An epicenter of both spirituality and adventure, Rishikesh has lots to offer to everyone. Some head to this divine place to explore the spirit and soul while others come here in the search of adventure avenues. With Ganges flowing right through the heart of lush green mountains, you can not miss but hear the melody of ringing bells and chants of worship. Move a little ahead and soon you will be thrilled with the roar of adventure seekers paddling their rafts through the waves of Ganges. Beautiful Rishikesh valley has everything to offer whatever you wish for. Here is our list of top 10 most popular fun things to do in Rishikesh that you can soak your soul into –
1. River Rafting in Ganges – An unforgettable Experience
Nothing can top the list of to do things in Rishikesh better than a rafting experience. White water rafting in Rishikesh, is considered the best in India. It is not only quite safe, affordable but also challenging enough for all type of adventurers – beginners or experienced. Rafting stretch from Shivpuri to Rishikesh is the most popular one with few Grade III rapids that will make it an adventurous memorable experience for you. Oct to Nov (Post Monsoon) and Feb to June (Post winter and till monsoon) are the best months for rafting in Rishikesh.
Read more about our Rafting experience in Rishikesh here.
2. Beat your fear with Bungee Jumping, Highest in India
Nothing can beat the experience of taking a plunge from the highest Bungee jump platform in India. You will get goosebumps just by looking at the height of the platform and some will even give up but you do not turn back from ticking off Bungee Jumping from your bucket list. Jumpin heights has completed 50,000 jumps, all safe and that claim was good enough for us to take a plunge with them during our Rishikesh trip.
Read more about our Bungee Jumping Experience in Rishikesh here.
3. Go for Mountain Hiking around Rishikesh
Hikes around Rishikesh in the peace of lush green mountains is an experience by itself. You will not find any rush, traffic or pollution if you take those day hikes through the mountain villages. Kunjapuri day trek is a great option. You may also explore a 2-hour hike from Rishikesh to the base of Neer Garh Waterfall.
4. Stay in a Camp on River Bank
You can stay at camps on the bank of Ganges tributary. Earlier camps were right there on the sand banks of river Ganga but these have now been shifted basis an order from National Green Tribunal. Stay at camp near water stream far from the hustle bustle of the town is itself a unique experience. Enjoy bonfire at night and wake up in the morning with sun looking right at you.
5. Watch Sunrise/Sunset from Ram and Lakshman Jhula
Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula are the most famous destinations in Rishikesh. People throng to these hanging iron bridges to experience their vibrations and also to have a panoramic view of mighty Ganga. During day time, they would be really crowded but going there in the morning and watching sun rise while sipping your tea is the best. Sun set is equally amazing as sun sets slowly on to the water of River Ganga far at horizon.
6. Enjoy the silence and calmness on Ganges bank (Ghats)
Take out some time and sit in silence on Ganges bank. There are many ghats which are not at all crowded and you will find no one there. Sit in silence and listen to the sound of water with Ganga flowing right in front of you. You may also walk out of city and sit on stones, pebbles or sand banks along river Ganga. But, please careful for not to venture inside water as flow of water remains very strong.
7. Yoga/Meditation in famous Ashrams of Rishikesh
Rishikesh is known for its Ashrams where you can head to experience Yoga and Meditation to rejuvenate your body and soul. Only Ashrams are allowed to be on the banks of River Ganga. All other commercial establishments have been moved away. Parmarth Niketan and Shivananda Ashram are the top yoga centers that you can head for Yoga and Meditation. You can also book an accommodation with Ashrams but same needs to be booked well in advance. You may also visit famous Beatles Ashram (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram) which Government has recently rejuvenated.
Image Source: http://www.parmarth.org/yoga/
8. And yes!! some divinity in the temples
Your visiti to this divine city would not be complete without visiting the temples on the bank or River Ganga. Trayambakeshwar is the most famous 13-story Hindu temple right on the banks of the Ganges River and visible even from far. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is another famous temple which is a 3 hr walk (7 Kms) along a forest path.
9. Take a dip in the Holy Ganga at Triveni Ghat
This is the most important thing to be done in Rishikesh whatever be the purpose of your visit. Wash all your sins by taking a dip in Holy Ganga. Triveni Ghat is considered to be the most sacred ghat in Rishikesh. Grand evening aarti to worship Mother Ganga also takes place. Ghat remains vibrant all the day and even aarti is a powerful experience with mantra chanting and diya lights with sparkling shadows in the water of River Ganga.
But please be cautious of not venturing inside Ganga beyond Ghats or even beyond designated points at Ghats. Flow is very strong and even experienced swimmers can not brave the strong waves.
10. Have a meal at famous Chotiwala Restaurant
Chotiwala restaurant is the most famous of all in Rishikesh. You will actually find a person with long choti with whom you can get a pic clicked. Food is delicious though service at times may be a bit late with restaurant being full all the time. Do visit Chotiwala for good food and also for a picture.
Rishikesh is a wonderful package in itself having to offer something great to everyone. You can spend days and days at this spiritual and adventurous city. Do plan a trip to Rishikesh soon.