One of the most iconic sights in India that has great spiritual as well as touristic significance is the Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. Simply put, it is a suspension bridge that stretches across the Ganga River and connects villages on the two sides of its banks. It was constructed in 1929 to replace an older bridge that was washed away in the floods of earlier years. Locals believe that the location of the bridge is where the deity Lakshman crossed the holy river Ganga on jute ropes and hence, the bridge is named after him. It primarily is a pedestrian bridge, but motorbikes are sometimes allowed to ply on it. Many important Hindu temples, eclectic markets and street food stalls are located on either side of the bridge. Visitors can enjoy gorgeous panoramic views from the bridge and observe the mighty Ganges flow below. Another bridge, Ram Jhula, is also located nearby. To make the most of your time here, take a look at our guide to Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh.
Things to do
Cross the Lakshman Jhula
The must-do thing at Lakshman Jhula is to take a leisurely stroll from one end to another. This mostly pedestrian-only bridge has recently undergone extensive repairs since it is almost 100 years old and suspended approximately 70 feet (21 metres) above the mighty Ganga River. It stretches 450 feet (137 metres) in length and is an iconic landmark of Rishikesh. From the bridge, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Rishikesh and its famous temples like Tera Manzil Temple, Lakshman Temple, etc. Down below, see the various hues of the Ganga River and its moody flow, sometimes a fast-moving current and a gentle flow at other times, along with devotees offering prayers on its banks. The Lakshman Jhula is, on the whole, the best place to observe life unfolding in the holy city of Rishikesh.
Click amazing pictures of the breathtaking beauty
The landmark bridge is also the best place from where you can click breathtaking pictures of Rishikesh and its iconic sights. This bridge is a photographer’s delight because it offers panoramic views in every direction. On either side of the bridge, you can see busy markets selling colourful wares along with numerous food stalls where a number of locals and tourists can be seen enjoying delicious treats. Shoot portraits of saffron-clad sadhus (sage or ascetic) or panoramic shots of the magnificent mountains in the background. Go early and capture stunning sunrise shots with the beautiful temples in the foreground. Instagram-worthy shots of chanting devotees and Hindu rituals being performed on the banks of the river can also be taken from the bridge.
Feel the peace and serenity
If there is one thing that all visitors to the Lakshman Jhula feel, it is an incredible feeling of peace and serenity. The myriad temples, throngs of devotees and the mighty Ganga River flowing below contribute to the spiritual fervour of the place. The forests and mountains surrounding the bridge add to the breathtaking beauty and tranquillity. Take a break from the sights and sounds of Rishikesh and experience a few peaceful moments on the Lakshman Jhula.
Watch out for the monkeys
Just like most other temple towns of India, there is a sizable population of monkeys in Rishikesh. These monkeys freely roam on the Lakshman Jhula and are notorious for stealing belongings of travellers. You are advised to watch out for them and keep a firm grip on your things. Do not carry any edibles in your hand as this will attract the attention of the monkeys.
Carry warm clothes
The winters are very cold in Rishikesh and even in the summer, there is a certain amount of wind chill in the evenings. It is advisable to carry warm clothes when you visit the bridge. In winter, it is advisable to dress in layers and carry extra scarves, jackets and sweaters.
How to get there
The most convenient and easy way to reach the bridge is by a private vehicle - car or motorbike. You can go there in your own vehicle or a rental one. Motorbike rentals are very popular with tourists in the city and several rental places are located just minutes away from the bridge. The bridge is conveniently located on the way to Trayambakeshwar Temple and driving directions are easily available from within Rishikesh or other cities.
Combination of public and private transport
You can also use a combination of public and private transport to reach the bridge. Take a train to the nearest railway station, Rishikesh Railway Station, and from there, hire a private auto-rickshaw or a shared one to reach the bridge. Since the bridge is a city landmark, most auto-rickshaw drivers will be able to easily take you there. Alternatively, you can take a bus to the Inter State Bus Terminal in Adarsh Gram, Rishikesh, which is about 12 km (7.5 miles) away, and then take an auto-rickshaw the rest of the way.
If you are already in Rishikesh, you can get a shared auto-rickshaw from any part of the town to reach the bridge.
Parking spots for both cars and two-wheelers are available at a distance of about 500 metres (0.31 miles) from the bridge, but at busy times, you may face difficulty in finding a spot. It is also advisable that you lock your vehicle properly before parking it.
Lakshman Jhula Information
Address: Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249137, India
Opening hours: 5am - 10pm (daily)
Cost: Free entry
Department of tourism: Uttarakhand Tourism
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