If getting the adequate adrenaline rush is your idea of romance, Rishikesh has every possible option available. Located at the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, Rishikesh is often called the 'Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas'. Its clear white waters have been a favourite for rafting enthusiasts while camping, trekking, zip lining and river crossing can all be done at this one stop adventure camp, that makes it to the top of most backpacking lists. The city has also garnered popularity as a center for studying yoga and meditation and is dotted with temples and ashrams.
Things to do: Brave the rapids on a rubber boat on your white water rafting experience from Kaudiyala to Lakshman Jhula; try Bungee Jumping at Jumping Heights, Mohanchatti; peddle through the rocky terrains, muddy roads and woods while you try mountain biking; experience the flying fox where you roll down with the wire up to 7 meters from the ground at the speed of about 160 km/hr, and then go back up, with a harness tied to you; you can also enjoy rappelling, kayaking, hot air ballooning and parasailing in Rishikesh; when you are in the mood to relax, check out the cool graffiti at the Beatles Ashram, experience the vibrant ganga arti at the ghats; or enjoy me-time at a camping site on the banks of the Ganges.
How to get there:
By air: Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport to Rishikesh which is approximately 35km away. Popular carriers like Air India, Spice Jet and Jet Airways often have daily flights from New Delhi. Apart from Delhi, there is a flight from Lucknow to Dehradun as well. Once you reach the airport, you can opt for regular taxis or bus services which are easily available from Dehradun to Rishikesh. The second nearest international airport to Rishikesh is in New Delhi.
By train: The nearest railway station to Rishikesh is in Haridwar which is approximately 25km away. Haridwar, in turn, is linked to major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Varanasi. It is advisable to take the train to Haridwar and then either take a bus or hire a taxi to Rishikesh. While the bus would take about 45 minutes, the taxi will take you to Rishikesh in about half-an-hour.
By road: Rishikesh has a good network of buses connecting it with important places such as Haridwar, Dehradun and New Delhi. Buses depart daily in the morning and late evening for Rishikesh, from the Kashmere Gate ISBT in New Delhi. Driving up to Rishikesh from Delhi would take approximately 6 to 7 hours.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Rishikesh for river rafting is from late September to mid November. The weather in April and May is pleasant too.
Where to stay: Fantastic ALOHA Ganga Front or Hotel Ishan. For more options check here.
For Bollywood fans