Haridwar in India is one of the holiest Hindu cities venerated for its strategic location. The city marks the point from where Hindu's most consecrated Ganga River begins its journey on the plains in full strength and vigor. The city literally means the "Gateway to the God", which also speaks of the kind of high pedestal the city finds itself on in Hindu psyche and culture.

Introducing Rishikesh

Rishikesh – The Yoga and Meditation Hub of India!

The north of Rishikesh is particularly conducive for yoga and meditation with forested hills surrounding the precincts and exulting Ganga River for constant company. Most of the ashrams in Rishikesh, together with yoga schools, restaurants and accommodation options, are ensconced here in the riverside communities around Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula.

Ever since the Beatles visited here in 1968 to learn the transcendental Yoga from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the city has progressively transformed from a secluded conclave of saints and ascetics to a very touristy retreat for spiritual seekers and backpackers.

In fact, Rishikesh of late is widely noted as "The Yoga Capital of the World" as fervent yoga students from around the world, including Australia, China, Europe and the United States keep flocking here in large numbers to learn difficult yogic asanas (poses) and kriyas (activities).

The city is pure vegetarian and alcohol-free. Shopkeepers here are required to abstain from using plastic bags.

In addition to yoga and meditation enthusiasts, Rishikesh is a pet stop-over destination with copious backpackers and adrenaline junkies. The town has been increasingly attracting tourists for various adventure sports activities happening here, including white river rafting, kayaking, hiking/ trekking, rock climbing/ rappelling, flying fox, and bungee jumping.

Heritage Places / Sightseeing in Rishikesh

  • Another highlight of Places to Visit in Rishikesh India is Ganga aarti held here every evening on the banks of Ganga River. With the onset of dusk, amid bewitching breeze flowing down the valley, temple bells begin to ring in gaiety - signaling assembly of saints, pilgrims and tourists on the banks of Ganga River in large numbers for performing the Ganga Aarti (prayer offered with fire-lit lamp(s) oscillated to and fro and in circular motion). The experience is highly enigmatic and promises to stay imprinted in memory long after the Indian shores are left far behind.
  • The Triveni Ghat here marks the confluence of Yamuna, Ganga and the Saraswati Rivers and held sacred for taking a dip in the water for offloading one's sins to pave the way to salvation. Maha Ganga aarti is performed here every morning and evening, which is attended by thousands of devotees without exception.
  • Swarg Ashram is a must-visit in Rishikesh, as it is "the ground zero" spiritual community in Rishikesh. Comprising of numerous ashrams, temples, bathing Ghats and a crowded market – this is where saints and sages gather at the bathing ghats at sunrise and sunset to perform various religious ceremonies. The evening Ganga Aarti held here at Parmarth Niketan Ashram every day is particularly colorful and very popular among tourists.
  • Also popular among curious tourists, especially musicians and music lovers, is the original ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi where the Beatles stayed for learning Yoga and wrote most of the White Album. Deserted since 1997, the ashram is presently in ruins with forest vegetation overtaking its crumbling roofs and jaded walls and wildlife claiming its halls and lobbies.
  • By virtue of its location, Rishikesh offers itself as an ideal gateway to set out for many tourism excursions close by. For example, Mussoorie is a famous hill station about 77 km from Rishikesh. 76 km away, New Tehri is a planned town around Tehri Dam.
  • Dev Prayag is 71 km away from Rishikesh and witnesses the confluence of Ganges River as Bhagirathi with Alaknanda River.
  • Chamba, Dhanaulti and Kanatal are picturesque but rather secluded getaways near Rishikesh, barely 60-80 km away from the main town. Haridwar is barely 25 km downstream.
  • On the way, on Chamba-Rishikesh lies the archeologically important Narendra Nagar just 15 km from Rishikesh.
  • Rajaji National Park and Chila Sanctuary near Rishikesh are famous for spotting a wide variety of wild animals.
  • Barely 20 km away is Shivpuri particularly very popular among adrenaline junkies for kayaking, river rafting, mountaineering, trekking and camping. Tourists also visit here for yoga camps.

How to reach Rishikesh

By Air

The closest airport to Rishikesh is in Dehradun called Jolly Grant Airport.

By Rail

The nearest railway station here is Rishikesh Railway Station which connects Rishikesh to Haridwar by three slow trains. The more active railway line around is at Haridwar, which connects the city to all the Northern and Western states of India.

By Road

The road network to and fro Rishikesh is smooth and hassle free. It takes 6-7 hours of non-stop road travel from Delhi to reach Rishikesh. Buses and taxis are readily available for transporting tourists to and fro Rishikesh.

What is the best time to visit Rishikesh?

Its strategic location at the foot of the Himalayas renders Rishikesh picturesque and enchanting throughout the year. However, the best time to visit here falls between February and April, as well as, August and October.

Summer season during May-June can be quite hot with temperature touching up to 35 degree Celsius or even higher. Those visiting Rishikesh for river rafting must come here between September and mid-November.