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.”
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.
WHERE EXACTLY IS RISHIKESH?
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.
ONLY BEST RISHIKESH STAYS
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.
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.
HOW TO REACH RISHIKESH?
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!
ROAD DISTANCE CHART TO RISHIKESH
- 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
MAP TO DESIGN YOUR DAY IN AN ORGANIZED WAY
THE HISTORY OF THE PLACE
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.
LAKSHMAN JHULA: AN ICONIC SYMBOL 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.
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.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
Either March to April or October to November. Neither June to August nor December to January
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.
SAY NO TO ALCOHOL AND MEAT
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.
INTERNATIONAL YOGA FESTIVAL BEGINS IN RISHIKESH
“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
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.
IN RISHIKESH, YOGA IS OF THE ESSENCE
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.
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
- Mahatma Yoga Ashram
- Maa Yoga Ashram
- Tattvaa Yogashala
NO MORE RAFTING IN RISHIKESH
You can’t. You’re not allowed. You read that right.
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.
RAFTING REOPENED UNDER STRICT GUIDELINES
Hurray! It’s time to be adventurous again. News from local newspaper in Hindi
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)
RAFTING IS WORTHWHILE IN RISHIKESH
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).
CHECK YOUR RAFTING TOUR OPERATOR
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.
BOOK RAFTING PLUS CAMPING PLUS HAPPINESS
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.
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.
WHAT APARNA SAYS ABOUT RISHIKESH
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.
CHOOSE B/W TRUE LOVE OR TRAVELLING TO 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?
SUMMARY & CONCLUSION
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.
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