Certainly Traveling in Uttarakhand is considered to be incomplete without exploring Rishikesh.
Rishikesh is based in the Himalayan Foothills besides the Ganges River. Do you know what all is Rishikesh famous for? Let’s make a list for you;
- Land of Temples & Ashrams
- Vegetarian + Alcohol-free city
- Tons of Cafes with the Ganges view
- Full of Yoga & Meditation centers
- Chill, Rejuvenate & Relax is the mantra!
This is what I understood from a 4-day journey! Above all, people from all over the world travel in India and visit Rishikesh to find solace, peace, and calmness within their souls. I met many people from the U.S.A, Europeans who stayed for nothing less than 3-6 months! Moreover, they don’t need Google Maps as they’ve walked every street already. Such is the beauty of Rishikesh that you’ll feel calm and happy.
While traveling to Rishikesh, if needed you can always plan a mini trip to Dehradun and head to Mussoorie that’s just less than 2-3 hours away!
Below I will list 7 must-see places in Rishikesh that you can and should cover in 2-3 days of your stay.
1. Laxman Jhula: This is an iconic 450 feet length iron suspension Jhula (bridge) made in the early 1900s. The bridge is now open only for pedestrians and will soon be shut once the new bridge being built parallel starts functioning. It’s a great tourist attraction for pictures and internal commute. It also holds sentimental value for Hindu devotees of Lord Ram and Lord Laxman.
Time to Explore: 15 Minutes
2. Ram Jhula: Ram Jhula is exactly like the Laxman Jhula. The only difference here is that on this bridge pedestrians & motorcycles are allowed. Certainly, the view is very beautiful in the jhula in the evening around sunset and late evenings. In addition, this passage saves a lot of travel time from one end to the other.
Time to Explore: 15 Minutes
3. Ram Jhula Passage: The road that leads from Laxman Jhula to Ram Jhula has a scenic point. While walking, you will find this point closer to the Ram Jhula. There are seats where you can just sit, certainly watch the sunset or just relax and enjoy the view. I used to visit this point just for the calmness one experiences and the lovely breeze that caressed my face.
Time to Explore: 15 Minutes
4. Evening Arti at Parmarth Niketan Asharam: This popular Ashram is located on the banks of Ganges and was founded in 1942. It is well known for its evening Aarti. The timing of the aarti varies depending on the season. In February, the timing was set at 17:15 hrs. We highly recommended that you visit the Ashram at least an hour before to get a convenient spot to experience this blissful moment. When I visited, a lady from abroad was performing the Aarti. She sang so well and for once it didn’t feel wrong. The entire experience is quite relaxing and calming. The Ashram also has a mandir to visit in case you’re interested. They also have a properly built washroom inside and the Ashram is quite clean. PS. – This is one of the celebrities frequented places!
Time to Explore: 1 Hour
5. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple: Jai Bhole! If you wish to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva, you must arise early in the morning. Firstly, you must first cross the Laxman Jhula. Secondly, there’s a Jeep stand where people can book their seats. Thirdly, there’s an option to book a private cab as well. Moreover, the journey will take about 1 hour to reach the temple. This is excluding the waiting period of about 15-20 mins for the cab to get full if you opt for a sharing cab. However, It’s quite a long route and is worth experiencing the view. Once you reach the point, the cab will stop and you must walk for a good 10-15 minutes until you reach the gate of the temple.
Mahadev Temple is dedicated to Neellkanth which is an avatar of Lord Shiva. Certainly, this temple is located at an altitude of 1330 meters and is about 32 km away from Rishikesh. My experience was only decent. Because, the temple is not being taken care of well considering the number of footfalls daily. Moreover, Devotees offering water, flowers, milk to the deity causes spillage on the passageway that makes it difficult to walk.
Considering the height and location, it’s gets quite chilly if you visit in the early hours of the morning. But when it’s day time and the sun has risen, it does get hot. In addition, Almost half a day will get spent if you’re planning to explore this historic Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.
Time to Explore: 3-4 Hours; including travel
Sharing Jeep – 150 INR per person (To and Fro)
Private Cab – 1500-2000 INR
6. Triveni Ghat Rishikesh: Triveni Ghat is one of the most famous and biggest ghats found in Rishikesh. It’s also known for its Aarti that happens every evening. This ghat is also famous for devotees coming and taking a dip in the river Ganges. Triveni ghat is quite spacious where you can just sit and spend hours in tranquility.
The evening Aarti in February was set at 18:15 Hrs. It’s better to visit here at least an hour before. The aarti starts with a pooja done by around 14 devotees, followed by a rhythmic aarti. The aarti thali (plate) is then passed on to other devotees. If you’re lucky you do get to do the aarti for a few seconds.
You can also read: One day Itinerary for Delhi
We must inform you that to be one of the 13-14 devotees who get to do the aarti; you must donate a good amount of donation. Not only for the aarti, but the first 3 rows of seating are reserved only for those who have a donation receipt in their hands. Except for the greed that was evident in the employees of the ashram, the whole aarti experience is different from the rest and worth visiting.
Time to Explore: 2-3 Hours.
7. Trayambakeshwar Temple: This is a 13 story Hindu Temple, where on each floor there are several deities belonging to various Hindu Gods in India. Certainly, each diety will have the name, their location in India mentioned. Moreover, it can be called as a mall for Gods! In addition, this 13-story temple is located on the banks of the Ganges River and is just at a 2-minute walking distance from the Laxman Jhula. The temple has a stall where you can keep your shoes for free. Following which, you can start with your darshan, climbing each step to experience the various deities. Above all, the view from the top of the temple is splendid. Do visit here for a unique experience.
Time to Explore: 1-2 Hours.
These were 7 of my handpicked must-visit places in Rishikesh that must be explored. Further, do let me know which place you liked the most? In addition, If there is any suggestion that I should add. Moreover, You can always share your thoughts in the comment section below. Happy Travelling.
If you’re also looking for must-visit places in Mussoorie: Click here