Posted 31 October 2022
Cradled by the mighty Himalayas on one side and the majestic Ganges River on the other, Rishikesh is often considered the best of both worlds. Due to its panoramic setting and abundance of epic geographical features, this city in Uttarakhand has become the one-stop destination for adventure sports enthusiasts in the country. Besides the thrill of extreme sports, Rishikesh is also contrastingly famous for Hindu pilgrimage and spiritual tranquillity. This is the reason why Rishikesh is known as both ‘the adventure sports capital of India’ as well as ‘the yoga capital of the world’, and is worth paying a visit.
The city of Rishikesh has many names, and one of them is ‘Abode of the Gods’. However, the popular name of Rishikesh was derived from ‘Hrishikesh’, which is a form of the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu. This city has also been mentioned in the Skanda Purana (one of the several holy texts of Hinduism) as an auspicious site of meditation for several Hindu saints. Moreover, Rishikesh is also home to several Hindu temples and ashrams. But what sets it apart from most other tourist places in India is that in 1963, the legendary English rock band ‘The Beatles’ recorded most of their songs from ‘The White Album’ at Rishikesh.
Rishikesh is dotted with an abundance of tourist spots that are suitable for both leisure as well as religious tourists. When visiting this city, you can enjoy both high-octane action in the form of adventure sports as well as soulful moments of bliss in the form of temples and scenic beauty.
The Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula were originally rudimentary jute-rope bridges that were constructed to honour the crossing of Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana’s crossing of the Ganges on a mere jute rope. The 284 ft long Lakshman Jhula was tragically washed away in the flood of 1924, after which both the Ram Jhula and the Lakshman Jhule were re-built as modern iron suspension bridges.
This is one of the most unique and mesmerising temples dedicated to the worship of the Hindu God Shiva (also known as Mahadeva). It is located at a height of 1330 m above sea level, vertically adjacent to the famous Swargashram and nestled beside the Nar Narayan Mountain Range.
The name Muni ki Reti translates to the ‘Sands of the Sages’ and is packed with some of the most prominent temples, ashrams, and yoga centres in Rishikesh. The popular Sivananda Ashram, Swargashram, and Kailash Ashram are all located here, and today, this small suburban locality in Rishikesh is a hub of all things spiritual.
Apart from temples and sites for adventure sports, Rishikesh also has one of the oldest ponds. The Rishikund pond, which is located near the Raghunath Temple, was supposedly blessed by the Hindu Goddess Yamuna. As a result, the water from this lake is considered sacred and the pond itself is revered by pilgrims who often take a bath in its calming waters.
Apart from these four most famous places to visit in Rishikesh, several other locations throng with tourists almost year-round. For example -
Since Rishikesh is known as the ‘adventure sports capital of India,’ hordes of thrill-seeking tourists visit this city in Uttarakhand. From bungee jumping to being awed by the beauty of the Neer Gaddu Waterfalls, Rishikesh has a generous offering of things to do for all kinds of tourists.
The rapids of the Ganges, passing through Rishikesh, offer tourists the perfect opportunity for river rafting.
The foothills of the Himalayas have always been known for their biodiversity, and tourists can witness this up close when camping at Rishikesh. There are several locations away from the main city for setting up camp in Rishikesh.
Since bungee jumping is an extremely adrenaline-rushing experience, some may prefer a milder activity with almost the same amount of fun. Therefore, the flying fox is a popular activity amongst tourists in Rishikesh. It essentially consists of a zipline along which tourists are carried across the valley.
For those who prefer to relax in the safety of a cabin and still float through the air and have an equally impressive view, the hot air balloons at Rishikesh are a real delight. The hot air balloons in Rishikesh are tied to the ground and carried up by a light aircraft so that you can soak in the beautiful landscape of Rishikesh from high above.
The weather in Rishikesh is best during the months of September to March. As a result, Rishikesh is considered the entry point to the 4 major pilgrimage sites of India (the Char Dham), and as a result, can be visited from May to October as well. Nevertheless, you can visit Rishikesh year-round depending on the season that is most suitable for you.
Since most vacations are not complete without some shopping for souvenirs and exquisite local items, Rishikesh too offers tourists several shopping destinations.
These markets are famous for local spices, perfumes, apparel, and many more items that are usually not found anywhere else in India.
With so many things to do and places to immerse yourself in, Rishikesh can be your next holiday destination. It is a suitable tourist spot for families, groups of friends, and even couples. Since Rishikesh has something for people of all ages and inclinations, it is rapidly growing as one of the most popular tourist places in India. As a result, the number of flights that operate to and from Dehradun Airport by IndiGo and all other airline carriers is probably set to increase in the coming years.