Rishikesh- The Heaven on Earth

Rishikesh doesn’t require any introduction. It is the land of the sages and Ganga rules here. What really separates this place from the other hill stations in India is the presence of Ganga in the midst of mountains all surrounded by trees, soothing environment, pure air, yogic gurus, ashrams filled with foreigners and no alcohol. Yes you read it right; alcohol is banned in this pure city of Ganga!

The location of this city is just perfect. With perfect I mean that it is just perfect to reach other holy places and hill stations and commutation is no problem at all. The best way to reach Rishikesh is via bus, any other personal vehicle or taxi. Jolly Grant is the nearest airport and Haridwar railway station is the nearest railway station. One has to board a bus or some other vehicle to reach this magical land.
I have been thrice to Rishikesh and it is one of my most favourite destinations in India. And every time I visit this place I feel the experience is totally new and totally different. From wandering on the streets carelessly without the sound of vehicles to sitting near the Ganga beach with the sound of river, there is not one thing that I don’t love about this place. You get peace, serene ambiance, nature love, various food cuisines, lots of friendly people & animals, and different types of music.

This blog is all about Rishikesh and what you should not miss being there. So let’s get started-

Where to reside?

Just like all other places, make my trip and goibibo has got this covered on internet. But my personal experience says booking the hotel after getting to know the detailed prices and facilities is the best. You can find all types of guest houses, 3 to 5 star hotels here. In fact there is a great variety and so you can choose from the best ones.
My personal favourite has been Divine Resort which gives an exquisite feel and totally a different experience. I happened to take the deluxe suite with the Ganges view. Imagine sleeping to the sound of water and waking up in the sun to the beautiful Ganga view. It was like a room on river literally!

You get all types of meals in this resort and the stay can be really expensive. The stay becomes even more comfortable with wonderful room services and pool zone. There is a roof top dining area that has much more than the food.
Other than divine resort there are several other hotels like Aloha on the Ganges & Ananda in the Himalayas that offer great services. Try and take a hotel which is close to Laxman Jhula as you can get many eating options nearby & it is close to the rafting spots and temples.

Where to eat?

Rishikesh is all about cafes with beautiful view. Opt for options like Ganga view cafe, German bakery, Tat Cafe, Beatles Cafe, Vjs by the Ganges and Freedom Cafe. Divine Cafe & bakery is also a good option to treat your eyes and tummy. Choti wala is a chain restaurant quite popular for its food. Every cafe is quite unique and has some great music to keep you delighted.

What is Rishikesh famous for?

Rishikesh is the hub for art, artists, yoga and yoginis. The sand beaches are a soul treat in probably every season of the year. The Sound of Ganga River and the view of waves lashing hard on the beach rocks give a pleasure like never before. It is my favourite part of trip and it gives me memories that take me back and again to this holy spot!
There are many yoga ashrams that provide yoga courses all round the year. It is perfect for yoga beginners and patients who need fresh air, yoga therapies and blessings of Goddess Ganga.

The Sunrises and Sunsets amidst the mountains enrich the soul and take you to the other side of the world. Waterfalls and sightseeing in Rishikesh is worth your time.

River rafting is something for which Rishikesh is super famous. There are numerous adventure sports agencies that will take you for trekking, rafting, cliff jumping and bungee jumping. All you need is to pay them and they will make sure that you get the most exciting adrenal rush ever.

Ganga Arti takes place on all the nearby temples and shores. The most famous evening Arti takes place at Parmarth Niketan and Triveni Ghat. The prayer is offered to Maa Ganga to seek her blessings and ask for prosperity & wellness. This traditional offering has been taking place since thousands of years in Rishikesh.

Ram Jhula & Laxman Jhula are the two bridges that connect parts of Rishikesh. The Ram Jhula connects the Sivananda Nagar to Swargashram. The bridge is bigger than Laxman Jhula. Laxman Jhula connects the Tapovan area To the Jonk Area. It is so fascinating to know that the bridge is not just for humans but also for animals. You can easily find cows walking on the bridge along with motorbikes passing through the same path. The best view comes when the bridges are lit and you can see the reflection in the water. The view is simply mystical.

What is the best time to visit Rishikesh?

Rishikesh is best for dealing with summers. It is the ideal location to see the waters flowing in Monsoon and it is simply beautiful to witness the beauty of nature during Winter season. So I suggest, there is no perfect time to visit Rishikesh. Instead, it is a perfect location to be seen anytime and every time. The place is really crowded during Summer whereas March & October are pleasant times to feel the freshness of this City.

Which type of food is available in Rishikesh?

Rishikesh like all Indian cities serves street foods & tea. Sometimes the street food is all we want on the go. Apart from street food, Rishikesh is the food store for foreigners. So you get to eat German food, French food, Thai Food, Russian food, Chinese, Continental & Pure Indian Food. What else you can wish for?

Famous Temples in Rishikesh

Rishikesh is the land of the Gods and sages worshipping Gods. Temple lovers can find many small & large temples here. Triambakeshwar temple, Parmarth Niketan Temple, Sivananda Ashram, Triveni Ghat & Kunjapuri Devi Temple are the most famous ones. Neelkanth Temple is also very famous for Lord Shiva’s poison. It is believed when Gods and Demons churned the ocean to get the Amrita, Lord Shiva consumed the poison that emerged in the process & was known as Neelkanth, meaning the one with blue throat. Devotees can also visit Haridwar which has many temples and is just 19.9kms away.

Shri Makar Vahini Ganga Ji is a simple temple near the bank of Ganges and it has the way to reach the area filled with pebbles near the Ganga River.

The shopaholics too can have fun at this place. There are many shops and brands like Fabindia from where you can get all types of clothing. Accessories like gemstone studded necklaces, rings, anklets, bracelets are the major attractions of the market. The colourful dresses, boho pants, indo-western outfits and traditional clothes can give you a wonderful shopping experience. My personal favourites are the boho pants and t-shirt with mantras printed on them. People who want to get inked with mantras or special tattoos can get what they want at Angels Ink Tatoo place.
There are many more take aways for family here. You can find a variety of toys for kids, silk & cotton handloom for family, footwear and unique key chains for friends. The list is never ending & you can imagine what a fun time it is for the shopaholics like me!

What else can you find in Rishikesh?

A location worth mentioning near Rishikesh is Rajaji National Park. It is 18.4 kms away from Rishikesh. The park conserves the flora and fauna of Uttarakhand. It is famous for jungle safari & for its large variety of fauna which includes Asian elephants, Sambar deer, Wild boar, Cheetal & antelopes. All those who enjoy nature treats can enjoy the comfortable stay at Wild Brook Retreat near Rajaji National Park.

The beauty of Rishikesh has made its way to the hearts of foreigners and bollywood celebrities who are often seen chilling in Rishikesh these days. It is a must visit place and people like me will visit time and again to seek peace and serenity that gives a break from the chaos caused by the fast paced lifestyle!

Neha TiwariRishikesh- The Heaven on Earth