Rishikesh is a town on the banks of holy river Ganga in the northern state of India Uttrakhand. This is one of the spiritual places in India which beholds many legends & story. Rishikesh is known by many names like Hrishikesh, Yoga capital of the world & it also the starting point of starting a journey of 4 pilgrimage places. Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. So, a land with such variety requires a trip. I did this trip in 2019 summers. This is my knowledge of this holy place.
How To Reach
Rishikesh From Delhi:There are plenty of options available from Delhi. There are direct buses, trains & flights (to the nearest airport) from Delhi. Depending on the requirement one can choose the mode of transport.
Buses: Kashmere Gate ISBT is a place to board bus to Rishikesh. Most of the transport bus will take you till the Haridwar & from Haridwar one can take either a three-wheeler or a bus till Rishikesh. Cost of a bus from Delhi to Haridwar is Rs 650 onwards & from Haridwar to Rishikesh bus stand is Rs 30 onwards.
Trains: There are plenty of direct trains available to Haridwar & from Haridwar one can take a bus or 3 wheeler. The best train would be Janshatabdi which takes 4 to 5 hours to reach. The cost of train tickets starts from Rs 190 onwards for a sleeper seat in non-ac compartment.
Flights: Flight connectivity has been boosted in recent times & it can be one of the best modes to reach Dehradun (nearest airport). From Dehradun, Rishikesh is approx 2 hours drive. If one book flights early you can get the flight in the range of Rs 3000 onwards.
Things To Do In Rishikesh:
River Rafting:This is one of the best things to do in Rishikesh. River rafting has bloomed like anything in recent times. Many young people visit this place solely for trying out this exciting yet dangerous activity. There are many variants in this activity like 16 Km, 26 Km, 35 Km etc. The river rafting price of 16 Km starts from Rs 1000 onwards.
River Side Camping:There are few white sand beaches near Ganga. There are no better evenings to be spent than at the camping site in the middle of the nature echoing with the sound of flowing water around the campsite. Camping is a luxury activity in Rishikesh. Usually, the vendor who is providing rafting activity will arrange a camping site for some extra charge. Riverside camping price starts from Rs 1850 onwards which include food, bonfire, fun activities & rafting.
Beatles Ashram:Beatles Ashram is one of the places for the hippies, the ruins are open to the public. Located at 15 min drive from the city center. This place offers some of the best city views. The ruins are a glimpse of place during its peak time. At one time people came here to connect with the bigger power. Now, the walls of the place are covered in graffiti & paintings. Photographers will have great fun here, as there are so many frames to capture. The price to visit this place is Rs 150 for Indians & Rs 600 for foreigners.
Ram Jhula & Lakshman Jhula:Ram Jhula & Lakshman Jhula are two suspension bridges connecting two parts of the city. Out of the both Lakshman Jhula has some history behind it. It is said that Lakshman crossed Ganga river on jute ropes at this very point. During the evening, both the bridges are lit with the lights & the site of city on the behind & lighted bridge is one photo to click.
Yoga Centers:Rishikesh is also known as Yoga Capital of the world. Each year many people join one or the other Yoga retreat centers to learn this age-old form of exercise. The benefits of Yoga are not unknown to the world & with each passing day, the craze of Yoga is touching new heights & there is no better place to learn this magnificent art than this.
Cafes:Every hippy place has a number of cafes & this place is no different. The place is crowded with lots of cafes. The best cafes are located on the banks of Ganga. The food is reasonably cheap & tasty. Some of the best cafes are Beatle cafe, the Buddha cafe.
Also, Rishikesh is home to one of the oldest food chain of India, the Chotiwala. A great place to taste some Indian food.
Other Information:Apart from above things, there are few other gems as well; which can be done while staying at Rishikesh. Kunjapuri sunrise trek is great for some outdoor fun & to watch amazing sunrise. On the way to Kunjapuri there are waterfalls which can give you a decent outing.
At 20 Km from Rishikesh there is Vashist Cave which was used by the great Vashist for meditation.
Devprayag is 2.5 hours drive from Rishikesh, a place where Alaknanda & Bhagirathi river meet to from G
Budget For Rishikesh:Rishikesh is a small town & crowded mostly with the pilgrims. You don't need to break the bank to travel to Rishikesh, there are plenty of options available.
Accommodation:Many retreat centers allow accommodation along with yoga classes. So, finding great ashramas won't be an issue. You can check for the best ashrams in Rishikesh. However, if you are only for tourism. You can stay in hostels whose price starts from Rs 250 onwards for dorm bed. There is a hostel near Lakshman Jhula Live Free which is a great place to stay primarily for its location & far yet not so far from the city attractions. Further, People looking for luxury prospects shall not get disheartened, as there are number of luxury projects. One of the best is Ganga Aloha
Site Seeing:Major attractions like Ram Jhula, Lakshman Jhula, banks of ganga are free for the use. Beatle cafe is one of the places where an entry fee is applicable. Apart from that, the cost you will face will be of commutation. The best way to commute is by renting a scooter or motorbike. A cost of scooter starts from Rs 400 onwards. It is great option for commuting.
Food:The place is crowded with cafes & local restaurants. There are many places where one can have full meal at a reasonable price. One can assume a price of Rs 250 onwards for a meal per person.
River Rafting & Camping:Probably the most famous activity in Rishikesh is river rafting & camping. Usually, both activities are aligned together. But, if you only want to do one thing; that option is also available. The cost of both is Rs 1800 onwards.
Rishikesh is a dry place, which means you won't be able to find any alcohol. But, considering it is a holy place you can get other stuff easily.
A budget of Rs 5000 onwards for a 3 day trip can be considered.
Is Rishikesh Worth Traveling?Rishikesh is a great place for the first time. There are some parts which are worth doing again & again & but it is also monotonous. I am not sure if I will be traveling to Rishikesh for the second time.
Best Time To Visit Rishikesh:The best time to visit Rishikesh is without a doubt after the monsoon which is after sept, the temperature is pleasant & the climate is good. During summers the temperature is pretty hot.
Things To Know About Rishikesh:Rishikesh can't be treated as some tourist city, it is a city of experience. Maybe this is the reason why people learn Yoga, meditation, etc. The water flowing in the river is melted ice from the Himalayas & it is super cool. Taking a dip at this holy water is essential, but make sure you have warm clothes nearby. From Rishikesh, one can head towards 4 holy places which are also known as Chaar Dham. A trip to this place can be more than a trip especially for the people who are looking for some spiritual connect. Beatles visiting Rishikesh in 1968 is a prime example of a spiritual journey.
Handy ResourcesBelow are the few resources you should check before making an itinerary.
Amazon: Amazon is one of the largest marketplaces in the world. You can buy numerous things from this place. If you buy something I will get some commission & will help me to fund my travels.
Agoda: Best place to book hotels of your liking. Agoda provides the best solution & great offer while booking a hotel.
Skyscanner: Skyscanner compares various sites & sort the flights based on the rates. A great way to check flight cost. Although the only drawback is that rates are flexible. Hence, the cost might change while you are making the payment.
Jetradar: Jetradar is a comparing site which is just like Skyscanner. But, is much more accurate & much more handy in use.
Booking: Best place to book hostel rooms. There are plenty of options available & with so many properties booking becomes much easier.
Couchsurfing: Best place to find free accommodation. It is as easy as filtering people & messaging. If you will get lucky you will find free accommodation in local resident house.
Travel Insurance: There are numerous options available to get one. So, you can choose anything which suits your requirement. Make sure you read the terms & conditions before buying one.
A trip is incomplete without the pics.Buy an iphone to click some breath taking pics. Apart from a phone camera, I use GoPro an adventure camera to shoot video & click high definition photos. The product is pretty handy & captures mind blogging videos. GoPro is easy & handy to use, which makes it a must buy. So, these are my trip essentials.