A Complete Travel Guide to Rishikesh
Rishikesh is located at an elevation of 372 metres above sea level and is part of the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh has always been a part of ‘Kedarkhand,’ which is today known as Garhwal, according to history. It is supposed that Lord Rama did his penance for killing Ravana here. The mythologically significant Lakshman Jhula, one of the top spots to see in Rishikesh, is where Ram and Lakshman are said to have crossed the mighty River Ganga. In 1889, a jute bridge was replaced by an iron bridge, which had previously been a jute bridge.
Rishikesh has a long history of attracting travellers from all over the world due to its religious and scenic attractions. This site, nestled in the Himalayan foothills, is also one of the most sought-after destinations for adventure seekers. Rishikesh is a wonderful tourist location, surrounded by lush green forests and crisscrossed by the swiftly flowing Ganges. According to health enthusiasts, Rishikesh is also renowned as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World.
However, during the floods of 1924, it swept away. A sturdy bridge was constructed, and it still stands today. Rishikesh has a lot to offer those interested in adventure. Rishikesh, the location of historic temples such as Bharat Mandir, Shatrughna Mandir, and Lakshman Mandir, is one of India’s most popular pilgrimage destinations. Numerous yoga and meditation institutes have sprung in the town, catering to the region’s large population of health buffs. Another highlight is the Kailas Ashram Brahmavidyapeetham, a 133-year-old institution dedicated to promoting and preserving Vedantic learning.
Rishikesh is one of India’s most popular adventure and tourist destinations, with activities ranging from white-water river rafting to bungee jumping. Even if you’ve done rafting before, the very prospect of rafting over the mighty Ganges would give you an adrenaline rush. Rappelling, kayaking, hiking, zip line, mountain biking, and rock climbing are some of the other adventure activities available in Rishikesh. There is something for everyone, and Rishikesh will not disappoint any traveller.
Uttarakhand Travel Tourism has put together a Rishikesh travel guide to help you plan an organised visit to the city. It is here that you will find comprehensive information about places to visit, activities to do and shop, places to eat, and how to get there.
History of Rishikesh
According to mythology, the city’s current name comes from the Hindu god Vishnu’s name Hrishikesh, which means “Lord of the Senses.” On the banks of the Sacred River Ganges in this location, it is said that the famous Hindu Saint Raibhya Rishi practised protracted asceticism. Lord Vishnu, in the avatar of Hayagriva, vanquished the demons Madhu and Kaitabha in the Satya Yuga (the first of the four yugas) (the battle lasted 5000 years). When the Lord walked into the jungle to do penance after slaying them, he came upon Rabhya Rishi meditating.
According to the Skanda Purana, as a reward for the Saint’s spiritual practise, Vishnu appeared to him in the shape of Lord Hrishikesh and blessed the Rabhya Rishi, saying, “As long as you have performed Supreme Tapasya (austerity) by controlling your senses, let Hrishikesh identify the area.” Another tradition claims that a massive fire erupted in Rishikesh. Lord Shankar cursed Lord Agni because he was enraged. Then Lord Agni, the Fire God, pleaded for salvation here, and the region became known as Agni Tirth – Lord Agni’s Holy Place of Repentance. Others claim that the city’s name is derived from the terms Rishi and Kesh (sages, prophets, and pious hermits) (dreadlocks). On their trip to Char Dham, numerous hermits passed through this location. They usually wore their hair long and washed it in the holy Ganga’s water.
Rishikesh is a part of the fabled “Kedarkhand” region. According to legend, Lord Rama took penance here for killing Ravana, the asura king of Lanka, and his younger brother Lakshmana spanned the Ganges using two jute ropes at the spot where the current ‘Lakshman Jhula’ ( ) stands today. At this point, the Skanda Purana’s ‘Kedarkhand’ mentions the presence of Indrakund. In 1889, a 248-foot long iron-rope suspension bridge replaced the jute-rope bridge. It was replaced in 1927 by the current, stronger bridge erected by the United Provinces Public Works Department after it was washed away in the 1924 floods. This bridge connects the Tapovan, Tehri, and Jonk, Pauri Garhwal districts. Ram Jhula, a similar suspension bridge, was erected.
Rishikesh is home to the Ganges, one of Hinduism’s most revered rivers. The river comes into the plains of northern India from the Shivalik Hills in the Himalayas. Rishikesh has a number of ancient and new temples along the banks of the Ganges. Adi Shankaracharya created historic temples such as Shatrughna Mandir, Bharat Mandir (Lord Vishnu’s avatar), and Lakshman Mandir. Ram Jhula is close to Shatrughna Temple, while Lakshman Jhula is close to Lakshman Jhula.
According to historical sources, some pilgrims used to stop at Rishikesh for a respite before continuing on to the higher mountains for the pilgrimage, while others came to Rishikesh as the starting point and visited numerous sites between Rishikesh and Lakshman Jhula before returning. Rishikesh, on the other hand, has evolved from a pilgrimage destination to a tourism destination in recent decades. The International Yoga Festival, which began in 2000, has attracted a new stream of visitors. Local markets have progressed from selling “local and religious handicrafts” to become a more service-oriented tourism business with “provision stores, cafes, motels, yoga and meditation,” as well as rafting.
Best Time to Visit Rishikesh
When it comes to determining the best time to visit Rishikesh, one must first determine what they want out of a vacation. Is it a recreational, spiritual, or pure love of nature visit? It’s also vital to think about people’s different levels of tolerance for cold and heat. Finally, the distinct seasons of winter, summer, and monsoon in Rishikesh must be considered. Summer sets the surrounds ablaze, and monsoon drenches the plains with splendour, while winter adorns the sceneries with frost. Each individual epoch leaves an indelible mark, leaving something profound in its wake. Rishikesh tourism is quite magnificent, and it is a must-see destination.
Summers in Rishikesh
Between the months of March and June. During the summer, the maximum temperature ranges from 20 to 35 degrees Celsius. Rishikesh’s Monsoon Season: – The monsoon season lasts from July to September, and most activities are halted owing to the torrential rains.
Monsoon in Rishikesh
During the monsoon season, which runs from July to September, Rishikesh receives average rainfall. The water level rises as a result of the rainfall, and rafting is closed. Even during the rainy season, discounts continue to entice budget travellers.
Winters in Rishikesh
While the greatest time to visit Rishikesh is at any time of year, the Rishikesh weather in December is ideal for seeing the city at its best! The temperature descends as low as 8 degrees Celsius and rises as high as 28 degrees Celsius, wrapped in a mild chill.
Must Visit Tourist Attractions in Rishikesh
Rishikesh is a delightful little town with two distinct personalities on either side of the Laxman Jhula bridge. Staying on the west bank and crossing over for the shops, the aarti at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, and the Beatles/Maharishi ashram makes it feel a little calmer and more expansive. Rishikesh adventure activities are a must for everyone as it is known for its River Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Camping Etc.
Top Tourist Activities in Rishikesh
The spiritual tourists who come to Rishikesh with a desire to find consolation enjoy the calming beauty of the city. Why wouldn’t this seventh largest city in Uttarakhand be visited as one of the famous spots to holiday amid the Ganges and the Himalayan foothills? Because Rishikesh is the birthplace of yoga and meditation, there are numerous ashrams offering wellness vacations. This city is teeming with young, like-minded tourists, some seeking religious instruction in the city’s many temples, and others seeking adventure. The sightseeing tours in Rishikesh will take you to areas that are famous for their mythological significance, such as the Ram and Lakshman Jhula tourist attractions, but there is much more.
As night sets, pilgrims flock to the Triveni Ghat for the aarti, which is said to spiritually uplift the senses. When you see something like this, all you want to do is offer your soul to the holiness, even if it’s just for a minute, and pray. A visit to some of the top ashrams is one of the most popular tourist destinations you may visit during your Rishikesh tour. Swarg Ashram is one of India’s oldest ashrams, having been erected in memory of Swami Vishuddhanand. It is a wonderful area to meditate because it is located on a secluded Ganga river bank.
Rishikund, or Pond of Sages, is a hot water spring that is part of Raghunath temple. Adventure travellers visiting Rishikesh should proceed to Kaudiyala for white water river rafting and camp in Shivpuri under the stars. Other popular activities in this city include bungee jumping, flying fox, and the gigantic swing, as well as a must-see attraction called Vashishta Gufa, which is located along the banks of the sacred river Ganga.
Places to Visit Nearby Rishikesh
Rishikund, or Pond of Sages, is a hot spring at Raghunath temple. Adventurers visiting Rishikesh should travel to Kaudiyala for whitewater rafting and camp under the stars in Shivpuri. Other famous activities in this city include bungee jumping, flying fox, and the huge swing, as well as Vashishta Gufa, which is located along the banks of the sacred river Ganga.
Haridwar is a historic city on the banks of the River Ganga that is regarded one of India’s seven holy cities. Haridwar is a prominent Hindu temple town with temples, ashrams, and small pathways all across the city. Taking a bath in the sacred Har Ki Pauri is said to cleanse you of all your sins. It is also well-known for its cuisine.
Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park, which encompasses the Shivalik mountain ranges, is extremely rich in flora and fauna and makes for an excellent holiday destination for environment lovers and animal aficionados. It’s a charming spot near Rishikesh known for its wildlife, particularly tigers and elephants. Many birds, including many migratory bird species, can be seen, especially following monsoons.
Shivpuri is a lovely town nestled in the Himalayan foothills. It is known for River Rafting because it features an exciting rafting stretch set in lovely natural surroundings. It also boasts a lot of camps that attract people from Rishikesh and other neighbouring places for weekend getaways.
Because of its gleaming slopes and clean surroundings, Auli is a popular skiing resort in India. There is no shortage of natural beauty in Auli, which is dotted with apple orchards, old oaks, and pine trees. Aside from skiing, you may go on many treks in the Garhwal Himalayan ranges and take in the breath-taking views of the snow-capped peaks.
Tehri Dam, India’s highest and one of the world’s highest dams, provides a breathtaking and stunning spectacle. It is the world’s largest hydroelectric plant, collecting water from the Bhagirathi and Bhilangana rivers in the Himalayas. People come to see the picturesque grandeur of the hilly area and participate in activities such as jet skiing, water zorbing, and rafting.
Dehradun, located in the Doon Valley in Uttarakhand, is a popular hill station that attracts lone travellers, families, and couples alike. Dehradun, proudly flaunting a picturesque backdrop of the Garhwal Himalayas, is located at an altitude of 1400 feet above sea level and has a nice climate throughout the year.
The pristine, natural beauty of Mussoorie, nestled in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan peaks, makes it a favourite honeymoon destination. Mussoorie is the place to come if you want to see the lovely vista of rolling green slopes juxtaposed against the Himalayan snow-capped peaks.
Hotels in Rishikesh
Rishikesh has a wide range of accommodation options, including hotels, resorts, and camps that provide outstanding service and efficiently cater to their tourists. Staying in an Ashram in Rishikesh is an unforgettable experience that allows you to discover your inner self while also soothing your body.
You can expect a plethora of lodging alternatives in a city where Hindu worshipers and adventure enthusiasts mix on a daily basis. In Rishikesh, there are a variety of well-maintained hotels and resorts to suit everyone’s budget and taste. Rishikesh has everything covered for its visitors, from luxury hotels to mid-range and budget hotels. In fact, this popular tourist location in Uttarakhand includes a slew of Ashrams, the majority of which are located along the sacred Ganga River.
Homestays are another great way to stay in Rishikesh; a few locals have offered their homes to guests in order to give them a true taste of this welcoming state. There are also various B&Bs and particular yoga retreats that provide meditation classes in addition to comfortable lodging. Rishikesh also has a number of great spa resorts, most of which are on the outskirts of the city.
There are various campsites in the forest and river beaches in places like Shivpuri, Byasi, and Kaudiyala for adventure seekers, ensuring a holiday experience unlike any other. Your stay in Rishikesh will undoubtedly be enhanced by an unbroken view of the forested mountains and the babbling Ganges.
How to Reach Rishikesh
Rishikesh is a city in India’s Uttrakhand state that has long been regarded as one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting visitors from all over the world. This city, located in the Himalayan foothills alongside the Ganga river, is also known for being a centre for yoga and meditation studies. The city has been a popular tourist destination for some years, thanks to popular adventure activities such as river rafting, bungee jumping, and air safari. The Lakshman Jhula, Rajaji National Park, Ram Jhula, Triveni Ghat, Neelkanth Mhadev Temple, and other prominent attractions make it a beautiful destination to visit.
Though Rishikesh has a station, there aren’t many trains that go from there, so it’s best to catch trains to Haridwar and then continue on to Rishikesh. Haridwar is well-connected to major towns and is also easily accessible from Rishikesh. Outside the station, there are buses, cabs, and private taxis that may take you to Rishikesh from Haridwar.
The nearest airport to Rishikesh is Dehradun’s Jolly Grant airport, which is around 35 kilometres away. All of the main airlines operate services between Dehradun and major cities. Outside the airport, taxis, cabs, and buses can be used to go to Rishikesh from Dehradun.
Rishikesh is well connected to all major roads and national highways, making it accessible from everywhere in the country.
Distance between Haridwar and Major Cities
Haridwar – 24 km
Haldwani – 246 km
Roorkee – 52 km
Kashipur – 174 km
Ramnagar – 200 km
Pithoragarh – 464 km
Jaspur – 147 km
NainiTal – 258 km
Tehri – 74 km
Kotdwara- 87 km
Mussoorie – 74 km
Srinagar – 802 km
Rishikesh Travel Tips
The state of Uttaranchal boasts an endless sky, with high and tall mountains beckoning you to see them just once. However, in order to truly enjoy yourself there, you must be prepared, and to assist you in this preparation, we have compiled a list of travel recommendations to make things easier before starting your trip to Almora.
- Make an effort to learn about a location ahead of time so that you appear assured. This self-assurance will aid you in bargaining, and no one will try to defraud you.
- Uttarakhand’s people are exceedingly welcoming and friendly. They are always willing to assist anyone in need. If you’ve misplaced directions or landmarks, ask anyone.
- Avoid wearing provocative or exposing apparel in religious settings. It’s possible that it’ll attract the wrong kind of men to you.
- Bring a map, a compass, currency (in lesser denominations of Rs 10, 20, 50, and 100), and your travel documents, such as a copy of your passport, visa, and health checks, with you.
- Don’t hand over your entire wad of cash while paying someone. There’s a danger it’ll be picked pocketed.
- Accept nothing from strangers, even if they claim it is ready-made or packaged. The food could be contaminated with drugs, and you could be robbed.
- In hotels, avoid raw cut foods like salads because they may be infected. The contamination can cause dysentery or, in the worst-case scenario, food poisoning. If you want, eat only entire fruits purchased from a seller.
- If your passport or visa is stolen or misplaced, notify the local consulate right once because your documents could be forged or misused.
- Taxis, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, and buses are common modes of local transportation in most towns. Private cabs are also available for rental at pre-arranged costs and destinations.
- Before you go shopping, have a peek around the market and inquire about prices. After the first tour, you’ll have a good estimate of what an article is worth on average. Go to the lowest-priced store and haggle. In India, bargaining is the norm, and one must be polite, patient, and assertive.
- If you want to photograph locals, especially women, you must first obtain their permission.
- Public displays of affection are frowned upon, and keeping one’s distance from the other sex in locations like a temple or Gurudwara is commendable.
- Tipping is customarily 10% of the cost, but you are not required to tip in Dhabas (roadside motels). Tipping might also be influenced by how much you like the establishment.
- The majority of people in Uttarakhand speak Hindi, and tourist guides and city dwellers can communicate in English, however Garhwali and Pahari are spoken in small towns and isolated areas.
It is the state of Uttarakhand’s eighth most populous city. It is famed as a pilgrimage town and is considered one of Hinduism’s holiest sites. Since ancient times, Hindu sages and saints have come to Rishikesh to meditate in search of higher knowledge.
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