Located in the foothills of Himalayas, on the banks of Ganga River, Rishikesh is among the most popular tourist destinations in India for all the good reasons. Rishikesh is famous for the divine, blue Ganga, river banks with white sand, lush green hills, ancient Hindu temples, river rafting and much more. With a plethora of places to visit in Rishikesh, it also offers numerous fun activities that make it so popular. This charming city in Uttarakhand is popularly known as the ‘World’s Yoga Capital’ as it is a prominent center for studying yoga and has many ashrams and meditation centers where one can learn and study yoga.
The most iconic element that makes Rishikesh such a significant place among tourists is the presence of Ganga River which is believed to be the holiest river according to Hinduism. There are numerous Hindu Temples and religious places in Rishikesh, making it a major religious center for Hindus in India. The city is among the most preferred weekend getaways near the national capital, Delhi. The distance between Rishikesh and Delhi is just 244 km which makes it an easy getaway destination for people seeking an escape from the wearisome atmosphere of Delhi. Except for being a major hub for adventure sports and spirituality, the quality that makes Rishikesh one of its kind is the scenic beauty and thick vegetation, adding a feeling of refreshment to its air.
Rishikesh receives a huge rush of pilgrims all round the year since it houses some prominent religious places for Hindus. Apart from that, Ganga River is worshipped by Hindus which makes the town even more significant – religiously. There are places to visit in Rishikesh that are believed to be directly connected to Hindu mythology. Among such places are the very famous Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula. These are iron suspension bridges across Ganga River, and are among the most iconic landmarks in Rishikesh.
These bridges offer panoramic views of the river and the city. Some of the most revered religious sites in the city houses are Swarga Ashram, Triveni Ghat, Tera Manzil Temple and many more such places which are frequented by hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees every year. Rishikesh is also home to a number of yoga ashrams. Parmarth Niketan is a major spiritual center facilitating yoga. The Beatles Ashram is a star attraction in Rishikesh, famous for its Beatles graffiti and artwork. The Ashram got its name from the famous pop band, The Beatles who visited the ashram in the ‘60s. Rishikesh is a delight during major Hindu Festivals.
In case you religious places do not interest you that much, Rishikesh has much more to quench your wanderlust than just Hindu temples. You can visit Marine Drive in Rishikesh which is a famous spot among youth where you can indulge into adventure activities and enjoy the scenic beauty of Ganga River flowing through the city. Rishikesh also has a treat for nature and wildlife lovers in the form of Rajaji National Park. This national park, spread over a vast region of 820 sq. km, offers you an opportunity to witness tigers and elephants, among many other fauna species, in their natural habitat. A safari in the dense jungles of this park is an unforgettable experience.
The list of things to do in Rishikesh does not end at just temple visits and river rafting since there is a lot more you can do on your trip to Rishikesh. There are more than a couple of factors owing to which Rishikesh has earned a reputation as one of the major tourist destinations in the country. One of those factors is, of course, river rafting. The river rafting in Rishikesh is so famous that Rishikesh has almost become synonymous to river rafting, and has earned heavy popularity among adventure enthusiasts during past few years. Indian and foreign tourists visit Rishikesh in great numbers, and in most cases, what brings them here is the desire to experience the thrill of river rafting in the rapids of Ganga River.
Except for the monsoon season when it rains heavily, river rafting can be enjoyed here all year long. What makes river rafting here even more fun is that there are different stretches for rafting, and each stretch has a different level of thrill involved. Besides river rafting, there are some other adventure sports in Rishikesh like Bungee Jumping, Giant Swing, Trekking, Camping and Rappelling. On your trip to Rishikesh, you can also enjoy the unique experience of camping at scenic spots, beside the blue waters of Ganga River. Rishikesh has some amazing resorts that offer you accommodations on the river banks, from where the views of the river and the hills are just breath-taking.
Rishikesh, being a gateway to the Himalayas, also serves as an excellent base station for many exhilarating treks that can be taken from here. Some of the most recommended treks that you can take from Rishikesh are Roopkund Trek, Valley of Flowers Trek, and Nag Tibba Trek. Though there are other thrilling options, too, that make Rishikesh a trekker’s paradise. It is not surprising that with such a wide array of exciting adventure activities, it is growing as a major adventure hotspot.
Rishikesh is among those rare gems of the places which are fun irrespective of whom you visit the place with. Whether you want to spend your time relaxing, breathing in the refreshing air on the banks of the river, you want to indulge into exciting adventure activities or you want to bring peace to your soul by meditating, Rishikesh has so much to explore.
The climate of Rishikesh is the pleasant type, so it can be visited during any time of the year. However, rafting is closed during monsoon due to heavy rainfalls and summer months mark high temperatures, so visiting Rishikesh between May to mid of September can be avoided. To experience the best of Rishikesh, visit between late September to November or in March-April.