What can we say about Rishikesh, the most celebrated destination of Uttarakhand. The land that draws mystics from all over the world. Where the entire world’s people look more Indian than the Indians themselves. Where religion and spirituality coexist with adventure and hippies! One cannot call himself a traveller unless he has experienced this land!
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1. White water rafting
Rishikesh is the most beloved playground in India for water sports, particularly river rafting. It offers the safest white water rafting in India. Other activities such as: rappelling, rock climbing, zip lining, giant swing, cliff jumping, bungee jumping, paragliding, mountain biking, waterfall rappelling, hot air ballooning etc. are also gaining momentum. The picturesque mountain ranges in the backdrop of these thrilling activities add to the feel of adventure.
If you are in Rishikesh and did not do camping in the banks of the river Ganga, then what did you even do? Shivpuri in Rishikesh, is every campers delight. There are many budget or luxury options available for all kinds of travellers. Sit on the rocks by the campsite, the gushing streams, meet and befriend new people, play volleyball with them, dance around the bonfire at night, sleep under the stars and much more. It is your vacation after all!
Do pack your comfortable shoes before going to Rishikesh! Being in the foothills of the Himalayas, this land offers many scenic trekking routes suited for all. You will witness green valleys, colourful flowers, variety of birds and nature at its best. Climb heights of the majestic Himalayas, but do remember to take a break every now and then for absorbing the view.
4. Visit Rajaji National Park
Enjoy a two hour open jeep safari ride with well read guides into a mighty, well protected forest. The park has a wide variety of animals and plants. Sightings include: elephants, various species of deer, monkeys, jackals and if you are lucky, the majestic tiger. It is also a bird watchers delight, serves as home to many of our colorful winged friends.
5. Visit temples & Ashrams
For a divine experience into culture and stories, one must visit a few of the numerous temples and ashrams here. The major ones are: Neelkanth Temple, Bharat Mandir, Chandi Devi Temple, Mansa Devi Temple, Maya Devi Temple, Trayambakeshwar temple etc. For ashrams, there are Parmarth Niketan, Osho Ganga Dham Ashram and our personal favourite the quirky Beatles Ashram. Yes you heard that right; it was visited by the iconic band for meditation and was a muse to many of their songs. Now it is a testament narrating their visit to India.
6. Visit to Lakshman Jhula
As the legend of Ramayana goes, Ram’s brother Lakshman had crossed the Ganges using a bridge which was made of jute ropes. Later, in 1927-1929, an iron bridge was constructed here. You must walk across this mythically significant bridge, the bumpy bridge makes you feel like you are walking on air.
7. Maha Aarti at Triveni Ghat
After the sundown of an entire day of adventure and sightseeing, engage in a spiritually uplifting experience at Triveni Ghat. Where every evening throughout the year, people flood to watch the pay their respects to the holy river Ganges. The auspiciousness of this experience can never be put in words, you must feel it yourself running through your veins.
8. Indulge in Yoga
Rishikesh is also popular as the Yoga Capital of the world. Here you will find a lot of people for teaching you Yoga and meditation. You may also use this destination as a mental health break and rejuvenate yourself for life’s purposes. It also houses the International Yoga Festival every year, which receives an overwhelming participation from across the globe.
9. Ayurvedic Massage
Not just the mind is catered to here, opportunities for relaxation of the body are also provided here. Just let your body loose and relax in the soothing aroma of fragrant Ayurvedic oils, while warmth of a professionals hand takes care of you. Believe us, it is just what your tense muscles need.
10. Cafe Hopping!
And of course there is the scrumptious food! Due to inflow of tourists from all over the world, Rishikesh has seen a sudden surge in cafes serving food cuisines from all over the world. You may walk around town and find numerous options for food. Our favourite is the Beatles Cafe near the river bank, serving amazing coffee. The food served in Ashrams might look simple, but is very delicious, healthy and pocket friendly! You must make do justice to as many options as possible and pamper your stomach.