Ever since the Beatles, the famous rock band from England, visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram in the late ‘60s, Rishikesh became a magnet tour destination for the spiritual seekers. Today it stands as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, and attracts yoga enthusiasts from around the world. Situated beside the holy River Ganges and surrounding green mountains of Uttarakhand, Rishikesh has two faces.
One, for the yoga and spiritual lovers, and the other, for the free-spirited beings. Where the first set of people seek out Yoga ashrams, ringing temple bells, meditation centres, various ghats with their aartis and sadhus, the latter is served by its hippie lanes, laid back cafes, and adventure tourism activities. People from across the world visit Rishikesh for spending holidays filled with learning, crystal healing and mastering yogasanas. While some of them return, many end up staying back in Rishikesh, making it their permanent home.
Rishikesh is a travel destination known for its easy accessibility, and can be reached via air, rail or road. The Jolly Grant Airport which is located almost 35 kilometers from the main town of Rishikesh is the nearest airport. Alternatively, one can catch a train to reach Rishikesh Railway Station, and hire a taxi after arriving. For the ones seeking adventure, road trips to Rishikesh are the best option. With good roads, it is a pretty self drivable location. It takes 4-5 hours from Delhi to Rishikesh (without halt). Or, one can always take a private bus to reach Rishikesh.
Though Rishikesh can be visited all-round the year, October-March is the best time for planning a visit. While the summers are pretty hot (April-June), monsoons (July-September) bring relief from the scorching heat. The temperature begins to drop from mid-October onwards, until winter finally arrives in November, and lasts until March.
Despite being nestled in the foothills of Himalayas, Rishikesh experiences very hot weather, with temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees. April and May are best suited for adventure activities like bungee jumping, rafting, etc. The real struggle starts in June, when the weather gets too hot to handle. Summers in Rishikesh lasts until June.
Monsoon arrives in Rishikesh towards the end of June, and lasts till September. August is the wettest month, with heavy rainfall making it difficult for tourists. Even though travelling can be a little difficult during monsoon due to occurrence of landslides, you can still visit Rishikesh and explore all the popular tourist attractions.
With temperatures between 6 degrees to 20, winter is the best season for tourists to visit Rishikesh. Cool breeze, hazy skies with the sun peeking out, Rishikesh becomes a paradise during these months. Adventure activities resume to normalcy with rock climbing being the most favourite one.
In our Rishikesh travel guide, we’ve covered all the best places & tourism attractions that you mustn’t miss while you are in Rishikesh tour. From vibrant bazaars, aartis and age-old temples, there are several experiences and sites that deserve a visit.
Host to the ‘Maha Aarti’, Triveni Ghat is the largest ghat in Rishikesh. It is the confluence of three important Indian rivers, namely, the Saraswathy, the Ganges and the Yamuna, making it an immensely sacred place and a famous tourist attraction in Rishikesh.
Bharat Temple is one of the most famous temples in Rishikesh. The idols of Lord Tirupati, Badrinath and Hrishikesh Narayan, are carved out of the same Shaligram rock. A major attraction of the temple is the Sri Yantra, which is believed to have been installed there by Guru Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century.
Rishikund is situated in close proximity to the pious Triveni Ghat. In the local language, Rishikund means, ‘Pond of the Sage’. It is believed that it was here that one Sage Kubz was blessed by River Yamuna, who promised to stay in the holy city of Rishikesh forever.
Ram Jhula is one of the significant places of interest in Rishikesh. Existing since 1986, the iron suspension bridge is around 450 feet in height, and connects the two very popular ashrams, Sivananda Ashram and Swarg Ashram.
Built in the loving memory of Swami Vishudhanand, also known as Kali Kamli Wala, Swargashram is a very popular tourist spot in Rishikesh among the foreign tourists. Located at Gangapar, across the Ramjhula, it has several temples and ashram within itself.
Located in the Swargashram, on the banks of the river Ganges, Gita Bhavan is known for preserving Hindu literature like the Gita and the Vedas. There are over 1000 rooms in the bhavan. The devotees are served pure vegetarian food at a very nominal price.
Known for its rich biodiversity and pristine species, Rajaji National Park is a heaven for nature and wildlife lovers in Rishikesh. It has 315 species of birds and 23 species of mammals. The National Park is blessed with leopards, elephants, tigers, ghorals, wild boar, sambar, python, and deers, among other animals.
One can easily find different types of accommodations in Rishikesh. From low budget and medium budget hotels to luxurious 5-star hotels, you can select from a variety of accommodation options. There are several backpacker hostels which are best for solo travellers or those travelling in groups. Apart from hotels, hostels and guest houses, there are many ashrams that provide accommodation for free or at a very less cost.
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