Quoted by the great Walt Whitman – “Peace Is Always Beautiful”
And so is Rishikesh, the incredible tapestry of humanity.
Serving as a gateway to the stunning Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand and harbouring a surprising mix of culture and composure, Rishikesh is set in the Himalayan foothills about 45 km from the capital city of Dehradun. It is nestled on the thriving banks of the holy river Ganga and is often referred to as the Yoga Capital of the World. This gorgeous location blessed with lush greenery, soothing streams, and towering mountains is an ideal summer retreat every traveller seeks for.
Travel to Rishikesh with this Complete Travel Guide to Rishikesh, India
Whether you are in for some rejuvenation or an adventurous kick, Rishikesh offers its visitors the best. From white-water rafting to temple exploration and yogic indulgence to souvenir shopping, you have plenty of things to do here.
While exploring around, listen to waters cascading down and melodies pacifying your soul. Witness the magic of nature from your naked eyes as you wander across the beautiful hills and river ghats of Rishikesh. Take a dip and satisfy the soul. This age-old city of ancient traditions and lifestyle is the quintessential holiday destination in Uttarakhand. So, take the traveller in you on a journey full of tranquil excursions and spiritual elevation.
It’s time to delve deep into the colourful canvas of Uttarakhand. And with Rishikesh, you are going to treasure everlasting memories.
Climate and Best Time to Visit Rishikesh
As Rishikesh lies in the lower regions of the Himalayas, it enjoys a humid subtropical climate which is often characterized by mild summers, heavy monsoon rains, and average winters. The maximum and minimum average temperatures fluctuate around 40 degrees and 10 degrees respectively. That’s why tourists often flock to this wonderful destination throughout the year. Moreover, the cool breeze that blows from January to December creates a pleasant atmosphere.
Summers in Rishikesh often fall between the months of April and June. These months are perfect for white-water rafting and hill exploration. However, make sure to wear light cotton clothes.
Monsoon in Rishikesh starts in July and goes until the mid of September. These are the months when landslides and river flooding are common. Hence, always be careful while venturing out in the open during the rainy season. It is also one of the least-preferred seasons for tourists.
Winters in Rishikesh are from October until March. This is the perfect time to visit Rishikesh as during these months you get to witness the city in full glory. The scenic landscapes are heartwarming and the colorful atmosphere in the streets is divine.
- July is the wettest month in Rishikesh with about 444 mm of rainfall.
- May and June are the hottest months of Rishikesh touching an average of 40 degrees Celsius in a day.
- January is the coldest month in Rishikesh with an average of about 5 degrees Celsius temperature.
Top Attractions In Rishikesh
Rishikesh is full of liveliness; all thanks to its charming attractions that exude positivity all around. Below given are the major tourist attractions in Rishikesh you must visit on your trip. These are the places that would certainly keep you intrigued with their magnificent aura.
A perfect place to feel divinity in the air of Rishikesh is the relaxing Triveni Ghat, a popular bank of the River Ganga. It is where Hindu pilgrims come from around the world to take a dip in the holy waters and cleanse their soul and body. The waters here are extremely soothing and would surely appease your mind. The evening Maha Arti at the ghat where a crowd of devotees offers prayers to their god is an unearthly scene to capture in your heart forever.
You can’t just get over the beauty of Lakshman Jhula every single time you pay a visit to Rishikesh. Suspended in the air across the River Ganges, it paints an aesthetic frame. The bridge connects the Pauri Garhwal District to Tehri Garhwal District and is one of the most prominent landmarks in Rishikesh.
The Beatles Ashram
Yes! You heard it right. It’s the Beatles, the world-renowned classic rock band. Now you must be thinking what has the Beatles got to do with an ashram? Well, the ashram is also called Chaurasi Kutia and is the place where the band learnt and studied meditation. So, visit it and learn about the different types of meditation to tranquilize the inner you. The interior of the ashram is equally captivating.
Another suspension bridge that would steal your heart away with its photogenic presence! Though Ram Jhula isn’t as popular as Lakshman Jhula, it has got specific lovers on its own. Over a period of time, it has become a significant part of Rishikesh culture. Take your bike and ride it down across the Ganges enjoying the prepossessing vistas of the river water. Take a stroll and capture some really beautiful moments at the time of dawn and dusk.
Tera Manzil Temple
Literally translated as the Thirteen-Storey temple, Tera Manzil Mandir overlooks the smooth flow of the river Ganges and offers its visitors a great sense of enjoyment. Visit it and explore its divine corners or take blessings of the god. It is noted for its unusual architecture and unique structural formation.
Rajaji National Park
If you are a lover of nature and wildlife, then you cannot afford to miss out on the diverse expanses of Rajaji National Park. It is a tiger reserve established in the year 1983 and is located on both sides of the Ganges. Visit it and come across the natural wonders of Rishikesh for the park is full of various flora and fauna. If you are lucky enough, you may end up watching Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, and more.
Other must-visit places in Rishikesh:
- Neer Garh waterfall
- Kunjapuri Devi Temple
- Shree Bharat Mandir
- Shree Neelkanth
- Ganga Beach
Hidden Places In Rishikesh
The ordinary doesn’t interest you? Well, Rishikesh and its surroundings are blessed with dozens of hidden gems where you can satiate the explorer in you. These least-explored places in Rishikesh are perfect for those who look forward to going in isolation from the usual crowd of tourists. The list includes:
- Jhilmil Gufa
- Garud Chatti Waterfall
- Patna Village
- Goa Beach Rishikesh
- Chila Sunset Point
Best Yoga Retreats In Rishikesh
Rishikesh and yoga go hand in hand. Yoga is often the center of Rishikesh talks. No wonder over a period of time, the city has come to be called the Yoga Capital of the World. Roaming around, you can witness travelers from every corner of the world soaking in the city’s spiritual environment. The presence of temples, river banks, lush greenery, and a peaceful atmosphere – all together make Rishikesh an idyllic place for yoga retreats.
Some of India’s best yoga retreats are in Rishikesh. Here are the core reasons why Rishikesh is an avowed destination for the most spellbinding yoga retreats.
- Practice the authentic science of yoga from the masters of yoga since Rishikesh is the home town to the most luminary yogis on the globe.
- Chant mantras, practice meditation in the lap of the great Himalayas and by the river Ganges.
- Indulge in a sattvic or organic diet fresh from a home grown garden. Walk on the path of good health and wellness.
- Engage in enriching interactions with like-minded people from across the globe.
- Spend time at holy places and the most silent spots that stir your inner spirit.
- Explore the ashrams and enroll into rejuvenation programs for a fresh start.
Where to Stay In Rishikesh?
While in Rishikesh, you need not worry about accommodation because the city is flooded with innumerable beautiful places to stay. You have guesthouses, river-side resorts, budget hotels, and lavish properties to choose from. However, if you are visiting Rishikesh during the peak season (which is usually from October until June), make sure to book your stay in advance as you never know the crowd you are going to bump into.
Rishikesh has a myriad of locations that harbors a serene and tranquil environment and hence, are perfect for your stay. The city has accommodation for all types of tourists, ranging from budget travelers to luxury tourists.
If you want to save a lot of bucks on your trip, then do visit Rishikesh during the non-peak season. This is the time when most hotels and resorts offer heavy seasonal discounts.
Best places in Rishikesh for luxury stays:
- Aloha on the Ganges
- Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa
- Shaantam Resort & Spa
- Amritara Raga on the Ganges
- The Narayana Palace by Salvus
- Sanskriti Yogpeeth
Best places to stay in Rishikesh for budget travellers:
- Rishikesh Tapovan
- Swiss Cottage & Spa
- The Hosteller Rishikesh Mini
- Live Free Hostel
- Shalom Backpackers Rishikesh
- Sanskriti Yogpeeth
Approximate Cost (per person) for Different Activities In Rishikesh
River Rafting (10 km) = 600 INR
Camping (1 Night) = 800 – 2000 INR
Bungee Jumping – 3000 – 4000 INR
Ziplining – 1200 – 1500 INR
Flying fox – 1800 INR
Giant Swing – 3500 INR
Cliff Jumping – 1300 INR
Sky Cycling – 700 INR
Spiritual Walk Tour – 150 – 350 INR
Trekking – 1300 – 1500 INR
Mountain Biking – 350 INR
How To Reach Rishikesh?
Rishikesh is an easily accessible hill station located about 45 km from the capital city of Dehradun and 270 km from Delhi. As the city hosts a decent network of rail and road, it is accessible by tourists from all across the country.
By Air: Located in Dehradun, Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport to Rishikesh at about 25 km. You can take flights from New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Varanasi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, and other major cities of India. Carriers like Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Vistara, and Alliance Air fly to Dehradun from other parts of the country on a regular basis.
By Rail: Haridwar Junction at about 30 km is the nearest major railhead to Rishikesh. It is well connected to major cities in North India such as Delhi, Dehradun, Meerut, and more. So, if you are visiting from nearby states or cities, then rail must be the preferred means of commutation for you. Upon reaching Haridwar, you can take a direct taxi or bus to reach Rishikesh.
By Bus: You can also visit Rishikesh via bus. The city has great road connectivity to cities like Delhi, Meerut, Dehradun, Rampur, Gurgaon, Agra, Aligarh, and more.
By Car: The route to Rishikesh is simply magnificent. And who would want to miss it? That’s why, self-driving or reaching Rishikesh via taxi is heavily recommended for those who desire to enjoy each and every second of their tour. If you also don’t like to compromise on your comfort and convenience, then this should be your means of commutation. You can either hire a taxi from your city or self-drive. Rishikesh is well connected via National Highway 58.