Rishikesh - Introduction
The adventure destination of Rishikesh is located in the northern part of the state of Uttaranchal. The Ganga River flows through the holy land. Rishikesh stands at an altitude of 356 meters above sea level. Along the river, the area is filled with thick green forests in the all-mountainous region. The entire area falls on the Garhwal region of Northern India. Rishikesh is one tourist destination of India, which the pilgrims, nature lovers and the adventure seekers love to throng. Rishikesh is famous for adventure activities like river rafting, trekking, rock climbing, hiking et al.
Rishikesh - Adventure Sports
Like getting wet? Get going to the adventure destination of Rishikesh. The ravishing of the river rafting attracts adventurers from far and wide to Rishikesh. The rapids and rivers of Rishikesh are excellent spots for the high adventurer. Rishikesh is close to the stretch in the early stages of the Ganges with the exhilarating Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers. You may enjoy the wild white waters of the Indus, Beas, Sutlej and Yamuna too for river rafting.
You may even indulge in canoeing at Rishikesh. A gentle canoe trip in a lightweight alloy-metal craft is popular with the adventurers. Hiking and nature holidays are also well accepted by the tourists in Rishikesh. Rishikesh also acts at a base for trekking camps. You may choose from the Chandrashila, Devi darshan, Kauri and several other treks from Rishikesh.
Rishikesh - Sites to Visit
There are a number of ashrams in and around Rishikesh. Some are very well known and is regarded as tourist spots. Some of the ashrams are situated on the eastern bank of the river Ganges and the entire cluster is known as Swargashram. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Ashram is famous the world over for which the credit goes to the rock band Beatles. Several ashrams offer yoga courses and many pilgrims from in and around the country come here to learn yoga. Along with the ashrams, there are a few temples having some mythological importance.
Lakshman Jhula is a hanging bridge on the river Ganges that flows here. According to legends, Lakshman the brother of Lord Ram crossed this river with the help of a hanging bridge made of jute. The view from the bridge, especially the view of the high current of the river is incomparable. During monsoon season, the water level of the river increases considerably along with the speed of the current. Near the Lakshman Jhula is the Ram Jhula also known as Shivanand Jhula.
Situated by the side of the Lakshman Jhula, this is the Gita Bhavan. The Gita Bhavan is a beautifully constructed building housing some attractive statues of characters Hindu mythology.
Then there is the bathing spot known of Triveni. It is believed that three mountain streams flow together on this spot making the ghat (bank) more sacred. Pilgrims from various places come here to take a dip in the holy water, which is supposed to wash off all their sins.
Neelkanth Mahadev is a place of interest especially for the religious minded tourists. It is said to be the place where Lord Shiva drank the venom that had come out during the cosmic churning of the ocean by the gods and demons.
Rishikesh is full of innumerable small and big temples. A walk along the road towards the Muni-ki-Reti takes one to a place along the Chandrabhaga River that has a cluster of temples. The famous Char Dham pilgrimage starts from this place. The Rishikund tank and Raghunath temple near the tank are two other temples worth visiting. There is also the Bharat temple, named after one of the brothers of Lord Ram.
From Rishikesh several excursion options are also open. You may check out the Rajaji National Park at Chilla, the historical town of Narendra Nagar, the picturesque Kunjapuru besides the several other pilgrim sites.
Rishikesh - What to Buy
The adventure destination of Rishikesh does have its fair share of attractions in the local markets too. You may check out the local market for products in beads, shells and pearls besides the handicraft items. Then there are the handloom products that are very typical of the state. The pilgrims who flock to Rishikesh pick up the Rudraksh mala or the Hindu rosary along with some other natural beads.
Rishikesh - How to Reach
Jolly Grant Airport at Dehradun is the nearest to Rishikesh. This small airport is situated at a distance of about 24 km from the adventure destination of Rishikesh.
The railway station in Rishikesh connects the adventure destination with the major towns and cities of India. Some of the places could only be accessed from Haridwar.
Rishikesh is mostly accessible by road from almost all the cities and towns in and around it. The State Transport Corporation has a number of buses plying to Rishikesh connecting almost all the major cities and towns of the state and the neighboring states. Rishikesh is also connected to some important cities nearby by private tourist buses, which concentrate only on the tourism aspect. These buses run at scheduled timings covering all the major tourist destinations of Rishikesh and the nearby areas.
For transportation in and around Rishikesh there is local tempos, cycle rickshaws, ferry boats and taxis. They are easily available in Rishikesh and also in the nearby areas of importance. You may even opt for the buses that ply on the fixed routes.
Rishikesh - Best Time to Visit
You may plan your visit to Rishikesh any time of the year. Being in the hilly region, the climate of this place always remains pleasant. Though the months between October and April are the best for the tourists to enjoy Rishikesh.
Rishikesh - Where to Stay
There are several hotels in and around Rishikesh. Besides providing the lodging facilities, some of these hotels offer boarding and tour operations too. You may take your pick from the number accommodation options available at Rishikesh. The price range varies depending on the facilities the hotels provide. You may book rooms as per your budget.
There are several eateries and restaurants that offer delicious and hygienic food to the tourists in Rishikesh. You may choose from north Indian, South Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisines.
Rishikesh - Fairs and Festival
Along with the regular Hindu festivals Rishikesh is known to play host to a unique festival. The International Yoga Week is celebrated annually at Rishikesh. This festival offers an ideal opportunity to learn yoga and practice it to keep oneself fit and fine.