Things to do in Rishikesh: A Complete Travel Guide

Often dubbed as the Yoga Capital of the World and the hottest white river rafting site in India, Rishikesh offers an array of activities that engage the spiritual and adventure seekers alike. With a footfall of millions of domestic and international visitors every year, the pilgrimage town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in northern India. It holds a deep unparalleled spiritual beauty and serenity.

Ram Jhoola in Rishikesh

Table of Contents: 

  1. About Rishikesh
  2. Things to do in Rishikesh
  3. How to plan a trip to Rishikesh
  4. Hotels and Resorts in Rishikesh
Things to do in Rishikesh

About Rishikesh

Rishikesh is a popular tourist destination as the Hindu Char Dham pilgrimage to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath begin from here. Apart from being the ideal destination for pilgrims, it is also called the ‘Yoga capital of the World’. For the adventurous, it is a popular destination to begin various trekking expeditions and activities in the Himalayan peaks.  

Location 

Rishikesh is a city in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand, surrounded by the Himalayan Shivalik Ranges, on the banks of the River Ganga. Nestled at the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas, the mountain town offers delightful views of the Himalayan landscape.

Weather 

Embark on an adventure in summer or winter, based on your interests and preferences. Travelling from March to May is not ideal as it can be very hot and humid for exploration. Winter is usually at its peak from October to February. You may want to avoid travelling to Uttarakhand during monsoon due to heavy rainfall, and high chances of landslides and cloud bursts.

History 

Rishikesh means ‘lord of the senses’ and that is another name of Lord Vishnu who appeared as ‘Raibhya Rishi’, under a mango tree. It is a legend that when a fierce fire broke out here, Lord Shiva was angry with Lord Agni and put a curse on him. This is why the town stands tall as one of the Holy Destinations for Hindus. The city is home to many religious sites including ancient temples. Even to this day, a large number of saints and sages visit the town and never leave for years to come. 

Geography 

The Ganga flows for 250 km gushing through the Himalayan valley, before entering Rishikesh. It has an average elevation of 1,120 ft above sea level. The town is located in the Tehri Garhwal region of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. From the pine-covered valleys to the roaring Ganges, the town is a treat for all senses.

Things to do in Rishikesh

Over the years, Rishikesh has become a hotspot for tourists and travellers of all kinds. Apart from tourists on a pilgrimage or taking a dip in the Ganges, there are also those looking for other activities like yoga and mountaineering. Channel the traveller in you by exploring some of the curated places and activities for you.

Fun activities in Rishikesh

  • Bungee Jumping: Jumpin Heights feature India’s highest bungee jumping here with a height of 83 meters.
  • Parasailing: Get a bird’s-eye view of the valley 1500 ft above the ground of breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
  • Kayaking: The Ganges makes it one of the best places to kayak in the country. 
  • River Rafting: As the rafting capital of India, Rishikesh is home to various trained experts to help you explore out-of-the-world adventures. 
White Water Rafting in Rishikesh

Offbeat activities in Rishikesh

  • Rishikund Hot Water Springs: Near the Raghunath Temple lies the beautiful and ancient hot water spring. It is believed that Lord Rama came and took a dip in these springs while he was in exile. 
  • Neer Garh/ Neer Gaddu Waterfall: Located around 5 kilometres from Lakshman Jhula, this waterfall is one-of-a-kind. The short hike is worth the effort!  
  • Jhilmil Gufa: Located at Manikoot Parvat is a set of 3 caves, about 4 kilometres from the Neelkanth Temple. It is an hour’s hike through the dense jungle.

Places to visit in Rishikesh

Explore these popular tourist attractions: 

  • Ram Jhula: A 450 feet bridge that offers a panoramic view of river Ganga and connects the Shivananda Ashram with Swargashram. 
  • Lakshman Jhula: Believed to be the site where Lord Lakshman, brother of Lord Ram, crossed the river Ganga.
  • Neelkanth Mahadev Temple: The famous temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is surrounded by dense forests of the Nar-Narayan mountain ranges. 
  • Karnaprayag: Karnaprayag is believed by many to be the place where Karna of the Mahabharata, was to have worshipped the Sun God. 
  • Triveni Ghat: It is the confluence of the 3 holy rivers – Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, where several pilgrims believe that taking a dip has the power to wash away your sins and purify your soul.
  • Beatles Ashram: This is where the band ‘The Beatles’ composed most of their songs for the album known as the “White Album”. We have covered extensively about the Beatles Ashram.
Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh

Places to visit nearby 

Visit the following places to explore other popular destinations around the vicinity for a memorable experience. 

  • Rajaji Tiger Reserve is an Indian national park and tiger reserve that encompasses the Shivalik’s, near the foothills of the Himalayas, located 19 km away. 
  • Haridwar is one of the first towns where Ganga emerges where the water is crystal clear and surrounded by lush green forests, which is about 20 km away
  • Byasi is known for its adventurous water sports like river rafting and camping which is less than 30 km away from Rishikesh.
Ganga in Haridwar

Places to eat

Food in this holy town is delectable with rich north Indian and continental food. One can have many restaurants and cafes for pasta and lasagna because of the large number of tourists from other countries. A few popular restaurants are:  

  • VARR – Temple Food of India 
  • Jal Jalebi & Beyond
  • The Sitting Elephant – A Rooftop Restaurant Overlooking River Ganga
  • Ira’s Kitchen and Tearoom
  • Tapovan live cafe and restaurant

Be sure to try the banana curry from the Ayurvedic Indian cuisine. It is one that you cannot miss during your travels through unique town. It can be found almost at every restaurant in town. 

How to Plan a Trip to Rishikesh

The most suitable way to plan a trip is to choose the best route, mode of transport, and more. Here are some dominant transport modes to reach the town. 

How to reach

By road

Rishikesh is a well-connected tourist destination by the NH 7 route from Dehradun (45 km), Chandigarh (209 km), Delhi (258 km), and Shimla (269 km). Book a cab from any of these cities and enjoy your journey to the valley of the Gods. If you are travelling from Dehradun to Rishikesh, read this informative travel guide for a well-planned journey. 

[Also Read: Dehradun to Rishikesh by Road – Distance, Time and Useful Travel Information]

By train 

Yog Nagari Rishikesh railway station (6 km) is the nearest railway station to Rishikesh and is well connected with the rest of the country. 

By air 

The Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is only 20 kilometres away and should hardly take you 30 minutes to reach Rishikesh from there. There are regular flights for which the Dehradun Airport is the main transfer location. Upon your arrival, you can book a cab to Rishikesh. 

Best time to visit

Between September to April, Rishikesh can satisfy every individual’s yearnings, varying from religious to spiritual, cultural to historical, and recreational to adventurous, there are attractions for every individual’s needs and wants. 

Hotels and Resorts in Rishikesh

Hotel NameAddressPhone Number
The Grand Alova by Wild HeritageBadrinath Rd, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 24919209627241966
Swiss Cottage and Spa By Salvus, RishikeshArea, By Pass Road, Tapovan, Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 24919208181828393
The Hosteller Rishikesh MiniTapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 24913709810187717
Aloha On The Ganges, RishikeshNH 58, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 24919201352442777
Hill Top Swiss CottageHigh Bank, Bhirkhet, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 24919208006551415
GANGA KINARE – A Riverside Boutique Hotel237, Virbhadra Rd, Sturida Colony, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 24920109015544000

Seems like you’re ready to travel to one of the bucket list travel destinations of almost every Indian! Travel without any hassles and stress as you soak in the beauty of the holy town by booking a chauffeur-driven cab from Savaari. Download the cab booking app now to avail exciting offers and discounts. 

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