Rishikesh is a city in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand, situated in the Himalayan foothills beside the holy Ganges River. The city is a centre for yoga and meditation; and is for the most part, alcohol-free and vegetarian enclave upstream from Rishikesh town.
Rishikesh has many historical, religious as well as ecological attractions. Here are some of the best things to see in Rishikesh:
- Triveni Ghat – It is the biggest Ghat (a flight of steps leading down to a river) on the Ganges in Rishikesh A beautiful place to watch the evening Ganga Aarti, which is a religious ritual conducted near the Ganges River every evening between 6 and 7 pm.
- Shivpuri – This is a place that people go to for river rafting, which is a famous adventure sport in Rishikesh. Rishikesh is one of the popular locations in India for adventurous activities, especially white river rafting.
- Jumping Heights – a popular spot for Bungee jumping.
If you are planning a trip to Rishikesh, do not forget to pay a visit to these below listed places :
- Tera Manzil Mandir – A holy multi-storey temple located on the banks of river Ganga in Rishikesh. It is also known as Tryambakeshwar temple.
- Laxman Jhula – A 450-feet long bridge suspended at the height of 70 feet from the river below; this was built in the year 1939 and it is believed that this is the place where Lord Ram’s Laxman crossed the Ganga River on a jute rope.
- Ram Jhula – Another suspension bridge, almost similar in structure and construction to Laxman Jhula; this was built in 1980.
- Shri Bharat Mandir – An ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Hrishikesh Narayan.
- Neelkanth Mahadev Temple – A Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
….and many more!
The popular festivals celebrated in Rishikesh include the following:
- International Yoga & Musical Festival – Organized every year in the city to spread knowledge on Yoga.
- Dussehra – A 10-day festival, worshipping goddess Durga.
- Diwali – Festival of lights.
Rishikesh also has few museums and galleries that showcase its heritage and culture, such as:
- Archaeological Museum
- Beatles Museum
- Madhubani Art of India
- Historical Sculpture Museum
Rishikesh has an interesting shopping scene, and is popular for pooja essentials, sarees, shawls and religious artefacts. Some of the best shopping spots in the city include:
- Laxman Jhula Market
- Rishikesh Main Market
- Garhwal Wool & Craft Shop
- Ram Jhula Market
- Gole Market
- Shyampur Haat Bazaar
The people of Rishikesh typically eat north Indian foods such as Roti (whole wheat flatbreads), Dal (lentils) and Sabzi (vegetable curries) but the city is also famous for its lip-smacking street foods like:
- Samosa (Potato and Peas stuffed fried snack – goes well with a cup of evening tea/Chai or coffee); Rishikesh also has fruit and chocolate stuffed variants of these!
- Channa Puri – Also called Chole Bhature; Chole/Channa means cooked chickpeas curry and Puri/Bhature mean deep fried flatbread made from unleavened whole-wheat dough.
- Yak Milk Tea or Coffee – This is popular in the Himalayan regions in India; and is a must-try.
Here are the best places to eat in Rishikesh, where these delicacies and more can be found:
- Ganga Beach Restaurant
- Amrit Ganga Bhujonalaya
- Ramana’s Organic Cafe
- Ayurpak (For pure organic food, made with home grown vegetables and herbs)
- Tulsi Restaurant
- Little Buddha Cafe
- Oasis Restaurant
When in Rishikesh, here are some of the best hotels to stay at for a great experience and comfort:
- Aloha on The Ganges
- Ganga Kinare – A Riverside Boutique Hotel
- The Narayana Palace by Salvus
- Lemon Tree Premier, Rishikesh
- Sanskriti Vedic Retreat (Hotel & Spa)
- Hotel Ishan – A Riverside Retreat by Salvus
- Zostel Rishikesh 2.0
- Swiss Cottage & Spa by Salvus
- Skyard Rishikesh
Rishikesh city STD Code – 0135 (to be used before dialling numbers from a number that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Police –100
- Fire – 101
- Ambulance – 102
- Women Helpline – 1090
- AIDS Helpline – 1097
- Child Helpline – 1098
Hindi is the official language of Rishikesh. But, language like Garhwali is spoken as well.
- Welcome - Svagat
- How are you? - Aap kaise hai?
- What's your name? - Aapka naam kya hai?
- I don't know - Mujhe nahi pata
- I don't understand - Mein samjha nahi
- Thank you - Dhanyavad