From ashrams, yoga centers and temples to white-water rafting and bungee jumping, this Himalayan town offers an exquisite mix of relaxation and adventure.
Since the arrival in the 1960s of British rock band The Beatles, Rishikesh has been a favorite hangout of travelers searching for relaxation and spiritual rejuvenation. Today, this pretty town in the Himalayan foothills and straddling the Ganges River is famous as the Yoga Capital of the World. Visit Rishikesh to see fascinating temples, admire breathtaking scenery and participate in challenging outdoor activities.
Discover boundless ashrams and yoga retreats on the riverbanks and nestled amid forested hills. Swarg Ashram is a traffic-free riverside community of bathing ghats, bazaars, temples and spiritual centers such as Parmath Niketan Ashram. Visit Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram to see the remains of meditation rooms used by The Beatles. For more yoga, check out Sivananda Ashram and Sanskriti Yogpeeth.
Rishikesh’s northern district is great for exploring on foot to find some of the town’s most revered landmarks. Enjoy sweeping views from Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula, two suspension bridges that span the river. Marvel at the 13-tiered Trayambakeshwar Temple. Take a boat ride along the Ganges River and watch sadhus (holy men) cleanse themselves at bathing ghats. Don’t miss Triveni Ghat, where a Ganga aarti fire ritual takes place at dusk.
Find plenty of action for adventurists, too, including river kayaking and white-water rafting. Experience the thrill of bungee jumping and zip-lining at Jumpin Heights. Walk to Neer Garh Waterfall or go trekking and rock climbing in the Shivalik Hills. Hike with pilgrims through thick forest to the hilltop Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.
Local cuisine is based on organic, healthy and vegetarian ingredients. The town is both meat and alcohol free. Try Ayurveda teas and lassis, which are spiced yoghurt-based drinks with fruit.
Intercity trains connect major cities such as Amritsar, Lucknow, New Delhi and Varanasi with Haridwar. From there, regular buses travel to Rishikesh’s main bus terminal. Get around easily on foot or use affordable auto-rickshaws. Although downpours are common from June to September, consistently mild temperatures make Rishikesh a pleasant year-round destination.