Located in the foothills of Himalayas, on the banks of Ganga River, Rishikesh is among the most popular tourist destinations in India for all the good reasons. Rishikesh is famous for the divine, blue Ganga, river banks with white sand, lush green hills, ancient Hindu temples, river rafting and much more. With a plethora of places to visit in Rishikesh, it also offers numerous fun activities that make it so popular. This charming city in Uttarakhand is popularly known as the ‘World’s Yoga Capital’ as it is a prominent center for studying yoga and has many ashrams and meditation centers where one can learn and study yoga.

The most iconic element that makes Rishikesh such a significant place among tourists is the presence of Ganga River which is believed to be the holiest river according to Hinduism. There are numerous Hindu Temples and religious places in Rishikesh, making it a major religious center for Hindus in India. The city is among the most preferred weekend getaways near the national capital, Delhi. The distance between Rishikesh and Delhi is just 244 km which makes it an easy getaway destination for people seeking an escape from the wearisome atmosphere of Delhi. Except for being a major hub for adventure sports and spirituality, the quality that makes Rishikesh one of its kind is the scenic beauty and thick vegetation, adding a feeling of refreshment to its air.

Rishikesh receives a huge rush of pilgrims all round the year since it houses some prominent religious places for Hindus. Apart from that, Ganga River is worshipped by Hindus which makes the town even more significant – religiously. There are places to visit in Rishikesh that are believed to be directly connected to Hindu mythology. Among such places are the very famous Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula. These are iron suspension bridges across Ganga River, and are among the most iconic landmarks in Rishikesh.

These bridges offer panoramic views of the river and the city. Some of the most revered religious sites in the city houses are Swarga Ashram, Triveni Ghat, Tera Manzil Temple and many more such places which are frequented by hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees every year. Rishikesh is also home to a number of yoga ashrams. Parmarth Niketan is a major spiritual center facilitating yoga. The Beatles Ashram is a star attraction in Rishikesh, famous for its Beatles graffiti and artwork. The Ashram got its name from the famous pop band, The Beatles who visited the ashram in the ‘60s. Rishikesh is a delight during major Hindu Festivals.

In case you religious places do not interest you that much, Rishikesh has much more to quench your wanderlust than just Hindu temples. You can visit Marine Drive in Rishikesh which is a famous spot among youth where you can indulge into adventure activities and enjoy the scenic beauty of Ganga River flowing through the city. Rishikesh also has a treat for nature and wildlife lovers in the form of Rajaji National Park. This national park, spread over a vast region of 820 sq. km, offers you an opportunity to witness tigers and elephants, among many other fauna species, in their natural habitat. A safari in the dense jungles of this park is an unforgettable experience.

The list of things to do in Rishikesh does not end at just temple visits and river rafting since there is a lot more you can do on your trip to Rishikesh. There are more than a couple of factors owing to which Rishikesh has earned a reputation as one of the major tourist destinations in the country. One of those factors is, of course, river rafting. The river rafting in Rishikesh is so famous that Rishikesh has almost become synonymous to river rafting, and has earned heavy popularity among adventure enthusiasts during past few years. Indian and foreign tourists visit Rishikesh in great numbers, and in most cases, what brings them here is the desire to experience the thrill of river rafting in the rapids of Ganga River.

Except for the monsoon season when it rains heavily, river rafting can be enjoyed here all year long. What makes river rafting here even more fun is that there are different stretches for rafting, and each stretch has a different level of thrill involved. Besides river rafting, there are some other adventure sports in Rishikesh like Bungee Jumping, Giant Swing, Trekking, Camping and Rappelling. On your trip to Rishikesh, you can also enjoy the unique experience of camping at scenic spots, beside the blue waters of Ganga River. Rishikesh has some amazing resorts that offer you accommodations on the river banks, from where the views of the river and the hills are just breath-taking.

Rishikesh, being a gateway to the Himalayas, also serves as an excellent base station for many exhilarating treks that can be taken from here. Some of the most recommended treks that you can take from Rishikesh are Roopkund Trek, Valley of Flowers Trek, and Nag Tibba Trek. Though there are other thrilling options, too, that make Rishikesh a trekker’s paradise. It is not surprising that with such a wide array of exciting adventure activities, it is growing as a major adventure hotspot.

Rishikesh is among those rare gems of the places which are fun irrespective of whom you visit the place with. Whether you want to spend your time relaxing, breathing in the refreshing air on the banks of the river, you want to indulge into exciting adventure activities or you want to bring peace to your soul by meditating, Rishikesh has so much to explore.

The climate of Rishikesh is the pleasant type, so it can be visited during any time of the year. However, rafting is closed during monsoon due to heavy rainfalls and summer months mark high temperatures, so visiting Rishikesh between May to mid of September can be avoided. To experience the best of Rishikesh, visit between late September to November or in March-April.

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"Nestled in the midst of 9 hills offers breathtaking views of the Ganges. The camping experience is great. Hospitable staff. Food is decent. Weather is great. Its a little far off and drive might be a bit tiring considering lot of stoppages in the road up here due to road construction. If you expect it to be along the river on a beach then you shall be disappointed. In fact its located at a steep height from the road and for guys from the plains it shall be a pretty steep climb of 50 odd steps with luggage. For the price it offers a lovely memory. "
31 August 2019
Camp located around hills which gave such a amazing view.. Gaurav and staff was so good..and so helpful and make us comfort so we can enjoy our full. Food, camp, cleaning and view all are amazing.. Thank you guyz..the camping was unforgettable for me and my friends..
25 June 2015
The trekking experience was fine and good. To be honest, the trek was really good. We had a great time. It was one of the really nice treks that I have had.
13 June 2015
We were hoping to feel tired and worn out but surprisingly despite the tough trek it was nice and enjoyable and we were with high energy levels even after the trek. This was definitely a nice trekking experience. We had some great memories to take back home and share. I really loved the whole travel too as it was a road trip for us.
10 April 2015
I am out of words. This was a great trekking in Uttarakhand. The place is splendid and classy beauty. This is what a perfect vacation looks like.
13 March 2020
It was a wonderful experience of my life. They provide you with a camera with which you can record your video while enjoying this swing. The staff was great and provided us with a brief intro session. After that, you will be taken towards the platform and the scariest thing was the moment you jumped from the platform. It was a breathtaking experience.
07 March 2020
This place is away from the city. So, it was a long road trip to reach there but luckily we have our tickets booked in advance. I booked these tickets for my family with the help of Thrillophilia. Due to advance booking, we were not concerned about the adventure. After reaching there the staff took a brief session and then we enjoyed this activity.
22 February 2020
I booked this adventure in advance from Thrillophilia with the help of Sandeep. He was great and provided me with a great deal for my group. I want to say that this adventure was value for money adventure. Breathtaking.
01 March 2020
It was an amazing experience, we were 6 so we opted for Tandem Flying fox from Thrillophilia, there we don’t have to wait just show them the voucher and its your turn to fly. Such a beautiful activity in this beautiful city, really awesome view we get while having it. Must try Highly recommended.
06 March 2020
We booked our flying fox experience from Thrillophilia, extremely wonderful and so adventurous that we enjoyed a lot, also it was budget-friendly because of the discount so we all did it. You can’t afford to miss this while visiting Rishikesh. The staff here is friendly and briefed us before starting it. Good to go.

How to Reach

  • Rishikesh can be accessed via air, bus, train and road/ self-drive.
  • Air: The nearest airport is located in Dehradun. And is approximately 35 km away from Rishikesh. All major domestic carriers have direct flights from Delhi. There is even a flight from Lucknow. Once you exit the airport, you can hire a local taxi or catch a bus to Rishikesh. If you are traveling from overseas and are unable to find a connection then the best way is to catch a cab from New Delhi and head to Rishikesh via road.
  • Bus: Rishikesh is well-connected via buses from Delhi, Haridwar, and Dehradun. From Delhi, you can get busses either form Kashmiri Gate or ISBT. Buses run at various times throughout the day. You choose between luxurious, deluxe or regular coaches.
  • Train: The nearest railway station is located in Haridwar and is around 25 km away. Haridwar is connected via train to many locations in India such as Varanasi, Lucknow, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi etc. There are many trains such as Shatabdi, Express Trains, AC Special trains, and Mussoorie Express.
  • Road/Self Drive: Rishikesh is connected to major cities in India via National Highway 58. It takes between 6 and 7 hours to reach Rishikesh from Delhi. There is a short hilly terrain in the middle, but other than that the drive to Rishikesh is smooth and enjoyable.

Best Time To Visit

  • Although Rishikesh enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year, some months are definitely more favorable than the others.
  • October to February: Rishikesh experiences winters during these months and the average temperature ranges between 19-27 degrees. Despite the chilly weather, many people head to Rishikesh around this time for rafting and camping. January is the coldest month, so make sure you carry appropriate winter wear.
  • March to June: March is the best time to head to Rishikesh for rafting and if you plan in advance, you can also attend the International Yoga Festival. Rishikesh experiences summer during these months and June is the hottest month with temperatures peaking up to 25 degrees. Rafting is closed during June, so if you are not a fan of the adventure sport then this is the best time to visit Rishikesh as many hotels offer discounted accommodation.

People Also Ask About Rishikesh

  1. What are the best things to do in Rishikesh

    1. Ganga arti at Triveni Ghat: Seeing the Ganga arti at Triveni Ghat is a must do here. Every evening, between 6 to 7, river Ganga is worshipped in an auspicious way. Big lighted diyas are prepared and the pandits stand in line to do the arti. It’s a beautiful treat for the eyes.

    2. River Rafting: 
    For the adventure lovers, going river rafting is really exciting. The 36 kms stretch from 
    Kaudiyala to Laxman Jhula is specially kept for River Rafting. The charges for river rafting keeps varying but it will be within Rs. 400 to Rs. 1300.

    3. Parasailing and paragliding: 
    Other adventurous sports are parasailing and paragliding. These should be avoided during the monsoon as it remains cloudy. You will be tied to an open parachute which is dragged by a boat below. You can fly.

    4. Trekking: 
    If you love to trek, Rishikesh is definitely your place. You can go trekking to the mountains with so much natural beauty. The best trekking routes are Kunjapuri trek and waterfall trek.

    5. Rock climbing: 
    It is pretty difficult in the beginning but once you have known the techniques, you will be addicted to it.

    6. Mountain biking: 
    The hilly areas around Rishikesh are perfect for mountain biking. If you love cycling, go for it. There are many companies which can lend you a bike and you are good to go.

    7. Flying fox: 
    In flying fox sport, you, along with two others will be harnessed to a rope about 7 meters above the ground. You will be sliding forward at a speed of about 150 km/hour. This has both age and weight limits. You must be above 12 years of age and your weight must be between 20 to 130 kgs.

    8. Body surfing: 
    You can try this while doing river rafting in Rishikesh. Let yourself free on the water and enjoy. 

    9. Cliff jumping: 
    This is one of the famous sports that can be done here as Rishikesh lies in the foothills of Himalayas which has a number of cliffs of various heights along with Ganga on the side. You can jump off the cliff and drive in to the holy water of Ganga.

    10. Kayaking: 
    You can go kayaking after being trained by the experts. You will be given a boat and you are all set to go.

    11. Hot air ballooning: 
    This is the best activity you can try in Rishikesh with your family as this has no age limitations. It is easy too. Hire one balloon and roam in the sky.

    12. Camping: 
    Those who are looking for a refuge from busy chaotic life, Camping in the laps of Ganges can save you. There are pre-established camps in Rishikesh which will make you feel relaxed and close to nature. 

    13. Ayurvedic massage centres: 
    You can get the best ayurvedic massages at Ayurvedic Bhavan and Himadri Ayurveda which will give you a “me-time” and inner peace.

    14. Yoga and meditation: Rishikesh is the home of yoga and meditation. To improve mental health, you must give it a try.

  2. What are the best homestays in Rishikesh?

    1. Amraai Homestay
    Situated close to the Ghats of Ganga, Amraai Homestay is idle for those who want to stay close to many sightseeing spots. Amraai, which literally translates to “a small garden of mango trees”, gets its name from its adjoining garden filled with mango trees. Equipped with all the necessary facilities, the six rooms at Amraai Homestay is a first pick.

    After a tiring day, enjoy a peaceful evening on the swing at their mango garden, the large balcony on their first floor or eating some delicious home-style meals. Alternatively, in your free time, spend some time in their common lounge with abundant access to all available books and music.

    Features of the Homestay: 
    AC Rooms with attached bathrooms, breakfast services, special in-room dining, free wi-fi access.
    Price: Rs 1300 onwards.
    Located: H.No.100, Near Old Bus stand, Opposite Ashoka Hotel, Haridwar Road, Rishikesh.
    Exclusive because: Close proximity to sites like Ganga River, Laxmi Narayan Mandir, Triveni Ghat, Asthapath

    2. Serenity Ixora Villa-1
    This two-room homestay offers luxury with some calm and serenity. Equipped with all the essential facilities, Ixora Villa -1 is idle for travellers who want to live in the midst of nature and greenery. The quaint peaceful ambience of the homestay helps guests take a break from the daily hustle-bustle of life and reconnect with themselves. Have meals on the private terrace or simply walk around the garden or roof for some beautiful view of the Himalayas.

    Features of the Homestay: 
    AC Rooms with attached bathrooms, on-site restaurant, wellness services like ayurvedic massages, private terrace.
    Price: Rs 1300 onwards.
    Located: No 110, Street No. 11, Devindra Vihar, Adjacent to DSB International School, Gumaniwala, 249203 Rishikesh.
    Exclusive because: They help arrange activities like white water rafting, cliff climbing, yoga and meditation classes.

    ShriVyas Yoga Homestay
    Situated away from the main city, ShriVyas Yoga homestay promises a peaceful and relaxed stay at the property. This homestay is a villa with three rooms that come with attached bathrooms and all basic amenities like AC, free toiletries and hairdryer. Witness lush greenery and some picturesque views during your stay here. This homestay is idle for those who want to practice yoga, meditate or simply rejuvenate themselves.

    You can either book a room or the entire villa subjected to availability. Both floors of the villa have access to a private terrace overlooking the national park.

    Features of the Homestay:
    AC Rooms with attached bathrooms, laundry services, safety deposit box, airport shuttle.
    Price: Rs 1800 onwards.
    Located: Ganga Barrage – Rishikesh, Plot 94/95. Nirmal block C, Vistapith, Rishikesh.
    Exclusive because: One of the only homestays in Rishikesh situated next to Rajaji National Park and close to Ganga river.

    4. Ecoterra Homestay by The Ganges
    Situated a few kilometers away from the main Rishikesh, Ecoterra Homestay is a lovely villa overlooking a beautiful green garden. The villa has exclusive facilities like airport transfer, rooms with balcony views.

    Located close to Suddha Anand Yogshala, stay at this Rishikesh homestay to experience a quiet life near the river. This homestay is also close to a few ashrams and eateries free for you to explore at your leisure.

    Features of the Homestay:
     Wellness facilities, rooms with attached bathrooms, parking.
    Price: Rs 3500 onwards.
    Located: C 19, Ganga Vatika II, Muni ki Reti, District Tehri Garhwal, Rishikesh.
    Exclusive because: Pets are allowed at this property, close to Omkarananda Ashram and Sivananda Ashram, hiking trail.

    5.Ayurpak Homestay
    If you want to experience the yogi life while eating healthy, simple food look no further than Ayurpark homestay. One of the many family-run homestays in Rishikesh, Ayurpak provides all the right elements necessary for the fulfilment of the soul. Run by three generations of the same family, Ayurpak promotes a holistic and spiritual style of living. This traditional homestay has big, spacious rooms with a beautiful lotus pond in its garden.

    It is closely located to many yoga centres and is idle for travellers looking to kick back and relax while practicing some yoga. You can also explore some traditional cultural practices during your stay here. The famous landmark of Rishikesh, Laxman Jhula, is also in close proximity of this property.

    Features of the Homestay:
    Wellness facilities, rooms with attached bathrooms, basic essentials, on-site dining.
    Price: Rs 900 onwards.
    Located: Tapovan Badrinath Road, Tapovan, Opposite Balak Nath Mandir, Rishikesh.
    Exclusive because: An on-site vegan-friendly, simple, satvik restaurant; they conduct activities like cooking and yoga classes.

    6. Raj Niketan Homestay
    Surrounded by Himalayan mountains, Raj Niketan homestay is a bed and breakfast with homestay situated away from city crowd. It is a five-bedroom villa, located around 600m away from Patanjali International Yoga Foundation.

    It is idle for travellers who want to take some time out of their busy schedules to read, write, relax and rejuvenate. In your free time, you can also practice yoga and meditation at the property. 
    It is a family-run homestay with the hosts staying on the ground floor of the same building. The homestay also helps with recommendations of best activities to do in and around the city.

    Features of the Homestay:
    Clean, big rooms; common kitchen, free wifi.
    Price: Rs 900 onwards.
    Located: Tapovan Near Yoga Padma Rishikesh, 249192 Rish?kesh.
    Exclusive because: Their own yoga hall, special bookings for group retreats.

    7. K-Farms Rishikesh Homestay
    Located close to famous Rishikesh sites, Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula, K-farms is a quaint, family-friendly studio apartment in Rishikesh. It is a fully-furnished homestay with attached bathrooms and a shower.

    Some rooms of the property have an attached balcony with picturesque views. The guests also have access to a private entrance to their rooms. The hosts also provide special services like packed lunches, grocery shopping service, and customized diet menus.

    Features of the Homestay:
    Rooms with attached bathrooms, laundry, car hire.
    Price: Rs 1200 onwards.
    Located: A242, Jonk Road, Swarg Ashram, Beside Moksha Hotel, Rishikesh.
    Exclusive because: Allows pets, cars, and bicycles available on rent, special grocery shopping service.

  3. What will you like there?

    Culture: As the main source of income of the people in Rishikesh is tourism, it has a very tourist friendly culture. You will find yourself really close to nature and vast knowledge about spiritual India can be gained.

    the locals are really simple and helpful in Rishikesh. They are very clear- hearted and helpful.

    The northern India is known for delicious cuisine. From Italian to Indian, you will get everything as per your taste and preference.

    Rishikesh is showered with natural beauty. From rivers to mountains, from falls to forests, you can witness the best of nature.

    Pollution free atmosphere:
    Rishikesh is a small town with not much traffic and industries which makes it absolutely free from pollution. If you don’t like big, crowded, developed cities, Rishikesh will really impress you. The air is so fresh there.

    Yoga and meditation:
    Yoga is the backbone of Indian culture. If you are in a search of mental peace and wisdom, Rishikesh is crafted for you.

     As mentioned earlier, there are so much adventurous sports to try in Rishikesh! Tubing, river rafting, mountain biking, parasailing, paragliding, cliff jumping, bungee jumping, hot air ballooning, rock climbing, and the list goes on.

  4. What are the best public transport modes to commute around Rishikesh?

    Private cabs are the best mode of public transport in Rishikesh especially if you are travelling in a group as the cost reduces significantly. But if you are travelling solo or on a budget,  you can always travel in local autos, they are readily available, although they may travel to limited distances only.  

  5. What is the best local cuisine here? Where can I get to try them out?

    You can enjoy delicious North Indian Cuisine in Rishikesh, especially if you are a vegetarian. Here is a list of places you can visit:

    • The Sitting Elephant
    • Café Delmar
    • Bistro Nirvana
    • Ramana’s Organic Café
    • Café de Goa
    • Ira’s Kitchen and Tea
    • Holy water Dining
    • Chatsang Café
    • Little Buddha Café
    • Café Karma
  6. What are famous destinations for rafting in Rishikesh? And how much does it cost?

    There are four famous places in Rishikesh to head for if you want to do river rafting. Each of these places is the starting point for the rafting routes. Routes vary in intensity and length so make sure you choose carefully.

    • Kaudiyala- Marine Drive (10 km with grade III & IV)
    • Marine Drive- Shivpuri (11 km with grade II & III)
    • Shivpuri-Brahmpuri (11 km with grade I & II)
    • Brahmpuri-Lakshman Jhula (9 km with grade I)

    River Rafting packages vary in prices and have many inclusions. On an average, a basic river rafting package costs around approx. 400 INR or 6 USD per person for a

    9 km rafting only package.

    The prices go up to approx. 1850 INR or 30 USD per person and the package includes a 36 km rafting route as well as cliff jumping and body surfing. Please bear in mind that these prices are only an approximation and don’t include accommodation, meals and transfers.

  7. Which are the famous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Rishikesh?

    There is only one National Park in Rishikesh known as the Rajaji National Park. The park surrounds the town of Rishikesh on three sides and is famous for cycling and trekking tours.

  8. What are the best camping destinations in Rishikesh?

    Here are the 6 most popular Camps in Rishikesh. 

    • Roller Coaster Camp
    • Cradle of Life
    • Camp Gold Coast
    • Ganges Rivera
    • Ravers Beach Camp
    • Aspen Adventure

  9. Where can I enjoy Bungee Jumping in Rishikesh?

    The jump zone for Bungee Jumping is located 15 km from Rishikesh in the Village of Mohanchatti. You can hire a cab or drive yourself to the location. The route is easy to navigate. Instructors are flown in from New Zealand and the activity is very safe.

  10. Where can one rent a bike in Rishikesh?

    There are many bike rentals in Rishikesh, they are located on all entry points such as must stands and many more, these can be rented even in the local markets. You can also book online and get a confirmation within 24 hours. You can choose between a Bajaj Avenger or Royal Enfield or whichsoever you like. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully and return the bike on time in the same condition to avoid penalties.

  11. What are the famous destinations to enjoy Kayaking in Rishikesh?

    Here is a list of the famous destinations to enjoy Kayaking in Rishikesh:

    • The Marine Drive
    • The Sweet Sixteen
    • The Cross Fire which falls
    • The Roller Coaster
    • The famous Three Blind Mice
    • The Golf Course
    • Kaudiyala
    • Shivpuri
    • Brahmpuri
  12. What are the timings to witness Ganga Aarti? And what are the best locations to witness it?

    Ganga Aarti is held every evening at 6:30 PM. Although there are many places in Rishikesh to witness the aarti and participate in it, the best place, without a doubt, is the Triveni Ghat.

  13. Where is the famous Beatles Ashram located in Rishikesh? Did Beatles really stay there?

    The Ashram is located 700 meters from the Parmarth Niketan Ashram and around 1 km from the Ram Jhula. The railway station is approx. 4 km away and the Lakshman Jhula is around 3 km away.

    And yes, the Beatles did stay at the Ashram, the Ashram’s actual name is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram. They visited here in 1968 to learn mediation. They first met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1961, while he was in London. It is upon his invitation that they visited the Ashram in February 1968.

  14. Where are the famous wildlife and jungle safari available in Rishikesh?

    Wildlife and Jungle Safari in Rishikesh are available at the famous Rajaji National Park. The best time to go on a safari is early morning. A lot of river rafting packages include jungle safaris. They are all guided tours and are quite safe.

  15. Where can one do cliff jumping in Rishikesh?

    The best place to cliff jump in Rishikesh is located 2 km before the Lakshman Jhula, in the lower part of the Brahmpuri Stretch.