rishikesh photos
India

Rishikesh Travel Guide: Things To Do, Where To Stay, And More

It is easy to spend weeks in Rishikesh and feel that you have not got under its skin. It offers a seemingly different stage-set experience during every visit.

For example, if you travel to Rishikesh during monsoon season you are more likely to lose yourself in a pilgrim crowd, dominating its streets, with their confusing march pasts from Gangotri to Gaumukh. Whereas if you come here during winter, you find a place being swirled over with hippie westerners.

So where is the real Rishikesh?

Does it even exist?

Well, yes, if you know where to look. And that’s what we are going to discuss in this travel blog.

Rishikesh Travel Blog

From month-long yoga vacations to adventure sports to an overdose of religion and spirituality, there’s something for everyone in Rishikesh. And that’s what makes it one of the most popular holiday destinations in India.

Its robust, pristine nature, and the fact that it is probably the most easily accessible place in the Himalayas, from the capital city of New Delhi, makes it one of the most-visited places near Delhi. A 6-hour journey in a public bus and you find yourself at one of the many its Ganga ghats.

There are moreover many overnight Delhi to Rishikesh buses, both ordinary and luxury, costing as less as 350 Rupees. Easy accessibility is the biggest driving factor for its increasing popularity.

According to the tourism website, Rishikesh is the most visited place in the entire Uttarakhand state.

Two more suggested journeys from Delhi, if you care for more suggestions are Delhi to Manali (the most popular route from Delhi) and Delhi to Chitkul (for a little offbeat experience).

Rishikesh Travel Map

Rishikesh travel Map

The town is pretty much nestled across its two pedestrian bridges – Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula – which connect the eastern and the western sides of the city.

If you’re looking for a comparatively quiet place (though there’s nothing very quiet in Rishikesh) and something near the river Ganga, then consider staying close to Lakshman Jhula.

Ram Jhula, on the other hand, is more popular and crowded. Ram Jhuka is located in the close proximity to some of the most popular Hindu temples and Ashrams (including the famous Beatles Ashram) and is, therefore, favoured by the Indian tourists.

From Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh wends its way along both banks of the river, at the bottom of a narrow valley. The east side is almost free of car traffic.

A walk from Ram Jula to Lakshman Jula takes about half an hour and passes through many sadhu huts, parks, and scores of small shops.

Things To Do In Rishikesh

rishikesh

With overgrowing popularity, Rishikesh is getting crowded every day but still remains a charming place to visit.

For those who are travelling to Rishikesh to entertain themselves with extracurricular activities, apart from the most sought-after Yoga vacations, there is no shortage of things to see and activities to try.

Here’s a list of top things to do in Rishikesh:

  1. The waterfalls of Phool Chatti and Garud Chatti (both are located under 5kms north of Lakshman Jhula)
  2. River Rafting from the town of Shivpuri (18Kms north of Lakshman Jhula)
  3. Bunjee Jumping and other adventure sports at Mohan Chatti (15Kms from Lakshman Jhula)
  4. The evening Ganga Aartis at Parmarth Niketan
  5. Live music in Beatles Ashram, near Ram Jhula
  6. Café hopping among some of the popular chill-vibe cafés overlooking the glistering Ganges. My favourite ones include Little Buddha Cafe, The 60’s Cafe, Bistro Nirvana and the Ellbee Ganga View.

rishikesh travel

Though Rishikesh is also very intensely Hindu and there are enough culture and religion to explore around if you want to do visit other more intense pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand, I suggest you do Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath Char Dham.

The four destinations on Char Dham (translates as four holy places) are the real epitome of Hinduism in Uttarakhand.

rishikesh

Where To Stay In Rishikesh

Finding accommodation of your taste is no problem here. From budget, backpackers charging less than 200 Rupees a night to something as superior as 5000 Rupees a night you can find it all here.

If you will stay in a hostel, you will mostly find western backpackers. If you will stay in Ashrams (yes, you can stay at many Ashrams here too on pay per basis) you will mostly find Indians. Hotels can have a mixed crowd.

Ram Jhula is, moreover, where Indians tourists often stay. Laxman Jhula, on the other than is for western backpackers. Though I stay at Sivananda Ashram (we will speak about it later in the blog) every time I suggest you stay somewhere close to Laxman Jhula during your holiday there. If you are looking for best hostels, read my Hostels In Rishikesh blog for a few suggestions.

What Do I Do There!

sivananda ashram
I always have a fixed Rishikesh travel itinerary which includes spending most of my peaceful dusk/dawns by the river Ganga.

Other than that I find most of my day’s activity confined inside the premises of Rishikesh Sivananda Ashram, near Ram Jhula. This is where I once spend two months, in a stretch, practising yoga and meditation.

sivananda ashram rishikesh

The atmosphere inside the Ashram is pure tranquil, filled with an overdose of spirituality in its air. Sivananda Ashram is by far one of the few old and most sacred religious establishments in Rishikesh – which also holds a Samadhi Shrine of the revered Hindu Guru Swami Sivananda.

If meditation was the reason why you are travelling to Rishikesh in the first place then spending the early morning hours inside the Sivananda Samadhi Shrine, meditating, is a recommended experience.

meditation

How To Travel From Delhi To Rishikesh

Since the distance between the two destinations is less than 250 km, and travelling in a bus or a train takes no more than 7 hours, the very idea of taking a flight from Delhi to Rishikesh makes no sense. Having said that, we are not discussing so.

If, however, you are coming from another place in India and are taking a flight, the nearest airport to Rishikesh is in Dehradun (located around 50km away). Flights to Dehradun can be expensive as it’s a small domestic airport, so if you’re on budget travel in India, fly to Delhi.

This is how to travel from Delhi to Rishikesh…

By Bus

If you’re travelling by bus you will be happy to know that there are a few dozen daily buses running on this route. And they run day and night. Since the distance is almost 6 hours, it makes sense you catch a morning bus and reach Rishikesh by evening. If not, a late-night bus (at 11 or 12 midnight) is also a good idea to reach early morning by 5.

The bus boarding point in Delhi is Kashmere Gate that is base for both government and private buses. There are three types of Himachal Roadways buses: Ordinary, semi-luxury and Volvo. Check the website for updated prices.

I suggest you check their price on PayTm bus booking portal.

By Train

If, however, you are travelling by train, you can find about 10 trains from Delhi. Most of the trains that run on this route stop at Haridwar (located 25km away from Ram Jhula). You can take a tuktuk or a bus from Haridwar railway station that takes less than 45 minutes. A railway station in Rishikesh is currently under construction and may soon have connections running.

Do you have anything to add in this Travel Guide? Do you think the list suggested under top things to do in Rishikesh needs an addition? Spill your thoughts in the comments below!

Also, read this Uttarakhand travel guide if you are planning to visit more places in Uttarakhand after your Rishikesh travel.

About

I am Dev, and I've been travelling full-time since 2016. I was a journalism student & started my corporate career as a documentary film-maker in England, before moving to India & becoming a full-time nomad. 25+countries. 50+ Brand Partnerships. And the adventure continues...

  1. Ahmed Sayeed

    I was planning a trip to Uttarakhand but I had no idea about the train route, thank you for providing such a great and clear info about Uttarakhand Dev, hope you are doing well.

  2. I was planning a trip to Uttarakhand but I had no idea about the train route, thank you for providing such a great and clear info about Uttarakhand Dev, hope you are doing well.

  3. I love your article, it’s a great site
    Such an amazing article. You would love to see my website.

  4. Hi Dev,
    Please plan a visit to Salalah also. It is in Oman. We want to see the blog post on Salalah in your website.

  5. Priya Sharma

    Hey Dev, I have visited Rishikesh and it’s really amazing place to visit, the rafting experience was really tempting.

  6. Jimmy Sharma

    Great Article, Surely this will Help Visitors in their trip to rishikesh. Your Photos are so Good 🙂 Keep Sharing

  7. Saksham E Rickshaw

    Nice information.

  8. Ruchika Chawla

    Thanks for sharing this interesting article. Your post is amazing and informative.

  9. Hello Dev,

    Your article is such an unique from others article. I like travelling so much and i wish one day i will travel with you. Rishikesh is a most beautifull place for a travel and you choosed right place for travel.

    Thank you Dev.

  10. I feel like all your ideas are incredible! good article helped me a lot.Keep sharing your post with us.

  11. Great post

  12. Good Post. Thanks for sharing the information

  13. Kanaya Store

    thankyouuu for the informations

  14. Such a nice and helpful informative post.

  15. Matches Predictions

    Interesting and full of information guide for travelers… (Y) Keep it up

  16. Lucian Hodoboc

    Wow! That’s quite an interesting list of ‘to do’ things! Thanks for sharing this article. You have definitely triggered my curiosity.

  17. Beautiful places, thank you for sharing and very much for this great information.

  18. nigerianewsinfo nigerianews

    tanks for the information Dev, your blog indeed proved to be helpful in planning my trip to Rishikesh

  19. the very beautiful place you can add the Ganga Ghats. Ganga Ghats are spread across all the towns and cities that share the banks of the holy river also in Rishikesh

  20. Beautiful places, thanks for sharing it.

  21. Raby Dong

    Thank you for such a great information. I am planning to visit as soon in there. Again thank you very much for this great information.

  22. Punam Pandey

    Thanks for sharing this !

  23. Edmon D. Pogi

    good work!

  24. Ashley Brown

    the very beautiful place you can add the Ganga Ghats. Ganga Ghats are spread across all the towns and cities that share the banks of the holy river also in Rishikesh

  25. Techun Wrap

    Nice Article…Thanks for sharing.

  26. Paul Hyden

    Wow, superb Info!, thanks for displaying this article, It was absolute pleasure reading this post and Interested to visit this place.

  27. love this travel guide Dev

  28. pushpendra singh

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    Thank you so much for your suggestion.such a wonderful information.it is really the best post very useful.

  30. It was incredible! I still go back there in my mind when I meditate.

  31. Wow! This article is really interesting and helpful. thank you for a detailed guide!

  32. very informative guide on Rishikesh. Thanks for sharing.

  33. flowerskarts

    I just love yoga. Very good suggestions and knowledge about yoga, i am really impressed by your views.I was looking for this from last 4 days finally i got cleared. thanks for sharing buddy.

  34. Thank you for sharing great post. it is very nice .

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    good info

  36. thanks for share…

  37. آهنگ جدید

    Yoga gives me a special comfort that I have not experienced before

  38. thanks for share…

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    Thanks for Sharing this information

  40. Ravi Kumar

    Nice blog DEV ji Thank you for sharing great information

  41. Antivirus Daddy

    Hey, Thank u for sharing your wonderful experience with us. That was a great article indeed.

  42. Hello, Such a awesome information..Thanks for sharing the information..!!

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  48. Nice Post… Thanks for sharing this information.

    • Lets go Rishikesh… I have been gathering information about traveling to an ancient like this. And this is very informative and straightforward.
      Thanks so much for sharing this.

  49. Nice and very unique post… Thank you very much…

  50. Nice Deals

    Excellent article.its very intresting and very helpful for me and others

  51. It is such a great information. 🙂

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