5 July, 2021 | Reccy Guide
Rishikesh is a tehsil of Dehradun and an equally stunning place to visit. It stands out due to its ‘Yogic’ ambiance, as it is home to several ashrams and shelters countless Yogis. Rishikesh is one of the holiest places in the country, positioned as one of the top Hindu pilgrimage spots in India. Placed 340 meters above sea level, it is known for its serene, boundless beauty; Rishikesh also offers several recreational activities to its tourists. Home to some of the most breathtaking Himalayan attractions, Rishikesh has carved its place in pop culture as well. The Beatles famously visited it in 1968 to participate in Transcendental Meditation. Rishikesh also acts as the starting point to various popular treks in India, including Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek, Brahmatal Trek, Valley of Flowers Trek, Dayara Bugyal Trek and the Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek. Resting behind the ever-flowing Ganges, Rishikesh can be defined as a place where spirituality and natural beauty merge to form a little piece of heaven on earth.
How to reach?
The nearest airport from the hub is Jolly Grant, located in Dehradun. This airport enjoys good connectivity with the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi NCR. It also has direct flights to Mumbai and connecting flights to various other cities in India. From Jolly Grant, you need to rent a cab or take a bus to reach Rishikesh, which is just 35 kilometers away.
If you are traveling via train, you can get down at the Rishikesh railway station. You need to reach the Rishikesh railway station via train from the Haridwar railway station. There is excellent railway connectivity from major Indian cities to Haridwar. Alternatively, you can get down at Haridwar railway station and drive to Rishikesh. Rishikesh has a massive network of motorable roads, connected to major North-Indian cities like New Delhi, Dehradun and Haridwar. While you get the Uttarakhand state transport buses from Dehradun and Haridwar, there are also options of daily inter-state night-bus service from Kashmiri Gate ISBT, New Delhi.
Where to stay?
Rishikesh acts as the hub for numerous adventure activities that spread across Uttarakhand and other parts of Northern India. Hence, finding accommodation in Rishikesh is a cakewalk. There is a wide range of accommodation options for Rishikesh. These include luxury and boutique hotels that usually have a high star rating, guesthouses, backpackers’ hostels, standard hotels, homestays, etc. According to your choice of accommodation, the price per night will vary. It ranges from USD 7 to 10 (INR 500 – 800) for hostels having dormitories and decent homestays. Standard hotels and guesthouses charge a little more, approximately USD 15 to 30 (INR 1000 – 2400) per night. The luxury hotels, boutique hotels and other high star-rated options have a per night price tag of USD 100 (INR 7500) and more. Of course, all these prices will vary according to your choice of add-ons and amenities. The prices will soar in the peak tourist season and it will also be hard to get an accommodation without prior booking. But traveling with a renowned tour operator or travel agency keeps you covered against those uncertainties. Apart from these pricey options, there are several GMVN resorts, guesthouses and tourist complexes that are relatively inexpensive but deliver quality amenities.
One of the most popular places to shop at Rishikesh is the Rishikesh Main Market. It hosts a variety of items like jewelry, woolens, handicrafts, and even eatables. The Garhwal Wool and Craft shop has amassed a lot of popularity as one of the best shops for Woolens and handicrafts. You can also check out the Khadi Bandar and the Shagun Plaza for clothing, arts and crafts, and jewelry items as well.
But amongst these, the Ram Jhula and the Laxman Jhula markets are known for their wide range of bags, clothes, handicrafts, utensils, gemstones, and books. They are filled with street vendors selling unique collectibles and other essential items- and you can find them on any day except Thursday.
The beautiful Triveni Ghat is amongst the most popular locations in Rishikesh. The spiritual aura around this holy ghat is what makes it so unique. The best time to visit it is early in the morning- to soak in the naked beauty of the mighty river Ganges. Other than that, the Neer Garh Waterfall is known for its pristine beauty and unparalleled ambiance.
If you visit Rishikesh, you ought to check out the Popular Beatles Ashram, known for its pop-cultural significance. The Sivananda Ashram and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram are two other extremely popular yogic ashrams at Rishikesh.
Rishikesh is also famous for fun and thrilling activities like Rafting, Trekking, Bungee Jumping, and Kayaking. You can opt for an exciting rafting adventure on the Ganga and its tributaries from Rishikesh. You can also embark upon the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek from here, which takes you to Gaumukh, or the birthplace of Ganges. The Auden’s Col Trek is a challenging yet worthy trek as well, which begins at Gangotri. The mesmerizing Kedartal Lake is the destination point for the Kedartal Trek, which will bring you to the mystical Kedar Tal, named after Lord Shiva.
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14 July, 2021 | Reccy Guide