RISHIKESH TOURISM GUIDE:
Location: 24 Kms from Haridwar (Uttarakhand )
Main Attracion: Lakshman Jhula, Swarga Ashram
Best Season: Throughout the Year
Main Languages / Dialect: Garhwali and Hindi
Rishikesh is just 24 km from Haridwar. Located in the laps of lower Himalayas, this place is considered to be the access point of three other pilgrim places of Badrinath – Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri the four great places which combine to make Chardham. Rishikesh is surrounded by the scenic beauty of the hills on three sides with Holy Ganga flowing through it.
The whole place is considered to be sacred as it is believed that meditation at this place leads to attainment of salvation. There are many temples-some ancient, some new along the river Ganges. The Riverside is dotted by the ashrams of Sadhus and sages. Rishikesh is also famous for ashrams teaching Yoga.
In the 60’s even the Beatles could not miss the charm of Rishikesh and they came here to meet their Guru. The Ganga, which is known for its strong currents and fierce behaviour upstream, suddenly becomes slow and gracious here. At Rishikesh, Ganga leaves the mountains and joins the plains for her long journey.
Rishikesh is not only an attraction for pilgrims but it also attracts foreigners who want to know about Hinduism, who want to spend some time close to the Lord, people who love rafting come here to conquer the rapids of Ganga. Rishikesh is also an ideal base camp for trekking in the nearby Himalayas.
Best Places to Visit in Rishikesh
Religious Places in Rishikesh:
Lakshman Jhula: This suspended iron bridge was build in 1939 and has been a major attraction among the tourists. Ram Jhula- The other suspended Iron bridge was recently constructed between Shivanand Ashram and Sawarg Ashram.
Swarga Ashram: One can find numerous temples here. This place has the eating joints and shops where one can do shopping. The beautiful statues in the area mesmerise the visitors.
Gita Bhavan: This newly constructed building is famous for its attractive paintings and statues from the Hindu mythology. Situated just across the Lakshman Jhula.
Triveni Ghat: This is a bathing ghat. Daily in the morning and evening there are thousands who take bath here and enjoy the Maha Aarti being performed. It very soothing to sit on the banks of the river and enjoy the cool breeze from the river.
Neelkanth Mahadev Mela: Situated at a height of 1675 m, on a hill above Swarg Ashram, Neelkanth Mahadev is one of the most revered temples of Rishikesh.
Nilkanth Mahadeo: Mythology says that in the ancient times when the ocean was being churned for ‘amrit’ (Potion for immortality), first venom oozed out. Lord Shiva drank the venom at a place which is now called Nilkanth Mahadeo. It is 12 kms from Rishikesh and is surrounded by peaceful forests.
Excursions from Rishikesh
White Water Rafting in Rishikesh:
The challenge of violent rivers is no less than that of the rugged mountains. The icy heights of the Himalayas are the source of some of India’s mighty rivers. Fed by innumerable streams, they race along tortuous boulder-strewn beds, cutting deep gorges and breaking into silvery white rapids.
Dehradun: The Doon Valley situated between the two most important rivers of India. i.e. Ganga & Yamuna, is most picturesque having a moderate climate, nestling a number of places of tourist interest.
Mussoorie: The queen of hill stations.
Haridwar: Gateway to the four pilgrimages in the Uttrakhand region, is located on the foothills of Shivaliks.
Valley of Flowers: The famous Valley of Flowers with the largest concentration of various species of wildflowers is off the Rishikesh-Badrinath road, 16 km from Govindghat.
Chila: It is just 20 kms from Rishikesh. The whole place is covered with forests and provides a very pleasant environment. The government has declared Chila a sanctuary. A canal from Ganga feeds the reservoir where one can spot many animals. One can stay at the tourist lodge and enjoy the peaceful scenic surroundings.
Narendra nagar: 15 km on the Rishikesh Chamba road is located the historical town of Narendra Nagar. This town is of archaeological importance. The town was built by the King of Tehri Narendra Singh. Narendra Nagar has recorded many events which have left their impact on the town. The Royal palace is worth seeing and the huge magnificent Nandi bull cannot escape your attention.
Kunjapuri: Close to Narendra nagar, situated at 7000 ft this place is covered with dense forests. From here one can get a glimpse of the peaks and valleys.
Auli: One of the well established Sports Circuit of the state of Uttranchal . With their wide-open spaces above the snowfields of Garhwal and Kumaon, the place offers an exciting possibility – ski touring amongst the glaciers. The cross-country runs of 10-20 km with the added advantage of fresh powder snow from crisscrossing streams, tearing down the snowlines of the European Alps.
Devprayag: The rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirath leave the mountains and merge at this place. From here they get the name, Ganga. A peaceful holy place. It has got the ancient Raghunathji Temple.
GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION ABOUT RISHIKESH
Best Places for Shopping in Rishikesh
Being a pilgrimage place, the glamour of big shop bargains are absent but Rishikesh offers you handicraft items made of shells, beads, and pearls. Sarees, kurtas, sheets, and rugs can be purchased from here. You can buy these items from the government approved U.P handloom shop, Khadi Bhandar, Garhwal wool and craft shop, etc.
Best Hotels in Rishikesh
Rishikesh does not have any big hotels in the five-star category but there are other hotels that offer a comfortable stay. The Ashrams also provide accommodation facilities. There are also dharamsalas and guest houses which offer good, inexpensive stay. The Garhwal Vikas Manda Nigam’s guest has dormitory as well as single and double rooms for the tourists.
Tourist Information Centres in Rishikesh
- Tourist Office – Tourist bureau, Station road, Rishikesh, Uttranchal India
- Tourist Office – Yatra office, Garhwal mandal vikas nigam, Muni ki reti, Uttranchal , India .
Weather and Climate in Rishikesh
The climate here is continental type but its location in the foot hills gives it a pleasant weather throughout the year. One can visit Rishikesh any time of the year.
Nearby Cities of Rishikesh
Delhi – 238 Kms
Uttrakashi – 154 kms
Dehradun – 42 kms
Kedarnath – 228 kms
Haridwar – 25 kms
Mussoorie – 77 kms
Trekking From Rishikesh
Devi Darshan Trek
Gangotri Nandavan Trek
Kauri Pass Trek
Kauri Tapovan Trek
Khatling Sahasratal Trek
Rishikesh Gopeshwar Trek
Rishikesh Pauri Binsar Trek
How to Reach Rishikesh By Air, Rail & Road?
Rishikesh does not have an airstrip of its own.
But there are trains from all the major cities in the plains.
The best transport for Rishikesh is by bus. Bus services are available from far and near places. Particularly there are regular services from Haridwar which is just half-an-hour journey from Rishikesh.