India is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. People throng from all parts of the world to visit the famed sights – the majestic Himalayas, grand Taj Mahal, historical Rajasthan, beaches of Goa, and enchanting Kerala. But honestly, these places are just the tip of the iceberg. India has countless hidden gems that need to be visited and explored as they all offer something unique and beautiful.
Rishikesh is one of the places that is often overlooked by visitors as they prefer to visit more popular and famous attractions. Located on the foot of the Himalayas and nestled on the banks of the River Ganges, Rishikesh is a charming little town that manages to attract adventure-lovers, religious-devotees, yoga-enthusiasts, spiritual-seekers, nature-lovers, and even historians. With so many in-demand getaways like Mussoorie, Nanital, Simla, Kedarnath, Dharamshala, Varanasi, and Jim Corbett Park in the vicinity, you may be asking why Rishikesh is one of our a preferred destinations in the area.
The answer is because Rishikesh is an incredibly spiritual destination that is slowly gaining popularity in recent years, and you can get there before everyone else does.
Lots to Explore
The quaint town has many famous attractions that must be explored. Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Beatles Ashram, and Rajaji National Park are all popular tourist sites. If you had your fill of the spectacular scenic beauty of the jade-green Ganges surrounded by the mighty Himalayas, there is lots more. Venture out to the holy Ghats for a dip in the Ganges, rent a scooter to explore the gorgeous secluded beaches, visit the countless temples & Ashrams scattered all over the town or just watch the spectacular sunset while sipping some hot masala tea.
Yoga Capital of the World
If you want to practice Yoga, Rishikesh is a must-visit. Known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, the city is famous for its Yoga schools, retreats, and Ashrams that teach Yoga and meditation. Yogis come to Rishikesh from all over the world to teach Yoga. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced Yogi, you will learn a lot about the depth and intricacies of practicing Yoga.
Rishikesh is also a good place to learn about Ayurvedic medicines and therapies – the traditional Indian system of medicine.
Rishikesh has recently emerged as the adventure hub of India. The adventure junkies from all over the country visit Rishikesh to satiate their adrenaline rush. There is no dearth of adventure activities in Rishikesh – river rafting, bungee jumping, cliff-jumping, mountain-biking, rappelling, parasailing, and lots more. Take your pick and don’t look down.
Every day during sunset, you can participate in a vibrant Ganga Aarti that takes place on Triveni Ghat. It is an amazing sight to watch a row of priests standing with huge lighted divas in front of the Ganges and chanting bhajans and chants. The devotees participate with full fervor and the whole atmosphere is festive and spiritual. Even if you are not religious, you can’t help being swayed by the infectious vibes and energy of the Ganga Aarti. An experience that should not be missed.
Rishikesh is one of the most religious places in India and pilgrims come from all parts of the country to take a holy dip in the sacred Ganges River. The sacred town is dotted with temples where devotees pray and meditate. The spiritual experience is bound to touch your soul and inspire you to look inward and connect with the mystical powers of the world. If you are looking for peace and calm to introspect and meditate, you will love Rishikesh.
Can any experience be complete without good food? Rishikesh has lots of trendy cafes and joints that can be found in narrow alleys and lanes of the peaceful town. The cafes provide panoramic views of the Ganges and Himalayas and offer the best of Indian and international cuisine. The international dishes will amaze you with their authentic taste and flavors. You will get delicious gluten-free, vegan, and other healthy options to gorge on. Since Rishikesh is considered a holy town, non-veggie food is scarce and alcohol is taboo. But the amazing vegetarian food served in the restaurants make-up for any craving you might be feeling for meat.
If you love camping, Rishikesh is one of the best places to try it in India. Many camps have been housed on the white beaches of the River Ganges. The camps come equipped with meals and all the necessary amenities. You can play volleyball, take part in adventure activities, and relax around bonfires at night. What can be more relaxing than waking up to the sound of the flowing river and chirping birds?
Shopping is always an added incentive to visit a place, and flea and local markets in Rishikesh are brimming with local treasures. The town is small and it is easy to walk around and shop. The rows of shops offer semi-precious jewels, organic products, artsy goodies, antiques, statues, sequined tapestries, handmade crafts, beads, essential oils, religious paraphernalia, and so much more. Everything is available at amazing prices, so keep some extra space in your bags to fill them with handcrafted souvenirs.
Get inspired by the Street Art displayed on the walls, bridges, tree-trunks, and roofs in Rishikesh. You can find colorful and vivid graffiti sprayed in nooks and corners of the Rishikesh adding to the charm of the divine city.
Gateway to Chota Char Dham
Last, but not least, Rishikesh is also a getaway to India’s most sacred pilgrim sites – Gangotri, Badrinath, Yamunotri, and Kedarnath. It is also known as the ‘Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas’, as it is a good starting point to explore the popular destinations of the Himalayan region.
If these reasons are not enough to put Rishikesh on your must-visit places, I don’t know what will. Plan a trip to Rishikesh and you will definitely feel rejuvenated by the spiritual and peaceful vibes of this holy city.