”The Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas”, ”The Land of Gods”, ”The Yoga Capital of the World” – all these names refer to just one place i.e. Rishikesh. Situated on the foothills of the Himalayas, in the northern part of India (225 km North to the Capital, New Delhi), Rishikesh is outlined by three main districts of Uttrakhand namely Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal, and Haridwar. Very well connected with the rest of the country, Rishikesh is adapting fast to ever-changing modern times while also hoarding down to its authenticity, holiness, and purity.
This holy city, all around the year, hosts millions of pilgrims, travelers, and learners who come here seeking spiritual bliss, adventure, Yoga & Meditation, Ayurveda, peace, and more. Rishikesh is the abode for thousands of Sadhus, Aghoris, and hermits who indulge in Meditation and Yoga along the banks of the holy Ganges, they are often found passing down their wisdom and knowledge to deserving disciples. People from around the globe find peace and solace here in this ancient city which feels like home to everyone regardless of where they are coming from!
Yoga Capital of The World
In ancient times, Saints, Yogis, and Gurus dwell in this place to attain peace and spirituality. With time, their practices proliferated here, establishing Rishikesh as the birthplace of the Ayurveda, Yoga, Meditation, and Spirituality.
Considered as the birthplace of yoga, this place is famously referred to as the “Yoga Capital of the World”. What possibly one can write about something so self-explanatory.
Yoga all day, every day!
This is the ultimate place for yoga retreats and yoga teacher training, equally popular and preferred amongst foreigners and natives. Those seeking health and knowledge, come to Rishikesh and do Yoga in numerous temples, ashrams, and Yoga institutes. Location, vibes, serenity, and culture add up to the Yoga experience in Rishikesh.
Waterfall – Neer / Patna/ Phoolchatti
Neer waterfall, also known as ‘Neer Gaddu’ and ‘The Jade Blue Neergarh waterfalls’ is at a distance of 9 km from Railway station and 5 km from Lakshman Jhula. On the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway, this place falls on the left side of the road within a few minutes of drive from Rishikesh. A narrow road leads to a small ticket counter, where one can buy a pass to trek up to the waterfall. The ticket would cost less than 50 bucks.
The friendly and easy trek leads to the waterfall, radiating blue-green beauty. It is an attraction amongst the tourists, and many are found bathing in cold waters as it streams down to meet the Ganges ultimately.
‘Patna Waterfall’- because it is situated on the way to a village called “Patna”. 5 km from Lakshman Jhula on Neelkanth Mandir Road marks the starting point for 2 km trek to Patna Waterfall through Rajaji Forest. Limestone Caves located right next to waterfall amidst lush greenery and always streaming cold water is what is worth experiencing. Like many other places in India, there are some famous legends associated with this place too. Many say that there is a temple with an idol of Lord Vishnu deep inside one of the caves. Trek to the waterfall is a bit of labor, but the fruit of the same is mesmerizing. Upon reaching the top, the natural beauty, lush greenery, sound of water streaming down, and the ultra-cool breeze makes you forget all the labor and pain.
River rafting is a unique sports adventure activity. It is picking up as a trend in India as more and more people are being fascinated by this adventurous experience. Anyone above the age of 12 years can do rafting, moreover, swimming is not a prerequisite skill to partake in this water sports. This goes to show that this adventure sport is actually safe.
Rafting in Rishikesh is a standout experience! Ghats of holy The Ganges can be about serenity, peace, and calm but at the same time white water storming down from the laps of the Himalayas can give a massive boost to anyone’s adrenaline.
There are three to four different starting points of Rafting in Rishikesh – 9 km rafting- starts from Shivpuri; 17 km rafting- starts from Marine Drive; 27 km rafting- starts from Kaudiyala.
Camping on The River Side
Apart from being a holy city, an abode for saints, sages, and old age people, Rishikesh has always been featuring in the wishlist of young travelers. Youth connects with this place and to get the mess and chaos of city life out of their heads, they often come to Rishikesh – the coolest place to hang out. What adds to this is the option of riverside camping.
Camping! that too on the banks of Ganges. This can excite anyone. Those who want to stay closer to nature, feel how it is like to experience nature first hand often avoid hotels and look for camping accommodations. There are proper options for those who would like to try such options, Wild Hawk Adventures being the one.
WildHawk at Phoolchatti offers 30 River Side Eco-tent situated in the lap of the majestic Himalayas on the banks of the holy river. They offer everything their guest can ask for. This camping accommodation service is a real bet.
Kinjapuri Trek is another brilliant gem of the package ‘Rishikesh’. A hike to Kunjapuri temple from Rishikesh can be an enjoyable experience. This trek is a 9km uphill walk. It will take about 4-5 to reach there. Those who want to enjoy the views of mountains but are not really up for a long trek on foot can drive up to the hill as there is a road leading to Temple.
From the hilltop, one gets an astonishing panoramic view of The Himalayas. Peaks like Chaukhamba and Sumeru are visible from the top. The temple at the end of the trek is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Kunjadevi. Locals have high respect and faith in the goddess.
Neelkanth Temple is one of the most famous and visited temples in Rishikesh. Associated with Lord Shiva, it is a significant place in regards to Hindu Mythology. According to mythology, to save the world from evil, death, and destruction, Shiva drank the venom that was churned out of the ocean. It is said that Lord Shiv had the capacity to not let venom go into his body, and he reserved it in his throat eternally. The venom could not harm him, apart from turning his throat murky blue. From here on Lord Shiva got the name ‘Neelkantha’ – The one with Blue Throat.
This temple is located at an altitude of 1675 m on the hilltop of Swarg Ashram. Just 30 Km from Rishikesh and at the altitude of 1675m on the hilltop of Swarg Ashram, is the Neelkanth Temple. In the icy season, one has to go through snow-capped mountains and forests to reach this place.
At a distance of 2 km climb from the Neelkantha temple, there is Parvati temple on the top of the hill. A further trek of 2 km leads to a Cave with a small temple. The scenery throughout the way is astonishing.
Aarti at Triveni Ghaat
The Ganga Aarti also called Maha Aarti at Triveni Ghat is an evening prayer performed in the praise of River Ganga. Aarti is composed to praise the goddess Ganga and to thank her for being the source of life for millions of people.
This Aarti is a major highlight for all those visiting Rishikesh. A large number of devotees and visitors gather on Triveni Ghat to have an experience of the Aarti. Amidst the chanting of bhajans, drum beating, and bells, hundreds of people lit diyas (candles) and release them to float in the holy river. Illuminated lamps, lightings on the ghat, and the sound of chanting, drums, and bells, all this is sure to rejuvenate one’s mind and soul.