Rishikesh is a small peaceful town known as the destination for meditation and yoga. Considered as the gateway to the mighty Himalayas, and located on the banks of the river Ganga, it is an ideal destination for adventure sports like river rafting, trekking, rock climbing, etc.
Situated at a distance of 25 km from Haridwar, it is a pilgrim hot spot at an elevation of 356 m above sea level. With its strategic location at the foothills of the Himalayas and an easy access to the entire range, it doubles up as the base camp for expeditions.
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Often known as the World's Capital For Yoga, it has numerous centres which offer yoga programmes and attract tourists from across the globe.
Start Point: Delhi
Best Time To Visit: It is a year-round destination, but if you are looking forward to adventure sports, then mid September to April is the best time to visit.
PC: Tony Leon
By Air: Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport which is at a distance of 21 km. The airport receives flights from across the country and regularly from Delhi.
By Train: The Rishikesh Railway Station is well connected by rails and receives trains from all across the country.
By Road: Rishikesh is well connected by roads like other destinations in the state of Uttarkhand. There are regular buses which ply from New Delhi, Meerut and Kashmir Gate.
Route 1: New Delhi - Meerut - Muzaffarnagar - Roorkee - Haridwar - Rishikesh via NH 334
Route 2: New Delhi - Hapur - Chandpur - Najibabad - Haridwar - Rishikesh via NH 9
For those who opt to drive down Route 1 it would take you around 6 h to reach Rishikesh via NH 334. Rishikesh is at a distance of 235 km from New Delhi. On this route, the road takes you through some of the prominent places like Meerut and Muzaffarnagar. The roads are in pretty good shape which enable you to cover the distance within no time.
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If you opt for Route 2, it would take you roughly around 7 h to reach Rishikesh via NH 9 and the total distance from New Delhi to Rishikesh would be approximately 288 km.
The journey can be planned as a weekend drive, leaving early on a Saturday morning and after spending a day and half one can choose to return on Sunday afternoon or early evening and reach Delhi by nightfall.
If you are driving down Route 1, Meerut could be considered as an ideal stopover for a quick filling breakfast at one of the Punjabi dhabas which would offer you some delicious parathas. After which one could proceed towards Haridwar and later head towards Rishikesh.
As you reach the holy city of Haridwar, one can stop over for lunch here and also visit a few ghats and the famous temples here. One can also take a stroll through the Moti Bazaar, which has ample places for one to shop as well as eat.
It is one of the holiest places in the country and witnesses a large number of pilgrims who come here to wash away their sins and seek blessings. It is also a place chosen by many people to perform the last rites of their departed loved ones.
Haridwar forms one of the four important pilgrimage destinations in India, where the Kumbha Mela is held every three years on a rotation basis. It is also the gateway to the Chardhams of Uttarakhand, which will take you around the temples of Gangadwara, Kushwart, Bilwa Tirtha and Neel Parvat.
A major draw here is the Ganga Arati held every day at dawn and dusk, amongst the chanting of prayers by the priests and the waving of the huge arati lamps. The devotees join them and float small diyas into the Ganga as a mark of respect and the sight is beyond description.
After which you can proceed towards Rishikesh, which is around 25 km and would take you around 45 to 60 minutes to reach.
PC: Fred Hsu
Rishikesh is a place which has a combination of spirituality as well as adventure in it; it is the base camp for those who wish to go on a trekking expedition to the Himalayas while for others it is a place where they can attempt to find their inner true self.
It had attracted the members of the famous band Beatles, who came down and played at an ashram and also it is believed that they composed the album White at this place. The ashram is a must visit for the fans of Beatles; when here do not miss to visit the meditation hall, the graffiti art museum and the rock lined hallways.
The air suspension bridges named after Ram and Lakshman are also another major landmark here. Attend the Ganga aarti and also go ahead for the ample adventure sports lined up for you and satisfy the adrenaline rush.
River rafting is very popular here. Post monsoon is the best time for rafting when the Ganges is filled with water and moves at a greater speed.