Rishikesh travel guide

Rishikesh Tourism | Rishikesh Guide

You're Going to Love Rishikesh

The world capital of yoga, Rishikesh is at the crossroads of the Ganges River, with imposing, grand mountains and a modern pace of life that slows down just a little in the presence of religious devotion. Rishikesh is the place you go to rediscover the wonder of nature, trace the steps of Indian history and relax while exploring.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Rishikesh

1. When in Rishikesh, Make Like the Yogis

There are many yoga teacher training camps known as "shalas" or "ashrams" that invite devotees to strike a pose in deep meditation. Join fellow visitors in a peaceful vinyasa flow. Om!

2. Revisit the Mystery of Nature

Whether you love high-adrenaline white-water rafting, mountain climbing or soft treks and trails for peaceful bird watching, communing with nature is a viable activity in Rishikesh.

3. Visit the Holy Temples

Because it lives so close to the Ganges, India's holy river, you can't help but get swept up in the sacred temples all around you. Notable in particular for the beauty and grace are Trayambakeshwar Temple and Swarg Ashram.

4. Tuck into Healthy and Cheap Eats

From yummy, roadside food-stalls serving up friend sweets and spiced meats, there are plenty of traditional thalis, western food like pizza and pasta as well as healthier, organic meals like salads.

5. Travel During Festival Season

Besides local religious festivals and fairs known as "melas", Rishikesh is the spot for the celebration of "Saavan", which means "rain" in Hindi. Expect to see thousands flock to the tiny city in July for celebrations and parades.

1. When in Rishikesh, Make Like the Yogis

There are many yoga teacher training camps known as "shalas" or "ashrams" that invite devotees to strike a pose in deep meditation. Join fellow visitors in a peaceful vinyasa flow. Om!

2. Revisit the Mystery of Nature

Whether you love high-adrenaline white-water rafting, mountain climbing or soft treks and trails for peaceful bird watching, communing with nature is a viable activity in Rishikesh.

3. Visit the Holy Temples

Because it lives so close to the Ganges, India's holy river, you can't help but get swept up in the sacred temples all around you. Notable in particular for the beauty and grace are Trayambakeshwar Temple and Swarg Ashram.

4. Tuck into Healthy and Cheap Eats

From yummy, roadside food-stalls serving up friend sweets and spiced meats, there are plenty of traditional thalis, western food like pizza and pasta as well as healthier, organic meals like salads.

5. Travel During Festival Season

Besides local religious festivals and fairs known as "melas", Rishikesh is the spot for the celebration of "Saavan", which means "rain" in Hindi. Expect to see thousands flock to the tiny city in July for celebrations and parades.

What to do in Rishikesh

1. Swingin' On A Bridge And A Prayer

The Lakshman "Jhula" is a play on words. It's 450 feet long and rests at a height of 70 feet above the water. This suspension bridge has earned its playful name from the Hindi word "jhula", which means swing. And swing it does! It's not only a major travel route but also a religious attraction. Hindu legend has it that this very crossing was where Lakshmana crossed the Ganges on a jute rope. Today, however, the suspension bridge, while still being thrillingly flexible, tensile and mobile, is also well reinforced and safe. Take a trip across and be prepared to have your heart in your mouth as you reach its low-hanging mid-point.

2. Where The Great Ones Wrote

There is something about the peace, spirituality and mysticism of any Indian ashram which makes these spots a real draw for lovers of the metaphysical. Yet, no group drew as much attention to the concept and the space than the Beatles during their 1968 sojourn. Together, they wrote and produced here while having deep, transcendental "sessions" and "experiences", which is said to have enhanced their creativity. It's well worth a visit and a dip in its inner sanctum could spark your own creative urges, too.

3. Tigers And More

You'll come to see the second largest reserve of Indian tigers but you'll stay for the delicate ecosystem that supports peaceful elephants, interesting monuments and stunning views, thanks to the park being nestled between the Indo-Gangetic Plains and the Shivalik ranges. Rajaji National Park offers "glamping" opportunities, with cottages, exciting forest safaris in Jeeps with local guides and visits to the impressive and sacred Sureshwari Devi Temple.

4. For The Ancient Indian Sciences

With over a thousand rooms to explore and beautiful, serene parks thronging with devotees, Parmarth Niketan is the largest ashram in Niketan. It is open to the general public at all times, as well as its own meditating residents. Plenty of Indian festivals such as Diwali and Dusshera are celebrated in the ashram but it is the meditation camps and yogic workshops that draw the curious as well as those who are already quite knowledgeable about the Indian "sciences" and philosophies. This ashram is where the practice of these ideas is given free rein.

5. Rafting On The Ganges

Shivpuri is a small town within a town. Just a few miles out of Rishikesh, this fascinating place is centered around a massive temple built for Lord Shiva. But the activities are less spiritual and more physical: Shivpuri is where traveler comes to take advantage of the MHE Beach Camp, which features sandy beaches, camping tents, relaxing canopies, and the opportunity to kayak along the nearby river. There are plenty of eco-guides and tours available here and Shivpuri also offers travelers the opportunity to take part in thrilling white water rafting.

1. Swingin' On A Bridge And A Prayer

The Lakshman "Jhula" is a play on words. It's 450 feet long and rests at a height of 70 feet above the water. This suspension bridge has earned its playful name from the Hindi word "jhula", which means swing. And swing it does! It's not only a major travel route but also a religious attraction. Hindu legend has it that this very crossing was where Lakshmana crossed the Ganges on a jute rope. Today, however, the suspension bridge, while still being thrillingly flexible, tensile and mobile, is also well reinforced and safe. Take a trip across and be prepared to have your heart in your mouth as you reach its low-hanging mid-point.

2. Where The Great Ones Wrote

There is something about the peace, spirituality and mysticism of any Indian ashram which makes these spots a real draw for lovers of the metaphysical. Yet, no group drew as much attention to the concept and the space than the Beatles during their 1968 sojourn. Together, they wrote and produced here while having deep, transcendental "sessions" and "experiences", which is said to have enhanced their creativity. It's well worth a visit and a dip in its inner sanctum could spark your own creative urges, too.

3. Tigers And More

You'll come to see the second largest reserve of Indian tigers but you'll stay for the delicate ecosystem that supports peaceful elephants, interesting monuments and stunning views, thanks to the park being nestled between the Indo-Gangetic Plains and the Shivalik ranges. Rajaji National Park offers "glamping" opportunities, with cottages, exciting forest safaris in Jeeps with local guides and visits to the impressive and sacred Sureshwari Devi Temple.

4. For The Ancient Indian Sciences

With over a thousand rooms to explore and beautiful, serene parks thronging with devotees, Parmarth Niketan is the largest ashram in Niketan. It is open to the general public at all times, as well as its own meditating residents. Plenty of Indian festivals such as Diwali and Dusshera are celebrated in the ashram but it is the meditation camps and yogic workshops that draw the curious as well as those who are already quite knowledgeable about the Indian "sciences" and philosophies. This ashram is where the practice of these ideas is given free rein.

5. Rafting On The Ganges

Shivpuri is a small town within a town. Just a few miles out of Rishikesh, this fascinating place is centered around a massive temple built for Lord Shiva. But the activities are less spiritual and more physical: Shivpuri is where traveler comes to take advantage of the MHE Beach Camp, which features sandy beaches, camping tents, relaxing canopies, and the opportunity to kayak along the nearby river. There are plenty of eco-guides and tours available here and Shivpuri also offers travelers the opportunity to take part in thrilling white water rafting.

1. Swingin' On A Bridge And A Prayer

The Lakshman "Jhula" is a play on words. It's 450 feet long and rests at a height of 70 feet above the water. This suspension bridge has earned its playful name from the Hindi word "jhula", which means swing. And swing it does! It's not only a major travel route but also a religious attraction. Hindu legend has it that this very crossing was where Lakshmana crossed the Ganges on a jute rope. Today, however, the suspension bridge, while still being thrillingly flexible, tensile and mobile, is also well reinforced and safe. Take a trip across and be prepared to have your heart in your mouth as you reach its low-hanging mid-point.

2. Where The Great Ones Wrote

There is something about the peace, spirituality and mysticism of any Indian ashram which makes these spots a real draw for lovers of the metaphysical. Yet, no group drew as much attention to the concept and the space than the Beatles during their 1968 sojourn. Together, they wrote and produced here while having deep, transcendental "sessions" and "experiences", which is said to have enhanced their creativity. It's well worth a visit and a dip in its inner sanctum could spark your own creative urges, too.

3. Tigers And More

You'll come to see the second largest reserve of Indian tigers but you'll stay for the delicate ecosystem that supports peaceful elephants, interesting monuments and stunning views, thanks to the park being nestled between the Indo-Gangetic Plains and the Shivalik ranges. Rajaji National Park offers "glamping" opportunities, with cottages, exciting forest safaris in Jeeps with local guides and visits to the impressive and sacred Sureshwari Devi Temple.

4. For The Ancient Indian Sciences

With over a thousand rooms to explore and beautiful, serene parks thronging with devotees, Parmarth Niketan is the largest ashram in Niketan. It is open to the general public at all times, as well as its own meditating residents. Plenty of Indian festivals such as Diwali and Dusshera are celebrated in the ashram but it is the meditation camps and yogic workshops that draw the curious as well as those who are already quite knowledgeable about the Indian "sciences" and philosophies. This ashram is where the practice of these ideas is given free rein.

5. Rafting On The Ganges

Shivpuri is a small town within a town. Just a few miles out of Rishikesh, this fascinating place is centered around a massive temple built for Lord Shiva. But the activities are less spiritual and more physical: Shivpuri is where traveler comes to take advantage of the MHE Beach Camp, which features sandy beaches, camping tents, relaxing canopies, and the opportunity to kayak along the nearby river. There are plenty of eco-guides and tours available here and Shivpuri also offers travelers the opportunity to take part in thrilling white water rafting.

Where to Eat in Rishikesh

If you're in the mood for some classic Indian thalis, Chotiwala in Swarg Ashram is your spot. Meals start at ₹100.

When to visit Rishikesh

Rishikesh in July
Estimated hotel price
₹ 507
1 night at 3-star hotel
Rishikesh in July
Estimated hotel price
₹ 507
1 night at 3-star hotel

Rishikesh's climate is on par for Northern India, with cooler winters, from 46°F to 68°F, and warm summers, between 68°F to 95°F. July to September is officially monsoon season.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Rishikesh

Plane

Rishikesh is serviced by Dehradun's Jolly Grant airport, which is 9.3 miles away. From the airport, grab a taxi for around ₹650 to ₹975.

Train

There are lots of different services of trains, like the Shatabadi Express or Mussoorie Express, depending on the city of origin. Haridwar to Rishikesh on the Shatabdi is ₹650.

Car

Book a prepaid car rental or taxi cab from companies like Saavari. Day rates start at 2,427 for a journey from Dehradun to Rishikesh.

Bus

Traveling by bus from Delhi, fares start at ₹130-₹350 for a standard bus and ₹200-₹500 for an air-conditioned bus.

Plane

Rishikesh is serviced by Dehradun's Jolly Grant airport, which is 9.3 miles away. From the airport, grab a taxi for around ₹650 to ₹975.

Train

There are lots of different services of trains, like the Shatabadi Express or Mussoorie Express, depending on the city of origin. Haridwar to Rishikesh on the Shatabdi is ₹650.

Car

Book a prepaid car rental or taxi cab from companies like Saavari. Day rates start at 2,427 for a journey from Dehradun to Rishikesh.

Bus

Traveling by bus from Delhi, fares start at ₹130-₹350 for a standard bus and ₹200-₹500 for an air-conditioned bus.

Airports near Rishikesh

Airlines serving Rishikesh

British Airways
Good (4,551 reviews)
Air France
Good (983 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,968 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Excellent (968 reviews)
Air India
Okay (2,242 reviews)
Qantas Airways
Good (550 reviews)
Virgin Atlantic
Good (499 reviews)
Vistara
Good (174 reviews)
IndiGo
Good (339 reviews)
Alliance Air
Good (4 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Rishikesh

Lakshman Jhula - The 450-foot iron suspension bridge is also a signifying feature and the name of this district. It is home to many hotels for tourists and ashrams.

Popular Neighborhoods in Rishikesh

High Bank - Up-river from Lakhsman Jhula is the quiet and serene High Bank. Several locals and travelers alike stay here for access to the Himalayan foothills and banks of the Ganges.

Gangapar - Is home to the Swarg Ashram, the epicenter for all things yoga and meditation.

High Bank - Up-river from Lakhsman Jhula is the quiet and serene High Bank. Several locals and travelers alike stay here for access to the Himalayan foothills and banks of the Ganges.
Gangapar - Is home to the Swarg Ashram, the epicenter for all things yoga and meditation.

Where to stay in popular areas of Rishikesh

Most booked hotels in Rishikesh

Hotel Yog Vashishth
3 stars
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
₹ 3,581+
Ganga Kinare- A Riverside Boutique Resort, Rishikesh
4 stars
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
₹ 13,243+
Aloha On The Ganges by Leisure Hotels
3 stars
Good (7.5, Good reviews)
₹ 12,160+

How to Get Around Rishikesh

Public Transportation

Get around on foot or grab a autorickshaw. They're noisy but at ₹8, they're cheap. You can also get regular rickshaws for ₹24.3/mile.

Taxi

Taxis in Rishikesh must be booked in advance from companies like Rishikesh Car Rental Service for ₹5,500 in Tapovan.

Car

Book car rental packages from operators like Shubh Yatra Tours. Trips around Uttarkhand start at ₹5,000.

Public Transportation

Get around on foot or grab a autorickshaw. They're noisy but at ₹8, they're cheap. You can also get regular rickshaws for ₹24.3/mile.

Taxi

Taxis in Rishikesh must be booked in advance from companies like Rishikesh Car Rental Service for ₹5,500 in Tapovan.

Car

Book car rental packages from operators like Shubh Yatra Tours. Trips around Uttarkhand start at ₹5,000.

The Cost of Living in Rishikesh

Shopping Streets

There's not much in the way of shopping but there are plenty of open air kiosks and stalls as well as pop-up markets on the weekends for local crafts, spices, food and yoga gear in Swarg Ashram.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk costs ₹11.25 and a dozen eggs are ₹12.40