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.
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.
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.
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.