Rishikesh – The Adventure Capital of India
8 mins read

Popularly known as “The Yoga Capital of the World” has been on my bucket list for a long. No, no not to learn yoga but to explore and experience the other side of it – its adventurous side. I later learned that Rishikesh is also called the “The Adventure Capital of India” because of the extreme adventures that it has on offer.

rishikesh the adventure capital of india tripsygirl
Meee @Rishikesh, the Adventure Capital of India

My Journey to Rishikesh

My first ever solo trip in India was to Rishikesh, all scared and had no idea, how it will be.

Luckily, I met three England girls on my bus. I realized the perks of traveling solo, we interacted so much and it was fun hearing their traveling stories. We then reached Rishikesh at around 5.30 AM and the city was already busy. A lot of sadhu babas (saints) were walking around the city early in the morning. We then took our ways off, wishing each other many more onwards trips and adventures in Rishikesh and India.

After a while, I set off to explore the city on foot. I enjoy strolling around the streets because it lets one explore and learn about the place more. The city instantly gave the village vibe but with so much positivity. And after having breakfast, I was good to start the city tour all by myself.

Places to see and Adventures to do in Rishikesh, India

Ram Jhula

Entry Fees: No Charges

Visiting Hours: Open and Accessible 24*7

Visiting Duration: No particular duration

The city and Ganga views were just mesmerizing and instantly made me fell in love with Rishikesh. Either side of the swing, there are ample ashrams and temples. Also, near the swing bridge, there is a local market with many eateries, cafes, agent offices, etc. I booked myself for rafting from one of the local agents here.

Rishikesh Ram Jhula Views Tripsygirl
Ganga and City Views from Ram Jhula

Lakshman Jhula

Entry Fees: No Charges

Visiting Hours: Open and Accessible 24*7

Visiting Duration: No particular duration

Another popular destination yet again gave a different and beautiful vibe of the city, I reached here after finishing my rafting.

I was keen to know for what reason the bridge is given this name. I learned that according to Hindu mythology, it believed that Lord Lakshman had once crossed the river Ganga on the jute ropes exactly at the same place, so a suspension bridge was made and honored.

Tera Manzil (13 Storeys) Temple

Entry Fees: No Charges

Visiting Hours: 6 AM to 7 PM Daily

Visiting Duration: Around 30 mins

The symmetric architecture of the temple and serene location is way too mesmerizing which is just above the Ganga river. The temple has Tera Manzil (13 storeys)  and each storey has several idols of Gods and Goddesses. The temple is located on either side of the Lakshman Jhula.

Shivpuri

Distance from Ram Jhula to Shivpuri – 15 km Drive

It is a place where one can find hundreds of adventure seekers and people who just want to relax or camp near the riverside. The place is pristine and pure. The sand near the beach is white, adding more charm to the place. I couldn’t wait to do my white water river rafting here.

rishikesh the adventure capital of india shivpuri
Shivpuri, Rishikesh

Whitewater River Rafting

Amidst ample temples, ashrams, snow-capped mountains lies the spirited side of Rishikesh- the daring and adventurous side of it!

Now, it was time to tick off my two bucket list adventures: Ganga White Water Rafting and Cliff Jumping. I had already done Bungy Jumping in New Zealand, so I skipped it here.

River Rafting and Cliff Jumping Cost: 300-500 INR per person depending on the agent (Pick-up from Ram Jhula or other location to Shivpuri included).

The distances of Rafting Available: 16-18 km/32 km

Duration of Rafting: 2-5 hours

Shivpuri (rafting spot) – With white sand around, the place remains filled with colorful rafts and ample thrill-seekers. I chose the one with 18 km rafting with 16 deadly rapids with some random people. I had purposely kept the rafting moderate to save energy for my Himalayan trek – Pangarchulla Peak Trek which was starting the next day.

This adventure isn’t restricted only to swimmers but to everyone who wants to experience it.

After learning some basics in the calm water, we kick-started our rafting. In our 3 hours of rafting, we jumped through some deadly rapids, we screamed, laughed, experienced wilderness, at times skipped a heartbeat but rejoiced to the fullest.

Ganga White Water Rafting Rishikesh Adventure Capital of India
Ganga White Water Rafting

Every rapid has been given a name but for some reason, I could only memorize one out of 16 names. I only remember the Roller Coaster, maybe because it was the deadliest one. Majorly, jumping off the bone-shaking rapids was the fun and the best part.

Rishikesh adventure india
Swimming in the river Ganga

To add-on more thrill and adventure we all jumped off the raft multiple times. I was shivering badly because of the extremely cold water but relished every second of it.

Jumped off the raft 😀

Cliff Jumping

After three hours of rafting, tired, we finally reached our cliff jump point. Now it was time to jump from that cliff and finally tick off another bucket list item. SCARY! 😀

Standing at the edge of the cliff, I was a bit scared more than I thought I would be, but then adventures are meant for it. 3..2..1…. and I plunged without thinking much and giving any second thoughts. And yesssssssssss! I did it and survived too!! 😀

Cliff Jumping

Again after jumping through rapids and cliff twice, we stopped at a Maggi point to relax our nerves and enjoy some tea and Maggi on the raft. It too was a different experience eating Maggi on a cold wet afternoon amid a rafting expedition.

Then, finally, we reached Ram Jhula again and bid everyone goodbyes, yet again wishing each other many more adventures.

So to witness how adventurous you are at the adventure city of India, Rishikesh. One can try other extreme adventures like Rappelling, Flying fox, Swing, Gaint Swing, Bungy Jumping here as well.

Parmarth Niketan Ashram

Opening Hours: 9 AM – 8 PM (Daily)

Aarti Timing: 6 PM -7 PM (Daily)

After my river rafting, I had gone to the Ashram to find some peace, I then went to attend the famous Ganga Aarti which is a daily ritual here and performed every evening on the banks of Ganga. It is another famous spot for Ganga Aarti in Rishikesh.

Lord Shiva Statue at the banks of Ganga in Rishikesh
Lord Shiva Statue at the banks of Ganga

While the Aarti preparations were going on, I went to explore Parmarth Ashram which is just opposite the Aarti place. Also, a lot of people and pilgrims from around the world come and stay here to learn yoga, attend prayers, and to find some tranquility.

Lord Shiva Statue at Parmarth Ashram

At the sunset time, saints and devotees started gathering near the feet of Ganga. Some people also took a dip in the Ganga water for spiritual cleansing. After the Ganga Aarti started, the atmosphere turned festive and spiritual.

Triveni Ghat

The Ganga is worshipped at various ghats but Triveni Ghat is the best place to see the Ganga Aarti. I missed seeing it but I will be going there on my next trip.

How to reach Rishikesh?

Flight – There is no airport in Rishikesh, the nearest airport to Rishikesh is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun approximately 35 km away. (Skyscanner)

Train – Rishikesh Railway Station – RKSH is not well connected to the major cities. One can find trains from New Delhi, Bhopal, Mumbai, Lucknow, Agra to Haridwar Railway Station – HW. (IRCTC)

Bus – Many private buses ply between the cities like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai Agra to or nearby ISBT bus stand. (Redbus)

Rented Bike/Scooty/Car Options

It is easy to get rented vehicles in Rishikesh, but I would suggest not taking a car even if its available, as the roads are narrow and cows/bulls will also be there to block your way. 😀

One can rent a bike and scooty from the many agents providing facilities thereby showing a valid Driving License.

The charges mentioned are per day (24 hours basis) charges excluding the fuel cost:

  • Car – ~2k – 3k INR
  • Bike/Scooty – ~200-1500 INR

Many agents are providing rental services in the city, listed a few good ones:

Also, for more options, one can check on Sulekha or Justdial

Stay Options

The city of full of free and paid Ashrams where one can learn Yoga and can have a stay and food at the same place. It’s backpackers paradise so there are umpteen colorful, raw, and rusty hostels and hotels too to get a different vibe of this religious city.

I would suggest staying at a place where the views of Ganga are visible from your balcony or windows.

Places to Eat

I searched for a good eatery option and had snacks and dinner at Chotiwala Restaurant and Madras Cafe.

Also, you can curb your hunger pangs at Beatles Cafe, Oasis, Ganga Beach Restaurant, Little Buddha Cafe, Devraj Coffee Corner, etc.

How much a trip to Rishikesh may cost?

Rishikesh being a religious place is a pocket-friendly place. The minimal cost of stay and food may vary depending on what you choose for yourself. But if you are on a budget trip it may cost you 200-3000 INR per day also depending on the season.

Please don’t go by the adventure charges that are shown online on any agent’s websites, they are unusually high as compared to the actual price. It is better to book after reaching there in person.  

Best time to visit Rishikesh

October – March could be an ideal time to visit the place. April – May, only if you would like the mild summers.

It receives heavy rainfall from June – September and there may be road blockages too.

Other Details about Rishikesh

  • The famous English Rock band “The Beatles” from England had visited Rishikesh to learn meditation. There are an ashram and cafe with their name too in the city.
  • One cannot get alcohol and non-vegetarian food in and around the city (At least not legally).
  • There are many Yoga and Ayurvedic centers too to heal the body, soul, and mind.
  •  I felt, Rishikesh is a very safe city for solo travelers as well, but basic safety measures must be followed.

On my first solo trip to India, I met so many backpackers, travelers, tourists from different cities, countries, and different backgrounds. And it is hard for me to put it in words, but it changed me and my life in many positive ways.

Zostel, Rishikesh
Rishikesh

 

So, if you are also looking for a perfect place to indulge in religious or ADVENTUROUS ACTIVITIES or want to LEARN YOGA in India, RISHIKESH IS THE PLACE! But it is beyond it too, one can experience it themselves.

A trip to the city may turn out to be a life-changing experience like it turned for me! In a day, I got so much attached to the city and Ganga. Because Ganga is not just a river, she is truly a divine mother, the soul of India!

 

Keep Wandering! Keep Wondering!

I hope you had fun reading this blog post, please subscribe to get updates about the next travel/adventure post.

Thank you! 

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Karandeep Kaur

    I wish i could have read this before going to Rishikesh. Reading this was a treat to my soul? keep travelling, keep exploring and keep sharing your experiences.
    P.S. we are going on a trip super soon??

  2. Neeraj Vishwakarma

    The way you described the city that was beautiful. Indeed I have to ride to rishikesh now .
    Excellent

  3. Archita

    More power to you girl. Keep it going..
    Wish to explore more with you ?

  4. Anamika

    Hey Ashita! felt the true essence of Rishikesh and of course the adventure thrill too.
    Keep it up.

  5. Arpit varshney

    superb..well done!!

  6. GAURAV SHARMA

    Ashita proud of you dear… keep rocking to this beautiful life…

  7. Bist

    Well done babes!
    ????

  8. Ipsy

    Great read! Would love to do everything like this…

  9. Pritika Gupta

    A Beautifully portrayed blog with the essence of city. Worth reading:).
    Keep updating us with your travel diaries.

  10. Yogesh Almale

    Super Ashita ! Awesome experience… Nice write up.. Keep it going.. Proud of you !!