Rishikesh has always been one my favourite places to visit to have fun, enjoy and relax my mind and soul. It is a holy town in the state of Uttarakhand in India. The beautiful city is situated on the banks of the Holy Ganga River and surrounded by mountains on three sides. It is one of the most sacred places of India and is a gateway for pilgrimages to Badrinath & Kedarnath.
The history of this town is vibrant with mythological stories. According to legends, the great Hindu Saint Raibhya Rishi performed prolonged penance at this place on the banks of the River Ganga. As a reward, Lord Vishnu appeared to him as an incarnation of Lord Hrishikesh. That’s how the place got its name.
This Picturesque town is the perfect place for yoga and meditation, hence attracting tourists from all over the world to get a feel of the Hinduism and its rich tradition and culture. It houses plenty of temples, ashrams and yoga institutes. It is hence referred as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’. Ashrams and institutes offer varied courses in yoga which is most popular among the foreigners. Also, the famous ‘International yoga festival’ is held by Uttarakhand tourism board from march 1 to march 7. Renowned teachers and yoga gurus from different countries attend this celebration of the spirit of yoga. A week long festival is one of the biggest yoga gatherings in the world.
The city has the most friendly and beautiful people.
Rishikesh touches the heart and soul of everyone who comes here. Rishikesh is best explored on foot. Walk on the hill roads, local markets, cross the two suspension bridges (Ram jhula and Laxman jhula) built on the river and relax on ghats of the Ganga river. Don’t miss the Ganga Aarti is conducted every evening.
For food lovers, this place has plenty to offer. There is a lot of ayurvedic, organic and healthy food to eat. One can satisfy their taste buds with yummy and delicious food as there are lots of amazing cafes and restaurants for both domestic and international tourists. Rishikesh being a holy town, you will rarely find non-veg food here. Beware of the monkeys who are ready to snatch anything they see in your hand. The local market near Laxman Jhula is great place for shopaholics. One can shop for books on mythology, life, yoga and meditation, buy traditional pahadi clothes and handicrafts. You can also go for ayurvedic treatments and massages.
While on a trip, we usually tend to wake up late and lazy. But when in Rishikesh get up early morning, go for a walk and feel the liveliness of the place with the sound of the river water gushing and birds chirping. The river Ganga flowing through Rishikesh has a great spiritual power that one can feel. Sitting in silence on the banks of Ganga River sends positive vibes to you.
Rishikesh is the hub for adventure sports in India with activities like white water rafting, camping, bungee jumping, kayaking, ziplining, trekking, etc. Adventure seekers come to this place to get an amazing experience of the same. It is also famous as the ‘adventure capital of India’. There are many hotels, lodges, hostels and adventure camps to choose for your stay.
It’s a hit destination for people of all ages as it offers a bundle of activities to do, enjoy, learn and spend quality time in the laps of nature. A visit to this place will always remain in your memory. The aura of this town is such that people usually end up staying more than the planned itinerary. The City has a spiritual connection with all the sadhus and spiritual gurus who have learnt the art from here. Rishikesh has maintained its sacredness even in the modern times.
Thousands of words are also less to describe the feeling of being here. The calmness, the mystic surroundings & greenery will make your spirit peaceful. The more you visit, the more you will fall in love with this gem of a place. People who seek peace and meditation there cannot be a better place than Rishikesh. I have traveled to Rishikesh half a dozen times and whenever I visit this place, it always seems new and fresh. So if you are with your friends, family or even travelling solo, this place will fill each moment of your vacation with excitement and adventure.