Saturday, 8 June 2013

Rishikesh, India

The Yoga Capital - Rishikesh Uttarakhand

Why Rishikesh was on my list?

Rishikesh has some kind of magnet it pulls you towards itself. You will see many foreigners living here for months but originally came for 2 to 3 days visit! 

BTW, I missed a chance of attending aarti ceremony with Prince Charles and Camilla by one day :(

I was always fascinated with the idea of attending the Ganga aarti. I was amazed by the people performing religious ritual at the bank of holy river. So if you wish to live the magical moment, don't forget to attend Ganga aarti at the Parmarth ashram. Rishikesh, beside being famous Hindu pilgrimage site it is also famous adventure sports destination. Although later one was not on my list. 

One the places near Rishikesh to visit is "Neelkanth Mahadev". As per the Hindu epics this is place where Lord Shiva consumed the poison. 

Ganga Aarti

Things to do in Rishikesh: 

  • Yoga
  • Adventure sports
  • Ganga aarti
  • Camping
  • It's a first stop to char dham yatra.

Make your pick :)

Rishikesh Images

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If one wishes to learn yoga in Rishikesh, there are many centers claiming to the best yoga ashram in Rishikesh which can teach you yoga suiting your budget and need. Although you can find them any where in Rishikesh but I liked few which are situated on the left hand side of the police check-post once you cross Laxman Jhula. If I recall correctly Rishikesh Yog Peeth is quite a famous place to learn yoga as well.

For adventure sports, White water rafting, you got to book it in advance better book in the morning time so that you get in the river by after noon when weather is bit hot else water could be very cold in morning and evening time. The one we booked was situated on the way to Ram Jhula from Laxshman Jhula. It will cost you around 1000Rs per head for 12 Km river rafting. 

Bungee Jumping, although we did not do it personally. But one can find it on the way to Neelkunt. All you need 2000Rs and a strong heart :) I guess, it is the only bungee jumping camp in India, run and designed by a new-zealander. Rishikesh is also a hiking and backpacking center. 

Food and Drink

Note, Rishikesh is a vegetarian town by law, you wont find even a single place serving non vegetarian good. If one willing to find a non veg food point he/she might have to travel outskirt of the town. 

Same goes for drinking you wont find any shop selling alcohol, if one wishes to buy then better option would be either to carry from source itself else nearest option available is a town named Raiwala which lies in between Haridwar and Rishikesh.

If you wish to have a decent food near to Laxman Jhula well there are plenty of restaurants available at 5 mins walking distance. One of them, if I can recall correctly, is chotiwala which is decent enough to serve your hunger. There are few others situated next to chotiwala which are also decent and cheaper. And if you wish to buy Rishikesh map well this is place to search for it :)


There are many budget accommodation easily available all over Rishikesh but finding a room with good view of Rishikesh could be difficult. We stayed at the hotel named "Ganga Niwas" which is basically a guest house run by a trust. It will cost you around 600Rs with air conditioner. 

Most of the people staying there were basically staying for months, doing yoga courses.

Another option would be to rent a tent or camping at the bank of Ganga. There are many options available on the way to Neelkunt. All in all it depends how much you want to spend on the accommodation and also the season you are traveling to Rishikesh, we went there in May starting. 

One more thing to keep in mind Rishikesh weather which may get very cold for few liking especially the temperature falls very fast after rain. So don't forget to pack few woolen clothes for the trip.

How to reach Rishikesh?

Taxi: If budget is not an issue, book a taxi straight from the airport itself.

Train: Take a train from Delhi to Haridwar and from Haridwar you can take public auto which are quite cheap. Or you can also take a local train from Haridwar to Rishikesh.

Bus: There are direct bus services available from Delhi ISBT to Rishikesh.

General Route to Rishikesh: 

New Delhi - Meerut - Muzaffarnagar - Roorkee - Haridwar - Rishikesh

Route we took to/from Rishikesh:

I was travelling on my bike so there was no compulsion of taking above route. There is another route which can save hell of time. 

This road basically runs along gang-nehar which you can catch from Modi-Nagar. While travelling from New Delhi to Meerut, just before the Modi-Nagar you will see a nehar "canal" passing through, take left and just fellow the road to the end it is around 220KM long road and will take you to the roorkee. And from Roorkee it is common road to Haridwar to Rishikesh. 

Just keep in mind that don't use this road in night and also don't forget to take update from a villager about the road condition. During our trip around 35 KM road was in very bad condition since we were on bike it didn't create much of problem but for car it might be different story altogether. 

If you are looking for a good Hindu spiritual experience well you got to be there!

Happy travelling...

1 comment:

  1. Rashikahs is a nice city in India. This city is known as The Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas. I’m really impressed after reading your blog. You have shared enough information about this city. I’m a tourist and never got a chance to go there before but last year my uncle was there before washington dc tours hop on hop off with his family. Your shared attractions sound cool and attract the attention of all visitors. I want to go there in the next months with my friends and see your shared attractions.