Undoubtedly, Rishikesh is amongst the most beautiful places in India. It's hard to shake off the trance of Rishikesh. The serene landscapes, the untouched ecosystem, the bubbling and burbling of the river Ganges, all these elements make Rishikesh a place to remember. Post yoga, the tourism in Rishikesh has skyrocketed. But there are other places around Rishikesh that are still underrated and untouched by tourism. These places are just a drive away from Rishikesh, so if you are making a trip to Rishikesh, this is your go-to list. And if you travel to Rishikesh quite often, it's time to explore it a bit. So, shall we?
Who has not heard of Haridwar? The ancient city garners huge importance as one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites in North India. It is housed in the state of Uttarakhand, thriving along the religious river Ganges. Haridwar from Rishikesh is only an hour's drive away. The city offers several sacred bathing steps.
The most popular activity amongst the devotees is to visit Har Ki Pauri to watch the daily evening aarti at the Ganges. The city boasts about its numerous temples. The temples come in various forms. Some temples are made in the form of caves, some have beautifully crafted statues of deities, some have picturesque water fountains, etc. In all, if you are dropping by Rishikesh, Haridwar is bound to catch your interest.
How To Reach
The distance between Haridwar and Rishikesh is 19.9 km. It takes about 30-40 minutes via NH34 highway. There are public buses that shuttle everyday back and forth between the cities. You can also take a train to Haridwar Junction, which will take about 1 hour.
Dehradun should be on your checklist as you make plans for your Rishikesh trip. Not only is the city nestled in the beautiful Doon Valley, but it is the capital city of the state Uttarakhand. The city offers many eclectic travelling activities. One of the most famous is shopping at Paltan Bazaar and another is visiting Mindrolling Monastery.
The city is also known for its world-famous Doon School. The likes of Kareena Kapoor had studied in this school. Robber's Cave is another scenic and must-visit place in Dehradun. If you fancy a national park visit, look no more than Dehradun as it houses one of the most popular national parks of the country: Rajaji National Park.
How To Reach
The distance between Rishikesh and Dehradun is 45.1 km. It takes about 1 hour 21 minutes to reach Dehradun via Ambala - Paonta Sahib - Herbertpur - Dehradun - Rishikesh National Highway. Again, the roads are pretty active between these two cities and you can always catch a public bus at any time of the day. You can even hire a taxi if it's only a day's visit to Dehradun. There are back and forth trains between these two cities but it can take up to 5-8 hours.
When it comes to the hilly Uttarakhand, the whole state radiates with beautiful landscapes and terrains but Lansdowne still stands out. It is a hill station in the state of Uttarakhand which was established as the military garrison during the colonial rule. The Garhwali Museum is your go-to place in this town as it boasts about the history of Garhwal during the British rule.
There is the age-old Kaleshwar Temple for Hindu devotees here. So if you are religious, Lansdowne has got your back. The town offers a beautiful viewpoint. The landscapes and hills covered with lush green trees make beautiful selfies. Besides this, Lansdowne even houses a couple of century-old churches which are popular with tourists.
How To Reach
The distance between Rishikesh and Lansdowne is 125.8 km. The easiest and the quickest way to reach Lansdowne is via NH534 and NH34 highways. It takes about 3-5 hours. You can either take a public bus or hire a taxi (which is a popular option). You might have to change your bus from Haridwar or Kotdwara.
It is one of the most popular tourist destinations for people travelling from Rishikesh. The mountains brim with lush green trees and alpines that take your breath away instantly. This place is rather famous for its treks, given its hilly terrain. Amongst the most popular treks are Surkanda Devi and Chandrabadni. There are other activities to get your adrenaline pumping, like rafting, paragliding, mountain biking, camping, etc.
Camping is one the favourite activities of tourists here. There are a number of campsites which cover three meals a day. The temperature drops extensively in the night so you might want to carry woollens or a hoodie.
How To Reach
The distance between Rishikesh and Dhanaulti is 69.8 km. It takes about 2-3 hours via NH 7 highway. The best option is to hire your own taxi with a chauffeur or rent out a car. Since the location of Dhanaulti is quite remote, there is a possibility that you may have to change buses to reach the place.
PC: Debabrata Ghosh
Possibly the smallest places enlisted here. It is a small town, happily blooming in Tehri Garhwal district in the state of Uttarakhand. It is also the location of nagar panchayat. The place has its own religious significance and is known for a spot where Hindus take a dip in the holy water and cleanse themselves. It is the place where the two religious rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda meet. Known for its piousness, the place attracts tourists from all over the country.
How To Reach
The distance between Devprayag and Rishikesh is 74.2 km. It takes about 2-3 hours to reach via NH 7 highway. Taxi rentals are easily available. You can even hitchhike to this place. There are auto services that are quite active between the two locations.