Rishikesh or Hrishikesh is a city in Dehradun, in the state of Uttarakhand in India. Rishikesh is located at the foothills of the Himalayas and is known as the ‘Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas’ and 'Yoga Capital of the World’. Along with Haridwar, Rishikesh will be addressed as “twin national heritage cities”. Owing to the religious significance of the place, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly prohibited in Rishikesh. Read on to learn about all the fantastic things you can do in Rishikesh:
1. Watch the holy Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat
The Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat, also referred to as the Maha Aarti, is an evening prayer performed on the banks of the River Ganga. It is a major highlight of the ghat, which attracts a large number of devotees and visitors.
The aarti is accompanied by holy music/bhajan singing, beating of drums and bells. People light oil lamps, set them afloat on flower-filled leaf boats and release them in the holy waters of the river. The lamps and the aarti make for a beautiful setting in the evening. The aarti takes place everyday from 6 - 7 pm. Take your cameras when attending the Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat. This is truly a moment to be captured for eternity. It is surely an awe-inspiring sight to see those hundreds of lamps floating over the Ganges.
Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat
Address: Mayakund, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249201, India
Website: Triveni Ghat
2. Ram Jhula
Ram Jhula is a popular landmark in Rishikesh. It is a suspension bridge made of iron built on the River Ganges. Ram Jhula is 450 feet (137 meters) long, connecting two ashrams, Shivananda Ashram and Swargashram. The bridge offers a panoramic view of the River Ganges and the city of Rishikesh.
Address: Ram Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
Website: Ram Jhula
3. Lakshman Jhula
Lakshman Jhula is also an iron suspension bridge built across the River Ganges. It is located 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) north-east from the town Rishikesh in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. This bridge connects two villages; Tapovan in Tehri Garhwal district to Jonk in Pauri Garhwal district crossing the river from west to east. Ram Jhula is 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) downstream from Lakshman Jhula.
Address: Laxman Jhoola, Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249302, India
Website: Lakshman Jhula
4. River rafting
The beautiful Ganges and its tributaries in Rishikesh make river rafting, especially in this spot, a must-try activity when you are in town. This is especially recommended for adventure junkies. Thanks to its rugged and uneven setting, the way the River Ganges flows offers some of the most herculean rapids, making a perfect location to try river rafting in Rishikesh.
River rafting in Rishikesh is best enjoyed during the post-monsoon season, which usually starts from September and continues till June. You can raft during December and January but the colder weather conditions make it a bit challenging. Rafting in Rishikesh costs approximately 7 - 28 USD. There are 4 different rafting stretches and different grades/levels, you can study in detail and choose what you wish to do.
Website: River Rafting
5. Beatles Ashram
Who doesnt know the Beatles? History says they visited Rishikesh in 1968 for meditation. After this visit, Rishikesh came into the limelight throughout the world. The Beatles came here to learn transcendental meditation at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram. The main purpose of their visit to this ashram was to get advanced training about Transcendental Meditation.
Address: Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249304, India
Website: Beatles Ashram
6. Neer Garh Waterfall
Rishikesh may be popular for its yoga and meditation but little do we know that there is more to this city. Hike to the nearby Neer Garh Waterfall and you will be surprised to see the display of the real peacefulness of the region. It is located about 5 km (3.1 mi) from Lakshman Jhula.
Neer Garh Waterfall
Address: Neergarh Waterfall Rd, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249137, India
Website: Neer Garh Waterfall
7. Parmarth Niketan Ashram
Parmarth Niketan is one of the largest ashrams in Rishikesh. It offers an inspirational and comfortable environment to uplift your body, mind and spirit along with helping one develop a deeper connection with the Divine. The center also provides Nature Cure and Ayurvedic treatments.
There is the daily chorus, along with the regular cultural and spiritual programs that are delivered by respected saints, world renowned musicians, social and religious leaders. They also offer various camps for intensive courses on yoga, meditation, stress management, acupressure, Reiki and other ancient Indian sciences. You can also visit the statue of Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman in the ashram premises.
Parmarth Niketan Ashram
Address: Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Main Market Road, Near Ram Jhula, Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249304, India
Website: Parmarth Niketan Ashram
8. Kunjapuri Devi Temple
Kunjapuri Temple is a popular temple in Rishikesh. It can be seen on the top of the hill from Rishikesh town. Locals start their new year by visiting the Kunjapuri Temple as well as the Neelkant Mahadev Temple to receive the blessings of the Gods. It is said that every year a gang of bikers from Rishikesh visit Kunjapuri Temple on New Year’s Day (1st January). From there, they continue their journey towards Surkanda Devi Temple.
Kunjapuri Devi Temple
Address: Hindolakhal Rd, Adali, Uttarakhand 249175, India
Website: Kunjapuri Devi Temple
9. Bharat Mandir
Shri Bharat Mandir holds a very special place in the history and making of the city of Rishikesh. This temple is said to be the most ancient, most sacred and the most famous temple situated at the heart of the city. It is believed that city’s existence came into being because of this temple only.
Address: Dehradun Bypass Rd, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249137, India
Website: Bharat Mandir
Visit Rishikesh: therapy for the body and soul
As you’ve seen from the list above, there is more to Rishikesh than being a religious and spiritual centre. Visit the city to discover for yourself all that it has to offer!
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