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Rishikesh Tourism & Travel Guide (2023)

Discover your inner peace in the gateway to the Himalayas – Rishikesh!

Rishikesh is situated at the foot of the Garhwal Mountains, backing the spectacular Gangetic plains. The holy river Ganga flowing from the Himalayas makes this region an important place of spirituality. Here the Ganga leaves the Himalayan ranges and moves forward in the plains. The city is a land of spirituality, home to several Hindu temples, yoga ashrams, and ghats. It gained further spiritual acclaim after the Beatles visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram. This place is the abode of courageous seekers and devotees seeking enlightenment.

Along with the importance of spirituality, Rishikesh Tourism is famous for its adventurous destination. It is a popular center for adventure fans. Activities like river rafting, camping, bungee jumping, and trekking represent every courage here.

At this place, Lord Vishnu appeared to sage Raibhya, after whom the place was named “Hrishikesh.” Later the name “Hrishikesh” was changed to “Rishikesh.” Lord Rama also did the same penance after killing Ravana. The currently famous Laxman Jhula depicts Lord Rama’s connection to Rishikesh.

History

Rishikesh’s spiritual identity grew after the establishment of Sivananda Ashram in 1936. The ashram soon made Rishikesh a center of attraction for spiritual seekers. Rishikesh started getting international recognition in 1968 after the Beatles tour.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Rishikesh is between October and March. September is the last month of the monsoon, after which the weather here takes a beautiful form. The average temperature is between 15 and 23 degree Celsius. Also, December to January is decorated with many music concerts.

Weather

The average temperature of Rishikesh is around 15 to 27 degrees Celsius from October to March. On the other hand, the temperature is high from March to July. During these, the average temperature is between 25 ° C to 38 ° C.

Yoga

Yoga practice on the threshold of the birthplace of Yoga fills everyone with energy and gaiety. Yoga is the best way to spread physical and mental wellness to humanity. Rishikesh is now the “Yoga Capital of the World,” well-known for its international recognition. Yoga is practised in many styles, including Hatha, Ashtanga, Kundalini, and Iyengar, with Yoga Classes in Rishikesh. It is famous for its yoga teacher training program, for which many foreigners come here.

The pursuit of enlightenment is the ultimate goal of every human being. Ashram is an institution where you get a supportive environment to explore yourself. Many ashrams in Rishikesh emphasize spiritual initiation. You can progress spiritually under the guidance of sadhus in these ashrams. Major ashrams include Parmarth Niketan, Sadhna Mandir, The Beatles, and Swami Dayanand Ashram.

Best places to visit

There are various places to visit in Rishikesh. Here are the top 5 places to visit:-

Laxman Jhula

1. Laxman Jhula – Luxman Jhula, dedicated to Lord Ram’s brother Laxman, is the best point to see the scene of the holy Ganges. It connects Tera Manzila Temple and Tapovan. It is located 5 km from the main city. It is the oldest bridge in Rishikesh, built between 1926 and 1930. The holy Ganges and the surrounding ghats, temples, and ashrams are the major attractions of this bridge.

Parmarth Niketan Ghat

2. Parmarth Niketan Ghat – The Parmarth Niketan Ghat, echoed with the evening Ganga Aarti, is the spiritual legacy of Rishikesh. It is located in the Muni ki Reti of Rishikesh. This ghat, under the leadership of Swami Chidanand Saraswati, every evening provides spiritual intoxication to everyone with Ganga Aarti. The seekers calm their inner minds with Ganga Aarti and salute this holy land. The flowing stream of the Ganges touches the hearts of every visitor here.

Shivpuri, Rishikesh

3. Shivpuri – The adventure hub of Rishikesh, Shivpuri is a small village full of adventure activities. It is 12 km from Rishikesh city. It has many activities like river rafting, bungee jumping, and zipline. It is part of the beautiful Garhwal Mountains, which makes it a perfect place for outdoor camping and trekking. If you want to try an adventurous taste of Rishikesh, then Shivpuri is for you.

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

4. Neelkantha Mahadev Temple – Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Baba Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is located on Pauri road, Rishikesh. It is one of the popular pilgrimage centers of Lord Shiva in Rishikesh. In this, the Neelkanth form of Lord Shiva was worshipped. This place, full of the spiritual aura, is the center of faith of thousands of devotees.

Tera Manzil Mandir

5. Tera Manzil Mandir – The major pilgrimage site of Rishikesh is the Tera Manjila Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This has been the Karma bhumi of Lord Rama. After becoming the king, Shri ram did penance here to kill Ravana. Laxman Jhula connects Tera Manzil Temple and Tapovan. The temple is 13 storeys high and has an illustrious view of Rishikesh.

Best things to do

You can do many activities in Rishikesh; Here are some of them:

Rafting in Rishikesh

1. Rafting: Rishikesh is very famous for rafting. Besides being a spiritual land, Rishikesh is also a favorite destination for adventure seekers. There are major rafting points like Shivpuri, Kaudiyala, and Marine Drive, from where you can try rafting. River Rafting in Rishikesh offers the perfect combination of excitement and adventure.

Camping in rishikesh

2. Camping: Shivpuri, 12 km from Rishikesh, is the best destination for camping. The fresh air, the Ganges view, and camping under the starry sky inspire a wonderful experience. There are wonderful campsites like Ganga Camp, Nature Valley, Majestic Camp, and Rishikesh Camp, which provide a perfect environment for camping.

Bungee Jumping in rishikesh

3. Bungee Jumping: Unleash your inner adventurer at India’s highest (83-meter) bungee jumping point. Bungee jumping at Kaudiyala is one of the best activities in Rishikesh. A free jump down towards the Huel River gives you the feeling of being against gravity. You can be a part of Rishikesh’s adventure identity by booking your bungee slot.

Giant Swing in Rishikesh

4. Giant Swing: Another daring experience against gravity is the Giant Swing experience. It is organized in Shivpuri village. Enjoying the thrilling moments with the giant swing can give you an amazing adventure touch. This swing allows you to touch about 15 to 20 meters in height. Then it’s too late; Let’s enjoy the giant swing at Shivpuri!

Kunjapuri Temple Surise Trek

5. Trekking: Trekking is one of the most wonderful activities beyond daily life. Kunjapuri trek is the only trek near Rishikesh, which is 25 km away from Rishikesh city. The trek starts from Maa Kunjapuri Temple and ends at Tapovan in Rishikesh. While trekking, you can enjoy the view of sunrise and sunset from Kunjapuri and get to know the Garhwali culture from close quarters.

Best Stay Options

There are various great places to stay in Rishikesh to make your stay experience even more lively. There are many places to stay in Rishikesh, but here are 5 of them:-

1. Ganga Resort – Ganga Resort, located in Muni Ki Reti, is a GMVN property near the river Ganges. With gardens and an open area overlooking the Ganges, this is one of Rishikesh’s most exclusive places to stay. The resort offers a variety of room types with deluxe, premium, standard, and super queen room sets. The clear view of the Ganges from this resort and the mountains in front give it a natural touch.

2. Lemon Tree Resort – Situated on the right side of the river Ganges at Tapovan, Hotel Lemon Tree has carved a name for itself among the best hotels in Rishikesh. The magical view of the glistening Ganga waves during the day acts as a reflection of the hotel. The luxurious hotel complex has premium, standard, and luxury rooms. The hotel also has a swimming pool, yoga classes, a restaurant, and a night hub.

3. Pebbles Camp – Pebbles is a luxury camp in Rishikesh surrounded by serene nature. It is at Shivpuri, 12 km from the city. This place will attract every nature seeker towards a natural vibe. It is an ideal place to watch the river Ganges and enjoy nature’s serene environment. The campsite offers several luxury camp rooms with attached bathrooms. It also has a beautiful open garden, restaurant, and music hall.

4. Hotel Amris – Right in the city’s heart, Hotel Amaris is one of the best hotels in Rishikesh. This hotel offers luxurious rooms at affordable prices. It is near Nataraj Chowk. It has a number of luxury, standard, and premium rooms. Along with the luxurious restaurant, this hotel is also famous for night parties, birthdays, wedding parties, etc. Along with friendly staff, it will provide you with 24-hour room service and housekeeping.

5. Taj Rishikesh – One of the luxurious hotels, the Taj Hotel, is a Taj group hotel in Rishikesh. It is in Singthali, 30 km from Rishikesh city. It is surrounded by the view of the Ganges under the cover of nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Renowned for its luxurious lifestyle, the Taj represents its authentic and opulent self. This stay can be expensive, but the experience is truly unique.

Best Places to try Food

When it comes to food, Rishikesh will certainly not lag behind in this either. With numerous cafes, restaurants, and food centers, Rishikesh offers much for food lovers. Here some food centers are mentioned:-

1. Little Buddha Cafe – Little Buddha is a famous Cafe in Rishikesh. It is a significant point for the locals and tourists to try snacks. Indulging in a serene atmosphere and a spectacular river Ganga view, this cafe is best for Tibetan cuisine. The main dishes include Tibetan thukpa, momos, and wood-fired pizzas. The restaurant also has a wide selection of tea and coffee. The cafe is also decorated with colorful prayer flags and Buddhist motifs.

2. Chotiwala Restaurant – Chhotiwala Restaurant is the most famous restaurant in Rishikesh. It is situated in Pauri Gharwal opposite Muni ki Reti of Rishikesh. You must visit this restaurant if you are also fond of delicious food. Chotiwala is famous for vegetarian food, which provides excellent food. It serves North Indian and South Indian food.

3. Jal Jalebi & Beyond – Jal Jalebi is located in the Virbhadra area of Rishikesh. Jal Jalebi & Beyond is known for its various flavors and sweet dishes. It serves a fusion of Indian food and South Indian food in Rishikesh. Dining from its balcony connects you with nature while enjoying a fantastic view of the Garhwal mountains and the holy river Ganges.

4. Ira’s Kitchen and Tearoom – Ira’s Kitchen is an authentic coffee and tea cafe in Tapovan, Rishikesh. The cafe area is clean and attractive for every food lover. Enjoy this cafe if you want to spend time with your good friends. This cafe is the best snack spot to enjoy Indian, Chinese, and Continental snacks in a lovely ambiance. It is also one of the best cafes in Tapovan to spend time with.

5. The 60’s Cafe (The Beatles) – In the 1960s, the 60’s Café was the Beatles’ favorite café in a picturesque setting. The cafe reflects the psychedelic 60s style in vibrant colors and patterns that integrate Indian culture. The cafe offers stunning views of the Ganges, with American and British decor. The menu may include traditional Indian dishes such as paneer tikka, samosas, masala chai, and classic American and British dishes.

How to Reach

The following are the four best ways to reach Rishikesh:-

By Air: The nearest airport to Rishikesh is Jolly Grant Airport. It is 20 km away from Rishikesh. You can reach this airport from every major city in India. After reaching this airport, you can book a local cab to Rishikesh.

By Train: Rishikesh has two railway stations. The first is Devbhoomi Station, and the second is Yog Nagri Railway Station. All major cities are well connected by train to Rishikesh. You can reach it here from Delhi, Dehradun, Haridwar, Chandigarh, Meerut, and many other cities.

By Bus: Rishikesh is well connected to various states of Uttarakhand, such as Delhi, neighboring Uttar Pradesh, and Himachal. Some of the popular routes and bus operators covering Rishikesh are:-

  • Delhi to Rishikesh – Private and government operators operate several buses from Delhi to Rishikesh. The travel time between the two cities is around 6-7 hours.
  • Dehradun to Rishikesh – Dehradun is the capital of Uttarakhand, and many buses are plying between Dehradun and Rishikesh. The travel time between the two cities is approximately 1-2 hours.
  • Haridwar to Rishikesh – Haridwar is the nearest major city to Rishikesh, with frequent buses between the two cities. The travel time between Haridwar and Rishikesh is approximately 30-45 minutes.
  • Chandigarh to Rishikesh – Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab and Haryana. There are a few direct buses from here to Rishikesh, and the travel time between the two cities is around 10-12 hours.
  • Kangra to Rishikesh – Kangra is located in Himachal Pradesh. There are some direct buses from here to Rishikesh. The travel time between the two cities is around 12-14 hours.

By Cab: If you have a personal cab, reaching Rishikesh is quite easy. Rishikesh is well-connected by road to various cities and towns in Uttarakhand and neighboring states. Here are the general directions to reach Rishikesh by cab from major cities:

  • From Delhi – Rishikesh is around 240 km from Delhi, and it takes 6-7 hours to reach Rishikesh by cab. You can take NH 334 and NH 334A from Delhi to reach Rishikesh.
  • From Dehradun – Rishikesh is around 45 km from Dehradun, and it takes around 1-2 hours to reach Rishikesh by cab. You can take NH 7 from Dehradun to reach Rishikesh.
  • From Haridwar – Rishikesh is around 20 km from Haridwar, and it takes 30-45 minutes to reach Rishikesh by cab. You can take NH 34 from Haridwar to reach Rishikesh.

FAQ about Rishikesh

Rishikesh is a city located in Uttarakhand, India. It is 245 km (152 miles) northeast of Delhi - India's capital.

Rishikesh is an idyllic destination at the foothills of the Himalayas, surrounded by lush green forests. It's renowned for its spiritual and adventure hub, known as the "yoga capital of the world." Outdoor activities like camping or trekking are plentiful here, as well as rafting, bungee jumping, and ziplining for thrill-seekers. Additionally, Rishikesh boasts numerous ancient temples and ashrams, which draw visitors from around the globe.

The ideal time to visit Rishikesh is between October and March when the temperature remains comfortable and moderate - neither hot nor cold. Apart from this, this period also happens to be the time of Garhwal and Music Mahotsav in Rishikesh, which makes it even more attractive.

Here are many places to visit in Rishikesh:-

  • Triveni Ghat
  • Laxman Jhula
  • Ram Jhula
  • Beatles Ashram
  • Parmarth Niketan Ashram
  • Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
  • Shivpuri
  • Kunjapuri Sunrise Trek

Many Things to do in Rishikesh:-

  • River Rafting
  • Paragliding
  • Hot Air Balloons
  • Camping
  • Visit Ganga Ghat
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Ziplining
  • Giant Swing

Rishikesh's hidden treasure, Vashishta Gufa (also known as Vashishta Cave), is about 25 km away. Legend has it that sage Vashishta meditated in this cave and attained enlightenment. You can reach it via a short trek from the nearby village Gular-Dogi.

By road, the distance between Delhi and Rishikesh is 245 km (152 mi). Travel time may vary depending on your mode of transport and traffic conditions. Driving from Delhi to Rishikesh takes 5-6 hours and 6-8 hours by bus. Trains also run between these two cities, with the journey taking 5-6 hours, depending on availability.

Haridwar and Rishikesh are around 20 km (12.4 miles) apart by road, and travel time usually takes 30-45 minutes.