Rishikesh – (S)piritual or (A)drenalin?

These 2 words come straight out of dictionary to describe Rishikesh. A place where your soul would feel confused to go for divinity or rush. Read on to pacify your hormones.

A city situated in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, among the foothills of Himalayas. The sacred river Ganges flows through, making it one amazing destination to visit.

I had my visit here back in April 2017 from a warm Punjab Trip. The city was dotted with pilgrims, adventure-seekers, confused travelers & lots of locals. With scores of devotee flags and people enchanting ‘Jai Mata Di’ (Hail the Goddess), the place was seeming eternal. Tourist season was in full-flow & all hotels & stays were overbooked. Package tour operators were not even entertaining customers as they were enjoying the season with both hands.

Tip: Booking early will save you money!

Rishikesh, as the name suggests, is a land of sages and saints who visited in ancient times. Rishikesh is also known as ‘The Yoga Capital of the world’ as it has a number of yoga & meditation centres to learn & practice. People throng here & stay for months if not days just to attain perfection in this field. Consequently though, they turn into a regular visitor.

 

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(In pic above: One of the most sought after activity in Rishikesh, Yoga!)

TheTwin National Heritage Cities’ of India are Rishikesh and Haridwar. The topology of Rishikesh encompasses hilly terrain, mountainous range & a beautiful river flowing in between. The nature sets in to give you a spectacle. Spiritually speaking, the place has lots of temples, pilgrim stories & sacred places to visit.

This place is as ideal it could get, well suited for all types of travellers. Pilgrimage and spirituality invites old-age travellers with families. Adventure activities pull young couples, solo travellers and foreign tourists.

Pilgrims flock here to witness the evening ganga aarti at Parmarth Niketan Ghat and take a holy dip in the sacred Ganges, considered a step closer to attain Moksha or freedom.

 

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(In pic above: Rafting in the ganges in Rishikesh)

There are a lots of adventure sports provider to cater & satisfy the adrenalin gushing inside you. Camping in nature and staying under stars is the ideal way to go! (This comes straight out of an ideal dream, but hey, you can do this actually)

Caution: Do not forget to check operator’s licence when you go for adventure activities, do it from a trusted brand or entity, they should be registered with concerned authorities

Rishikesh displays a perfect balance & calmness for all type of travellers, as they criss-cross the streets & walk through those same by-lanes of the shopping markets. More often, you will see more foreign nationals, making people confused what this city is offering them (I bet you need to explore this place).

Must noteNon-Veg Food & Alcohol is not permitted due to religious importance of the place.

Lakshman Jhula is one of the iconic spots of Rishikesh (at a distance of 5kms from city centre). It is an iron suspension bridge over river Ganges which connects two villages of Tapovan & Jonk. The other one is Ram Jhula, situated 2kms away from this place.

A number of meditation centres, spa centres, expedition points and ayurveda centres are located in this area. It is termed as the main activity spot of the city, as it keeps buzzing through the day.

The city is a starting point for the famous Char-Dham Yatra (Four sacred-place expedition) of Badrinath (Lord Vishnu), Kedarnath (Lord Shiva), Yamunotri (Origin of River Yamuna from Yamunotri Glacier) & Gangotri (Origin of River Ganga from Gangotri Glacier) where scores of pilgrims participate to experience the thrill.

 

For tourists into pilgrimage & divinity:
Place to Visit Entry Fee (INR)
Tera Manzil Temple Free
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple Free
Sivananda Ashram Free
Beatles Ashram Free
Laxman Jhula Free
Ram Jhula Free

One can book stays at ashram too, which provide budget accommodation. Few of them are Madhuban Ashram, Yoga Niketan Ashram, Parmarth Niketan Ashram

 

For adventure-seekers in Rishikesh, below is your list
Things to do Cost (INR)
Camping Starts from 1,300
River Rafting Starts from 800
Bungee Jumping Starts from 3,500
Flying Fox Starts from 1,800
Giant Swing Starts from 3,500
Jungle Safari Starts from 1,100
Rajaji National Park 150 (Indians), 600 (Non-Indians)

Few places from where you can book your adventure activities are Haridwar Rishikesh Tourism, River Rafting in Rishikesh, Jumpin Heights

Additionally,

  • Cost may vary for different operators
  • I suggest you to take combo of above activities as it will cost you cheaper by 10%-15%
  • There are restrictions on who can do these activities. Check before you book as it depends on a person’s medical condition, age & height. (Several factors you see!)
  • The cost of river rafting depends on the length (distance) of the activity chosen.
  • Other adventure activities include Cliff Jumping, Body Surfing, Trekking

 

Therefore, i would highly recommend you a trip to Rishikesh, covering all this city has to offer, from soaking the purity & divinity in the air, to performing yoga & meditation at its centres, rafting along its scariest patches & sleeping under the stars besides the same river. Trust me, you will re-discover yourself. (and do not forget me, Phew)

I am certain you would have made up your mind to explore Rishikesh. Let me know what makes you pack by commenting below.