridwar–Rishikesh 17:25

Travel agents in Swarg Ashram and Lakshman Jhula can book train tickets for onward journeys; much easier than going to Rishikesh railway station to buy a ticket. Some may sell you a ticket from Raiwala, a small stop between Rishikesh and Haridwar, but this station, while closer, is tiny and trains only stop for a few seconds—better to board at Haridwar.

Ordinary / Passenger Trains from Rishikesh:

  • Rishikesh–Delhi 07:00
  • Rishikesh–Haridwar 08:55 ₹10
  • Rishikesh–Bandikui 12:20
  • Rishikesh–Haridwar 15:20 ₹10
  • Rishikesh–Haridwar 19:30 ₹10
  • Rishikesh–Jammutawi 16:15

By plane [ edit ]

Rishikesh is about 15 km from Dehradun 's Jolly Grant Airport ( DED  IATA ), which offers flights from Delhi and other Indian cities.

Delhi airport to Rishikesh by taxi is a 6–7-hr journey. Prices vary from US$85 for an air-conditioned compact car to US$125 for an air-conditioned SUV (but rates are much higher if you get these services from prepaid taxi booths at the airport).

By taxi [ edit ]

Shared taxis to destinations within Uttarakhand leave from Natraj Chowk, 1 km from the Rishikesh bus station.

Get around [ edit ]


The town's centre, where the bus and train stations are, is of little interest to most travellers.

Northeast are three bridges spanning the Ganges, south to north: 30.11632 78.30888 1 Janki Setu , 30.12328 78.31453 2 Ram Jhula and 30.12635 78.33005 3 Laxman Jhula (closed as of summer 2023).

The main hubs of activity and interest are 30.11855 78.31381 4 Swargashram on the eastern bank of the Ganges (the center of multiple ashrams) and 30.12903 78.3251 5 Tapovan about 5 km northeast of Rishikesh (the backpacker hotspot with dirt-cheap accommodation).

On foot [ edit ]

Swargashram is pretty much pedestrian only, but it's compact and walkable (as is the whole of the town).

To visit eastern bank of Ganges, you have to walk across Janki Setu or Ram Jhula , or take ferry from Ram Jhula.

By rickshaw [ edit ]

Auto-rickshaws (vikrams) are useful from the bus/train stations to get around:

  • Janki Seti or southern Rishikesh – ₹10.
  • Tapovan – ₹20 (2023), maybe ₹25 from the bus terminal

Near the bank of Ganges, share jeeps and taxis are available to drop visitors at Neelkantha temple and waterfall. Overall, it’s more than 16 km run by road to go from one side of river to another.

See [ edit ]

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

  • 30.10612 78.30205 1 Bharat Mandir . One of the temples set up by 'Adiguru Shankaracharya' during the 12th century. This temple is a real tribute to Vishnu, the idol of which is carved from a sole piece of Saligram.  
  • 30.120605 78.313539 2 Gita Bhavan . Place of Guru Shri Ram Sukh Daasji (the great thinker of his time) and popular among the Hindu Brahmin community. Twice a year people gather at this ashram to read the Ramayana together.  
  • 30.086928 78.267612 3 Neelkanth Mahadev Mela . One of the most sacred temples in Rishikesh. Located on hill over Swarg Ashram at a height of 1,675 m. A religious fair is held during July–August when many disciples from different corners of India visit.  
  • 30.119113 78.312209 4 Parmarth Niketan Ashram . One of the few ashrams left in India where children get the Vedas education. A must-visit in the evening for the Pooja/Aarti, at 5PM in winter and 6PM in summer.  
  • 30.116483 78.313095 5 Swarg Ashram , Shri 108 Baba kali Kamli Wale Swami Atam Prakash Ji . Swargashram (Heavenly Abode), as the name connotes, is a beautiful place situated in picturesque surroundings at the foot of Himalayas on the left bank of the Ganges between Rishikesh and Laxman Jhula. It is the spiritual “ground zero” of Rishikesh, filled with a concentration of ashrams and temples. The areas is known for its healthy and satwik living environment. It is this spot where from ages of yore the famous yogis and rishis have been doing the Tapasya. Numerous mentions of this spot occur in the holy scripture Puranas.  
  • 30.12655 78.33108 6 Trayambakeshwar Temple , Laxman Jhula . It is 13 stories high, with different deities throughout.  
  • 30.102861 78.299716 7 Triveni Ghat . This is a bathing ghat. Every morning and evening, thousands of visitors bathe here and enjoy the Maha Aarti being performed. It is very soothing to sit on the banks of the river and enjoy the cool breeze from the river.  

Do [ edit ]

  • Take a holy dip in the Ganges , with reputed healing powers.
  • Chota Char Dham – It starts in summer and continues till the end of October. The Chota Char Dham is a Hindu pilgrimage route taking in four holy sites within Uttarakhand: Badrinath , Kedarnath , Gangotri (all sources of tributaries of the River Ganga) and Yamunotri (source of the Yamuna River).
  • Check into an ashram to study yoga, meditation and Hindu philosophy; see Yoga in Rishikesh .
  • Trekking to Hemkunt ( Hemkund , 4,150 m) – Officially this is a Sikh pilgrim journey, but if you are fed up with whole enlightenment circus or the overly commercialised tourism spectacle in town, this could be a great combination of inexpensive stays and great hikes.
  • Shivpuri — one of the most visited places around Rishikesh, 12 km away. Named after Shiva. It is a spiritual village which is also the hub for adventure sports. One can do many adventure activities in Shivpuri like river rafting, camping, ziplining and trekking.

Yoga [ edit ]

Rishikesh considers itself to be the yoga capital of the world. It's on offer everywhere, and most styles are represented. Yoga teacher training is offered at several places. See Yoga in Rishikesh for listings.

Music [ edit ]

  • Bhuwan Chandra Music School & Store , Ram Jhula, Swaargashram, near Ram Jhula Bridge , ☏ +91 9412029817 , [email protected] . Run by a sitar player Bhuwan Chandra. Travelers can learn and buy sitar, tabla, harmonium, mantra chanting, and improve vocal skills. ₹500/hr .  
  • Mukeshji's Jungle Vibes , Shisham Jhari ( near Dayanand Ashram ), ☏ +91 9411312049 . Make Australian didgeridoos, African djmbes and other musical instruments under the guidance of Mukeshji, while he regales you with his hilarious stories and takes you along with him in his Himalayan journeys.  
  • 30.1217 78.3068 1 Pankaj Music School , Ganga Vatika, Muni Ki Reti ( 100m left from Ram Jhula bridge, through Sivananda Memorial Arc ), ☏ +91 989 7108154 . 9AM-6PM . Extremely proferssional artist Pankaj teaches sitar, harmonium, tabla and bansuri in different styles in a slow-paced, yet intensive way. ₹200/hr . ( updated Feb 2018 )

Astrology, Ayurveda, healing, etc. [ edit ]

Everyone needs healing.

  • Indian Palmistry Institute ( near Police Station Laxman Jhula ), ☏ +91 9358549482 , [email protected] . Centre for learning palmistry and astrology.  
  • Ganga Astrology Centre ( near German Bakery, Laxman Jhula ), ☏ +91 9897483488 , [email protected] . Personal horoscopes and palm reading from Dr. Gaurav Agrawal and the astrologer B.P. Uniyal. The horoscopes can be made on a distance, using your place and date of birth. Palm reading ₹300; full chart horoscope ca ₹500 .  
  • Soma Reiki centre ( Near the Swargashram taxi stand ), ☏ +91 98 97 73 26 79 , [email protected] . Run by soma a local reiki master which is in Gita Ashram.  
  • 30.123729 78.329277 2 Maayaa International Healing School ( Maayaa Healing ), Near Dharam Raj Temple, Laxman Jhulla Road, Paurhi , ☏ +919373052179 , [email protected] . 9AM–8PM . Maayaa offers sound healing, reiki, chakra healing, numerology, Tarot reading, physic counselling, aromatherapy, Kundalini meditation, dowsing, chakra balancing. Also these residential courses: sound healing teacher training course, meditation teacher training course, aromatherapy course, chakra plus crystal intensive program and yoga & meditation retreats. US$75 . ( updated Feb 2017 )
  • 30.1236 78.329191 3 Divine School of Ayurveda ( Dr. Mukesh Sharma and Dr. Vibha Sharma ), Laxman Jhula Road, Near Dharamraj Temple below Maestro Galleria, Pauri Garhwal ( Reach Dharam Raj Temple on Laxman Jhulla ), ☏ +919868980101 , [email protected] . 9AM–7PM . Panchakarma, sound healing, astrology or Jyotishshastra, Ayurveda nutrition, yoga & Ayurveda retreat. US$7.50 . ( updated Feb 2017 )

Outdoor activities [ edit ]

There are numerous travel agencies offering all kinds of trips and thrill adventures. It's probably just agencies that contact the tour organisiers, so ask around for the best price, it will be the same tour anyhow.

  • Bungee jump – You can try bungee jump at Jumpin Heights, a jump from 83 m just above a natural river and have the time of your life—₹3,700. Similarly, there is Fox Flying available—₹2,000.
  • Camping – Camping in Rishikesh on the Ganga beach offer an environment to wake up with the birds and swim in the fresh water of the river Ganges. Camping in Rishikesh is a very popular activity, don't ask why. The nearest camp is just across Goa Beach adjacent to Laxman Jhula.
  • Cliff jumping – You are supposed to jump into cold water from a cliff! Of course you are wearing a life jacket and a helmet but still jumping from so high into the Ganges, which is murky so the bottom can't be seen, unlike jumping into a swimming pool where one can see the bottom and the water is static.
  • Hiking – There are a lot of soft hikes in this region and good birdwatching . But this altitude is barely where you want to do any larger hiking trips, better try Hemkunt above.
  • Rappelling – Climbing down with a rope is called rappelling. The group is taken to a spot where there is a cliff drop, experts with proper equipment who set up the gear first and then, one by one, everyone comes down. It's all about trusting your gear and following the instructions and then it's a lot of fun.
  • Reverse Bungee Jumping – Feel the adrenaline rush as you bound up to 180 feet and back down in the adventure of reverse bungee jump in Rishikesh—₹1,500.
  • Rock climbing – This is also included at some of the camps but not everyone can do it as it requires a lot of strength and skill. The group is taken to a cliff side and with proper safety gear everyone is given a chance to climb the cliff side.
  • White water rafting – Rishikesh is very popular for its rafting on the River Ganga (Ganges). The area offers rapids of Grade-I to V. September–November and March-May are ideal for rafting. The rafting goes for several kilometres, and the path is interspersed with rapids, ranging from Level 1 to Level 5, in order of difficulty. At the end of the trip, you have the option of jumping some 20 feet from a ledge into the water. The package usually includes an overnight camp on the banks of the river, with a brilliant and moderate trek among the hills in the morning. If one has time, courses in rafting are also offered.

Events [ edit ]

  • Yoga and Music Festival . Annually . Free concerts of live classical Indian music and free yoga classes with local top yoga teachers.  

Buy [ edit ]

As with most holy cities come tourist destinations there's a plethora of religious paraphernalia, cheap clothing aimed at foreigners, incense, bronze Shiva statues, etc. Unlike many other similar towns in India prices here are usually reasonable and you won't have to haggle hard for a good price.

Eat [ edit ]

Non-vegetarian food has been banned in the city for many years. North and south Indian food is widely available, and there's no shortage of multi-cuisine backpacker cafes, especially in Laxman Jhula. What excites many foreigners are the delicious Ayurvedic and health food restaurants, perfect for an after-yoga meal. Many of the main lanes are lined with wooden push carts selling in-season fruit, veggies, popcorn, nuts, warm cookies and lots else, and you'll usually be quoted a fair price. The papayas here are particularly delicious. Try the famous Chotiwali Special/Janata or Delux Thali. It used to be an unlimited affair but now due to practical constraints the quantity is limited and extra helpings are charged. There are several eateries offering jalebis, imartis, samosas, and other Indian snacks. If you haven't heard of these before, you should definitely try them.

  • Chotiwala in Swarg Ashram claims to be the original, and serves up great Indian food including 5 different thalis. Meals starts from ₹100.
  • Ganga Ayurvedic Food Place , ( out beyond most of the ashrams, just past VED Niketan Ashram ). Delicious food, lovingly prepared. One of the cleaner kitchens around; don't be afraid of the good salads. Also great for breakfast.
  • Ganga View Restaurant ( from Laxman Jhula bridge, go to taxi stand passing the famous bell temples. After taxi stand walk another 20 meters ). 8AM–11PM . Probably the best cooks in town, these guys will serve you any food you like. Be prepared to wait 40-90 minutes as the place is extremely popular. ₹10–200 .  
  • German Bakery in Tapovan ( just above entrance to Laxman Jhula bridge, Tapovan side ). Don't miss their super-popular spinach pie. Come at 10AM to get a piece.  
  • Little Buddha ( Fine Nepali Food ), Laxman Jhula Rd ( in Laxman Jhula, look for a huge tree in the middle of the Laxman Jhula Rd. The restaurant is right against the tree. ). 8AM-10PM . One of the best known cafes in town. Here you can get delicious Nepali, Indian, European, and Thai food for under ₹100 per dish. Three storeys, nice Ganga view. ₹10-150 .  
  • Little Italy , Swarg Ashram, ( in the Green Hotel ). Good pasta, pizza, etc. Mains from ₹30.
  • Moon Dance Cafe , Ramjhula Swargashram Area ( near taxi stand ), ☏ +91 91-9897270905 . 8AM-11PM . Italian, Mexican American, Indian, Tibetan, Nepali, Israeli cuisine with all food prepared with fresh water. Great choice of delicious meals. Be prepared to wait for at least 40 minutes. ₹6-120 .  
  • Mukti's Health Food , ( a few hundred metres west of Shivanand Jhula bridge, overlooking the taxi stand/parking lot ). A tiny place in a strange location, but very popular and excellent food at very reasonable prices. Homemade green pasta, Indonesian gado-gado, and homemade frozen yogurt, apple pie or chocolate cake for dessert.
  • The Office . Has sweet samosas filled with mango, apple, banana and/or chocolate as well as tasty masala chai.
  • Pundit g ka rajasthani restaurant ( near Triveni Ghat ). Has a very good variety of north Indian food.  
  • Red Night Restaurant , ☏ +91 135 2440094 . Open air, river-facing restaurant and terrace  
  • Shiva-resort , a nice place away from the bustling market of Ram-Jhula towards Neelkanth road in Jonk village. A great place to have organic food and you also can stay there in a silent and pleasant place.
  • The Welcome Center , ( about a 10-15 minute walk towards Haridwar from the Shivanand Jhula bridge ). Hidden down off the road (but signposted), this is a little oasis of calm from the busy street. Great Ayurvedic food and teas. They also offer cooking classes, several types of yoga, etc. and sell natural incense, neti pots, yoga mats and the like. If you like the atmosphere, enquire about staying here as well.
  • 30.123758 78.32922 1 Zorba Organic Restaurant & Cafe , Near Dharam Raj Temple ( walk form Laxman Jhula towards Dharam Raj Temple ), ☏ +91 98164 92921 , [email protected] . 8AM-10:30PM . Serves Indian, Italian, Chinese, cafe-style, Tibetan and Israeli food. Vegetarian-friendly with vegan options, to eat in or take out. Outdoor seating with view of the Ganges. No smoking, child-friendly. ( updated Feb 2017 )

Drink [ edit ]

Sitting around in dhabas and cafes is nearly mandatory here. In addition to the old standards like masala chai and lassis you can find a nice range of Ayurvedic teas . Some restaurants make up their own tonics to treat anything that may be ailing you.

There are two Italian-style/Seattle-style cafés focusing on coffee.

  • Alcohol is banned and inappropriate, as Rishikesh is a holy city, although you can buy beer (8% alc) with your meal in one of the finer hotels.
  • Tripti Restaurant is on main the Badrinath highway and is a good place to visit. It has a beautiful view and an airy restaurant area to sit and relax. The food is healthy and fresh and tasty. It is a common place for foreigners and visitors to have a calm and quite break. Sitting on the terrace is another thing that you don't want to miss at "Tripti"
  • Freedom Ganga Cafe ( In Laxman Jhula, locate a tree in the middle of the road and turn down into a small lane next to an Ayurvedic doctor's office. ). 8AM-10PM . Offers strawberry smoothies, thick mango juice (ask for no ice), strawberry lassi, thick fresh pineapple juice. Drinks are served in 500 ml mugs. ₹12-200 .  

Sleep [ edit ]

Rishikesh is filled almost entirely with budget hotels, with a few mid-range thrown in for good measure. Tapovan is popular with backpackers and has the cheapest accommodation, while Swargashram is where the majority of the ashrams are, and is a nice alternative. There is also a handful of accommodation options available in High Bank .

It's wise to book ahead in the peak tourist season, and during the Kumbh Mela in neighboring Haridwar .

Budget [ edit ]

Hotels in this range start at price as low as ₹100.

  • Ananda Guesthouse , Swargashram ( next to Krishna Cottage ), ☏ +91 9758164982 , [email protected] . Clean and comfortable, new rooms with attached bath. Good value for the money and the owner is a great and helpful host. ₹300-400 .  
  • Green Hotel , Swargashram , ☏ +91 135-2431242 . A large, popular place with a good restaurant. ₹100-1000 .  
  • Hotel Hill Top , Laxman Jhula , ☏ +91 135-2434583 . Rooms over looking the river and the mountains. Double bed-room ₹600-750. Four bed-room with TV ₹1,200. .  
  • Hotel Ishan , Lakshman Jhula . Decent rooms with Ganga views and balconies. From ₹200 .  
  • Hotel Narayana Kunj , Swargashram , ☏ +91 135-2440922 , +91 135-2440822 . They claim to have neat and clean rooms and good service. ₹300-600 .  
  • Hotel Surya Palace , Village Joink Ramjhula , ☏ +91 1352440005 . Opened 2010. Wifi. Rooms are big, clean and very comfortable. ₹350-900 .  
  • Jaipur Inn , Laxman Jhula . Nice rooms, some with a view and a good restaurant on the top floor that overlooks both the Laxman Jhula and the Ganges River. Single ₹900, double ₹1000 .  
  • Krishna Cottage , Swargashram ( near Chotiwala Restaurant ), ☏ +91 135-2440193 , [email protected] . Room price of US$20 per night includes 3 meals & free wireless internet. Also offers short term yoga and ayurveda courses/retreats (including Yoga Alliance certified 200 hour yoga teacher training) and budget car and taxi rental services from Delhi airport to Rishikesh. US$20/night .  
  • Laxmi Yellow Guest House , Near Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram, Badrinath Road Tapovan Laxman Jhoola ( 10 minutes walk from Police Check Post Tapovan ), ☏ +91 9760506761 , [email protected] . Check-in: noon , check-out: noon . Guest house with clean and comfortable rooms with attached kitchen, common kitchen and attached bathroom with 24 hours hot water, mountain view, in-house salad lounge & cafe. In-house reiki and crystal macrame workshops available. In-house salon for haircut by professional stylist. Yoga lessons, river rafting and other adventure activities are also available on request. The host is very helpful and kind and stays in the same property. The same owner also owns Yash Paying Guest House, which charges ₹400-500 for rooms and also offers them for monthly rentals. Contact info for Yash: email: [email protected], +91 9412146858, Mr.Yash, +91 9997887794 ₹250 - 400 .  
  • Live Free Hostel , Laxman Jhula, Distt. Tehri Garhwal, Tapovan ( near Anand Dham ), ☏ +91 98717 99693 . Hostel with a rooftop and several terraces. Dorm, single and double rooms with all new beds and bedsheats. Staff sometimes takes tourists out on small daytours outside of town. Has Wifi. 4-bed dorms for ₹399, doubles for ₹999 . ( updated Feb 2017 )
  • Lucky Hotel , Lakshman Jhula . 8-room hotel on the banks of the Ganges with a river view. A restaurant serving Indian and Chinese food is under the hotel. ₹300-1300 . ( updated Dec 2020 )
  • Mount Valley Mama Cottage , High Bank . The friendly hostess, Mama, makes wholesome breakfasts and scrumptious thali. Nice Ganga views and a good shower.  
  • Patanjali Yoga Center , Ram Jhula Taxi Stand . Iyengar Yoga lessons are available in a studio with modern equipment. Rooms ₹100 and up. .  
  • Raj Resort ( Raj Resort Rishikesh ), Badrinath Road Tapovan ( 5 minute walk from Police Check Post Tapovan ), ☏ +91 135-2434165 , +91 9412917323 , [email protected] . Clean and comfortable AC/non-AC rooms with attached bathrooms, hot shower, balcony with mountain view, garden, car parking, restaurant. Yoga lessons, river rafting and other extras are also available. ₹300 - 1500 .  
  • Rishikesh Sadan, the Spiritual Retreat Guesthouse ( Osho Mystery Meditation Center ), Near RTO Checkpost, Aamkhala, Tapovan, Badrinath Highway ( next to Narayana Palace ), ☏ +91 9897810055 , [email protected] . Clean and comfortable valley facing rooms near spring. ₹400-700 .  
  • Sai Ganga Cottage , Tapovan Badrinath Road Laxman Jhula ( Take rickshaw from Rishikesh Market to Sai Ganga Cottage, 10 min from Rishikesh market, very close to Ram Jhula bridge and waterfall ), ☏ +91 9997015534 , [email protected] . Check-in: anytime , check-out: noon . Family operated, beautiful rooms A/C and Non A/C available, water heater, delectable restaurant, cyber cafe, rafting and trekking packages, bus, air and train ticketing services available. ₹500-2000 .  
  • Sarika The sanctuary , Swargashram ( next to Shiva Resort ), ☏ +91 9897270905 , +91 8958302149 , +91 135-2440157 , [email protected] . Reported to be clean and comfortable. ₹200-300 .  
  • Shiva Resort , Swargashram . Open rooms with balconies and garden. Also offers yoga lessons in the morning (7:00AM to 8:30AM ) & evening (5:30PM to 7:00PM), in-house pool, Internet cafe, Ayurvedic treatments and panchkarma centre. From ₹450-1000 .  
  • Shiv Shakti Guesthouse , Laxman Jhula ( near Sant Sewa Ashram ), ☏ +91 9756697614 , [email protected] . Clean and comfortable rooms with attached bathroom. Some rooms have Ganges views and free Wi-Fi. There is also a travel point at reception. ₹300-500 .  
  • Tripti Hotel , Tapovan ( Laxman Jhula ), ☏ +91 135-2430212 , +91 9897544408 , [email protected] . Clean and comfortable. The owner is a great guy and helpful host. Non-AC rooms ₹600 .  
  • Vashishth Guest House , Swargashram ( Near Parmarth Niketan ), ☏ +91 135-2440029 . Clean and safe place to stay with air conditioning, television, water heater, attached bathroom facilities. ₹300 - 650 .  
  • Yoga Niketan Guest House ( Near Ram Jhula. On the river, private ghat. ). Yoga classes take place in their main ashram above - a five-minute uphill walk. Clean rooms on ground and first floors have private sit out with good view of the Ganges. Basic veg meals available on request or at the Ashram for ₹200 per day. Non Ac ₹500; AC ₹990.  

Many ashrams also offer cheap lodging.

  • Nirmal Ashram ( Very close to Triveni Ghat ). Mayakund, Nirmal Ashram is famous for its service to humanity. Free food, medical treatment, education to poor people are a few of the services which Nirmal Ashram provides. Free food is served to everybody who comes to the ashram.  
  • Sant Seva Ashram , Laxman Jhula , ☏ +91 135-2430-465 . Budget rooms on the banks with a great view from ₹250-700. Long stays allowed. Booking can be done only 1 or 2 days in advance. Homely restaurant attached.  
  • Sri Ved Niketan Ashram , Swarg Ashram ( From the Bus Stand, take the road toward Parmarth Niketan ), ☏ +91 9456710941 , [email protected] . Spacious yoga hall of the International Vishwaguru Meditation and Yoga Institute and huge and serene lush green court yard offering hatha yoga, meditation, teacher training course 200 hours and 15 days intensive course of hatha yoga, etc. Rooms ₹150-400 . ( updated Aug 2016 )

Mid-range [ edit ]

There are two Government Tourist Lodges. Their rates range from ₹600 to ₹2000.

  • Bharat Bhumi in the town.
  • Sisham Jhari on the banks of the Ganges.
  • Hotel Ganesha Inn , Laxman Jhula Road , ☏ +91 2442024 .  
  • 30.102356 78.292447 1 Hotel Ganga View , 355 Haridwar Road ( on National Highway 58 ), ☏ +91 999720244 , [email protected] . Check-in: noon , check-out: noon . Situated on the outskirts of the city with a river view. ₹1500-₹2499 .  
  • High Bank Peasant's Cottage , Tapovan , ☏ +91 9837055578 , [email protected] . A small boutique family guest house, away from the hustle and bustle. Located peacefully on the edge of the reserve forest in the lower Himalayas overlooking the town. ( updated Jul 2018 )
  • 30.129444 78.320628 2 Hotel Yog Tapovan , ☏ +91 9873230477 , [email protected] . Check-in: 12:00 , check-out: 11:00 . 14 rooms and Wifi. ₹1000-1200 . ( updated Jun 2021 )
  • Hotel Prasanna Inn ( Near Dayananda Ashra ). Near the river line, in some quiet and serene surroundings. Rooftop yoga.  
  • Tapovan Resort , Laxman Jhula . A newer hotel with good rooms and a garden. Also has a decent restaurant. ₹1650-1850 .  
  • Vna Tapovan , Laxman Jhula Badrinath Road ( [email protected] ), ☏ +91 8449100888 , +91 8449300888 . Check-in: noon , check-out: noon . A quiet hotel with an informative, helpful staff. Rafting, camping, trekking and bungee jumping can be arranged. ₹1950–₹2950 .  

Splurge [ edit ]

  • Ganga Beach Resort , Shesdhara, Tapovan, Laxman Jhula Road ( 3 km from Rishikesh & on the right river bank of Ganges ), ☏ +91 135-2442018 , [email protected] . Exquisite setting on the Ganges, surrounded by forested hills.  
  • Hotel Ganga Kinare ( 0135-2435243 ), 237 Virbhadra Road , ☏ +91 8447404441-2-3 , [email protected] . On the banks of the Ganges, with a private ghat (bank), this boutique hotel overlooks Rajaji National Park. A couple of rolling lawns host morning yoga sessions and spiritual lectures. Various heads of states and celebrities have stayed here. The hotel houses a riverside cafe 'Rangoli' and a multi-cuisine dining lounge. Some years before it used to be the venue of international yoga week also. ₹3000-6000 .  

Stay safe [ edit ]

A holy city it may be, but Rishikesh draws more than its fair share of criminals and con men . Don't walk around alone at night and beware of the motives of sadhus offering one-on-one tutoring. There is also a gem stone hoax going on in at least one gem store: They ask you to bring the stones to your own country to a "buyer" who doesn't exist. In general, try not getting involved with any local guide who is offering you services. They are mostly con men and goons.

Watch where you step : After sundown it is pitch dark, so bring a light.

Watch out for the sometimes brash food stealing monkeys too. They mostly "operate" on and around the foot bridges, and if you look them in the eyes they become aggressive, but rarely/never attack unless you carry food. Sadhus and police officers carry sticks to keep monkeys and cows/oxen at a distance. The brown monkeys are aggressive; the grey big languors are nicer. The greys sometimes steal food from tourists (not on the bridges), but mostly because their size scares the tourist. They don't bite you to get food.

Be alert if an ox is on your path: They are mostly harmless, but after dark they are sometimes nervous. Especially on the narrow foot bridges, you should try to read their body language before a close encounter.

Go next [ edit ]

Ordered by distance:

  • Rajaji National Park — 20 minutes' drive. Founded in 1983, it was created by integrating three different sanctuaries: Motichur Sanctuary, Chilla Sanctuary and Rajaji Sanctuary. The park is nicely placed in green hills and foothills of the Shivalik mountain ranges.
  • Haridwar — a Hindu pilgrimage site at the Ganges River,
  • Dhanaulti — 84 km away, offering an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity. If you want to get away from the city crowd then just head towards the Dhanaulti.
  • Mussoorie — 77 km away, one of the most visited hill stations in India, surrounded by green hills and rich in flora and fauna.

The following three seem to be very far away, but they are into the mountains and Rishikesh is one of the few cities to reach them from:

  • Yamunotri — 215 km away with Yamunotri temple, the major tourist attraction, at 4,421 m.
  • Kedarnath — 240 km away, it's one of the four Char Dham Yatra Hindu pilgrim centers, at 3,400 m, which you need to hike at least 16 km to.
  • Govindghat — 224 km away, "beyond" Kedarnath. It's the gateway to the Hemkunt pilgrimage site and the Valley of Flowers .

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pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

  • Rishikesh Overview
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About Rishikesh

Country: india | state: uttarakhand, #3 of 18 places to visit in uttarakhand | #23 of 100 places to visit in india, ideal trip duration: 1-2 days, base station: rishikesh, dehradun (42 kms), nearest city to rishikesh: dehradun (42 kms), delhi city (233 kms), best time to visit rishikesh: september to november & march to may, peak season: october & april to june, rishikesh weather: summer: maximum - 37°c and minimum - 20°c winter: maximum - 23°c and minimum - 6°c.

At a distance of 26 km from Haridwar, 42 km from Dehradun, 74 km from Mussoorie, 201 km from Chandigarh, and 233 km from Delhi, Rishikesh is a holy city on the banks of the River Ganges in Uttarakhand. Located at the foothills of the Himalayas, it is one of the top places of pilgrimage in India , and among the must-include places in Uttarakhand tour packages . Rishikesh is the gateway to the upper Garhwal region and the starting point for the Char Dham pilgrimage (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath). Rishikesh is situated at an altitude of 356 m and consists of three distinct areas known as Rishikesh, Swargashram, and Muni Ki Reti. Rishikesh has been a part of the legendary Kedarkhand (the present-day Garhwal). As per the Skanda Purana, Lord Vishnu appeared here to Raibhya Rishi as Hrishikesh, which means the God of Senses. Rishesh is one of the the best places to visit near Delhi . The city attracts a huge number of tourists and pilgrims from all parts of the country to offer their prayers at this holy site. Rishikesh has several famous ashrams and temples. Triveni Ghat, Neel Kanth Mahadev Temple, Swarganiwas Temple, and Bharat Mandir are the important places to visit in Rishikesh . Rishikesh is now famous as the Yoga Capital of the World. Every year during the February month one-week-long International Yoga Festival is hosted here. One can also try several activities like mountain biking, bungee jumping, and white water rafting as part of Rishikesh tour packages . It is also the base for several trekking trails in Uttarakhand state. Rishikesh can also be visited along with Mussoorie packages . Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport, which is about 16 km from Haridwar. It is well connected by flight with Delhi. Rishikesh Railway Station is well connected by train with Delhi, Haridwar, Bandikudi, and Mata Vaishno Devi Katra. Rishikesh can also be reached by bus from Dehradun, Haridwar, and New Delhi. The best time to visit Rishikesh for River Rafting is from October to mid-November, and the best time for a regular visit is between March and May. more

Nearest Airport: Dehradun - Jolly Grant Airport (16 Kms)

Direct flights to dehradun, nearest train station: rishikesh railway station (0 kms) haridwar jn railway station (26 kms), direct trains to rishikesh, haridwar, nearest bus station: rishikesh bus depot (1 kms), direct buses to rishikesh, distance chart, distance chart & driving directions to rishikesh, top 10 places to visit in rishikesh, lakshman jhula.

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

#1 of 29 Places to Visit in Rishikesh

At a distance of 6 km from Rishikesh Railway Station and 3 km Swarg Ashram, Lakshman Jhula is an iron suspension bridge situated in Rishikesh. It was erected over the Ganges River and is a landmark of Rishikesh. Lakshman Jhula is originally a jute rope bridge. According to legend, Lord Rama's younger brother, Laxmana crossed the river Ganges at this point using Jute Rope Bridge. The bridge was washed away in the 1924 floods and it was replaced by the present iron bridge in 1939. It is 450 feet long and is situated at a height of 70 feet from the river. The bridge connects Pauri district with Tehri district. Another similar suspension bridge Ram Jhula was built in 1986 at nearby Sivananda Nagar. This jhula provides a beautiful view of famous temples, ashrams and River Ganga. The jhula has now become one of the most visited tourist spots of Rishikesh, not simply because of its ancient origin and religious sanctity, but also because of the grand temples situated around this area. .....

Triveni Ghat

Triveni Ghat

#2 of 29 Places to Visit in Rishikesh

At a distance of 1.5 km from Rishikesh Railway Station, Triveni Ghat is a bathing spot on the right bank of the River Ganges in Rishikesh. It is one of the sacred ghats on the banks of the river Ganges and among the most famous Rishikesh sightseeing places . Triveni Ghat is located at the confluence of three religious rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. Various pilgrims visit this place to take a holy dip in Triveni Ghat, before visiting the famous temples of Rishikesh. A popular belief is that anyone who takes a dip in Triveni Ghat will be relieved from all sins carried out and attain salvation. The Ganga Aarti or Maha Aarti an evening prayer performed on the banks of the River Ganga is the major highlight of the ghat, which attracts a large number of devotees and visitors as part of Rishikesh tour . The Aarti is accompanied with chanting .....

Tera Manzil Temple / Kailash Niketan Temple

Tera Manzil Temple / Kailash Niketan Temple

#3 of 29 Places to Visit in Rishikesh

At a distance of 6 km from Rishikesh Railway Station, Tera Manzil Temple is a major landmark and a multi-storey temple located on the banks of river Ganga near Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh. This temple is also known as Kailash Niketan Temple and is one of the most significant places of worship in Rishikesh. It is believed that this ancient temple is established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century AD. The temple is famous for its huge and beautiful architecture. It is a 13 floor structure and each floor has many small temples dedicated to many Hindu gods and goddesses. Tera Manzil temple is not dedicated to any single deity unlike other temples. The top floor of the temple offers panoramic view of sunset over the mountains of Rishikesh. This temple attracts a large number of tourists especially during Shravan Somvar and Maha Shivratri festivals. Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM

Parmarth Niketan

Parmarth Niketan

#4 of 29 Places to Visit in Rishikesh

At a distance of 4 km from Rishikesh Railway Station, Parmarth Niketan is one of the most famous ashrams situated on the banks of River Ganges in Rishikesh. It is the venue for International Yoga Festival held every year in Rishikesh in the month of February. The ashram was founded in 1942 by Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj (1901-1965). Since 1986, Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj is the President and Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan. Parmarth Niketan is one of the oldest and largest ashrams in Rishikesh. It is also the headquarters of the Swami Shukdevanand Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to religion, spirituality and culture. Parmarth Niketan is home to a 14 feet Shiva statue on the banks of Ganges. The divine tree of heaven Kalpavriksha was planted at the premises of this ashram by Vijaypal Baghel of Himalaya Vahini. This Ashram is famous for its Hawan and Ganga Aarti that takes place daily in the morning and evening at Parmarth Ghat. The ashram also runs a .....

Shivananda Ashram

Shivananda Ashram

#5 of 29 Places to Visit in Rishikesh

At a distance of 5.5 km from Rishikesh Railway Station, The Sivananda ashram is located on the banks of River Ganges near Ram Jhula in Rishikesh. The Ashram is the headquarters and spiritual focal point of a popular organization called the Divine Life Society. Swami Sivananda founded the ashram in the year 1932. In 1936, Swami Sivananda established the Divine Life Society at the Sivananda Ashram. It was set up with the aim of spreading spiritual knowledge throughout the world. Initially a small structure, Sivananda Ashram has now evolved into a huge complex with a number of halls, a temple and Gurudev's Kutir, large library, Sivananda Eye Hospital and Sivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy. The Society encompasses more than 300 branches around the world. This ashram runs one of the top most yoga centers in Rishikesh. Swami Sivananda started the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy in the year 1948. It was established to train disciples in the discipline of yoga. The students of the Sivananda .....

Neer Garh / Neer Gaddu Waterfall

Neer Garh / Neer Gaddu Waterfall

#6 of 29 Places to Visit in Rishikesh

At a distance of 9 km from Rishikesh Railway Station, Neer Gaddu or Neer Garh Waterfall is a natural waterfall situated on Rishikesh - Badrinath Highway in Uttarakhand. This is one of the popular waterfalls in Uttarakhand , and among the must-visit Rishikesh tourist places . Neer Gaddu Waterfall is famous for its small trek. The water flowing from natural rocky cliffs tempts the holidaymakers to take a cool dip in the narrow stream. Trekking to the waterfall is an adventurous activity as it involves walking through the jungle on narrow trails. This is a beautiful waterfall and is extremely refreshing to stand near the waterfall. This is a two-tier waterfall with two bathing pools. There is a very small waterfall after a 200 m trek from the road where visitors can also take bath in a small pool as part of Rishikesh holiday packages . A .....

White Water Rafting - Shivpuri

White Water Rafting - Shivpuri

#7 of 29 Places to Visit in Rishikesh

At a distance of 16 km from Rishikesh Railway Station, Shivpuri is a small town located on the Rishikesh - Badrinath Road. Famous for White Water, it is one of the top places to visit as part of Rishikesh tour packages , especially for adventure enthusiasts. Known for its numerous camps, Shivpuri is the major River Rafting destination in Rishikesh. Shivpuri is the starting point of the most popular River Rafting trip on the Ganges River. Rafting at Shivpuri is one of the things to do in Rishikesh as it has the most ideal river rafting stretch in Rishikesh. Rafting from Shivpuri till Lakshman Jhula is a 16 km stretch and covers some of the most exciting Grade III, IV Rapids for approximately 3 hours. This adventurous trip covers exciting rapids like a roller coaster, golf course, clubhouse, etc. The rafting is supported by excellent safety standards .....

Rafting - Brahmapuri

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

#8 of 29 Places to Visit in Rishikesh

At a distance of 8.5 km from Rishikesh Railway Station, Brahmapuri Rafting Point is situated on Bhadrinath Road in Uttarakhand. It is one of the best places for adventure sports in Uttarakhand. This rafting stretch serves as the inaugural rafting trip every year in Rishikesh. The rafting trip is the first one to open and the last one to get closed each year. The Brahmapuri rafting is one of the cost-effective and safe river rafting packages in Rishikesh. This stretch has around 4 rapids most of which can be classified as Grade I and Grade II. These are ideal for family rafting trips in Rishikesh and school groups. The 9 km long rafting stretch that starts from Brahmapuri takes about 2 hours which can be participated by anyone aged 8 years and above. The package includes Brahmapuri rafting trip and several fun activities like camping, bonfire, volleyball, cliff jumps, Body surfing, etc. Rafting Cost: Rs.350 Per Person, Rs.1450 per person for 1N/2D


#9 of 29 Places to Visit in Rishikesh

At a distance of 26 km from Rishikesh, 54 km from Dehradun, 86 km from Mussoorie, 192 km from Chandigarh, and 208 km from Delhi, Haridwar, or Hardwar is an ancient religious city in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand. It is one of the top places of pilgrimage in India , and among the best places to visit in Uttarakhand . Situated on the banks of the River Ganges, Haridwar, literally translated as Gateway to God, is one of the seven holiest places for Hindus. It is the place where the river Ganga descends to the plains. It serves as a gateway to the Char Dham destinations of Uttarakhand which are Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Haridwar is also one of the well known places to visit near Delhi . The history of Haridwar dates back to the period of King Vikramaditya, around the 2nd century BC. Haridwar is ..... Distance (From Rishikesh Railway Station): 26 Kms Trip Duration (From Rishikesh Railway Station - Including Travel): Full Day .....


#10 of 29 Places to Visit in Rishikesh

At a distance of 29 km from Mussoorie, 30 km from Chamba, 60 km from Dehradun, 89 km from Rishikesh, 112 km from Haridwar, 141 km from Srinagar, 224 km from Chandigarh, 258 km from Patiala, 283 km from Shimla, and 309 km from Delhi, Dhanaulti is a picturesque hill station situated in the Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Lies on Mussoorie - Chamba Road, it is one of the popular weekend getaways from Delhi and among the best offbeat destinations to visit in Uttarakhand. Situated at an altitude of 2286 m, Dhanaulti is known for its quiet environment and tranquility. Sitting on the edge of Tehri Garhwal District, Dhanaulti shares its west-side border with Dehradun. The long wooded slopes, relaxed outdoors, cool crossing breeze, warm and hospitable inhabitants, lovely weather, and fabulous view of snow-capped mountains, makes Dhanaulti an enticing hideaway for tourists. It is still untouched and becoming an alternative to the crowded Mussoorie and Dehradun. As per the history, ..... Distance (From Rishikesh): 89 Kms Trip Duration (From Rishikesh - Including Travel): Full Day .....

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Lakshman Jhula

Going by the etymology, the sound of the name of the place in itself acts like an ablution for souls. Pronounced as 'Hrishikesh', the word breaks into 'Hrishik' meaning senses and 'Ish' meaning Master, joining to give complete meaning as 'Master / Lord of Senses' which refers to Lord Vishnu. There are various legends rooted in mythologies are associated with the places, making traveling to it more fun and learning. And traveling to Rishikesh is also important because it is considered to be the beginning point for the Yatra of Char Dham of Uttarakhand - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.

The place has now earned a tacit reputation amongst the adventure maniacs as well who love to go to any extent to feel the rush in their blood. White Water River rafting in Ganges from various points makes for a favorite sport for them. Going to another level, they can try Bungee Jumping and some other sports that might give shock of a lifetime to those who are not into 'adventure' in any way.

And as if the fame was not enough, Rishikesh has also emerged as an international destination for Yoga, rightly assuming the title of 'World Capital of Yoga' and hence the thriving population of tourists from abroad.

Shri Trayambakeshwar Temple in Rishikesh

Pilgrims believe to escape to salvation by performing holy rituals in addition to austerities in this place. As a part of legendary Kedarkhand, the place is believed to be the one where Lord Rama did his penance for killing Ravana - a Brahmin, to wash away the sin of 'Brahmahatya'. At one point when the brothers Ram and Lakshman had to cross River Ganges, Lakshmana built a jute-rope bridge, where present day Lakshman Jhoola stands.

Best time to visit: Round the year Altitude: 372 mt. Language: Hindi, English


Lakshman Jhula: 450 ft of Iron Bridge over the Ganges now stands where at some point of time stood the jute rope bridge made by Laxman, younger brother of Lord Ram. Many temples and ashrams are dotted nearby on the either side of the banks, making it a popular tourist magnet.

Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir: The confluence of rivers Pankaja and Madhumati is tacitly celebrated by the presence of the temple with presiding deity Lord Shiva, at an altitude of 1330 m. Surrounded by the Brahmakoot, Vishnukoot and Manikoot hills, the sanctity of God elaborates the legend of Lord Shiva drinking 'Halahal' poison that came out of churning of celestial 'Ocean of Milk' and keeping it restricted to throat making it appear blue, hence the name 'Neelkanth' - 'Blue Throat'.

Bharat Mandir: A temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu has been erected in Rishikesh in 12th century by devout Hindu and Vedant scholar Adi Shankaracharya to resurrect the glory of Hinduism and accommodate the faith of its followers. Once destroyed by Tamur, it was reconstructed and recent excavation only highlights the ancient importance of the place.

Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh

Triveni Ghat: Maha Aarti is performed on this very bank of River Ganga where pilgrims can take holy bath. The cool air, the river, devotion of thousands of individuals and aarti make the ambience spiritually engaging, no matter what religion one belongs to.

Swarg Ashram: The 'Heavenly Abode' is known for being the very place where all the rishi and sages have prayed and performed penance and meditation to get a glimpse of God. Situated amidst Mother Nature, the place is a divine invitation in itself.

Getting there

By Air: Flying to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun from New Delhi and Lucknow and taking road is the fastest way to reach Rishikesh.

By Train: Haridwar (24 km) is the nearest and convenient railway station connected very well by rest of the major cities of India.

By Road: People find it common to hire a car or taxi from New Delhi but the regular bus services from different towns and cities of India.

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Other Pilgrimage in India

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  • Things to do in Rishikesh

Pilgrimage Things To Do in Rishikesh

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Best Time to Visit

8 Best Pilgrimage Places to visit in Rishikesh

Gita bhawan.

Situated on the bank of the river Ganges, this is a large complex with over 1000 rooms for the sole purpose of holy discourse. The rooms here are free of charge for devotees. The discourse complex is well equipped with

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Yoga At Parmath Niketan, Rishikesh

Parmarth Niketan is the largest Ashram in Rishikesh originated by Pujya Swami Shukdevanandji. Situated on the banks of the holy Ganges Parmarth Niketan offers many courses including of prayers, pranayama, Surya Namaskaar, Asana, Vedic Chanting, Karma Yoga and Yoga Teacher

Tera Manzil Temple

Tera Manzil Temple is a famous visitor spot and holy multi-storey temple placed on the banks of river Ganga in Rishikesh. Also known as up as Trimbakeshwar Temple in Rishikesh, this holy shrine has 13 storeys and each storey has

Trayambakeshwar Temple

Trayambakeshwar Temple is one in every of essential holy shrines in Rishikesh. Mainly the shrine is taken into consideration as the homestead of Lord Shiva because the call Trayambakeshwar manner the identical, ‘The Abode Of Three-Eyed’. The temple is believed

Baba Kali Kamli Wale

Baba Kali Kamli Wale is the founding father of Vanprastha Ashram. It is placed at Rishikesh. The Ashram has a big lawn in which you could see kinds of owers. Garden is massive and has an imparting picturesque view. Ashrams

Shatrughna Temple

Shatrughna Temple is an historical temple located at the banks of holy river Ganges near Ram Jhula in Rishikesh. The temple is known as as Aadi Badrinarayan and Sri Shatrughna Temple. This is one of the temples which are committed

Bhootnath Temple

Bhootnath temple is hindu temple committed to Lord Shiva. Bhootnath Temple is positioned in Swargashram region in the back of Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Bhootnath Temple has more than one floors. The most important temple is small temple on top ground.

Rishikund Holy Pond

Rishikund is a holy tank close to the Raghunath temple of Rishikesh. It is assumed that this historic pond changed into made by the Kubaz saint and changed into blessed with the Yamuna via sculpting the lake with his holy

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Rishikesh Featured Tour Packages

Nainital, Haridwar, Rishikesh And Mussoorie Tour 6 Days 5 Nights Package By Mp Tours And Travel

Nainital, Haridwar, Rishikesh And Mussoorie Tour 6 Days 5 Nights Package By Mp Tours And Travel

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5 Nights 6 Days Varanasi Allahabad Haridwar Rishikesh Mussoorie Tour Package By Yattri

2 D 1 Night Haridwar Rishikesh Tour Package

2 D 1 Night Haridwar Rishikesh Tour Package

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3 Days Haridwar Trip Package By Sitaaram Travels Pvt. Ltd.

5 Days 4 Nights Haridwar, Rishikesh And Mussoorie Tour Package

5 Days 4 Nights Haridwar, Rishikesh And Mussoorie Tour Package

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Family Getaway 6 Days 5 Nights Dehradun Tour Package By Sitaaram Travels Pvt. Ltd.

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6 Days 5 Nights Dhanaulti Tour Package By Sitaaram Travels Pvt. Ltd.

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6 Days 5 Nights Haridwar, Mussoorie, Dehradun With Rishikesh Tour Package

5 Days 4 Nights Lansdowne, Rishikesh With Mussoorie Trip Package By Sitaaram Travels Pvt. Ltd.

5 Days 4 Nights Lansdowne, Rishikesh With Mussoorie Trip Package By Sitaaram Travels Pvt. Ltd.

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4 Nights 5 Days Mussorie ,haridwar,rishikesh Tour Package

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3 Days Auli, Joshimath, Rudraprayag With Devprayag Lake Vacation Package

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Ecstatic 5 Days 4 Nights Kedarnath Vacation Package

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8 Days Delhi, Haridwar, Rishikesh With Rudraprayag Snow Holiday Package

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Ecstatic 5 Days 4 Nights Rishikesh With Delhi Tour Package

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Rishikesh Holiday Packages : rated 4 /5 (based on 204 reviews) | Packages starting from ₹2,800/-

Rishikesh Holiday Packages

Encompassing forested hills, dense vegetations, the holy Ganges River, and numerous ashrams, Rishikesh is a blissful abode of spiritual seekers. The rumbling music of Ganges accompanied by the delicious breeze of the Himalayas amid an inspiring lush green landscape reflects the sheer charm of this place. Be prepared to find yourself in this scenic city of Uttarakhand.

15 Best Places To Visit In Rishikesh Tour Package

The Rishikesh tourism package not only provides you with the best deals but also helps you to indulge in all the adventure activities and sightseeing. Accommodate at the best hotels, attend the auspicious evening aarti, shop to your heart’s content, and relish the beauty of the Yoga Capital. Therefore, these tour packages for Rishikesh include a detailed itinerary that provides all sorts of facilities to travelers. Apart from sightseeing, and outdoor activities, these itineraries also include comfortable accommodations, and local transfers so that travelers are treated to utmost comfort. Our travel experts specially design these itineraries so that tourists can enjoy a planned, and organized vacation.

Following are the tourist’s spots, one must ensure in their Rishikesh packages

1. Ram Jhula & Laxman Jhula

What’s Special: Swarg Ashram with Shivananda Ashram area.

Nearby Attractions: Sivananda Ashram, Bharat Mandir

Distance From City Center: 2.7 km

Transportation Options: Bus or private taxi.

Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula are 450 feet long iron suspended bridges, also known as ‘the swinging bridge’. Nearly 4 km away from Rishikesh railway station, these swings are famous pilgrim spots. One can also visit the Trayambakeshwar temple, Ram temple and laxman temple, located in the vicinity. Also, holiday tour packages for Rishikesh provide you guided sightseeing for the tour.

2. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

What’s Special: Dedicated to Neelkanth

Nearby Attractions: Khargosha

Timings: 5 AM to 6 PM

Distance From City Center: 25.3 km

Transportation Options: Bus, Taxi, Car

One of the most sacred Shiva shrines in India, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is situated at 1670 metres in Sylvan forest. The tomb inside the temple, depicts the Samudra Manthan which attracts thousands of tourists.

3. Neer Garh Waterfall

What’s Special: Scenic Beauty

Nearby Attractions: Kriya Yoga Ashram

Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM

Distance From City Center: 7.9 km

Transportation Options: Walking, Taxi, Car

Merely two kilometres from laxman Jhula, Neer Garh Waterfall will surely entice you with its mesmerizing beauty. If you love photography, don't dare to miss this waterfall!

4. Jumpin Heights

What’s Special: Adventure Activity

Nearby Attractions: Triveni Ghat

Timings: 9:30 AM to 4 PM

Distance From City Center: 21.1 Km

Transportation Options: Cab

If you love adventure then don't forget to visit one of the most popular spots of Rishikesh, Jumpin Heights. It offers numerous activities such as bungee jumping, flying fox, giant swings and a lot more.

5. Swarg Ashram

What’s Special: Oldest Yoda Ashrams in Rishikesh

Nearby Attractions: Ran Jhula, Geeta Vhawan

Timings: 9 AM to 8 PM

Distance From City Center: 13.9 km

If you are interested in meditation then Swarg Ashram, the oldest ashram of India, can be a good stop! Its located in isolated river bank and one can admire the panoramic and mystic beauty of Rishikesh here.

6. Gita Bhawan

What’s Special: One of the ancient shrine complexes in Rishikesh

Nearby Attractions: Triveni Ghat, Neer Garh Waterfalls

Timings: 7 AM to 9 PM

Distance From City Center: 14.4 km

Transportation Options: Bus, Cab

Gita Bhawan is a huge complex located on the banks of the Ganga River in the foothills of the Himalayas. The place is also famous as Guru Shri Ram Daasji and is a famous ashram in Rishikesh. The ashram is a famous Hindu institution as it is home to sacred book Geeta. The Bhavan is visited by many people for religious purposes as well as by tourists. Each year Hindu pilgrimages come here to take a holy bath in the river Ganga.

7. Triveni Ghat

What’s Special: Sacred Ghat

Nearby Attractions: Gita Bhawan

Distance From City Center: 600 m

Another popular place to visit in Rishikesh is Triveni Ghat. It is situated on the banks of the sacred river Ganga and is the biggest ghat in Rishikesh where you can witness Maha Aarti every day in the evening. Triveni Ghat plays an important role in Hindu mythology as the place has been talked about in religious books such as Mahabharat and Ramayan. The Ghat is popular for holy dips and devotees from all over the world come here and make offerings to the river.

8. Vashishta Gufa

What’s Special: Ancient cave

Nearby Attractions: Patna Waterfalls, Shiv Gauri Pashmina World

Timings: 7 AM to 6 PM

Distance From City Center: 25 km

Vashishta Gufa is an ancient cave and makes for an amazing weekend destination. Listed among the top places to visit in Rishikesh, it is a perfect blend of serene and peaceful vibes and attracts thousands of tourists from around the world.

9. Kunjapuri Temple

What’s Special: Serene surroundings and scenic views all around.

Nearby Attractions: Shri Badrinath Ji Temple, Scorpion Handicrafts

Timings: Open 24 hours

Distance From City Center: 26.5 km

A 30 minutes drive from Rishikesh, Kunjapuri Temple is one of the best places to visit in Rishikesh. If you want to witness the most mesmerizing sunrise in Rishikesh, this is the place to go. Plan an early morning trek to the top of the temple and witness the amazing sunrise view that will allure you with its beauty.

10. Tera Manzil Temple

What’s Special: A peaceful environment with a soothing aura

Nearby Attractions: Lakshman Jhula Bridge, Scorpion Handicrafts

Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM

Distance From City Center: 14.3 km

Dedicated to multiple deities, Tera Manzil Temple is among the best religious places to visit in Rishikesh. Serene location, calm vibes, and splendid architecture perfectly sum ups this temple. On your trip to Rishikesh, do spend some time here for peaceful vibes.

11. Rishikund

What’s Special: Ancient pond

Nearby Attractions: Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula

Distance From City Center: 900 m

Rishikund is an ancient pond, dedicated to Lord Rama and Goddess Sita. With sacred water amid serene surroundings, Rishikund is located near the Raghunath Temple. The place is oozing with tranquility and is surrounded by dense vegetation of large trees.

12. Parmarth Niketan

What’s Special: Largest ashram in Rishikesh

Nearby Attractions: Ram Jhula, Madhuban Ashram

Founded by Swami Shukhdevanand Saraswati in the year 1942, Parmarth Niketan is the largest ashram in Rishikesh. One of the top yoga centers in the country, this place provides accommodation to visitors along with a plethora of rejuvenation facilities, including Ayurvedic treatments, music therapy, etc.

What’s Special: Paradise-like surroundings, encompassing lush greenery and a serene environment.

Nearby Attractions: Vashishta Gufa, Jumpin Heights

Distance From City Center: 35.2 km

Surrounded by Sal forest, Byasi is a small village located near Rishikesh. With the Ganges River flowing amidst the sprawling landscape of this village, tourists enjoy a number of adventure activities, including river rafting and camping. The village open-heartedly welcomes visitors and offers a multitude of accommodation options.

14. Kaudiyala

What’s Special: Plethora of adventure activities, including river rafting and rappelling

Nearby Attractions: Lansdowne, Pauri

Distance From City Center: 41 km

Located near Rishikesh, Kaudiyala is a small village and an ideal place for adventure lovers. Brimming with exhilarating activities such as river rafting amid the most challenging belts of the Ganges River, this place is perfect for thrill-seekers. Apart from river rafting, one can also enjoy rock climbing, rappelling, trekking, and camping.

15. Muni Ki Reti

What’s Special: Encompasses various temples, ashrams, and yoga centers

Nearby Attractions: Garhwal Adventure, Madhuban Ashram

Distance From City Center: 5.6 km

Home to a plethora of temples, ashrams, and meditation centers, Muni Ki Reti is a small town located near Rishikesh. Considered as the land of the sages, this place has a lot of ancient history attached to it. The town is a hub for those who seek solace and tranquility.

Rishikesh Trip Packages From Top Cities Of India

Explore the enchanting lands of Uttarakhand at the serene city of Rishikesh. With the holy River Ganges flowing amid the hills of Garhwal region, prepare to experience true bliss. For a remarkable trip, check out some exclusive packages such as Rishikesh Packages from Delhi .

How To Reach Rishikesh?

Rishikesh, the gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas is well-connected to the major cities of India. Following are the travel options available to reach Rishikesh

The nearest airport to Rishikesh is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun which is 35 kilometre away from Rishikesh. Numerous airlines such as Air India, Spice Jet, Jet Airways, and IndiGo have daily flights for Jolly Grant Airport from Delhi. The runway of the airport is being extended further and soon the airport will be connected to other states as well! The second nearest airport to Rishikesh is in New Delhi. If you are coming by air, check for our cab transfers included in the Rishikesh vacation packages.

Rishikesh railway station is connected to Haridwar but welcomes only three trains daily. However, Haridwar is well-connected to the entire peninsula and attracts travellers and pilgrims from across the world. If you are planning a Rishesh Tour and willing to travel via train, then it's recommended to deboard the train at Haridwar and take an auto rickshaw or bus to Rishikesh.

There are numerous buses for Rishikesh from Delhi and other metropolitan cities. A bus journey from Delhi will take about 5-7 hours, depending on the traffic. Its recommended to take a late night bus from Delhi which will drop you at Rishikesh by 6-7 am.

If you enjoy long drives then travelling to Rishikesh via car or taxi could be exciting for you. Departing early morning from Delhi will make you reach Rishikesh before lunchtime.

Best Time To Visit Rishikesh

The best season to visit Rishikesh is the winter season, which is ideal for rafting and other water sports activities. However, a favorable climate prevails throughout the year. If one wants to enjoy a peaceful vacation then book our Rishikesh holiday tour packages in the month of March through June. Usually, the place is deserted in these months due to the summer season. July to September would be an ideal season for all the monsoon lovers to enjoy the showers. However, river rafting in Rishikesh is closed in the monsoon season. The best time to enjoy whitewater rafting and bungee jumping is from October through May. During this period, nature lovers can also enjoy hiking, camping, swimming, jungle treks, and other activities.

Tour packages to this pilgrimage town are booked throughout the year by the travelers. The package comes along with a comprehensive Rishikesh Itinerary that explains the holidaymakers regarding their schedule of Rishikesh. These detailed tour itineraries are specially designed by our travel experts to ensure a planned, organized, and hassle-free vacation. Hence, one can travel worry-free by booking these Rishikesh packages which include such wonderful itineraries that cater to all the needs and requirements of the travelers. Rishikesh packages, thus, can be said to be great healers of the brunt of time and stress that any normal person these days has. When one needs to get away from it all, Rishikesh is the answer to every traveler's prayers. Tour packages for Rishikesh are unique in their completed ness, with nature walks, river rafting trips, short treks into the deep forests, and of course, soulful little get togethers along blazing bonfires and a chilly weather. So if you’re planning a trip to Rishikesh , then get ready to indulge into some fascinating experiences revolving around adventure, sightseeing, and solace.

Beaches or river banks, mountains or meadows, pool villas or humble home-stays, whatever you choose, our range of Uttrakhand tour packages can supply. Take a look at the link below.

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Adventurous Rishikesh Package

Best-Selling Rishikesh Uttarakhand Tours For A Refreshing Getaway

₹ 3,938/- ₹ 4,332/-.

Per Person on twin sharing

  • Hill station

Hotel included in package:

  • Rishikesh (2D)

Upto 2 Stars

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Adventure Packed Rishikesh Tour Package

Adventure Packed Rishikesh Tour Package

₹ 3,999/- ₹ 4,395/-

  • Adventure Activities

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Upto 3 Stars

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Uttarakhand Tour Package From Haridwar

₹ 25,200/- ₹ 27,391/-.

  • Har ki Pauri
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Sterling Mussoorie

1 km from City Center

Regenta Inn On The Ganges Rishikesh

7 km from City Center

Club Mahindra Mussoorie

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Summit By The Ganges Rishikesh

5 km from City Center

Amritara Raga On The Ganges Rishikesh

21 km from City Center

La Hermitage Resort Lansdowne

Nature valley resort rishkesh, sterling nainital.

4 km from City Center

Ahr Radha Residency Resort Mussoorie

Seasons hotels by xperience nainital.

Adventure-Loaded Rishikesh Tour Package

Adventure-Loaded Rishikesh Tour Package

₹ 10,500/- ₹ 11,667/-.

  • Watersports

Rishikesh - India’s most spiritual destination, is also it's most happening! For ....

Action-Packed Mussoorie Family Package

Action-Packed Mussoorie Family Package

₹ 21,000/- ₹ 23,077/-.

  • Historical Sightseeing
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4 nights 5 days in Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Mussoorie is a dream come true.This uniquel....

Exciting Rishikesh Tour Package

Exciting Rishikesh Tour Package

₹ 15,094/- ₹ 16,587/-.

  • Kempty Falls

An ultimate retreat for people of all ages and travelers of all types, Rishikesh is a h....

Haridwar Rishikesh 3 Days Package

Best-Selling Rishikesh And Haridwar Tour Packages

₹ 7,874/- ₹ 8,653/-.

  • Ganga Aarti
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Rishikesh Package For 2 Nights

Book The Best Rishikesh Package For 2 Nights For A Filling Vacation

₹ 9,499/- ₹ 10,439/-.

Uttarakhand Trip Plan For 5 Days

Heaven on earth: Uttarakhand

₹ 16,000/- ₹ 17,391/-.

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Ravishing Rishikesh Tour Package

Ravishing Rishikesh Tour Package

₹ 6,825/- ₹ 7,500/-.

  • Religious sites

Embark on an amazing vacation with this 2 nights and 3 days Rishikesh tour pack....

Religious Haridwar Tour Package

Religious Haridwar Tour Package

  • Daksh Temple
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Book a 2 nights 3 days Haridwar Rishikesh tour package to enjoy a hass....

Exciting Mussoorie Tour Package

Exciting Mussoorie Tour Package

₹ 44,625/- ₹ 49,038/-.

  • Temple Tour
  • Local sightseeing

There’s something in the air of Mussoorie which makes it so appealing and

Exciting Haridwar And Rishikesh Package

Exciting Haridwar And Rishikesh Package

₹ 10,500/- ₹ 11,290/-.

  • Water Sports

This 2 nights 3 days Haridwar and Rishikesh package offers a chance to get closer to on....

Astounding Uttarakhand Tour Package For 4 Nights 5 Days

Astounding Uttarakhand Tour Package For 4 Nights 5 Days

₹ 14,700/- ₹ 15,806/-.

  • George Everest hill

Book and customize this 5 day trip to Uttarakhand and be ascertained o....

Enchanting Uttarakhand Honeymoon Tour Package

Enchanting Uttarakhand Honeymoon Tour Package

₹ 14,699/- ₹ 16,153/-.

  • Gita Bhawan
  • Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Niketan

This romantic Uttarakhand tourism package tour is one of the best ways....

Serene Haridwar Rishikesh Tour Package From Dehradun

Enjoy An Enchanting Vacation In Haridwar Rishikesh

₹ 8,399/- ₹ 9,230/-.

  • Religious Tour

Rishikesh, now also known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, is a serene, ....

Kanatal Tour Package For 4 Night 5 Days

Kanatal Tour Package For 4 Night 5 Days

₹ 14,700/- ₹ 15,978/-.

  • Dehradun (1D)

Kanatal is a beautiful village in India near Mussoorie. It is a magnificent place to tr....

Upto 4 Stars

Spiritual Uttarakhand Tour Package For 2 Nights 3 Days

Spiritual Uttarakhand Tour Package For 2 Nights 3 Days

₹ 8,400/- ₹ 9,032/-.

Book and customize this package to enjoy a mesmerizing 3 days trip to Uttarakha....

Amusing Rishikesh Mussoorie Honeymoon Tour Package

Amusing Rishikesh Mussoorie Honeymoon Tour Package

₹ 9,450/- ₹ 10,080/-.

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  • Lakshman Jhula
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Exciting Auli Tour Package

Exciting Auli Tour Package

₹ 23,625/- ₹ 26,250/-.

  • Auli ropeway

Witness the beauty of the scenic Auli with this amazing tailor-made tour package from T....

Mesmerising Uttarakhand Tour

Mesmerising Uttarakhand Tour

Situated in the lap of the Himalayan range, Uttarakhand has been an ideal tourist state....

A Stupendous Rishikesh Sightseeing Tour Package

A Stupendous Rishikesh Sightseeing Tour Package

Our Rishikesh sightseeing packages takes us through some of the most b....

Heavenly Rishikesh Honeymoon Package

Heavenly Rishikesh Honeymoon Package

₹ 13,125/- ₹ 14,423/-.

  • Laxman Jhula
  • Kempty Fall

Uttarakhand is known for its scenic destinations and pilgrim centers. This 2 nights 3 d....

Valley Of Flowers Tour Package For 5 Nights 6 Days

Valley Of Flowers Tour Package For 5 Nights 6 Days

₹ 17,850/- ₹ 19,402/-.

  • Valley Of Flowers
  • Natural Beauty
  • Ghangaria (5D)

Get thrilled for a lifetime opportunity to go on hiking and build up some blood. A perf....

Rishikesh Tour Packages by Theme

Faqs for rishikesh, how much does a tour to rishikesh cost.

The cost of a Rishikesh tour basically depends on the places you would visit, accommodation/hotel you would stay at, and how many days you would spend in the city, the price of a Rishikesh tour package can range from anywhere between INR 3,150 to INR 38,324 or more. Make sure to plan ahead and make your bookings in advance to get an idea about the estimated cost.

What is the best time to visit Rishikesh?

The best time to visit Rishikesh is from February to mid-May. The weather during this time period remains refreshing and pleasant. Also, tourists can enjoy a plethora of activities during this season, including white water rafting and camping.

Is Rishikesh worth visiting?

Rishikesh offers a range of exhilarating activities to travellers. Adventure seekers can indulge in river rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking, rock climbing, and so much more. As there are a number of meditation retreats in Rishikesh, the place is also ideal for travellers seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. One can also experience camping and trekking in the city. Rishikesh houses gorgeous landscapes and picturesque landmarks, which makes it a perfect getaway for nature lovers. All in all, the city offers endless possibilities to travellers and is definitely worth visiting.

What are the best Rishikesh tour packages offered by TravelTriangle?

Below listed are some of the best Rishikesh tour packages offered by us:

Adventurous Rishikesh Tour Package

Auspicious Trip To Rishikesh And Haridwar

What are some of the best hotels to accommodate in Rishikesh?

The best hotels that provide perfect accommodation services are:

  • Hotel Grand Tapovan
  • Dewa Retreat
  • Kunwar Residency
  • Aloha on the Ganges and
  • 60’s Green hills

What are the places for shopping in Rishikesh?

Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula market, the Main Market is an ideal destination for shopping.

In which season rafting is closed?

Rafting is officially closed in the monsoon season due to the increase in water level in the water bodies.

When does the Kumbh Mela commence in Rishikesh?

Once every 12 years, one can witness or be a part of the Kumbh Mela.

What are the thrilling activities to enjoy in Rishikesh?

In Rishikesh, one can enjoy:

  • river rafting
  • bungee jumping
  • mountain biking
  • flying fox, and a few more adrenaline-pumping activities.

What kind of clothes should one wear in Rishikesh?

Travelers are recommended to carry flowy and full-coverage clothes on a tour of Rishikesh.

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  • Places To Visit In Rishikesh

Let the experts guide you to the best of this mesmerizing destination

Shivpuri in Rishikesh

There is a region named Shivpuri near Rishikesh . Overseen by the majestic Himalayas and surrounded by the lush green vegetation, Shivpuri is a beautiful place to be. Because of its rugged and uneven geography, the Ganges and its tributaries exhibit some of the most herculean rapids, providing a perfect setting to try river ...

Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh

Triveni Ghat is located in Mayakund, Rishikesh Uttarakhand . This ghat is on the banks of Holy River Ganga. This ghat is used for baths by pilgrims. You will find idols of Lord Vishnu and Krishna here. Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh is the meeting point of three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. It is the most honored hol...

  • Ideal for families
  • Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat.

Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh

The Lakshman Jhula Rishikesh is one of the main tourist attractions in the city of Rishikesh . This is basically a suspension bridge which connects the two villages which go by the names of Tapovan and Jonk. The first being in the Tehri Garhwal district and the latter in Pauri Garhwal district. Because the bridge is located ...

  • Ideal for friends

Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh

Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh is ideally located on the banks of Ganga and so close is the holy river to the Ashram that it seems to permeate your being with its holiness, be it your room or the private ghat at the Ashram . There are many rooms in the Ashram that gives you a soothing view of Ganga from your window. When you ...

  • Things To Do In Rishikesh

Your list of the best things to do, compiled on the basis of actual traveler experiences

Camping in Rishikesh

Camping in Rishikesh is a fun-filled activity which can be best experienced in the months of September and November. The experience is safe for a group of youngsters or families. If you are looking for an exciting tour, you can visit Rishikesh. Booking a package will be a wise idea. The camping packages include all meals, a...

Bungee Jumping in Rishikesh

Bungee Jumping in Rishikesh is one of the top adventure activities in Uttarakhand . It is a thrilling adventure activity which needs a lot of courage. Although there will be a safety measure for the experience, you still need to visit the place and gather all the courage to jump from a height. The experience includes a platf...

  • Bungee jumping

River Rafting in Rishikesh

Best river rafting in Rishikesh can be experienced between the months of September and November. Rainy season is the time when you should avoid going for river rafting Rishikesh . Overall, late September through May is considered the ideal river rafting in Rishikesh season. Rafting charges in Rishikesh begin from as low as I...

Flying Fox in Rishikesh

Flying Fox in Rishikesh is an activity which is best experienced during the months when there is no rain. Choose an operator which follows high standards of safety. Tourists will find the best flying fox experience in Mohan chatti. It is 25 kilometers away from Rishikesh . The best thing about this experience is that anybody...

The Rishikesh travel packages has various options for wanderers, honeymooners, and families as well. One can go for the auspicious Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat. the ones interested in adventure sports must look forward to Shivpuri. Enjoy the placidity of the Ganges on Laksham Jhula and Ram Jhula. For the adventure loving couple, Rishikesh has numerous water sports to offer. Travelers can opt for camping at Shivpuri which is regarded as the adventure hub of Rishikesh as, apart from camping, it is also the starting point of river rafting.

You can customize your Rishikesh trip packages and enjoy all the adventure and water-sports that it offers. You can choose from a variety of them. Rafting in Kadiyala, camping at Shivpuri, cycling, and trekking at Kuari pass, kayaking, rappelling, mountain biking, zorbing, cliff jumping, hot air ballooning and parasailing are the most prominent ones. With an endeavor to provide you with an ultimate experience that you can keep cherishing all your lifetime, the itineraries of our Rishikesh holiday packages have been created bearing in mind the varied interests of every traveler. To book a perfect package for your next trip, all you have to do is go through our exhaustive list of packages, and choose the one that suits you and your tribe best.

Rishikesh has an annual festival of yoga held in the city. Travelers from all around the world visit Rishikesh in the month of july to attend the Yoga Festival. One can indulge themselves in Yoga and Meditation practices in the annual fest. Revive and rejuvenate yourself in the land of yogis with the Rishikesh trip plan. A very renowned and sacred fair is held once in a twelve year, the Kumbh Mela. Tourists, travellers and saints take a holy dip in the river and revive their souls and mind.

Amazing Travel Stories By Our Travelers

1. ishpreet kaur: our adventurous holi celebration at rishikesh.

Duration: 1N/2D

Accommodation: Camping tent

Experience cherished: Food, rafting and pool party

Come back for: Adventurous trips

As we had a long Holi vacation, my friends and I decided to go for a short adventurous vacation. I came across TravelTriangle weekend gateway advertisement where we checked tour packages for Rishikesh. We submitted our query on the TravelTriangle website and soon we received an email from the travel expert. The itinerary shared by the travel expert matched our expectation and we booked our Rishikesh travel packages via TravelTriangle which included transportation, meals, stay and adventurous activities.

Our Rishikesh holidays commenced the moment we boarded the TravelTriangle bus from Akshardham Metro Station, New Delhi. The tour guide introduced himself to the travellers once the bus started for our destination. Soon the travellers started chatting with each other which created quite a friendly environment.

Next morning, we reached Rishikesh where we checked-in at the scenic luxury camp. We had breakfast there and got ready for our adventure activities. We took a short walk through the jungle and reached the river crossing venue. We were supposed to cross two hills, upside down over the proverbial river. After crossing the river, we were taken for another adventure activity where we crossed the tricky Burma bridge. There are a plethora of thrilling activities to indulge, so don’t wait and plan well in advance your trip, so as to reduce Rishikesh trip cost.

We exhilarated our adventurous experience there and headed back to the campsite for lunch. We were surprised with the food that appeased our taste buds in the foothills of the Himalayas!

In the evening, we assembled around the pool at our campsite and celebrated Holi. We had an amazing celebration and enjoyed the festival as one big family. After Holi celebrations, we got ready for bonfire dinner.

We checked out from our campsite next morning and headed for the venturesome River rafting. It was a 27-km long river rafting course and we enjoyed it wholly. Though, I got a little nervous in the beginning but soon I started enjoying bumping, sliding and splashing through the water of Ganges. After rafting, we started back for Delhi.

It was an adventurous expedition that lured me to revisit the place for more dauntless experiences!

Read Full Story Here

2. Harkirat Kaur: Adventurous and luxurious, our escapade to Rishikesh!

Experience cherished: Rafting, adventure activity and DJ night

Come back for: Serenic beauty

My friends and I (10 persons) wanted to start adventure trips during our free time and Rishikesh came out to be the common option selected by our group of 10 budding adventurers. As we had already traveled on weekend getaway packages offered by TravelTriangle, we checked the Rishikesh tour packages on their website where we booked our Rishikesh holidays.

We had to report Akshardham metro station at 11 pm from where we left for our adventurous holidays in Rishikesh. We reached Rishikesh next morning and checked-in to a luxurious campsite. I got fascinated by the panoramic beauty at the foothills of the Himalayas. We had breakfast there and relaxed for sometime. I felt revived, admiring the vista while listening to my favourite music.

In the afternoon, we left for our adventure activities. Our group was quite excited about these activities as adventure was the main reason that attracted us to this beautiful place. It was an exhilarating two hour trek that took us to a small divergent tributary of Ganga. We enjoyed the activities and later came back to our campsite for the DJ night. DJ night was entirely a fun-filled experience and we savored the moments spent!

Next morning, we left for river rafting after having breakfast at the campsite. Our rafting course started from Shivpuri, Rishikesh, where we were given safety tips by their expert. Rafting down the river Ganga was an amazing experience. However, I got a little scared during rapids but after sometime we all started enjoying it and eagerly waited for more rapids to come!

After completing our rafting course we headed back to Delhi. Although, it was a short adventurous break, we look forward to revisiting the place as it had too many things to explore.

3. Mansi Kashayap: Exploring the tranquil artistry of nature st Rishikesh!

Experience cherished: White water rafting

Come back for: Bungee jumping

We, a group of 6 close friends planned to go for a short vacation, away from the scorching Delhi summers. We started looking for Rishikesh holiday packages on the internet. We were looking for a package that matched our requirements along with being safe for women as it was our first ‘all girls’ trip. A friend of mine suggested TravelTriangle and shared his experience with them. We checked the Rishikesh tour packages at TravelTriangle website and mentioned our requirements. Soon our Travel expert shared an itinerary which was planned according to our expectations.

We boarded the TravelTriangle bus at Akshardham metro station and were surprised with the friendly and modest approach of our guide. We thought that our bus journey might be boring but our guide indulged all the travellers in friendly conversation and soon we ascertained being a part of one big group of travellers.

We reached Rishikesh early morning where we checked-in at the famous camping tents in the serene beauty of Uttarakhand. The place had truly majestic view with mountain range all around us. We had breakfast and relaxed for sometime. Later we went for various adventurous activities for which we walked down the woods and later crossed a tributary of Ganga. Our evening at campsite was well-planned and we enjoyed the food and music at the DJ night.

Next morning we left for river rafting and enjoyed every single minute of our river rafting course. It was an incredible weekend that boosted us to plan more such adventure trips in future!

5 Adventure Activities One Can Include In Rishikesh Packages

Rishikesh is one of the most visited places in North India. The destination is famous for the many yoga ashrams that are found here and also the several adventure activities that can be indulged in. Rishikesh is a perfect destination to head to if you are craving for a bit of adventure in your life. There are several things people can get engaged in and the top ones are mentioned below.

1. Bungy Jumping

Bungy Jumping is the most thrilling activity that one can get indulged in. There are several spots in Rishikesh where people can try this activity. Each site’s drop is different hence people can decide depending upon how much of a daredevil you are. Some of the top sights are Mohanchatti and Jumpin Heights.

Another popular activity to get indulged in Rishikesh is camping. There are many camping locations in Rishikesh and each one of them provides something different when it comes to experience. Stay in tents out in the wild and have a fun time with friends.

3. Trekking

There is no better way to explore the wilderness of Rishikesh then by trekking. There are a lot of places where one can go on their own or join a group that will take you to some of the most offbeat places in Rishikesh.

There are several hiking trails in Rishikesh that are full of some of the most beautiful landscapes and experiences. Some of the hikes are short while some are very long and intense. People can choose as per their fitness level and have a great time.

Though, the above picture seems alluring, after the recent floods people are still skeptical if they can opt Kerala for their next tour?

5. River Rafting

River rafting is one of the main reasons for adventure enthusiasts to come to Rishikesh. Often river rafting is included in the package of camping. The rafting stretch varies from 9 to 16 to 25 km and also depends upon various levels of difficulty.

Best Places To Stay In Rishikesh

Rishikesh has ample accommodation options, varying from 5-star hotels to luxury cottages, tourists are offered a wide spectrum to choose from. To enjoy the soul-soothing refreshing nature of Rishikesh, one can opt for camping along the banks of River Ganges. There are also some top-tier luxury hotels for a remarkable stay, some of them are:

1. Aloha On The Ganges

Star Category: 3-Star

Starting Price (Per Night): INR 3819* per person

Location: NH 58, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Favourably located on the banks of Ganges River, Aloha On The Ganges is an elegant property in Rishikesh. Offering an array of premium facilities, including a spa and yoga classes it is one of the most sought after stays in the city.

2. The Narayana Palace by Salvus

Starting Price (Per Night): INR 3136* per person

Location: Badrinath Road, Tapovan, near laxman jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Located near Lakshman Jhula, The Narayana Palace by Salvus is an upscale property offering a wholesome soul-soothing atmosphere. With lush green landscapes encompassing this property, one is certain to have a blissful experience in Rishikesh.

3. Divine Resort

Starting Price (Per Night): INR 5712* per person

Location: Laxman Jhula Rd, near Church, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Overlooking the Ganges River, Divine Resort offers a spectacular view of the city. With a spa and an exquisite restaurant, this resort is one of the best stays in Rishikesh.

What To Eat In Rishikesh?

The cuisine of Rishikesh is quite diverse and carries rich flavors. While a couple of meal plans might be added in the Rishikesh trip packages, many food items are still left for your to discover in the city. Following is the list of street foods you must munch while holidaying in Rishikesh

It's a deep fried snack, stuffed with mashed potatoes. Samosa is the most preferred breakfast in Rishikesh which is served with tangy tamarind and mint sauce.

As Rishikesh is frequently visited by pilgrims, a huge variety of sweets made of pure ghee is available at market places. One must surely try besan ki barfi, nariyal barfi, besan laddu and chamcham at rishikesh.

3. Poori sabzi

The traditional breakfast of north India, Poori sabzi, is no different in rishikesh. Fried bread served with spicy potatoes.

4. Pani Puri

These are crispy wheat gram pockets filled with spiced water, mashed potatoes and boiled chickpeas. Pani puri is believed to be India’s favourite street food.

5. Chole Bhature

Often eaten as a breakfast dish, Chole Bhature combined with chickpeas gives the best taste. The dish is often paired with a glass of lassi. There are several outlets sharing this delicious dish in Rishikesh.

Things to Carry on Rishikesh Trip

These are the Top Things One Should Carry to Rishikesh.

  • If one decides to go for river rafting then eyeglass straps are a must.
  • Carry sunblock since you would be spending a lot of the time out in the sun.
  • Lip balm is another important thing to carry to Rishikesh to protect them from strong sun rays.
  • Since a lot of walking would be happening, make sure you are carrying comfortable shoes.
  • Another important thing to carry if you are heading to Rishikesh for river rafting is carrying a waterproof Camera.
  • Lastly, always carry a First aid kit in case of emergencies.

Safety Measures To Be Taken In Rishikesh

  • If planning to go for rafting, dress in comfortable outfits and do not carry
  • Be a little vigilant.
  • Carry mosquito repellent.

What's Special About A Holiday In Rishikesh?

When it comes to art and culture, Rishikesh has a lot stored in for the travelers. If one is fond of them, then definitely a visit to Gita Bhawan is the must. Tour package to Rishikesh also includes yoga sessions for the holiday planners. Since it's the Yoga Capital of the world one should for sure visit the Tattvaa Yoga Shala and practice yoga and meditation for wellness and fitness. The Rishikesh travel package also takes the travelers to various Rishikesh tourist attractions. These include the grand Trayambakeshwar Temple, Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula, Neelkanth Mahadev, Parmarth Niketan, Tera Manzil temple and Triveni Ghat.

Comprising such a bevy of experiences, including adventure, sightseeing of major attractions, yoga and meditation, and spiritual tours, our diligently crafted Rishikesh holiday packages have got covered every kind of traveler. So, one can have a memorable experience with their tribe on this tour irrespective of their varied interests and choices. And, to avail such a compelling trip, all they have to do is browse through our list of holiday packages designed for a Rishikesh trip , and set off for an amazing journey like never before.

Rishikesh tour packages are easily available from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, and Bangalore. Travellers can choose from a wide range of packages and customize it according to your needs. Don’t hold back, book your Rishikesh travel packages now, since Rishikesh has a lot to offer you.

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Ultimate Rishikesh Travel Guide 2022 Updated | Best Rishikesh Guide

Rishikesh Tourism

Rishikesh Travel Guide-  Chances are that you must be aware of the spiritual town of Rishikesh even if you are a visitor, planning your India travel.

Rishikesh is located near the foot of the mighty Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is also known as the “Gateway to the Garhwal.

Table of Contents

Rishikesh – a blend of spirituality and adventure.

Adventure is worthwhile especially in Rishikesh, often claimed as the ‘ Yoga Capital ” of the World.’ A magnet for spiritual seekers, Rishikesh is a perfect blend of nature, adventure, and spirituality.

At first, only Rishikesh comes in your mind when someone talks about River Rafting and pilgrimage sites in a modern way as Yoga, and divine principles are being taught in Rishikesh for long.

Mesmerizing clouds, overlapped mountains, fast-flowing river & a series of amazing temples, it’s Uttarakhand.


Rishikesh is a holy city located in the sacred and heavenly state of Uttarakhand in India. It is around 250km from the National Capital of India and just an hour away from Haridwar.

Rishikesh and Haridwar, both located in Uttarakhand, are called as twin national heritage cities in India.

Rishikesh, a real heaven for adventure seekers which is also known as the Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas, most famous among travellers for numerous reasons. The Char Dham Yatra (Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri) starts from Rishikesh.

Rishikesh Location


Finding the best stays in Rishikesh at the best price & comfortable stays is what you should look for. If you are looking for a backpacking premium hostel in Rishikesh, I would recommend checking out these great hostels and book your stay.

Check out Thira Rishikesh (Rated 9.1/10) & BackPacker Panda Rishikesh (Rated 9/10) hostel among our favorite. What’s yours?

Looking for the best resorts in Rishikesh? check out my exclusive article on choosing your best resorts in Rishikesh and then decide on selecting one for you.


Connected through road networks, Rishikesh can be reached by air and train/bus as well. Dehradun Airport (Jolly Grant Airport) is the nearest at just 25km from the city center. Then, you can opt for regular bus service/taxi which may be the right choice from the airport to your beautiful destination, Rishikesh.

Trains are so convenient, and one can reach Rishikesh from anywhere directly via Haridwar which is linked to all the major cities in India, so it is advisable to take one of the good trains till Haridwar and head to Rishikesh by bus or taxi.

Do you love going on road trips? It is worth considering to reach Rishikesh by road and feel a supernatural breeze blows down the valley as enters into the city surroundings. Mostly, the tourists from Delhi and nearby cities prefer their cars or hired taxis for the journey as it would take not more than 6 hours to reach. Do not forget, buckle up before you drive off. Have a safe trip!


  • Lucknow to Rishikesh: 550km
  • Jaipur to Rishikesh: 515km
  • Ahmedabad to Rishikesh: 1187km
  • Chandigarh to Rishikesh: 222km
  • Dehradun to Rishikesh: 45km
  • Agra to Rishikesh: 418kms
  • Meerut to Rishikesh: 170km
  • Roorkee to Rishikesh: 50km
  • Nainital to Rishikesh: 250km


Rishikesh Tourist Map


The history of Rishikesh is associated with Lord Rama, a primary deity of Hinduism, who performed penance at Rishikesh for killing the demon king of Lanka, Ravana. According to Legends, a great saint Raibhya Rishi did penance on the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh, and Lord Vishnu appeared (Lord Hrishikesha or Lord of the Senses) to him and which is why this place has been named to Rishikesh.

Sadhus of Rishikesh


Lakshman Jhula is one of the most photographed spots in Uttarakhand. It is built at the point where Laxman (Lakshman), the younger brother of Lord Rama, crossed the river Ganges. Completed in 1929, it is a 137m long suspension bridge that connects the two villages of Tapovan and Jonk.

Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh

Another iron suspension bridge which is located 2km from Lakshman Jhula, Ram Jhula is also the most prominent landmark in Rishikesh. The bridge has been built in the year of 1986 which connects Sivananda Nagar to Swargashram.


Either March to April or October to November. Neither June to August nor December to January

Rishikesh Weather

Rishikesh has great magical views throughout the year. Its pleasant and breezy weather makes the town so enjoyable for every traveler although, it depends on what purpose you choose to head there. One should avoid traveling to Rishikesh from May to August due to hot & humid summers and rafting is closed because of average rainfall during the monsoon months, but you can get substantial discounts on stay everywhere in the city.

The period of late September to mid-November is the best time to travel Rishikesh. The second best time is from early March to the first week of May because of its favorable weather to enjoy rafting, camping, and other adventure sports.


Rishikesh is a holy city, a favorite place for spiritual finders around the world, so the Government has banned alcohol within the municipal limits of Haridwar and Rishikesh. All types of meats have been prohibited in Rishikesh for long. It doesn’t mean there is a shortage of varieties of foods while a large number of North and South Indian dishes are available at every corner in the city center.


“Expect less and accept more. It is our own expectations and our own egos that cause frustration and disappointment in life.” – Pujya Swamiji, President and Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan

International Yoga Festival, Rishikesh

Many revered saints will be gracing the yoga festival with their presence, their blessings and their teachings of inspiration. In 2019, International Yoga Festival has been scheduled in the month of March as held every year so get your tickets booked in March to hold your breath for the events which will surely energize you and your journey to a greater extent.


The annual IYF (International Yoga Festival), organized by Parmarth Niketan, is a gathering of the union. Individuals from all over the world are coming together for a shared experience of connection through yoga.


You cannot always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside. Yoga is a light, once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.

Yoga and Meditation in Rishikesh

Rishikesh is synonymous to Yoga in India and famous for this beautiful reason all around the world. It has one of the largest clusters of authentic ashrams in the world. Truly a life-changing experience, Yoga retreats in Rishikesh are the points of attraction for a vast throng of travellers. Rishikesh is a dreamy yoga destination that offers meditation and yoga classes, training programs and much more if you are interested in self-growth. Here is the list of some best ashrams in Rishikesh –

  • Parmarth Niketan – An Abode Dedicated to the Welfare of All
  • Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram & Retreats
  • Omkarananda Patanjala Yoga Kendra
  • Yoga Niketan Ashram
  • Swami Dayananda Ashram
  • Phool Chatti Ashram
  • Patanjali International Yoga Foundation
  • Himalayan Yog Ashram
  • Shree Mahesh Heritage Meditation School
  • Osho Gangadham
  • Sadhana Mandir Ashram
  • Yoganandham
  • Mahatma Yoga Ashram
  • Maa Yoga Ashram
  • Tattvaa Yogashala


You can’t. You’re not allowed. You read that right.

Rafting Ban in Rishikesh

The white river rafting, paragliding, and other water sports were banned in June 2018 by the Uttarakhand High Court in order to formulate a transparent policy for regulating the water activities.

The ban was imposed because of safety, and environmental concerns as the camping sites on the banks of the river pollute the environment and affect the ecology of the river.

People lose their lives every year when a raft capsizes in the river due to the absence of untrained professionals, and there were no predefined fares for water sports as well. We also think that only trained professionals should be allowed to conduct water sports and there is an urge to fix the reasonable charges for the activities in Rishikesh because the games for pleasure cannot be permitted to end in disaster.


Hurray! It’s time to be adventurous again. News from local newspaper in Hindi

Rafting Rules & Regulations in Rishikesh News

In September 2018, the Uttarakhand High Court lifted this ban and issued a proper set of guidelines under Uttarakhand River Rafting / Kayaking (Amendment) Rules, 2018.

A copy of the notification by Government of Uttarakhand can be accessible using the link mentioned below –

(River Rafting Rule-2018 Amendment-III English)


Thank God for making the Ganga a fast flowing river and its amazing rapids in Rishikesh so we are lucky to have a great adventure out there called Rafting / Kayaking and much more. Haha!

There is no better place than Rishikesh in India for rafting and related water sports. The predefined routes are full of exciting rapids, a gamut of options to choose and its availability throughout the year (camping) make your trip a pleasant, memorable and daring one.

Rafting starts from Rs.600 for 8 to 9km either Brahmpuri or Club House to Ram Jhula / Neembeach. The price Rs.1000 for the route of 16km which starts from Shivpuri to Ram Jhula / Neembeach. Rishikesh also offers more thrilling stretches such as Marine Drive to Ram Jhula (24km, Rs.1500), Marine Drive to Shivpuri (12skm, Rs.700), Kaudiyala to Shivpuri (22km, Rs.1500) and Kaudiyala to Ram Jhula / Neembeach (35km, Rs.2500).


As updated on 26 March 2019 by eUttaranchal , a total of 140 authorized river rafting tour operators are available in Rishikesh who ensures about safety and follows all the guidelines issued. Click on the link above to check whether your tour operator is certified or not.


In Rishikesh, more than a hundred tour operators offer several activities including White River Rafting, Cliff Jumping, Bungee Jumping, Flying Fox, Giant Swing, Kayaking, Rappelling, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Camping, Trekking, Body Surfing.

Camping in Rishikesh

It’s very convenient if you ask your hotel reception where you’re staying, and you’ll get the information, or they would be able to book slots for any of the water activities you are interested in. Otherwise, you go walking. You can book your package from any outlet of the tour operators present almost everywhere in the city center, or book online and here is the list of top tour operators for adventure activities –

  • Adventure Nation
  • Red Chilli Adventure
  • White World Expeditions
  • Jumpin Heights
  • Snow Leopard Adventures
  • Ganga Valley Adventure
  • Aquaterra Adventures
  • Outbound Adventure
  • Mercury Himalayan Explorations
  • Himalayan River Runners
  • Dream Life Adventure
  • Sacred Explorations
  • Garhwal Himalayan Explorations
  • Thrill Factory
  • Love For Mountains

The thrill begins at the ‘Thrill Factory’ and it doesn’t get any better. Get ready to experience the real adrenaline rush brought to you by ‘The Kingdom of Dreams’ a unique live entertainment concept that looks India by storm with their breathtaking performances which are unrivaled to date.

We suggest ‘Love For Mountains’ to a greater extent because it is truly one of the best online booking platforms for activities and tours our travellers are experiencing.



Rishikesh is a journey to self-realization where people find their potential powers of soul and body. Rishikesh reveals the real vision of spirituality and peace. Rishikesh means ‘Lord of the Senses,’ so in that way, it is a soul perceiving place in the world. I lived in Rishikesh for almost two years, and glad to express my feeling about my stupendous days there. It was a period that augmented me from within and made me look at the world from a different perspective.

Despite the growing number of visitors, the town’s lanes and alleys retain an old-world charm and remains a magnificent place to relax. Whether you are an atheist or not, it does not matter for the beauty of nature at its very best in these parts of the world, will make a believer of you.

The good vibes are both relaxed and reverent and consequently attracts genuine Hindu devotees, Yogis, Western Hippies, and spiritual dilettantes.

The Ganga seems to flow like the masterpiece of a moody musician in Rishikesh. The Ganga is instinctive, pure, and ever faithful to the essence of life. That wisdom carried for each of us to drink upon the Ganga waters spring from the source of its existence, which is the source of our own.

When you are in the flow, you become one with the river. With each step of Rishikesh, people are getting closer to Hindu culture, rituals, values and beliefs. At night, when a gentle breeze from the river just across you, words cannot describe the feeling of serenity you experience.

Ganges in Rishikesh


Rishikesh is the city where people find their strength, courage, conviction & peace and left their hearts in return. This city gives you so much more than what it takes back from you. A new perspective, a massive change in the way you view things, Rishikesh offers lesser judgments, more humility and tremendous amounts of joy.

If you had to choose between true love or travelling to Rishikesh, for which thing would you visit the town – Yoga or Adventure?


Rishikesh makes you feel alive, and there is a lot to do in and around the city. Undoubtedly, you will enjoy things differently and if you are looking for how to plan a Rishikesh trip or design an itinerary. We at TravelEscape welcomes you on board to customize a sightseeing tour for you.

I recommend you exploring/bookmark the official website of Rishikesh for additional information you will need for your trip.


I invite you to join our vibrant & happening travel cafe community TravelEscape on Facebook. Share & read the stories and experiences from a like-minded set of people.

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Your comments are invaluable and sharing the blog motivates hundreds of people so like, share and spread the information. Please rate my article on Rishikesh Travel by clicking 5 stars

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About the author: piyush tripathi.

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

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Best description ………..

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

First, let’s say that the choice of the place is fantastic. The text is written super well and very clearly. Second, I love how through words the author encourages us to visit the place and, as I say, what you experienced you explained it wonderfully. I think it is perfectly correct to fight to maintain the place and improve the feeding (without meat and alcohol) which honestly, I am not in favor of them, but at the same time it is good that there are other options. I feel called to know the place and that will surely help me find peace and spirituality in my life through its nature that induces tranquility. Congratulations!

Thank you, Eli, for your honest-to-goodness words and I appreciate your views.

I’d like to add something that Rishikesh is a Hindu pilgrimage destination rather than just a tourist place. It’s a fact that Hinduism does not require a vegetarian diet but they believe that it minimizes hurting other life forms. Vegetarianism is considered SATVIC (pure), that is purifying the body and mind lifestyle in some Hindu texts. I think it would be reason to ban on those.

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Very informative blog

Thanks! You motivates me.

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Valuable and informative description about Rishikesh. Beautiful pictures, beautifully structured and well described Blog. ?

Thanks for reading!

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

Informative and full of useful stuff. Beautiful to look at….. Uplifting and inspiring.

Thanks for your words!

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I enjoyed every line of the blog. It’s beautiful :) Keep up!!

Thanks Wangmo!

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Hey Piyush!! Wonderful and amazing writing..its simple…from the heart…and reaches the heart!! And since i know you a little now… You were able to capture the purity of Rishikesh. This is the Rishikesh I will remember forever. And not to mention the photography. Congratulation!! Way to go.

Thank you so much, Ma’am :)

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Impressive article and pics! Thanks for the post. Keep doing the good work.

Thanks, Gaurav!

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I glad to be here see this great blog,This is very interesting article. The pictures are really beautiful and the way you explained about the places to visit. Thank for share with us.

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Wonderful blog!! A valuable and informative description of Haridwar. Informative and well-explained blog about Haridwar. Thanks for your awesome travel guide and photos are really amazing.

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GREAT read , RCT

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Very interesting and detailed blog, I would also like share my experience.

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Are you new in Rishikesh but you don’t know Rishikesh bus timing and schedule so you can visit

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Nice article.!! useful information thanks for sharing this.

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Really a great on guide on rishikesh tourism, looking forward visiting Rishikesh at the end of this year for some adventure sports. I am planning for river rafting and camping there.

How’s weather during the end of december?

Thank you, Ankush!

The weather in December makes it an ideal spot for tourists looking to witness the city at its best. The temperature stays between 28 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius, which ensures that it is advisable to visit the city in the winter.

If you are planning to visit in December, then try to go in Mid December.

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Nice blog, very informative it help me a lot.

I had very great experience with shaantamresort traveler must stay there.

Thanks, Harsh!

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Thanks for sharing with great information About Rishikesh this blog is very helpful for me and my website.

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Thanks for sharing such an informative blog about Rishikesh.

Thank you! :)

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Hello Piyush

Images that you used in this post really awesome. HD Quality. I really impressed with the content and Images.

Thank you so much!

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Thanks for sharing the article. you can check my content about campsites in Rishikesh.

Sure, thank you!

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Great blog! It provides a valuable and informative overview of Rishikesh and offers a well-explained insight into Haridwar. Your travel guide is fantastic, and the photos are truly stunning. Thank you!

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Rishikesh Pilgrimage Tour


Religious Scriptures starts the path of enlightenment! There are several places in the world with the belief that God was supposed to have left footprints of his presence, divine presence. One such place with interminable charm is Rishikesh! Located near the foothills of the Himalayas, in the state of Uttarakhand; this sacred city has a pleasant atmosphere. The holy river Ganges, accredited temples, sacred atmosphere and other eloquent attributes welcome you to the Mother Nature of Rishikesh. Globally known as the pious town of saints & scholars; this small city witnessed many pristine sacred activities & events. There are many names used to address this city such as; "Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas" & "Yoga Capital of the World". Rishikesh also witnesses the famous "Kumbh Yatra' & "Shravan Yatra" in which a large number of devotees mark their presence. Some of the Yatras to extremely religious place such as Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri & Yamunotri starts from here. Surrounded by the hills on three sides; this religious town is located at an altitude of 356 meters. There are many tourists’ attractions that include a large number of temples, ashrams & other spiritual places. Some of them are: • Lakshman Jhula: With the belief that Lord Lakshmana crossed the river Ganga on jute ropes on the same place where this bridge is built; this bridge is the major attraction among tourists globally. • Bharat Mandir: Situated in the heart of the main city of Rishikesh; Bharat Mandir Temple was built by Adiguru Shankaracharya around the 12th century. • Neelkanth Mahadev: If we go through Mythology, we cane to know that Lord Shiva consumed the poison originated from the ocean in order to protect the entire earth. The place where he did this act of greatness presently known as Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. • Kunjapuri Temple: Kunjapuri Temple in Rishikesh is among the Siddhi/Shakti Peeths in India; this is the same place where the chest of burned Sati (wife of Lord Shiva & reincarnation of goddess Parvati). had fallen. • Parmarth Niketan: Famous for substantial work on Hindusim and known globally for its evening Ganga Aarti; Parmarth Niketan is the ashram and temple area located in Ramjhua, just a few km away from the main city of Rishikesh. • Triveni Ghat: A famous bathing ghat in Rishikesh; Triveni Ghat offers pleasant & soothing evening Maa Ganga Aarti. It is to be believed that taking a holy dip into the water of this ghat will wash away all the sins. • Vasishtha Cave: A peaceful & serene destination in Rishikesh; Vashishta Guha is the best place for penance & meditation. It is to be said that Rishi Vashishta & his wife, Arundhati did a penance here to overcome from the sorrow of their children's death. These are a few pilgrimage attractions in Rishikesh. The list is long; which can be better understood by experiencing!

At Rishikesh School of Yoga, we provide students with traditional, comprehensive teachings on all aspects of Yoga: Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga-Vinyasa, Raja Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation, Philosophy Bhakti, Mantras & Vedic Science. Learn More


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School location, get in touch.

Best summer destinations : Chopta - Nainital - Mussoorie  - Kanatal - Dhanaulti - Chakrata  - Auli - Kausani - Mukteshwar - Chaukori - Pangot


  • Rishikesh FAQs
  • Uttarakhand
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  • Rishikesh Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Rishikesh is famous as Adventure, Pilgrimage, Weekend Getaway, Yoga and Meditation, Hot Destination, Rafting, Editors Choice, Temples, Camping, Christmas and New Year, Hiking, Kayaking, Biking, Leisure, Char Dham Route, Cities, Town, Activities, Shopping, Must Do, Religious, with over 35 Places to See in Rishikesh . Nearest Airport from Rishikesh is Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun, 21 kms and Nearest Railway Station is Haridwar. There are over 131 Hotels in Rishikesh .

There are lot of questions while planning a journey. To ensure that your preparations run smoothly, we have the answers to the questions most frequently asked about travelling to and in Rishikesh. Rishikesh useful information for travellers with reliable local advice. Latest Rishikesh Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for your upcoming visit to Rishikesh. Get all the solutions to your query with eUttaranchal Travel Help Desk.

What is the best time to visit Rishikesh?

Since Rishikesh is located in the foothills of Shivalik mountain ranges, the weather is generally pleasant throughout the year. Still, the ideal time to visit Rishikesh would be February-March and August-October as May-June is quite hot in summer.

Is it safe to travel to Rishikesh?

Being a revered pilgrimage destination, Rishikesh is quite safe to travel. The road conditions in Rishikesh largely remain unaffected during the monsoons. Local people of Rishikesh are very humble and even make sure that all the tourists are safe and sound. Lastly, common sense is always important to keep oneself out of troubles.

What kind of weather can be expected in Rishikesh?

While the summers are scorching hot, the winters are usually very chilly in Rishikesh. So, it is advisable to avoid visiting Rishikesh in May-June as hot summer stops tourists to venture out to explore the place. The best option for anyone willing to travel to Rishikesh is anytime between October and April.

Is there ATM facility available in Rishikesh?

Rishikesh is a revered pilgrimage site for Hindus and is flocked with tourists and pilgrims all year round. Thus, there are numerous ATMs at various places spread across the city of Rishikesh to cater to the financial needs of the tourists and the residents alike.

Where can you indulge in rafting in Rishikesh?

Rishikesh is a perfect place to indulge in adventure activities and is notably famous for white water rafting . The season for white water rafting begins during the months February up until June. And then the season restarts in September until the mid- December. Check Rafting in Rishikesh - Book Rishikesh River Rafting

There are different river rafting spots, each varies in distance and difficultly levels.

  • Brahampuri  Rafting : This spot has the shortest distance of mere 9kms and has a Class II scale of difficulty. This spot could be considered easiest of the rest.
  • Shivpuri  Rafting : This starting point covers a total of 14kms in the turbulent Ganges; with Class III scale of river difficultly.
  • Marine drive rafting : This route covers a total of 24 kms of river rafting awesomeness. It comes under Class III scale and is considered as an intermediate difficulty level.
  • Kaudiyala Rafting : This is the longest route for white water rafting in Rishikesh and stretches a full 34 kms. It is also the most treacherous and is classified under Class IV scale of river difficulty.

What adventure activities one can try in Rishikesh?

Rishikesh is widely known for its thrilling white water rafting experiences. However, it offers other adventure activities as well. Kayaking, rappelling, cliff jumping, bungee jumping and flying fox are some of the other activities one can indulge in Rishikesh to pump up the adrenaline.

Is swimming allowed in river Ganges?

Is swimming allowed in river Ganges?  A: Yes, taking a dip in the holy water of river Ganges is allowed near the banks of the river at designated spots like Triveni Ghat and some others. However, it is advised not to venture deep into the water as the undercurrents can be strong and unpredictable. In addition to that, water at Rishikesh is prone to be polluted due to the amount of human activity it sees all year round. Don't use soap or other pollution-prone items while bathing in the Ganges, show your support to keep Ganga clean.

From where one can book for rafting or other adventure sports?

There are numerous service providers in Rishikesh who offers Adventure sports activities such as rafting, hiking, water repelling, climbing, flying fox, bungee jumping and much more at the reasonable price. You can book here for rafting or other sports as per your selection. Some provider also takes online booking for the same so you can also do pre-booking from their website or over the phone call.

Are there any good restaurants or cafes in Rishikesh?

Of course, yes, Rishikesh attracts millions of tourists every year from all over the globe. Apart from pilgrim town nowadays, Rishikesh emerges as a 'World capital of Yoga' and 'Adventure capital of India'. Being one of the busiest tourists places Rishikesh offers some awesome mouth liking restaurants and cafes for tourists as per their cuisine choices. We listed some of the Top Restaurants and Cafes in Rishikesh that serves truly tasty food.

How can one indulge in Yoga at Rishikesh?

Yoga in Rishikesh is popular all over the world. Yoga is an ancient science which leads to a healthy body, peaceful mind and a joyful heart. Thousands of Yoga enthusiasts from India, Australia, Canada, America and other countries of the globe flock to Rishikesh to learn about this ancient technique of well-being. No wonder, Rishikesh has been declared the “Yoga capital of the world” and hosts International Yoga Festival Rishikesh every year in the month of March.

There are different kinds of Yoga that are taught at Rishikesh. Some well-known Yoga techniques are Hatha Yoga, Nada Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Laya Yoga, Esoteric Tantra as well as different types of Pranayam. 

These techniques can be chosen depending upon your age and body strength. Several Yoga and Meditation Centers in Rishikesh teach Yoga to the students. Some famous Yoga centers are Parmarth Niketan , Omkarananda Ganga Sadan , Himalayan Yog Ashram , Swami Dayananda Ashram , Ananda Prakash Ashram etc. to name a few.

Travel (Trip Planning)

Which is the nearest airport to rishikesh.

The nearest Airport to Rishikesh is Jolly grant airport , situated some 20 kms in Dehradun. Which operates numbers of daily flights from Delhi to Jolly Grant & vice versa .

Which is the nearest railway station to Rishikesh?

The nearest railhead is Rishikesh railway station itself but for better connectivity, you can choose Haridwar Railway Station , which is 20 kms from Rishikesh. There are numerous trains connecting Haridwar junction with other major cities like Delhi, Lucknow and Kolkata etc. The frequency of trains to Haridwar is quite high as it is one of the most revered and religious places in India. Rishikesh is a branch railway station to Haridwar that operates only 1-2 trains on daily basis; therefore, Haridwar is better choice if you want to travel by train to visit Rishikesh.

Are there taxi services available in Rishikesh?

Yes, being a famous pilgrimage town for centuries, there is gamut of car rental services available in Rishikesh for tourists and pilgrims alike. One can book cabs in Rishikesh for visiting the surrounding areas like Haridwar , Dehradun , Mussoorie etc. The rates of the taxis vary depending upon the vehicle requested and the kilometers covered.

How can one reach Mussoorie from Rishikesh?

Mussoorie is at a distance of 77 kms from Rishikesh. One can easily opt for taxi services on a private basis. Various local and state-run buses provide daily services from Rishikesh to Mussoorie and vice versa. We suggest you that take Rishikesh - Dehradun - Mussoorie route for visiting Mussoorie from Rishikesh.

What are the other destinations one can visit around Rishikesh?

There are few destinations near Rishikesh which can also be visited during the stay at Rishikesh. Neelkanth Mahadev is a venerated temple situated just 30 kms from Rishikesh. Mussoorie, Dehradun and Haridwar are located 77 kms, 43 kms and 19 kms from Rishikesh, respectively.

Distance Chart of major destinations from Rishikesh?

Distance Chart of major destinations from Rishikesh:

  • How to Reach

How to reach Rishikesh from Delhi?

Rishikesh is at a distance of 232 kms from Delhi. There are various modes of transportations that are available to reach Rishikesh:

  • By Road:   Rishikesh is well connected with major northern cities via motorable roads. There are various bus services available from Delhi to Rishikesh. One can opt for semi-deluxe, deluxe and AC Volvo as per their needs. In addition to that, Rishikesh is connected with Delhi by Uttaranchal State Road Transport Corporation buses on a regular basis from Kashmere Gate ISBT.
  • By Rail: The nearest railhead is Rishikesh railway station itself but for better connectivity, you can also choose the Haridwar Railway Station , which is 20 kms from Rishikesh.
  • By Air: The nearest airport is the Jolly grant airport in Dehradun which is approximately 45 kilometres from Rishikesh, and offers daily connectivity with New Delhi.

Hotels and Accommodations

How is the accommodation facility in rishikesh.

As one of the popular tourist destination, accommodation in Rishikesh is not an issue as there are numerous hotels and guesthouses that have mushroomed in Rishikesh. We also categorized the hotels in two further categories, which are Budget Hotels in Rishikesh and Luxury Hotels in Rishikesh for the users; they can choose one best of them as per their convenience. There are also some ashrams in Rishikesh that offers some basic accommodation facilities at a very reasonable price.

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Rishikesh Highlights

  • Yoga capital of India
  • Rishikesh Rafting is best in India
  • Various adventure activities for all ages
  • Beautiful temples all around
  • Enjoy evening Ganga Aarti in Rishikesh

Rishikesh overview

  • Temperature in May 39 /23 °C
  • Best time to visit Rishikesh Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
  • Located in Dehradun, Garhwal
  • Recommended stay 3 days
  • Railway Station Haridwar
  • Nearest Airport Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun, 21 kms
  • Famous for Yoga, Pilgrimage, Rafting, Kayaking, Adventure Tourism, Temples, Ashrams, Weekend Getaway

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Art of Nomads

Backpacking rishikesh: an ultimate travel guide.

backpacking Rishikesh

I have been planning a backpacking trip to Rishikesh for so long now and so decided to write about it, nothing could make me happier. Having been to Rishikesh several times before because my grandfather resides by the gorgeous river Ganga but never solo. I cannot get enough of it, So let’s dig into the article together and plan a backpacking trip to this riverside destination.

Rishikesh is an important holy pilgrimage site for Hindus, the yoga capital, and an adventurer’s paradise which is why it is a place one needs to be at least once in their lifetime. Backpacking in Rishikesh is also for the digital nomads, and peace seekers. A lively city with something or the other happening throughout the day it has so much to offer for everyone. River Ganga flows through Rishikesh which has a lot of religious importance. The river also makes opportunities for adventure sports like rafting, cliff jumping, and kayaking.

Backpacking in Rishikesh is not only popular among Indians but also well known internationally. As a result, Rishikesh got internationally popular in the 1960s when the Beatles came and resided, in search of spirituality, which is why people from all over the world come here, for the spiritual and adventure this place provides and also for learning yoga. You will find people from across the world, and staycations in such places bring up a lot of networking opportunities.

Where Is Rishikesh Located?

Rishikesh is a small town located in Uttrakhand in northern India. A lot of treks and backpacking trips begin from Rishikesh. The infamous char Dham yatra to Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri starts from here. It is popularly known as “Gateway To Garhwal Himalayas” 

Rishikesh is located 250 km from the national capital, 25km from Dehradun which is the capital city of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh is located at a 40 min drive from the closest railway station in Haridwar. From the above locations, Rishikesh is highly accessible and can be visited using various modes of transport.

Mythology Importance Of Rishikesh

Popularly known as the twin heritage cities of India are Rishikesh and Haridwar, they are two of the most important holy pilgrimage sites of Hindus. It has a lot of mythological stories attached to it.

A sage by the Raibhya performed a strict penance on the banks of the river Ganges. Lord Vishnu visited him in his avatar as “Hrishikesh”. He was very impressed by his devotion.

Lord Rama indulged in deep meditation because he obliterate Ravana. Lord Lakshman crossed the river using a jute rope. which was built into an iron suspension bridge in 1889, called the ‘Lakshman Jhula’ followed by another suspension bridge being built in 1986, under the name Ram Jhoola. 

Rishikesh is the place where the holy river the Ganges, ends its journey through the Shivalik ranges, and from Haridwar starts flowing through the northern plains. Goddess Ganga, inform river flows through these plains which is responsible for a lot of agricultural lands. The river is a symbol of purity and forgiveness. You will often find devotees taking a dip into the river as it is believed that she washes away all your sins, and makes you pure as her. 

There are a lot of temples established by Adi Shankaracharya, most of them being very ancient. These temples have been there for hundreds of years, and this town is often believed to be a symbol of purity. This is why nonvegetarian is strictly prohibited in these twin cities. Haridwar, which literally translated to ‘Hari’ and ‘Dwar’, meaning the gateway to heaven. This is where the Ganges lands on the northern plains.

How To Reach

One of the best things about this destination is its ease to reach. There are plenty of options available and it’s not a huge task to find transportation. I have mentioned a few easy options below:

  • Via Dehradun: the closest airport to Rishikesh is located in Dehradun, the state capital. It is just 25km from Rishikesh and you can get flights directly to the airport, followed by a cab ride to Rishikesh.
  • Via Delhi:  Due to the airport being a smaller one, the flights are not usually the cheapest. You can fly to Delhi airport and then travel to Rishikesh by road, using a bus, a private cab, or your own vehicle, as per convenience. Delhi is 250 km from Rishikesh. 
  • Via Haridwar: Haridwar railway station is the closest railway station from Rishikesh. There are plenty of trains available to Haridwar. One can take a train and then can take a Tuktuk or a bus to Rishikesh, it takes around 40 minutes to reach our destination.

Best Time To Visit Rishikesh

Due to its breezy weather, it is ideal to visit Rishikesh throughout the year. However, I would not advise you to visit in the months of May to September, during the summer and monsoon seasons. Rishikesh has hot and humid weather and heavy rainfalls in the monsoon. Rafting and other water sports are closed during these months. If you wish to visit then, you great deals on accommodations, but adventure activities are mostly all closed during those months. 

The best time to visit Rishikesh is during the months of February to April and mid-September to mid-November. The weather is pleasant during these months, neither too cold nor too hot. You can enjoy all the various experiences this one travel destination provides.

Backpacking Hostels And Hotels In Rishikesh

Rishikesh attracts backpackers from all across the world. People finding their way to this spiritual town, have lots of options to choose from. There are great hostels, famous hostel chains, homestays, ashrams, and hotels to stay in. most of them are located in the heart of Rishikesh in Tapovan . 

Some great backpacker hostels you can check out in Rishikesh are:

  • Gostops Rishikesh
  • Blue Jay hostel
  • Shalom Backpackers Rishikesh
  • Zostel Rishikesh 
  • The Hosteller Rishikesh
  • Moustache Rishikesh
  • Bunk Stay Hostel
  • Shiv shakti hostel

All these hostels are among the top-rated hostels, and you can book them from websites like and There are so many other hostels you can choose from apart from these which are equally nice, with great views, vibe, and facilities. 

There are some great mid-budgeted hotels and resorts you can stay at with your family, or partners if you wish to stay. But what is most important about accommodation is to find something close to Lakshman Jhoola or in Tapovan. 

Things To Do In Rishikesh

Backpacking Rishikesh

Rishikesh holds a lot of titles which makes it a perfect travel destination for all kinds of people. The adventure capital, yoga capital, and the spiritual capital of the country, it is the only place on earth known for all of these things altogether. Rishikesh has so many ashrams, yoga centers, and symbolic Laksham Jhoolas that you can visit. The ghats built on the river banks are a perfect place to watch the sunrise from, making Backpacking in Rishikesh the best trip of your life.

Rishikesh has a lot of adventure sports to try. You can cover half the adventure sports in India, just in this one-stop destination. From white water rafting to bungee jumping this place has it all. Rishikesh has a lot of fo waterfalls and trekking trails for you to explore too. A true adventure lover’s paradise, one should visit this magical town at least once. 

People often come here for peace and meditation. With lots of gurus and huge ashrams for you to learn yoga, you can visit them any time of the year and come out mentally and physically much stronger than how to go.

Places To Visit  In Rishikesh

backpacking rishikesh

Rishikesh is a holy pilgrimage site for Hindus, there are plenty of ancient temples in this city, with great architecture. The positive vibe of these gorgeous temples is something that attracts most tourists. Take a temple tour, most of them are located within walking distance and you can cover all of them in a day, and there are so many temples at all corners of the town.

A few main ones that you definitely should visit:

  • Kunjapuri Temple: One of the most visited temples, is this beautiful Kunjapuri Temple. It has gorgeous views, and people usually go there to enjoy the sunrise. It is the goddess Durga’s temple. Lord shiva’s first wife Sati’s corpse landed here, making it very sacred. The temple is located 25 km from the main town of Rishikesh, in the mountains overlooking the panoramic views of the Tehri Garhwal ranges.
  • Trayambhakeshwar: This is a 13-storey temple dedicated to multiple gods and goddesses. If you happen to each the top floor, you will find yourself looking at the most gorgeous views of the whole town and majestic sunsets in the hills. 
  • Neelkanth Mahadev Temple : This temple is located at 5500ft and gives magical views of mountains. It is of a lot of importance, as this temple is dedicated to lord shiva, you are one of three main gods according to Hindu mythology.
  • Geeta Bhawan:   one of the ancient temples, It has the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata carved on its walls. They have Sathsungs and prayers which are so divine. They also perform the famous Ganga aarti which they perform on the banks of the river, it is gorgeous! Geeta Bhawan also has an ashram where you stay.

Ashrams and yoga centers

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

Rishikesh is the best place in the world for learning or practicing yoga and meditation. while backpacking through Rishikesh, Yoga is something you have to try in case you have never done it, or do it regularly. There are plenty of ashrams and yoga centers for you to check out. Rishikesh is also famous for the international yoga festival that is conducted there. Rishikesh is famous for its yoga centers all around the world. A few well-known ones are:

  • Parmarth Niketan 
  • Phool Chatti Ashram
  • Anand Prakash Ashram
  • Omkarananda Ganga Sadan
  • Yoga Niketan
  • Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram
  • Swami Dayananda Saraswati Ashram
  • Sivananda Ashram
  • Himalayan Yog Ashram

There are plenty of waterfalls in the Garhwal region, located at small drives from the main city. You can reach them following small trails. A few must-visit ones are:

  • Neergarh waterfalls: they are located on Badrinath highway and you have to trek for a bit to reach 3 waterfalls. There are small tea stalls where you have small bites and have a nice bath in a clean river body.
  • Garud Chatti Waterfalls: a perfect picnic spot is located just 4km from Lakshman Jhoola. The 1.5 km trail goes through lush green forests with a stream flowing by the side. 
  • Patna waterfall: it is named after a small village located 6.5km away from Rishikesh called Patna village. The trail is absolutely beautiful. The falls are high in altitude and the water is deep too, making it perfect to jump into the water.

Ganga aarti 

man people woman festival

One of the most majestic views is of the infamous Ganga aarti. During the sunsets and sunrise, there are huge Ganga aartis held on the ghats, especially Triveni made on the banks of the river. There are plenty of priests performing the pooja with a lot of Diyas lit up chanting prayers and sounds of the bells. It is such a positive vibe, with a lot of warmth. It is truly enchanting!

Ram Jhoola and lakshman Jhoola

Lakshman Jhoola and Ram Jhoola are some of the most famous features of the town. Lord Lakshman crossed the river using a jute rope.. on the same location the government constructed the current iron suspension bridge. The bridge was constructed in 1889. Ram Jhoola was constructed in 1986.

Beatles ashram

The Beatles, one of the most renowned music bands of the world, visited Rishikesh in the 1960s to learn yoga from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in his ashram. The spirituality and warmth of this town inspired them to come with “An inspiration driven from such a divine town cannot go sure, and one can only understand why did such a famous band choose this town. 

The white album, by The Beatles, went on to become the third-highest album in history, selling more than 24 million copies. Isn’t that insane!

Now the ashram isn’t in use, it is a visiting tourist spot and costs 600 rupees for a foreigner to visit. You can also make your way through the forests and visit for free! You can easily sneak in! *hush hush*

Adventure Sports To Try While Backpacking Around Rishikesh

Rishikesh also goes by the name, Adventure Capital of India . It has a lot of different adventure activities to try. Very well known for white water rafting in the river Ganga, it is on the foothills of Garhwal Himalayas. with the deep waters of river Ganga flowing through the tall cliffs, there are experiences like cliff jumping, rock climbing, rappelling, river crossing, kayaking, and flying fox for people with an adventurous bone. You can also go on small trails and treks starting from Rishikesh taking you through lush green forests. 

There are plenty of adventure travel companies. You can get in contact and book packages with them. When backpacking in Rishikesh, you are exposed to the best activities and experiences Even if you decide to go unplanned you can book these sports activities there and take this once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity. Trust just writing about it makes me so excited and thrilled!

I have mentioned a list of a few agencies to book your adventure tour:

  • Adventure Nation
  • Red Chilli Adventure
  • White World Expeditions
  • Jumpin Heights
  • Snow Leopard Adventures
  • Ganga Valley Adventure
  • Aquaterra Adventures
  • Outbound Adventure
  • Mercury Himalayan Explorations
  • Himalayan River Runners

Source: travelescape. in

White Water Rafting:

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

Rishikesh is one of the most renowned destinations for white water rafting in India. There are plenty of companies and campsites which you can opt to experience. Five grades are ranging from very easy to tough and you can choose according to your capability and excitement to do it. The prices differ for every grade and course mentioned below. The prices are very less as compared to other places where you can try rafting.

  • 9km from Brahmapuri to Nim beach
  • 16km from Shivpuri to Nim beach,
  • 25km from Marine Drive to Nim beach
  • 35km from Kodiyala to Nim beach


Camping near the river Ganges in the foothills of the Himalayas can be termed romantic and adventurous both at once. There are plenty of camping zones in Rishikesh where the water flow is not much and you can pitch your tents book with a camping agency to spend a few peaceful days by the river. Camping sites are a fun alternative for people staying hostels, or are on a backpacking trip to Rishikesh, as you can literally sit by the river, with the most organic backgrounds and work while booking up for all the adventures.

If you choose to book with a camping agency, they include campsites, with different adventurous activities like rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping, sightseeing tours and so much more. 

If you wish to camp alone, check out Camp River Zone.


Jungle Safari At Rajaji National Park

The foothill town of Rishikesh is surrounded by lush green forests, housing some of the wildest species of animals and birds. If you are lucky you can also spot tigers too. You can book your safaris online or offline from various agencies that provide these. 

Treks Beginning From Rishikesh

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

Rishikesh is a base camp for a lot of short and long treks based in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. 

  • Chopta Tungnath

2. Char Dhaam Yatra(badrinath, kedarnath, gangotri and yamunotri)

3. Dayara Bugyal trek

4. Chandrashila trek

5. Roopkund trek

There are various trekking organizing agencies like India hikes, who organize treks to these locations.

10 lesser-known treks of Uttarakhand you must try!

Best winter treks of Uttarakhand

Parasailing And Paragliding

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

You can fly into the air like birds and get the best views of the mighty mountains and the spiritual town. Gods have truly blessed this city, with the best possible experiences. Because of all the lovely adventures, the city can be said to have the most thrilling extreme sports activities in India hence putting the phrase ‘Adventure Capital’ to use.

Book with

Best Cafes And Restaurants To Try In Rishikesh

There are plenty of cafes and local eateries you can try. Most of them have great river views. An important thing to note when you visit Rishikesh is that it’s a holy town of Hindus. In Hindus, non-vegetarian food is strictly prohibited and thereby consuming meat and alcohol are banned in the whole town. You will find only purely vegetarian places to eat. Which is not so bad after all!

There are a bunch of very cool cafes that you must visit, for the ambiance as well as food! You can find most of them in the areas near Lakshman jhula and some ram. They serve all kinds of cuisines, national and international.

  • Little buddha cafe
  • Beatles cafe
  • Free spirit cafe
  • Pumplenickery bakery
  • Ramana’s organic garden cafe 

There are plenty of “Bhojanalyas” associated with ashrams and temples in Rishikesh. They serve very healthy and fresh Indian food. The temples serve prasad(offering) to god and then distributed to the devotees. The food at these Bhojanalays is so delicious. If you’re traveling from outside the country or even within, you definitely must try!

Also Read: 

How Many Days Should You Stay In Rishikesh

With the best of hostels and facilities in the town of Rishikesh, you can plan a trip ranging from a 3-day visit to even months of stays. It is an ideal location for a weekend getaway and also equally perfect for a staycation. Working as a digital nomad from the hostel, and practicing spirituality and yoga, it is perfect for backpackers, adventurers, family vacations, and college trips too. 

While backpacking in Rishikesh for longer durations, you can actually cover a lot of it easily, you can totally ride in for an unplanned trip and then plan accordingly once you reach there. while staycations it is just easier, as you can keep simulataneously planning depending upon your schedules and meetings.

Places you can visit around Rishikesh

There are a lot of places around Rishikesh which you can visit while traveling to Rishikesh. You can either go various multi-day treks which start from Rishikesh and Dehradun or go to hill stations like Mussoorie, Dharamshala, Dharam Kot. You can explore the Garhwal Himalayas, Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and also cities like Haridwar, Varanasi, Delhi, Jaipur, etc.

Rishikesh is close to lots of prime locations, and while backpacking you should either cover all the mountain ranges and Himalayas or cover all the holy heritage cities that are established along the banks of the river Ganges. Both these routes are worth exploring. while one takes you on a journey of becoming one with self, the other helps to connect with nature.

Also Read: Hampta Pass Trek–A Complete Guide

As we come to the end of this blog, it is established that Rishikesh is truly blessed by the gods. With multi titles held by the town, which are truly contrasting from one another, Rishikesh is so diverse with what it has to offer. A town that encourages peace, spirituality, health, and purity along with extreme sports, rush, thrill, and being one with nature, it also blesses us, travelers, with great experiences too. 

Set by the banks of the holy Ganga, it is one place in India, that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetimes. For the warmth of Ganga aarti, for the thrill of rafting, for learning some great teachings of life from the most learned gurus. 

Having my grandfather based out of Rishikesh going there has a lot of memories and good times! I am thinking of going on a solo backpacking trip to Rishikesh and this time is the time, to experience all the amazing adventures I missed otherwise. I can not wait for it…hope to see you all there, and I hope this travel guide for backpacking in Rishikesh will help you plan your trips.

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Top Things To Do In Rishikesh

Top Things To Do In Rishikesh

  • Rahul Arora

Rishikesh, the holy town in Uttrakhand is a refreshing getaway. Different in every possible way. Alive with colors and art everywhere.

Tucked in the Himalayan foothills, it is the abode of ancient marvels, the swinging bridge- Laxman and Ram Jhula. The scenic landscape is mystic and the melody of pious River Ganges, soothing.

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

Image Credit

A favorite haunt for travel enthusiasts and free souls. It is world-famous for its authentic Shanti vibes and an array of adventure possibilities.

Rishikesh is a great budget vacation place and also ideal for a laidback luxury vacay.

Each day in Rishikesh is bright, soulful, and exciting!

Suggested Read: Hidimba Temple - The Tribute To Devi Hidimba

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

What’s The Best Time To Visit Rishikesh?

Any month! Winters are cold and January is the peak winter month. Winters are a good time as any to make the most of the adventure activities.

June is the hottest month here with temperatures as high as 40 °C.

July to September are monsoon months and while you may not be able to raft, you get great discounts around this time of year.

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

March is a sweet spot to visit Rishikesh, The winter's wane out and summer starts to set in. The town is high on energy and activity around the International Yoga fair and Holi festival’s electrifying celebrations.

Some Unique Facts About Rishikesh

Rishikesh, named after the Lord of senses Vishnu is a land out of epics and legends. Considered as one of the holiest places in India, it will soon be the first among the two cities acclaimed, the national heritage site.

Its ancient streets hold a very respectful place. Pilgrims and locals completely have to adhere to No Alcohol and Non-Vegetarian food. It's the norm in the famed Yoga Capital and the Adventure Capital of the world!

Rishikesh is rising as one of the most tranquil destinations in India . This great land has a lot of shades to it-yoga, meditation, Ayurveda therapy as well as a wildlife sanctuary!

Rajaji National Park is home to the Bengal Tiger and Asiatic Elephants.

Let's sort through all the fun things you can do here in a day!

River rafting and jumping heights (bungee jumping, cliff jumping) are the best at Rishikesh.

From watching the sunrise on a view high to close glimpses of flora and fauna, the list of things to do in Rishikesh is as diverse and colorful as Incredible India!

8 Things to do in Rishikesh

1. sunrise trek, 2. beatles ashram ruins and art museum, 3. drop-in and do yoga, 4. binge on flavors and art, 5. ganga aarti, 6. sunset jam, 7. ayurvedic miracle massage, 8. classic concert.

Suggested Read: Jakhu Temple - The Ultimate Abode Of The Lord Hanuman

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

Things To Do In Rishikesh

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

Join in the organized trek to the Kunjapuri Temple at sunrise! Watch the sky come alive with shades of red stretching far amidst the panoramic Himalayas. Have an early drive uphill and hike down, to capture the lifestyle of the hill people-Paharis.

Your walk around the local villages, farms, ends with the rousing Neer Gaddu waterfall.

Wash away all your stress in the chilling waters and get ready for a fun-filled afternoon.

The trek is about 5 miles and you should be back by 11 am-12 pm.

The world is fast-moving, ease off with a visit to The Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh. Explore the ruins and come across random rooms painted with delightful graffiti by anonymous artists. 

Suggested Read: Sarahan - It’s Time To Get Blessed At The Bhimakali Temple

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

The Beatles spent time here in the 1960s, in the little huts made of pebbles to get away from drugs and practice transcendental meditation.

The place is being taken over by nature, yet the harmony and peaceful aura are intact.

Learn some original Yoga. A Rishikesh special, this is a top recommendation for all. When in the Yoga Capital of the world, stretch it out a Lil'!

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

All around Rishikesh, you will find drop-in yoga classes, you can stay for an intense session or not. These are best to learn body, mind, and soul connections through breath, yoga, and Ayurveda philosophy. 

Reward yourself with a delicious meal or two! Give 'eating with your hands' a try and do obsess over Chai(Tea) at The office-A cool hangout place.

Suggested Read: Chitkul - 500 Years Old Mathi Temple

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

Crafty cafes line up the streets of Rishikesh amidst people, cows, tuk-tuks, and monkeys. Every cafe has a unique recipe and ambiance. People gather around to especially do nothing except having a good time.

Be there at Parmarth Niketan Ashram at 5 pm for the most blissful hour ever. Every evening, people from all walks of life gather to be one and sing in the devotion of all and whatever they hold sacred.

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

People wish and pray for peace and well being. Sail flower boats on the divine waters of the river Ganges. You can take a holy dip too. 

You are in a different time zone here, it is a different experience for every individual, one that is usually beyond any words.

Smile and go Namaste! 

The other venue for Divine Aarti is at Triveni Ghat nearer to the Lakshman Jhula .

Rent a bike, and zig-zag your way across this happy town. The banks of the River Ganges have their separate fanbase. Sadhus and Yogi meditate. Travelers gather round to sing and dance and celebrate life.

Suggested Read: Gupteshwar Caves - The Sacred Shivlingam Caves

Art is omnipresent in Rishikesh. You’d never find the local people in dark shades of clothing, people wear bright and breathable clothes.

So do spare some time in your day to hop around temples and float down the narrow streets.

After all our discoveries reflect on our experience!

India is the birthplace of Ayurveda, therefore why not nourish your body and soul while in Rishikesh. After all the entertainment and activity, calm your senses with a healing ayurvedic massage. 

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

Ayurveda Bhavan, Ananda in the Himalayas, and Braham Yoga and Healing are great options for a soothing massage. among others.

There are many music schools in Rishikesh and students put on the most beautiful performances. Watch Indian Traditional instruments like sitar and tabla in action and come alive to their soulful melody.

A great way to end the great day.

Some Famous Treks From Rishikesh

Along With The Many Adventure Sports Options Like

•  Rappelling, rock climbing, fly foxing, cliff jumping, parasailing, body surfing, and kayaking.

Rishikesh is also the gateway to many awesome Himalayan Treks. Gear up and hike on. The most famous treks in Rishikesh are best suited for all nature lovers.

•  Nag Tibba trek.

•  Chopta Chandrashila trek.

•  Valley of Flowers trek

•  Kuari Pass and Pangarchulla trek

•  Rupin Pass trek

•  Har Ki Dun trek

These trails take you to the high points in the Himalayas and abodes of some rare Himalayan flora and fauna. Don’t miss out on them, if you’d like to challenge yourself and add more to your travel experience

Where To Stay In Rishikesh 

Ashramas, Zostels, bunk stays, great hotels, and resorts-Rishikesh has a bunch of stay options. Avail great discounts in low tourist season (Monsoon/Winters). 

Some places to stay in Rishikesh:

•  Bunk Stay Rishikesh

•  GANGA KINARE - A Riverside Boutique Hotel

•  Aloha On The Ganges

•  Divine Resort: Hotel in Rishikesh

Day Trips From Rishikesh

•  Haridwar

Half an hour away from Rishikesh and is like Rishikesh in essence and spirit. It is of utmost religious value to Hindus, and you can visit Haridwar if you'd fancy visiting the most divine temples in India. 

•  Tehri Lake

 2-3 hour drive from Rishikesh, Tehri Dam is a manmade reservoir, best to spend a while boating amidst peace and nature’s splendor.

•  Shivpuri

A half-hour drive from Laxman Jhula gets you the beautiful beaches and most loved place for river rafting. Shivpuri Uttarakhand provides adventure sports like river rafting, rock climbing, cliff jumping & rappelling. 

•  Rajaji Tiger Reserve

Another short drive from Rishikesh (19km away), Rajaji Tiger reserve boasts of tigers, elephants, leopards. A fun point for wildlife enthusiasts. 

•  Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

One of the most famous temples in Rishikesh (32 km away) from Rishikesh. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple worships the great Lord Shiva. Many pilgrims consider their journey to be incomplete without a visit to this quaint blue shrine.

  •  Mussoorie

For an Unforgettable Uttarakhand Tour, you can add the famous romantic Hill station Mussoorie to your itinerary. A 3-hour long drive will get you to this heavenly land bound by snow-capped peaks.

Extra Tips For Rishikesh

•  Visit Rishikesh even if you do not plan to do yoga.

•  Make most of the thrill opportunities.

•  Dress Code: Colorful and comfortable. To blend into the atmosphere, carry or shop for loose, flowy, and bright clothes.

•  Do wear comfortable footwear and must carry sturdy hiking shoes if you plan o a trek.

•  Please adhere to the pure vegetarian and no alcohol rule. 

•  Monsoon months are best avoided due to plenty of rains and no river rafting. 

•  If you plan for a visit in winters, pack light and heavy woolens.

•  Want to experience yoga or get teacher training? don't pre-book. Explore your options once you get there.

•  Beware of the monkeys! Please do not carry your stuff in polythene bags, instead, keep it inside your backpack.

•  Above all do new things, and as you absorb the cultural differences don’t forget to be grateful for this great life.  

"This article originally appeared in Onedayitinerary "

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A Little Adventure… Rafting on the Mother Ganges River in Rishikesh

Last updated on August 24, 2023 by Shannon

things to do in rishikesh, india

Is any trip to India complete without a trip to see the sacred Mother Ganges? This famous river winds through the country, giving life to northern towns and accepting life at Varanasi, where the ghats sit on the banks of India’s holy Ganges River.

After nearly two months in India—during which I witnessed the chaos of Mumbai , the beauty of the Taj Mahal , survived a few classic Indian scams , and reveled during the Holi Festival of Colors , it was time to make the pilgrimage and find the sacred waters.

We journeyed to Rishikesh after relaxing in McLeod Ganj to learn about the Tibetan culture . With my flight to Kathmandu just a week away—I knew I was going to hit Rishikesh hard.

I spent a week in Rishikesh, with days dedicated to rafting the Ganges River (which is very clean above Varanasi), bending and twisting in a yoga class, meandering the many ashrams, and enjoying my last week of Indian cuisine.

Table of Contents

What is Rishikesh Like?

rishikesh river shiva statue

Rishikesh is a strange town unlike the other Indian towns I visited during my previous two months of backpacking from south to north. Rishikesh, a spiritual hub in India, is a tourist hotspot, but for foreigners and locals alike.

Indians travel to Rishikesh on vacation, while others see it as a pilgrimage—a chance to stay at an ashram on the holy river and soak in the divinity of temples and religions. Why?

Rishikesh is often referred to as the “Yoga Capital of the World” and is renowned for its spiritual significance. It is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas along the banks of the holy River Ganges. The town is brimming full of ashrams, yoga centers, and meditation retreats, making it an ideal place for backpackers seeking spiritual experiences, self-discovery, and inner peace.

Most backpackers pop into Rishikesh to participate in yoga classes, meditation sessions, and spiritual workshops conducted by experienced instructors. My cousin and I were keen to dabble in all of that, but we also wanted a place where travel was just a little easier for a foreigner.

rishikesh backpacker mecca

Rishikesh has a vibrant backpacker scene—among the best in Northern India (Goa in the south is hard to compete with)—with a mix of budget accommodations, hostels, and guesthouses catering to backpackers’ needs.

The town is dotted with cafes, restaurants, and shops offering a variety of cuisines, including vegetarian and vegan options. India has both of these anyways—I loved my months of vegetarian food—but I also wanted some flavors from home.

Rishikesh has a lively atmosphere and cultural diversity create a welcoming and inclusive environment for backpackers from around the world. It was fun because I actually recognized and said “hi” to backpackers that I had seen months earlier in Laos and Thailand while backpacking Southeast Asia .

Other reasons Rishikesh is worth a visit? It’s a great spot for adventurous river rafting expeditions on the Ganges, and it’s just stunning. Rishikesh is blessed with scenic surroundings—lush green forests, majestic mountains, and the blue flowing Ganges River.

Why is the Ganges Clean in Rishikesh?

black cow in rishikesh india

The blue-green waters of the Ganges River greeted me when I exited the train station in Rishikesh. Most stories of the Ganges River are largely negative. And it’s not just the banter around town. Even Indian literature portrays the Ganges River as a festering gray slush with feces, filth, and the ashes of dead bodies clogging the banks of the river.

With those images embedded in my brain, seeing the heart of Rishikesh on the far side sun-glinted blue river surprised me. I crossed the rushing clean river on a large pedestrian bridge and landed in an area of town where motorbikes and push carts are the only transportation options clogging the streets.

The town has tons of places to stay, from ashrams to boutique hotels to hostels. I was on a budget so I went with the Shiv Shakti Hostel —which I recommend for others on a budget.

Rishikesh is essentially the first place that the sacred Ganges River, it’s located in the upper reaches of the Ganges, where the river is sourced from glacial meltwaters in the Himalayas that exit the mountains and enter the plains of India. Coupled with strict local regulations to limit plastic and trash entering the river, and the Ganges at Rishikesh is clean, clear, and worth a trip on the water.

The Ganges at Rishikesh gives no evidence of the grey slush to come. The Ganges’ poor reputation is well deserved once it reaches Varanasi, where riverside cremations and funeral pyres create a thick, polluted river that flows into the rest of the country.

What to Do in Rishikesh

river ganges statue and bridge into Rishikesh, india.

Rishikesh has a lot to offer, but for many backpackers, it’s best known for the many types of yoga you can learn and practice. But there’s more besides yoga and rafting (more on that to come).

Attend Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Niketan Ashram

One of the most mesmerizing experiences in Rishikesh is witnessing the Ganga Aarti, a daily evening prayer ritual, at Parmarth Niketan Ashram.

The ceremony takes place on the banks of the Ganges, where devotees gather to offer prayers and witness the enchanting spectacle. Devotional songs, rhythmic chants, and the rhythmic waving of lamps create a spiritually uplifting atmosphere.

To attend the Ganga Aarti, arrive early to secure a good spot along the riverbank and immerse yourself in the profound devotion and tranquility.

Take a (Free) Yoga Class or Join a Retreat

a backpacker doing yoga along the ganges river

I eased into the yoga scene with a free meditation class offered by the Cultural Center. The class is led by a Yogi guru and assisted by a team of pubescent girls who circle the room like vultures over a kill.

The girls adjust your position and patiently shove your body deeper into the postures. The girls’ flawless execution of the deep bends and twists intimidated me, a newbie. But yoga is about honoring your own pace so I followed the flow and postures as best as possible.

The free class was an excellent way to ensure a gentle evening workout. Plus, it stretched out the kinks from all those hours of buses and trains.

That said, numerous ashrams and yoga centers offer retreats and courses catering to all levels of practitioners. Choose a yoga and meditation class or retreat that fits your skill levels and sign up for at least one session. This will allow you to experience the transformative power of these ancient practices, learn from experienced instructors, and delve deeper into your spiritual journey.

Many retreats include accommodations, meals, and a structured program that combines yoga classes, meditation sessions, philosophy discussions, and spiritual guidance.

Otherwise it’s dead simple to sign up for a single class, or a few classes during your stay. Parmarth Niketan is the largest ashram in town and it would make a good starting point for those serious about yoga.

Explore the Beatles Ashram (Chaurasi Kutia)

snake charmer in rishikesh

For music enthusiasts and fans of the legendary band, a visit to the Beatles Ashram is a must. This abandoned ashram gained fame when the Beatles stayed there in 1968 to learn transcendental meditation.

Today, it has become a pilgrimage site for fans and offers a glimpse into the band’s journey. Roam through the graffiti-adorned buildings, meditation chambers, and lush surroundings while soaking up the artistic and historical vibes of the place. Guided tours are available to learn more about the Beatles’ association with the ashram.

Trek to Neer Garh Waterfall

It’s an easy hike to the Neer Garh Waterfall, located about 3 kilometers from Rishikesh. This picturesque waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a refreshing escape from the bustling town.

The trek to the waterfall involves traversing through rocky paths, dense forests, and crossing a few streams, adding an adventurous element to the experience. Once you reach the waterfall, you can enjoy the pristine surroundings, take a dip in the cool waters, and unwind amidst the tranquil ambiance of nature.

Eat All of the Things

fruit salad with curd and honey at a  backpacker restaurant in rishikesh

Besides the rafting, yoga, and relaxed pace of it all, Rishikesh was just quietly lovely. I loved this gorgeous fruit salad and curd (you know how I love curd !) served at one of the hippy tourist restaurants. It was the tastiest of the entire trip.

The food in Rishikesh was like India put its best foot forward during my final days in the country. I had some of my favorite meals in Rishikesh—OK, that’s only partially true, I had amazing meals across the entire country! But

Day Trip to Kunjapuri Temple

pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

Situated atop a hill at an elevation of around 1,676 meters, Kunjapuri Temple offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Himalayan range and the surrounding valleys. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Shakti, and visiting it provides a serene and spiritual experience.

To reach the temple, hire a taxi or take a shared jeep from Rishikesh to Hindolakhal and then trek for approximately 1.5 kilometers uphill. The trek is relatively moderate and takes you through scenic landscapes and lush forests.

Time your visit to the temple for sunrise or sunset, and carry warm clothing—it can get chilly at the hilltop.

Don’t forget to  book travel insurance for your trip —a great policy provides coverage in case of medical emergencies, lost or stolen gear, adventure sports riders, and more. I’ve used  IMG Global  for more than a decade  highly recommend it !

Raft the Ganges River’s Grade IV Rapids

what it's like to whitewater raft in rishikesh things to do

The Ganges River at Rishikesh draws adventurists to the area since the this section of the river offers rapids ranging from Grade I to Grade IV. Guided rafting trips are easy to find in Rishikesh—book a half-day rafting trip on Viator , or they even offer overnight rafting/camping trips .

It was pretty budget-friendly to take a morning rafting trip down the river. I’m not one to pinch pennies if it’s a memorable trip—this was both memorable and affordable, so it became a must-do.

The rafting season typically runs from September to June, peaking from March to May, which is when we found ourselves in Rishikesh. No matter how you book the rafting trip, choose a reputable rafting operator, wear appropriate safety gear, and follow the instructions of the experienced guides for a memorable and thrilling rafting experience.

should you go rafting in rishikesh

My cousin and I arrived early and met the four other tourists in our raft—a group of Indian twenty-somethings from Delhi who were vacationing in Rishikesh for the weekend. They were jazzed for the weekend vacation from the city and they were a lot of fun, but they were not the best paddlers.

There were times on the river when my cousin and I were the only two paddling in the boat! Two of the others, Deepak and his friend, sat at the helm chatting. Meanwhile, our guide would shout for us to paddle and they wouldn’t even listen. It got to the point where the chubbier guy was relieved of his paddling duties and instead asked to splay himself across the front of the boat to act as a weight as we went through the rapids.

That request incited the others into guffaws because he was traveling face first through the rapids. He must have swallowed bucket-loads of the Ganges River!

My cousin and I are adding to our arsenal of Hindi phrases. In addition to knowing how to say “please dance” in Hindi thanks to our time in Pushkar, we can also say “dude, paddle harder!”  It’s not the handiest of phrases (when could I possible need this in the future?!), but it’s a fun parlor trick now.

This was my first rafting trip and while my arm muscles ached that evening, I’d love to try rafting again. There’s this fun adrenaline high that comes with adventure sports like rafting, climbing , and  diving .  And while I am not an adrenaline junky, rafting is good fun!

Besides rafting—which I highly recommend—this is a hotspot for the adventurous. You can bungee jump, rappel, cliff jump, rock climb, and kayak.

Beyond the rafting and yoga, Rishikesh is a spiritual center where people come for weeks and months to live at an ashram and meditate. This wasn’t my plan for now (I saved the meditation for a ten-day Vipassana meditation course in Nepal ), so my cousin and I enjoyed exploring Rishikesh and we walked the sandy white shoreline of the Ganges River.

Fun and random anecdote: I spotted this black cow and decided to do a mini photo-shoot of the cow on the beach. He stood so tall and proud and he stood out against the white sand. 

Unfortunately, one of the nearby cows was less impressed by my presence and intentions. While I was consumed with the task of framing the perfect picture, my cousin snapped a very brief video of our scramble to avoid the charge of the huge lighter colored cow. How ridiculous is it that neither of us realized the cow was charging us until he was very close!

How to Visit Rishikesh, India

Rafting on the ganges in rishikesh

Where to Stay in Rishikesh

Shiv Shakti is the best hostel in town, and it’s in the backpacker area, Lakshman Jhula, so you will find affordable eats nearby. Although many people come for the ashrams, if you’re passing through you can still practice yoga and meditate from the many hotels. Rishikesh Valley Hotel is the eco-friendly option with wooden huts and great sustainable choice. Atali Ganga Cottages has the best views in town, and Ganga Kinare Boutique Hotel is the best all-around mid-range and convenient option.

Getting to Rishikesh

Getting to Rishikesh from McLeod Ganj was brutal. It was a taxi to a bus to an overnight train. And while that’s not uncommon for backpacking India, I had eaten questionable street veggies in Dharamsala and then spent the next 15 hours becoming reacquainted with said veggies. I don’t often get sick on the road , but when I do, it takes a toll. It was a long night. But by morning I was determined to shake off the weak achy feeling and explore this new spot.

Despite that rough trip, getting to Rishikesh is relatively straightforward, and there are multiple transportation options available depending on your starting point.

By Air : The nearest airport to Rishikesh is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, approximately 20 kilometers away. Several domestic airlines operate regular flights to Dehradun from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. From the airport, hire a pre-paid taxi or take a shared cab to reach Rishikesh.

By Train : Rishikesh has its own railway station called Rishikesh Railway Station, but it’s small with limited connectivity. A more convenient option is to take a train to Haridwar, which is well-connected to major Indian cities. Haridwar is about 25 kilometers away from Rishikesh, and from there, you can take a taxi, shared auto-rickshaw, or bus to reach Rishikesh.

By Road : Rishikesh is well-connected by road and can be accessed by bus or private vehicle. Several state-run and private buses operate regular services to Rishikesh from major cities in North India. The road journey offers scenic views of the mountains and the Ganges River. If you prefer more flexibility, you can also hire a taxi or drive to Rishikesh, as the town is well-connected by national highways.

Once you reach Rishikesh, you can easily explore the town on foot or hire a bicycle or scooter for local transportation.

What to Read

I can’t imagine backpacking India without the newest Lonely Planet India . Although some of the hotel recommendations and restaurants become lower quality once listed (because of the influx of travelers), the transportation and activity recommendations were spot on.

I wouldn’t have explored half of the neat places without the guidebook there to recommend towns and activities off the beaten path a bit. To keep the weight down, I ripped out the sections that I no longer needed as I traveled.

Essential Travel Planning Resources

❗ Yes, you need travel insurance . IMG Global is the travel insurance I’ve used for well over a decade of traveling solo, and with kids. Here’s why .

🧳 Smart packing can save your trip. Shop my favorite travel gear , including all of the packing essentials for world travel , gear to keep you safe on the road, my favorite travel books , and more.

🛏️ Find great accommodation . is essentially the only hotel booking site that I use. It has a wide and affordable selection of traditional hotels, but also hostels and vacation rentals, too. Use these pro tips to find the best travel accommodation .

📍 Navigate more effectively. Rome2Rio is super handy to assess the full range of transport options between two cities—shows everything from flights to trains, buses, minibuses, and more. If you’re booking a rental car, I’ve always found the best deals on .

✈️ Book affordable flights. Expedia is one of the first places I look for low-cost flights .

☕ Peruse all of my tips for round the world travel , or learn how to move and live abroad .

Reading : The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. This was among my favorite reads so far this year. I am just finishing it up—the narrator’s voice is bizarre, but the story was compelling and it has given me a lot of insight into the Indian culture without reading like a history book. Highly recommend it, and I have a list of other country-based travel reads too . This is one of my favorite ways to learn about the places I am visiting!

Where am I really?  Tuscany, I took a bike ride through the wineries outside of Florence !

5 thoughts on “A Little Adventure… Rafting on the Mother Ganges River in Rishikesh”

This is the part of India that I am most looking forward to going to. I can’t wait, but it will be at least two months into our trip until we get there. I really want to take a yoga course there for a few weeks. Did you see any good places that offered intensive yoga instruction?

That’s a tough one Deb – I went through my journal to see if I wrote anything down to no avail. I was pretty sick at that time so I just went with a gentle class… but there were just tons of other actual classes out there. Wish I could help more! There are several ashrams too that offer some courses :-)

Wow, an amazing experience. More things to add to the bucket list :)

Had no idea the Ganges was clean at any point along its path. Good to know!

I didn’t either until I got to Rishikesh – it still took a bit of mind over matter to let the water splash on me!

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pilgrimage travel to rishikesh

10 interesting things to do in Rishikesh

S ituated in the foothills of the Himalayas along the banks of the holy river Ganga, Rishikesh is a serene town in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. Known as the "Yoga Capital of the World" and a major centre for spiritual learning and adventure activities, Rishikesh offers a diverse array of experiences for travellers. Whether you're seeking spiritual enlightenment, thrilling adventures, or simply a peaceful retreat, Rishikesh has something for everyone. Here are some of the most interesting things to do in Rishikesh:

Yoga and Meditation Retreats

Rishikesh is globally renowned for its yoga and meditation retreats. Numerous ashrams and yoga centres offer courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels. The Parmarth Niketan Ashram is one of the most popular, offering various programs and the opportunity to partake in the famous Ganga Aarti. Other notable yoga centres include the Sivananda Ashram and the Yoga Niketan Ashram.

Experience the Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat

The Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat is a mesmerising spiritual experience. Held every evening at dusk, the ceremony involves chanting, fire offerings, and floating diyas on the river. It’s a beautiful and serene ritual that attracts devotees and tourists alike.

Adventure Sports

For adventure enthusiasts, Rishikesh is a paradise. The town offers a range of activities such as:

  • White-Water Rafting: The Ganges provides excellent rapids, making it one of the best places for white-water rafting in India. The stretch from Shivpuri to Rishikesh is particularly popular.
  • Bungee Jumping: The jump from Mohan Chatti, at a height of 83 meters, is a thrilling experience for adrenaline junkies.
  • Trekking and Camping: Numerous trails in the surrounding hills offer trekking opportunities, with campsites that provide stunning views of the Himalayas and the Ganges.
  • Rock Climbing and Rappelling: The natural terrain around Rishikesh is ideal for these activities.

The Beatles Ashram, also known as Chaurasi Kutia, is where the Beatles stayed in 1968 and composed several songs. The ashram, now part of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, is adorned with graffiti and murals inspired by the band's music. It’s a great place to explore and feel the artistic vibe that once inspired the legendary band.

Explore the Temples

Rishikesh is dotted with numerous temples, each with its unique history and architecture. Some must-visit temples include:

  • Neelkanth Mahadev Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is located at a height of 1330 meters and offers panoramic views.
  • Kunjapuri Temple: This temple, located on a hill, offers breathtaking sunrise views and a spiritual ambience.
  • Trayambakeshwar Temple: A 13-story temple on the banks of the Ganges, famous for its spiritual significance and scenic location.

Many centres and ashrams in Rishikesh offer workshops on spirituality, Ayurveda, and holistic healing. These classes provide insights into ancient practices and modern techniques for achieving mental and physical well-being.

Café Hopping and Local Cuisine

Rishikesh boasts a vibrant café culture with numerous eateries offering a mix of local and international cuisines. Popular spots include:

  • The Beatles Café: Known for its ambience and healthy menu.
  • Little Buddha Café: Offers great views of the river and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Chotiwala Restaurant: Famous for traditional Indian cuisine.

A short drive from Rishikesh, Rajaji National Park offers a chance to experience the region's rich wildlife. The park is home to elephants, tigers, leopards, and numerous bird species. Safari tours are available for a closer look at the flora and fauna.

Attend the International Yoga Festival

The International Yoga Festival (IYF) is one of the most prominent events in Rishikesh, attracting yoga enthusiasts, practitioners, and spiritual seekers from all over the world. Held annually in the first week of March, the festival takes place at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, situated on the banks of the holy Ganges River.

Stroll Across Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula

Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula are two iconic suspension bridges in Rishikesh. These pedestrian bridges span the Ganges River and connect the two banks of the town, offering spectacular views and a vibrant atmosphere.

Rishikesh is a unique blend of spirituality, adventure, and natural beauty. Whether you’re looking to deepen your yoga practice, embark on thrilling outdoor activities, or simply relax and soak in the serene surroundings, Rishikesh promises a memorable experience. Each visit to this enchanting town reveals new facets and leaves visitors with a sense of peace and rejuvenation.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is the best time to attend the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh?

The International Yoga Festival is held annually in the first week of March. This is an ideal time to visit Rishikesh as the weather is pleasant, making it comfortable for outdoor activities and yoga sessions.

2. Are there accommodation options available near the venues for the International Yoga Festival?

Yes, there are several accommodation options near the festival venue, Parmarth Niketan Ashram. The ashram itself provides lodging for participants, and there are numerous hotels, guesthouses, and other ashrams in Rishikesh offering a range of amenities to suit different budgets.

3. What is the best time to visit Rishikesh?

The best time to visit Rishikesh is during the months of February to April and September to November. During these periods, the weather is pleasant with mild temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor activities like yoga, rafting, and sightseeing. The monsoon season (July to August) brings heavy rains, which can disrupt travel plans, while the winter months (December to January) can be quite chilly, especially in the mornings and evenings.

4. How do I get to Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula in Rishikesh?

Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula are easily accessible from the main parts of Rishikesh. You can take an auto-rickshaw or taxi from the Rishikesh bus stand or railway station. The bridges are within walking distance from many popular areas, making them convenient to visit on foot as well.

5. What should I expect during the Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat or Parmarth Niketan?

The Ganga Aarti is a devotional ceremony held at sunset, featuring chanting, fire offerings, and the floating of lamps on the river. At Triveni Ghat, the aarti is a larger, more public event, while at Parmarth Niketan, it is more intimate and spiritually focused. Both experiences are profoundly moving and offer a glimpse into the spiritual heart of Rishikesh.

SEE ALSO: Top 5 places to visit near Rishikesh


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