Rishikesh is a land made of composite beauties. At one side you can find the relics of what has remained of the Ganges from the past and at the other the aesthetics of its tenacious culture. You can immerse yourself into the ever forgiving waters of the holy Ganga or just sit beside its Ghats to enjoy the tranquility of its aura. The thing about this city is that it channelizes your turbulence into something as seamless as waters of its holy river. The evenings in this city, adorned by the enchanting of the powerful Mantras and the site of Ganga aarti, are enough to relax all the hustles inside. Its not in oblivion that the city is named the Yoga capital of the world but it is in its very nature to provide its visitors with best functionalities for a rejuvenating holiday.
1. Why visit Rishikesh?
If you want an exciting weekend with your friends to just relax and enjoy, Rishikesh should be ‘the choice’ for you. Also if you feel that your normal routine is giving you a hard time to find peace and relaxation, go for Rishikesh. Or if you just want to spend some time with your ownself away from the city life, responsibilities and work obligations, choose Rishikesh definately over any other plan.
2. How to reach Rishikesh?
a) Via road
- New Delhi – Ghaziabad – Meerut – Muzaffarnagar – Roorkee – Haridwar – Rishikesh (240kms)
- Chandigarh – Ponta Sahib – Dehradun – Rishikesh (210 kms)
- Chandigarh – Ambala – Yamuna nagar – Sahranpur – Haridwar – Rishikesh (240 kms)
b) Via train
- You can take a train from your station to Haridwar which is the nearest railway station to Rishikesh (25 kms). From here you can take a taxi or state transport bus for Rishikesh.
c) Via flight
- The nearest airport from Rishikesh is Dehradun Airport at Jollygrant (25 kms from Rishikesh). Again from here you can take a taxi or bus to Rishikesh.
3. Make your Rishikesh trip more exciting with these options…..
Rishikesh has wide ranging options to suit the taste of its each guest. If you are an adventurous spirit, you can go for Bunjee jumping, rafting, camping or trekking. If you are a religious one, you can go to temples, join Ganga aarti in the evening, or go for meditation at the ghats. Moreover if you just want to relax and enjoy the calmness of this city, cafes at Rishikesh have the right place for you.
a) For the adventurous one:
White water rafting-
The places offering rafting facilities are marked by grades, 1, 2, 3& 4 that depict difficulty level in ascending manner. They help one choose the most suitable option for themselves. For eg.
- Brahmpuri(grade1)- This is the most easiest stretch and is marked by grade 1. It offers 9 kms of rafting uptill Ram jhula.
- Shivpuri(grade2)- This place is marked by grade 2 and it offers 18 kms of rafting.
- Marine Drive(grade3)- This place is marked by garde 3 and it offers 27 kms of rafting.
- Kaudiyala(grade3&4)- It is marked by grade 3 & 4 as it covers the longest stretch of 37 kms via rafting.
Bunjee jumping happens at the place called Mohan chatti which is 25 kms from Rishikesh. Acoordingly its the highest Bunjee jumping site in India and is recorded safe. They also offer giant swing and flying fox but since neither of us tried these activities , we don’t really have much details about them. 😦 But you can check out the official tourism site of Rishikesh to know more about them.
Go hit that road
You can hire a bicycle, a bike or a car to go around the city and enjoy its serenity. As for us we chose bicycles and it was raining the whole time we were cycling so it added on to the excitement and fun. (Cost to rent a bicycle = Rs.200-300)
Riverside beach camping
Now Rishikesh is quite unique with this innovation and yeah it is a beautiful one. Sleeping alongside the river and under the beautiful lights and night sky gives one a feeling of immense relaxation and contentment.
Walk the waterfall trek–
The trek starts with beautiful sceneries and bends occasionally at the curvy roads. It then runs through the waterfalls, Neer Garh/Gaddu (6 kms from Tapovan), Garud Chatti ( 5kms from Lakshman Jhula) and Patna fall (famous for photography) being the few. The last waterfall is kind of hidden in the track and when you find it, its all gonna count worth it.
Note: Don’t forget to stand under the waterfall for few minutes and get yourself hit by its forceful waters. It feels as relaxing as a massage.:)
b) For the spiritual one:
Rishikesh houses many temples and ashrams. These temples are built with some very unique characteristics. Like the Tera Manzil temple is the one which goes upto 13 stories and ends at a pinnacle. Then there is Raghunath temple and the Triveni ghat temple. All these temples provide one with intrinsic peace and calmness.
Also Rishikesh hosts International Yoga festivals and also the Music festivals. So if you are a music or a yoga lover you can definitely participate in these festivals. They are grand, vibrant, colourful and you could get a chance to indulge in cultural congruence. To know more you can visit website http://www.internationalyogafestival.org and register yourself here if you want to participate.
c) For the one seeking utmost relaxation
So if you are the one who has just come to Rishikesh for relaxation, you could use the ambience of these cafes for your purpose while enjoying some delicious food.
1. Freedom Cafe
This little cafe was where we spent the last hours of our trip before boarding our bus. We sat here alongside the silent Ganga while enjoying the delicious food and good music. Just for you to know a special thing about each cafe in Rishikesh and esp. about this one is that they represent the true spirit of this city. You can see people from different countries, regions and cultures singing and dancing together, just as how this place blends in all. Since we totally found Freedom cafe amazing we would surely suggest you to give it a go. Also don’t forget to try the Freedom special pancake.
Location – near Lakshman Jhula
2. German bakery
3. Little Buddha Cafe
4. 60’s Cafe
And you can also try out the Choti Wala resturant. It is interesting as you would find a choti wala guy sitting outside the restaurant asking you to step in for food. 🙂
4. What are the places to visit?
1. Muni ki Reti and Triveni Ghat:
Enjoy spectacular view, rafting, camping at the former and Ganga Aarti at the latter.
2. Beatles Ashram:
We personally loved this place. This place is famous for its relation to the Beatles band who lived here for a long time. Also this place is famous for its intricate Wall art. If you go further into the place you’ll find an edge kind of a thing near one of the mounds which is so beautiful that you would want to sit there for the enitre day.
3. Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula:
They act as connecting points in Rishikesh’s intrinsic town plan. They also have religious significance dating back to Ramayana. Every site and attraction at Rishikesh is centered around them.
4. The temples
If you are a history lover or just like to visit temples for your own reasons Rishikesh has plenty on its list. You can also consider to visit these temples if you have any interest in ancient architectures.
5. Waterfall trek
7. Go cycling around the whole city
5. What are the options for stay?
Actually when we went to Rishikesh we did a mistake by choosing a hotel which was far away from the main city. So we had a lot of problems during the night as the rickshaws stop running after a particular time. It is thus suggestive to stay near Ram Jhula , Lakshman Jhula or Tapovan since they have better connectivities. But if you want to stay away from the main city the choice is absolutely yours.
The following are the options for stay:
- Hotels (ranging from 600/700 to 5000 and above)
- Guest houses
- Camping Sites
6. What would be the budget for the trip?
For a 3 days trip to Rishikesh, it should cost you around Rs. 4000-5000 on an average for a single person (excluding all other expenses like adventure activities and expensive stays).
7. Overall rating for Rishikesh as a weekend getaway
Based on our personal experiences we would give Rishikesh a 4 on 5, deducting a mark for reasons like- Rickshaw problems, unpredictable rains and cleaniness of the town.
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