Known as the yoga capital of the world, Rishikesh is located on the foothills of Himalayan ranges. Its location on the banks of the holy river, Ganges makes it one of the most sacred cities to visit in India. However, the mystic hilltops and the gushing waters of the rivers make it one perfect site for adventure sports. Bustling streets filled with cafes, shining trinkets sold in its bazaars and the yoga retreat for many visitors, there are various things to do in Rishikesh.
Top Things To Do In Rishikesh To Add To Your Bucket List
Away from the hustle of a metropolitan city, you are in for a delightful breath of fresh air as you enter Rishikesh. The monotonous yet melodious chants from the temples will entice you. Whereas, the natural ranges, vistas, flora and fauna are enough to give you a break you have been seeking. Here’s why you should add Rishikesh to your bucket list.
Yoga And Meditation
Yoga and meditation are one of the most tried things to do in Rishikesh and is the soul of the place. Known as the chief centre of yoga and meditation for generations, Rishikesh is known to be one of its founding places. In the ancient years, many Hindu rishis had retreated into the caves in the Himalayan ranges to achieve self attainment. Even now, through various centres and teaching classes, the banks of Ganges hosts the highest number of yoga and meditation classes. Furthermore, Hasya (Laughing) Yoga is one of the favourites among the visitors who come to Rishikesh to learn the art of yoga. Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Sivananda Ashram and Shree Mahesh Heritage school are some of the most prominent centres for the same.
Visit Beatles’ Ashram
The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram is located on the banks of the Ganga river. However, it is famously known as The Beatles’ Ashram from when the members of The Beatles’ band had retreated here for some creative motivation. As they retreated to the tranquillity of the place, they created as many as 48 of their famous songs including ‘Back In The USSR’. Today is left abandoned. However, many fans have transformed the place to dedicate it to the fabulous four. You can discover the arc caved meditation pods and what’s inside it. The entrance to the huts in spread out in the lush foresty hilltop. Furthermore, several fans have made a gallery dedicated to the band with some of their iconic albums and pictures as graffiti and photos. If you are a true blue fan then visiting The Beatles’ Ashram is one of the must things to do in Rishikesh.
Witness The Ganga Aarti
As much as it is a favourite for a tranquil getaway, Rishikesh is also a holy place for the Hindus. The flowing river of Ganges has been considered one of the holiest river in Hindu mythology. Every night, pilgrims and locals gather around in the Triveni Ghat as the grand puja of the river takes place. The sacred chants of the devotees echo through the ranges.
Moreover, the chants are accompanied by the ringing of bells and most famously, the aarti. The priests carry several diyas in one stand and take it around to the people for them to take the blessings. The lit-up environment is a majestic sight to see. In the aftermath, you can see several lit diyas floating on leaves across the river waters.
Try An Adventure Sport
One of the best and popular things to do in Rishikesh are its adventure sports. Thanks to its rugged cliffs at different heights, clear waters and the wild gushing of Ganges river, there are several water sports to try. River rafting is one of the most popular things to try out. Fastening up your belts securely, the trained locals will send you across the river with its thrilling ups and downs.
Moreover, you can try cliff diving into its calmer waters, and the rugged cliffs at varied heights provide for a functional space for rappeling. The perfect way to catch the panoramic and breathtaking view of the fantasy, you should try Flying Fox. In this, you are attached to a harness as you try to walk the rope connected from one cliff to the other. Furthermore, if you are not the one to experiment, then you could head out for a simple trek. The Himalayan Treks have some of the best-hiking sites in the world. From the backdrops of the snow-clad ranges to green vistas and wild flora and fauna, there is a lot to discover. If you want to take it a notch higher, then go for waterfall trekking. The cooling waters are absolutely refreshing!
Camping And Bonfire
The banks of the Ganges provide some of the serene sites, away from the city lights for camping. Among the twisting and folding rocks, you can put up your tent with many other campers. Surrounded by the ranges, flowing river and the starry night sky will give you a soulful boost. You can lay back and rethink your own life. If you are there for mind therapy, then nothing beats the peace of the place. One of the best things to do during camping is to set up a bonfire. The warmth of the fire feels the best in the chilly breezy night. Moreover, with sing-alongs around the fire, you can make some new friends from various countries.
Get An Ayurvedic Therapy
Rishikesh is filled with therapy centres that specialise in the ancient art of Ayurveda medication. After a long, taxing day exploring the place; nothing feels better than a relaxing massage. Especially with the oldest craft of aromatherapy and massage techniques known to the world, you will find a lot of options. Moreover, an outdoor bed overlooking the green ranges covered with a cloudy mist provides for an excellent place to replenish your used energy. You can find several trained centres of Ayurvedic massages in the city in varied budgets. Some of the most popular ones are Ayurveda Bhavan, Ananda in the Himalayas and Hemadri Ayurveda Centre.
After all the exploration around the city, you must be hungry. One of the people’s favourite things to do in the city is going on cafe hopping. Rishikesh hosts some of the best cafes that are sustainable. With wooden flooring and amidst the forest, you can hope to find various delights. Even so, most of the cafes only serve vegetarian food; you can expect to find the right kind of healthy and vegan food.
Moreover, these cafes not only serve Indian delights but some of the best known fast food too! Cafe Delmar, also known as The Beatles cafe, is famous for hosting the band members. Located on the banks of the river, you can hope to have a peaceful stomach-filling session. However, people mostly swarm the place. In that case, head to the colourful The Little Buddha cafe for healthy bowls or the Tree House Ganga cafe for its treehouse structure by the banks of the Ganges river.
Being one of the religious capital, the hillside town of Rishikesh is home to several ancient temples. For all the devotees, a visit to this temple is a spiritual delight. Moreover, these ancient temples boast of extraordinary carvings and structures. One of the top things to do for the locals and visitors’ alike is visiting the scenic suspended Lakshman Jhula. According to the folklores, Lakshman built the bridge to cross the Ganga river along with Lord Ram and Sita in Ramayan. An evening walk watching the painted red sky is the perfect away for spending atop the Lakshman Jhula. A retreat for all the souls alike, you should be adding Rishikesh to both your spiritual as well as adventure bucket list right away.