Rishikesh is the Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas and also the Yoga capital of the world besides being an important Hindu religious site. Here are some things that can be done in this sacred city.
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The Ganga Aarti at Rishikesh
Yes, a must do while in Rishikesh is to be a part of the Ganga Aarti which takes place every evening along the banks of the river Ganga. It’s a spiritual experience to be a part of the entire aarti which starts around sunset and carries on into the night sky.
Sunset by the Ganges
There are various places along the banks of the river where you’ll find a good place to actually sit along the banks of the river and just watch the light turn into darkness and the two bridges light up with their solar lighting. Make sure you discover a spot of your own and don’t end up going to the overcrowded spots.
Over the years, Rishikesh has become the adventure capital of India and river rafting on the Ganges has become the go to activity for everyone who comes to Rishikesh for the first time. There are various kinds of rafting from entry level six kms to advanced 28 kms long stretches where one will encounter various kinds of rapids along the journey.
Camping options in Rishikesh are in plenty along the banks of the River Ganga and in the forest area unhill around Rishikesh. If you plan on camping by the river, then be prepared for a short hike or walk and also for the cell phone network to be a bit up and down. Camping in Rishikesh is an absolute must do. The tents here will keep you warm and cosy in winters, too.
Laxman and Ram Jhulas
The two bridges that help travellers and pilgrims cross over from one side to another are Laxman and Ram Jhulas. It’s the best way to explore the two sides of Rishikesh by simply crossing over on foot. Make sure you go there early in the morning to avoid the crowd, if you’re looking for a good picture along the bridge.
Being located on the foothills of the Himalayas, Rishikesh serves as a base camp for higher altitude treks in this region of the Himalayas. There are numerous hill trials in and around Rishikesh. Roopkund Trek, being one of the best hikes to do if you’re planning on going trekking.
Rishikesh is considered to be the Yoga capital of the world. So expect to find plenty of yoga centre’s all over this town. You can enrol for a day session, three days, week long or even month long. It’s a must try if you have time on your hands and are not on a rush trip.
Visit the ashrams
Being a holy city, Rishikesh is dotted with countless ashrams mainly located in close proximity to the temples. If you’re planning a tight budget trip, then staying in one of the ashrams is the best way to go about things. Alcohol and smoking is strictly prohibited in these ashrams.
Have the street food
Street food is something you must try while here in Rishikesh. The gol gappas, momos and bhel are some of the few things that are definitely worth trying while wandering the streets of Rishikesh.
Stay for at least two to five days
If you have made it till here, then you know that even five days might not be enough to cover everything that is mentioned on this list. So the best way around this is to plan as per what you are looking to experience and go about it without having to rush around is the best way to explore.