Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India


Rishikesh is one of the major tourist and pilgrimage hubs in India. Rishikesh is commonly known as the “Yoga Capital of the World”. But Rishikesh has much more to offer. Located at the foothill of the Himalaya with Pristine Ganges flowing beside it, Rishikesh is also famous among the tourists for different kinds of adventure activities.

History of Rishikesh:

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Rishikesh was a part of the legendary "Kedarkhand" region (the present day Garhwal). Legend has it that Lakshmana, Lord Rama's younger brother, crossed the Ganges using a jute rope bridge at the location where the current "Lakshman Jhula" bridge now stands as penance for killing Ravana. The 'Kedar Khand' of Skanda Purana, also mentions the existence of Indrakund at this very point. In 1889, an iron-rope suspension bridge was built in its place of the jute-rope bridge, and after that bridge was destroyed by floodwaters in 1924, a stronger modern bridge was built in its place.

According to the Skanda Purana, the place is known as Kubjamrak because Lord Vishnu appeared to Raibhya Rishi there under a mango tree. Lord Vishnu was pleased with Raibhya Rishi's deed and showed up as a "Hrishikesh" to the sage in the location he chose for his extended penance (Tapasya or austerity). The word is combination of two-word Hrishik and esh. Hrishik means senses and esh means God or master. It means God of senses.

How to reach:

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

By Air: The closest airport to Rishikesh, which is located about 20 kilometres away, is Dehradun Airport or Jolly Grant Airport. Popular Airlines like Air India, SpiceJet and Indigo have flights from New Delhi on a daily basis. After arriving at the airport, visitors can choose to take buses or rent cabs, both of which are fairly accessible from this location.

By Road: Bus connections between Rishikesh and all the main nearby cities and towns are great. Regularly scheduled deluxe buses and luxury buses are readily available from New Delhi's ISBT Kashmiri Gate. Since buses have such excellent connectivity, tourists prefer to go by road. Travellers can also consider driving up to Rishikesh via NH 58 from Delhi and other cities.

By Train: Despite having its own railroad station, Rishikesh is not connected to any other significant Indian cities except Haridwar. Therefore, Haridwar, which has excellent train service to places like Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, and Varanasi, seems to be the closest major railhead. The Haridwar railway station is barely 20 km away from Rishikesh and taxis and buses are easily available from outside, which takes less than 40 minutes.

Best time to visit Rishikesh:

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

In Rishikesh, tourism is constantly booming. Be it the dewy monsoon or spine-chilling winters this place caters to world-class rafting and camping experiences all through. Even though Rishikesh may be visited all year round, it is recommended to go between October and March. This time of year in Rishikesh is perfect for adventure activities despite a slight chill. Between June and September rafting in Rishikesh is closed due to the monsoon. Every year, the rafting season in Rishikesh begins when the river level returns to normal following the monsoon season.

Summer Season in Rishikesh

For those seeking both spiritual guidance and exhilarating experiences, summer is the perfect time to travel to Rishikesh. As the snow on the mountains starts to thaw, it fills the rivers and creates streams and rapids that adventure seekers find appealing. The flora and the fauna during these months are in full bloom, making the town a gorgeous backdrop, and this period is the best time to visit Rishikesh for a honeymoon.

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Monsoon Season in Rishikesh

Numerous festivities take place in the temples in Rishikesh during the monsoon season. For those who visit Rishikesh with the intention of soaking up the colours and flavours of the town, festivals like Sawan make it the best time to travel there. Adventure activities during this season are halted when the rivers start to flood, which reduces tourists. As a result, the hotels and resorts lower their rates or provide a variety of discounts, making the monsoon in Rishikesh an absolute must-visit season for travellers on a tight budget.

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Winter Season in Rishikesh

For rock climbers and hikers in particular, the winters in Rishikesh are the best time to experience the incredible natural beauty. Those with the fortitude to do so might plunge into the chilly Ganges to enjoy rafting on the rapids that dot the river. Since the water level drops in the winter, rafting in Rishikesh in December is not advised.

Places to visit in Rishikesh:

1. Triveni Ghat:

Photo of Triveni Ghat, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Triveni Ghat is the largest ghat in Rishikesh. Evening prayer is performed every day on the banks of the Holy Ganges at this ghat. This event is also termed as Maha Aarti.

2. Lakshman Jhula :

(C) Hrishikesh Baruah

Photo of Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Lakshman Jhula is a pedestrian bridge. On the outskirts of the city, it is situated. According to mythology, the bridge was constructed exactly where Lakshman, Lord Rama's brother, crossed the river on jute ropes. It is a famous sight in Rishikesh. However, Lakshman Jhula is closed now for pedestrians.

3. Ram Jhula :

Photo of Shri Ram Jhula, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Ram Jhula is a famous landmark place in Rishikesh city. It is an iron suspension bridge over holy river Ganga. Ram Jhula has the length of 450 feet connecting Shivananda Ashram with Swargashram. Ram Jhula also offers a panoramic view of river Ganga and Rishikesh city.

4. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

One of the most significant temples to Lord Shiva in India is the Neelkantha Mahadev Temple, which is located at a height of 1675 meters on a hilltop above Swarg Ashram. According to Hindu mythology, the temple is located exactly where Lord Shiva drank the Poison "halahala," which was created as a result of the Devas and Asuras churning the ocean, in order to get Amrita, or the elixir of life.

5. Swarg Ashram

Photo of Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

One of the first Yoga ashrams in India is situated on the left bank of the river Ganges. The entire region between the Ram and the Laxman Jhula is covered by the Swarg ashram, which was constructed in honour of Saint Swami Vishudhanand. It's the ideal location for anyone looking for seclusion in this sacred city. You can either sit and watch the sun rise from the Shivaliks, lighting fire to the cold, glittering waters of Ganga, or you can spend hours in meditation at the private riverbanks, which are completely devoid of any rituals found at the other banks.

6. Paramarth Niketan

Photo of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Parmarth Niketan is an ashram in Rishikesh that was established in 1942 by Pujya Swami Shukdevanand Ji Maharaj. With more than a thousand rooms, it is the largest ashram in Rishikesh. Parmarth Niketan offers a clean, pure, and sacred environment as well as an abundance of lovely gardens to its thousands of pilgrims who travel from all parts of the world.

7. Rajaji National Park

Photo of Rajaji National Park, Haridwar by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Rajaji National Park is one of India's oldest ecosystems, and it is situated between the Shivalik Mountains and the Indo-Gangetic Plains. It is the second tiger reserve in Uttarakhand, and due to its exceptional location, it is also home to some breathtaking flora. A journey down here would satiate all wildlife enthusiasts. The deep forests are home to a variety of animals, from Bengal Tigers to Sloth bears.

8. Kaudiyala

Kaudiyala is considered to be one of the most visited viewpoints in Rishikesh. Located at around 36 kilometres from Rishikesh towards Devprayag and 380 meters above sea level, Kaudiyala is famous for offering its visitors the adventure sport of white-water rafting and is one of the premier locations in the country for this sport. The area is surrounded by dense hill forests, and many wild kinds of flora and fauna call it home.

9. Bharat Mandir

Photo of Bharat Mandir, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Shri Bharat Mandir, a temple dedicated to Lord Hrishikesh Narayan, is one of the most venerated and historic buildings in the entire city. There are numerous mythological tales associated with this magnificent structure. For instance, it is said that the Pandavas stopped at this temple and worshipped Lord Hrishikesh on their way to heaven. It is also thought that the temple was briefly transformed into a monastery when Lord Buddha visited it in the past.

10. Shivpuri

Photo of Shivpuri, Tehri Garhwal by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

The town of Shivpuri, which is 19 kilometres from Rishikesh and located on the banks of the Ganges River, was given its name in honour of a Lord Shiva temple that once stood there. This location has gained popularity in recent years for water sports, particularly white-water rafting. To see the mighty river Ganga in its most stunning form, a visit to this location is recommended.

11. Beatles Ashram :

(C) Shubhashis Roy

Photo of The Beatles Ashram, Rishikesh, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Wondering what is the connection between Rishikesh and Beatles? Then let me tell you, Beatles visited Rishikesh to know about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and stayed at this ashram. This is one of the best tourist places of Rishikesh. Though only the ruins are left there, its stunning dome-shaped construction, amazing graffiti works, and the beautiful picture of the members of the Beatles band painted in one of the interior walls of Ved Bhavan are major attractions for tourists.

Opening time: From 10.00 a.m to 4 p.m

Entry fee : Rs 150 for Indian citizen and Rs. 600 for foreigners.

12. Neer Gaddu Waterfall :

Photo of Neergarh Waterfall Road, Uttarakhand by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Neer Gaddu Waterfall also known as Neer Garh Waterfall and it is located inside the woods of the holy town of Rishikesh. Only 9 kms away from Rishikesh Railway Station and 5 km from Lakshman Jhula, Neer Gaddu Waterfall is a natural water fall present on Rishikesh-Badrinath Highway in Uttarakhand. Blend of three astonishing waterfalls to make Neer Gaddu Waterfall one mghty waterfall, which descend down off a cliff of about 25 feet.

13. Garud Chatti Waterfall

At a distance of 9km from Rishikesh Railway Station and 4km from Lakshman Jhula, Garud Chatti waterfall is situated at Neelkanth Road near Rishikesh. The trek route to Garud Chatti Waterfall starts from a temple dedicated to Garuda. Visitors need to trek for about 1.5km from here to reach the waterfall.

14. Phool Chatti Waterfall

Phool Chatti waterfall is another waterfall situated on Neelkanth road, about 3km from Garud Chatti waterfall. Garud Chatti waterfall, Phool Chatti waterfall and Patna waterfall can be covered by hiring a jeep enroute to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.

15. Rishi Kund Hot Water Springs:

Photo of Rishikund प्राचीन तालाब, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Right next to the famous Raghunath Temple is the beautiful and ancient hot water spring called Rishikund. It is believed that Lord Rama came and took a dip in these springs while he was in exile. In ancient times, the water from this spring was used by sages for their ceremonial sacred washing. Translating to 'Pond of the Sage', the shadow of the neighbouring Raghunath Temple can be seen on the surface of the Rishikund pond on a clear day.

16. Jhilmil Gufa

Photo of Jhilmil Gufa, Khargosa by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

A set of three caves, these gufas are located at Manikoot Parvat, about 21 kilometers from Lakshman Jhula in the main Rishikesh city and just about 4 kilometres from the Neelkanth Temple. After driving up till Neelkanth, one has to hike for about an hour or even lesser, through a trail inside a dense jungle. The trail is not a difficult one and is also safe for senior citizens. Located in utter tranquility and peace, Jhilmil Gufa is one of the most serene places located near the buzzing city of Rishikesh.

17. Marine Drive or Astha Path

You have heard of the famous Marine Drive of Mumbai, going along the Arabian Sea and providing some of the best sunset views in the country. But have you ever heard of taking a sunrise walk along the Marine Drive in Rishikesh? Located about 24 kilometers from Rishikesh, this path along the mighty Ganges is perfect for those searching for peace and tranquility. Joggers, walkers, yoga and meditation lovers alike find this spot truly a piece of heaven to work on their mind and body.

14 adventure activities to do in Rishikesh:

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Adventure sports are a treat for everyone in Rishikesh. The small riverside city doesn't care whether you're young or old, fit or not, and it loves everyone equally. You will be astounded by the vastness of the list of activities in one of India's most well-liked adventure spots. Everyone comes to this town—college students, couples, and senior citizens—looking for a taste of nature, spirituality, and adventure, and the city never disappoints.

1. Camping

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Camping is one of the popular things to do in Rishikesh. Spending a beautiful night with the shining stars and waking up witnessing a marvelous sunrise will obviously calm your soul.

Cost : Approx Rs. 3500-4000 per person.

2. Bungee Jumping

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Experience an thrilling bungee jumping session from a height of 83 meter amidst the serenity of Rishikesh, which is also the highest all over India.

Cost: Around rs.3500 per person

3. River Rafting

Rishikesh is known among adventurers as the "Land of River Rafting". It is one of India's most popular places for this activity. So, if you are planning a trip to Rishikesh, make sure not to skip this adrenaline-pumping adventure of rafting through the blustery waters of River Ganga. As your raft floats down the swift river, you'll get a glimpse of the Himalayan foothills in all their natural splendour.

Cost : Rs. 600-1000 per person.

Here's All You Need To Know About River Rafting In Rishikesh.

4. Flying Fox

(C) Sonali Verma

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

One can glide through the mesmerizing landscapes, several meters above a rippling river with this flying fox activity in Rishikesh. Drift away slowly, feel the speed accelerating up to 160 kmph, and glide down the wire until you see yourself around 7 metres above the level of the river.

Cost: Around Rs. 1800-2000 per person.

5. Giant swing

Giant Swing Rishikesh is like a pendulum in the middle of nothing from India's highest jumping site of Mohan Chatti with a tributary of the river Ganga flowing beneath.

Cost: around Rs. 3000-3500 per person.

6. Hot air ballooning

There is no better experience than a Hot air balloon in Rishikesh with mesmerizing and beautiful scenic of the Mountains all around.

Cost : Starts from approximately Rs.3000.

7. Paragliding

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Paragliding activity is quite popular in Rishikesh. It is an activity which takes your adrenaline for a ride. Enjoying the beauty of the mountains from the sky is surely a lifetime experience.

Cost : Starts from Rs.4500 approximately.

8. Waterfall rappelling

Challenge yourself and with an adventure-filled waterfall rappelling activity at the Neergarh Waterfall - an amalgamation of three waterfalls falling off a cliff as high as 25 feet, hidden inside the woods of Rishikesh.

Cost: Rs. 1200 per person approximately.

9. Rock climbing

Rishikesh is a preferred destination for rock climbing in India. This activity challenges your strength and stamina but also enables you to enjoy the awesome view of the mountain.

Cost : Rs. 500 per person approximately.

10. Mountain Biking

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Ride through the charm and mist of the bewitching destination, Rishikesh and satisfy the adventurer in you! Rishikesh is known for having a geographical base that is extremely hilly, steep and complex. This feature of the small town makes it perfect for adventure sport like mountain biking. Mountain Biking is more about exploring the real Rishikesh and can be done by anybody. There is no age limit for this adventure in Rishikesh.

Cost : Rs. 300-500 per E-bike.

11. Kunjapuri Temple Sunrise Trek

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Dedicated to goddess Sati (the wife of lord Shiva, before she took birth as Goddess Parvati), Kunjapuri temple is located about 27km from Rishikesh in the Tehri district of Uttarakhand, India. It is the best spot in all of Rishikesh to witness the rising sun. Trek there to witness the sunrise and then return after attending the morning aarti.

Cost: The entry to the temple itself is free. You will only have to bear transportation cost, which comes out to anywhere between ₹100-150.

12. Zorbing

With a wide list of adventures, here in Rishikesh you can also enjoy a fun-filled activity, Zorbing. On the greens of the Garhwal Himalayas, roll in an air-filled ball with your buddies. Even though this is a lesser version of the adventure activities listed here, individuals of all ages frequently witness it.

Cost: Starts from Rs. 500 onwards

13. Kayaking

Kayaking is a water sport where the rider can navigate through the water as he wants. Here you can choose your level of rapid that will suit your physical strength. In Rishikesh, kayaking is also known as canoeing, and it calls for both mental and physical stamina. Therefore, beginners should avoid rough rapids. But regardless, whether it is your first or nth time, you will undoubtedly feel refreshed after participating in this adventurous activity in Rishikesh.

Cost: From Rs. 3200

14. Jumaring

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

For climbers, jumaring is a very unique experience. It involves climbing up a rope via Jumars. These Jumars are a type of handle-mounted clamp that allows unrestricted movement up a rope that has been clipped and locks down when applied with a specific amount of downward pressure. Children and climbers who appreciate climbing challenges really like this rope exercise. Not all campsites provide tree jumaring; one must look for a site that organises this fun for tourists.

Places to stay in Rishikesh:

1. Aloha on the Ganges By Leisure Hotels

Photo of Aloha On The Ganges, Rishikesh, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Ever wished to stay at the bank of the river Ganges with an everlasting view of the Himalayas? Aloha on the Ganges is the perfect hotel destination for you at Rishikesh. Whether you are a couple, or a group of travel junkies, this accomodation is ideal for you. Overlooking the Ganges with the windows facing the direction of the flow, it's a scene to be lived.

Cost : Rs. 10000 onwards.

For Booking click the link.

2. Ganga Kinare – A Riverside Boutique Resort

Photo of GANGA KINARE - A Riverside Boutique Resort, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Ganga Kinare by Holywater Hotels is a 4-star boutique hotel. It is the most popular and best-rated hotel in Rishikesh. You will love its ambience. They have camphor in every corner of the hotel whose fragrance makes the place divinelike. Another striking thing about this hotel is it is situated at banks of River Ganga which makes it more unique-stay.

Cost: Starting at Rs. 9000

Click here to book the hotel.

3. The Grand Shiva – Spa Resort

Photo of The Grand Shiva Resort and Spa, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

The Grand Shiva Resort appears on the map of adventure and holy destination Shivpuri- Rishikesh. The Resort is on arm of hills and green forest away from the hustle and bustle of the daily routine where you can wake with enchanting sound of water of holy river Ganga, twittering of the birds, whispering melodies of trees, the rippling of the stream.

Cost: Starting at Rs. 7500

For Booking, you can click the link.

4. Aranyam River Retreat

Photo of Aranyam River Retreat, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Amidst the thick woods of Rajaji National Park, on the Banks of River Hyule, not too far from the Ganges and in the vicinity of the Spiritual and Adventure Capital of India – Rishikesh, Aranyam: River Retreat, Mohanchatti leaves little to be desired by anyone who is (or seeks to be) connected with nature and spirituality.

Cost: Starting at Rs. 5600

If you want to book this hotel, click the link.

5. Zostel Rishikesh

Photo of Zostel Rishikesh (Tapovan), Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Zostel Rishikesh (Tapovan) is a vibrant backpacking hostel in Rishikesh, a town sought by pilgrims, yoga enthusiasts, and backpackers alike. Offering a spectacular view of the Himalayas with river Ganga in the backdrop, the hostel is located between the popular spots of Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula.

Cost: Tariff starts from Rs. 500

For booking, you can click the link.

6. Hill Hoppers Hotel

Photo of Hill Hoppers Hotel, Rishikesh by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Hill hoppers is an ideal location for solo travellers as well as groups of friends wanting to experience living in a lively hostel in Rishikesh. The hostel features a sun terrace ideal for soaking in the warm morning sun, a restaurant, 4-6 bed dormitories and spacious deluxe rooms elegantly furnished with wooden furnishings, offering a dining area, dedicated workspace and balconies overlooking the scenic beauty of the city for a comfortable and relaxing weekend getaway in the valley.

Cost: Rs. 500 onwards.

For booking, click the link.

Cafes in Rishikesh

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

Rishikesh is well-known for its holy and sporty vibes, but it holds far more than anyone may imagine. Set amidst serenity and tranquility, Rishikesh has a variety of cafes ready to serve you the best dishes in town. Food here blends with religion and it is well reflected in the city's multifaceted soul. However, you should note that meat and alcohols are strictly off-limits here. To know more about the cafes in Rishikesh, you should read this article.

Rishikesh attracts people from all over the world like a magnet since decades owing to its religious and scenic attributes. Despite the growing number of visitors, the town’s lanes and alleys retain an old-world charm, and it remains a wonderful place to relax and unwind among nature. It exudes a distinctly serene, upbeat, and global vibe. Utilize our Rishikesh travel guide to organise your vacation.

Photo of Rishikesh : Here's All You Need To Know About The Yoga Capital Of India by Bongyatri - Sourav and Anindita

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