9 Unexpectedly Awesome Things To Do In Rishikesh

Tripoto
6th Dec 2016

Read On For The Ultimate List Of Things to Do In Rishikesh.

Celebrated as the ‘yoga capital of the world’, Rishikesh is a magnet for spiritual seekers and adventure lovers. With its assortment of ashrams and all kinds of yoga and meditation classes, as well as some of the best adventure sports in the country, it attracts thousands every year.

Rishikesh is also an important pilgrimage town for Hindus. Surrounded by three districts, Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal and Haridwar, legend has it that Lord Rama imposed a penance on himself in Rishikesh for killing Ravana, the king of Lanka.

From yoga and meditation to rafting and bungee jumping, there are numerous things to do in Rishikesh and numerous places to visit in Rishikesh. But before I tell you about these, you should know that Rishikesh is a vegetarian city by law and also alcohol free.

Things to do in Rishikesh:

1. Calm your mind and still your senses with yoga in Rishikesh

Rishikesh's stint as the world's Yoga Capital started after The Beatles visited the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi here in the late 1960's. After that, hundreds of yoga ashrams opened up along the Ganges teaching everything from Ashtanga Yoga and Hasya Yoga (laughter therapy) to meditation and crystal healing.

You can either go there just for practicing or take up one of the courses offered to become a certified yoga practitioner. Most ashrams run courses on an hour-based model (200 hours is the basic) for teachers and weekly or monthly-basis for general practitioners. Costs for different ashrams vary greatly and you will have to contact them individually to get quotations.

Here are some of the top ashrams to visit in Rishikesh:

Best Places To Stay In Rishikesh

Luxury: Neemrana's Glasshouse On The Ganges, Ganga Beach Reasort, Veda5 Ayurveda & Yoga Retreat

Mid-Range: Camp Aspen Adventures, Camp Aqua Forest, Atulya Nakshatra Resort

Budget: Vedas Tapovan, Hotel Vyas & Nirvana Yoga, Green Land Swiss Cottage

Hostels: Zostel Rishikesh, Bonfire Hostels, Moustache Rishikesh

Homestays: Ixora Villa Studio, Ganga Vatika Boutique Hotel, An Eco Yoga Habitat

Best Packages in Rishikesh

If you are looking for an adventure escape to Rishikesh, how about staying at a river camp for three days and going rafting? Get details here.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a weekend getaway to Rishikesh from Delhi, you might want to have a look at this awesome package. Just gather your friends and head out.

One of the top yoga centres in India, Parmarth Niketan has over 1000 rooms and is the biggest ashram in the area. Initially, stays of up to 15 days are permitted with two yoga classes and three meals per day included in the price. Get details here.

Omkarananda Ganga Sadan is home to the Patanjala Yoga Kendra yoga centre. Iyengar yoga classes are the specialty there. It has its own ghat where a daily aarti is performed and yoga classes are open to everyone on a pre-reservation basis. Accommodations are reasonably priced and clean. Get more details here.

Established in the 1960s by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the ashram conducts regular residential courses with focus on Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. Vedic chanting is also taught and visiting teachers conduct Iyengar and Hatha yoga retreats It has over 150 rooms with attached bathrooms.

If your focus is more on meditation than yoga, this is the place to go to. The school offers a 300 hour meditation teacher training course as well as retreats and beginners courses. The approach is based on Vedic texts, and you'll learn about yoga, Ayurveda, life healing, and spiritual development.

2. Trek through dense forests to witness a majestic waterfall

Source

Photo of Shree Mahesh Heritage, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Gunjan Upreti

Those looking for adventurous things to do in Rishikesh, trekking is a great option. After all, there’s something magical about watching a stream of water cascade over rocks, especially after sweat your way there. Here are some of the waterfall treks you can do in Rishikesh.

Neer Gaddu Waterfall is around 4km from Laxman Jhula, and about 6km from the Rishikesh main market. From the Rishikesh Badrinath Highway, there is small hilly road to reach Neer Gaddu Waterfall.

Entry fee: ₹30 per person (₹20 per person for kids less than 12 years old )

Best time to trek: It is best to go early morning to avoid the harsh sun during afternoons.

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.

Entry is free.

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 en route to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.

Entry is free.

3. Go rafting in Rishikesh

Source

Photo of Garud Chatti Waterfall, Patna, Uttarakhand, India by Gunjan Upreti

Being one of the most renowned river rafting destinations in north India, white water rafting in Rishikesh is a must-do for anyone wanting to take the big dip and get their adrenaline pumping. It is undoubtedly one of the most engaging things to do in Rishikesh.

Every year thousands of people head to Rishikesh (between the month of September and April) to experience the thrill of white water rafting. It is one of the few places in the country where you can witness Level IV and Level V rapids. So, all you adrenaline junkies and nature lovers, strap on your life vests and helmets in order to paddle and bounce your way over turbulent rapids because sometimes it takes a little water to rekindle the fire in your life.

Price: While most camps offer rafting as a part of the camping package, if you take a rafting-only package it will cost anywhere between ₹500 to ₹1,500 per person depending on the route you take (longer the route, higher the price)

Timings: Most camps run regular trips between 8am and 3pm depending on the availability of boats.

4. Camp on the riverside, under the stars

Source

Photo of 9 Unexpectedly Awesome Things To Do In Rishikesh by Gunjan Upreti

When's the last time you slept under the stars and cooked dinner over an open fire? Do it all in Rishikesh, with the perfect gorgeous mountain backdrop and white water river ideal for kayaking and rafting. Admire a pitch black sky dotted with bright, shining stars. You may even spot a falling star, and if not, look out for Orion, Ursa Minor, Ursa Major and other common constellations.

Price: A one-night stay starts at around ₹2,000 per person in the most basic camps and can go up to ₹10,000 for luxury camps.

Tip: Bookings need to be made in advance during peak season because camps usually get filled pretty quickly.

Which camp to choose: Here's a list of the best camps in Rishikesh for every kind of traveller.

5. Go on the Kunjapuri Temple Sunrise Trek

Source

Photo of 9 Unexpectedly Awesome Things To Do In Rishikesh by Gunjan Upreti

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.

How to reach there: You can board a bus or shared taxi to Hindola Khal village from the Yatra Bus Stand in Rishikesh. On reaching the village, you can board another shared taxi to reach the parking of Kunjapuri Temple or you can trek there. The starting point of this trek route is about 3km from the temple. From there you can climb up the hill to reach the temple.

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.

6. Interact with people from all over the world.

Credits: Shalu Khandelwal

Photo of 9 Unexpectedly Awesome Things To Do In Rishikesh by Gunjan Upreti

With their visits here, The Beatles put Rishikesh on the world tourism map. Since then, it is common to find people from all over the world finding their own peace and meaning of life here in Rishikesh. This is also the reason why Rishikesh is one of the best places in the country to get to know of other cultures from around the world. You can just strike up a conversation with a stranger at one of the cafés or ashrams and you might end up finding a friend for life.

7. Experience the sunset on Lakshman Jhula amidst bell chimes and chants of devotees

Photo of Lakshman Jhula, Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Gunjan Upreti

Among the many surreal things to do in Rishikesh, watching the sunset from Lakshman Jhula is a MUST! The changing colours of the sky and the water below are a sight to behold.

It is believed that Lord Ram's younger brother Lakshmana, crossed the river Ganga, by using a jute rope bridge – where the present 'Lakshman Jhula' bridge stands today.

There are several ancient temples around Lakshman Jhoola, which you can visit. The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple and the Trimbakeshwar Temple are most popular.

8. Go cafe hopping and eat your way through dozens of cafes in Rishikesh

Source

Photo of 9 Unexpectedly Awesome Things To Do In Rishikesh by Gunjan Upreti

Despite its small size and extreme focus on yoga and meditation, Rishikesh has a surprisingly large number of eateries that are a haven for food lovers! And new ones keep opening up every season. The beauty of eating here is that most of them are located along the Ganges, offering beautiful views of the city as you savour delectable food.

Here are some of the best places you can go to:

German Bakery

Cost for two: ₹200

Ramana's Organic Cafe

Cost for two: ₹700

Cost for two: ₹800

Cost for two: ₹200

Cost for two: ₹700

Cost for two: ₹800

P.S. Non-vegetarian food and alcoholic drinks are strictly banned in Rishikesh.

9. Witness the 'Maha Aarti' at Triveni Ghat.

Triveni Ghat is situated at the confluence of three holy rivers – Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati and it is here that the famous Ganga Aarti is performed, a mystical tradition dating back to thousands of years. It will definitely leave you with a sense of calm and make room for some quiet introspection.

Credits: Jeremy Weate

Photo of Triveni Ghat, Mayakund, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India by Gunjan Upreti

In this fast moving world, it is a great idea to slow down for a few days and lose yourself in a place like Rishikesh.

Best Places To Stay In Rishikesh

Luxury: Neemrana's Glasshouse On The Ganges, Ganga Beach Reasort, Veda5 Ayurveda & Yoga Retreat

Mid-Range: Camp Aspen Adventures, Camp Aqua Forest, Atulya Nakshatra Resort

Budget: Vedas Tapovan, Hotel Vyas & Nirvana Yoga, Green Land Swiss Cottage

Hostels: Zostel Rishikesh, Bonfire Hostels, Moustache Rishikesh

Homestays: Ixora Villa Studio, Ganga Vatika Boutique Hotel, An Eco Yoga Habitat

Best Packages in Rishikesh

If you are looking for an adventure escape to Rishikesh, how about staying at a river camp for three days and going rafting? Get details here.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a weekend getaway to Rishikesh from Delhi, you might want to have a look at this awesome package. Just gather your friends and head out.

Excited? Quickly share this article on Facebook or Whatsapp with your gang and plan your Rishikesh trip today.

Have you been to Rishikesh? Write your own travelogue and share your experience with the world.

32 Comment(s)
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Beatles ashram guys.. Amazing place :)
Wed 12 07 16, 03:48 · Reply · Report
I need to leave NOW!
Sun 03 27 16, 06:24 · Reply (1) · Report
let's go :)
Sat 06 11 16, 04:56 · Report
nice pic really I like visit
Sun 03 27 16, 05:36 · Reply (1) · Report
nmooonlmmonmipjmj nmooonlmmonmipjmj pkñp Mk h hmmm yum
Sat 06 11 16, 06:39 · Report
the picture you have used for rafting, it's not in rishikesh.
Fri 03 25 16, 05:05 · Reply · Report
This is like more of a to- do-list for me whenever I visit rishikesh. The girly charm is present in each part of this article and this is what I have like the most in this one. I am surely going to follow your words part to part when I go for a trip there.
Sun 01 10 16, 17:46 · Reply · Report
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