Nestled in the foothills of the magnificent Himalayas, this Uttrakhand city needs no introduction. Thanks to the tranquillity of stunning pilgrimage sites and myriads of adrenaline-pumping adventures, this paradise is the perfect escape when urban life is bogging you down. But if there’s something that compels thousands of tourists across the world, solo travellers, backpackers, friends and families to visit this lovely place, time and again, its the endless opportunities for the best water and adventure sports in the country. Combine this thrill with gorgeous views set amidst the glistening Ganges and you’d find yourself craving this awe-inspiring experience every year.
If you and your friends have had enough of the hustle and bustle of tiring, mundane routines, we’ve got enough reasons to convince you to escape to this land of majestic beauty and immerse yourselves in the spirit of true freedom and adventure. So, go on and pack your bags and get ready to create the best memories of your life.
When you find yourself surrounded by the most beautiful panoramic views of the mountains that take your breath away and lush greenery that serenades your senses, why would you want to spend your days locked up in a resort or hotel room? Lie down under a star-studded sky amidst a cool breeze, create a bonfire and sing along a tune or two with your friends. Treat yourself to the experience of camping in Rishikesh and start your vacation on a magical note.
Isn’t there something compelling about witnessing the plethora of striking flora and fauna as you explore someplace new? Well, get ready to explore a treasure trove as you trek through the dense jungles, landscaped trails and beautiful waterfalls. Although the most popular ones include the Kunjapuri and Neelkanth Mahadev treks -- if you’re a true trekking enthusiast, make sure you don’t leave without witnessing the massive thrill of waterfall treks at Neer Garh Waterfall and Phool Chatti Waterfall.
Rishikesh and adventure sports complement each other in such a way that none can be thought of without the other anymore. Wondering why? ‘Coz this city offers you such an endless array of adventure sports to choose from that you'll want to try them all. Tt’s no surprise that Rishikesh pops up as the first city for adventure junkies to explore. While in summers, water sports like river rafting, cliff jumping, kayaking, parasailing and body surfing become super popular, adventure sports like bungee jumping, mountain biking, zorbing, rock climbing, paragliding and rappelling are consistently popular throughout the year.
A visit to Rishikesh is bound to remain unfulfilled without exploring the most culturally significant temples and ghats of the country. Connect with the divine by paying a visit to the Trayambakeshwar Temple and Neelkanth Mahadev Temple or immerse yourself in the devotional tranquillity of ‘Maha Arti’ at the Triveni Ghat, located at the confluence of the three holy rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. As you hear the hymns of prayers ascending with each chant, you’ll find yourself driven by a sense of calmness and serenity within.
Among all the amazing and fun things to do in Rishikesh, witnessing a sunset from the Laxman Jhula should definitely be on your bucket list. The changing colours of the sky, sparkling a mesmerizing reflection through the crystal-clear water of the Ganges is a spectacle to behold. It is also believed that Lord Rama’s brother, Laxmana, crossed the river Ganga on a jute rope, built this bridge (jhula) with Lord Rama and meditated here to attain enlightenment.
If adventure and divinity are deemed as the heart and mind of Rishikesh, yoga is the soul of this city. Being home to some of the most effective Yogpeeth (yoga centres) or meditation ashrams in the country, the city is even called The Yoga Capital of India. Not only is Yoga hands-down the best way to embrace your inner tranquillity among the scenic beauty, but many people have also been heard calling it a life-changing experience. Some of the best ones include Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Omkarananda Ganga Sadan and Sivananda Ashram. Just walk into any of these and get ready to attain a state of blissful zen.
Being one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country, non-vegetarian food and alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited at all the eateries in Rishikesh. Yet, the city offers such a wide variety of delectable vegetarian food options that one doesn’t feel unsatisfied. And since most of them are located on rooftops, what could be better than beholding the breathtaking views of the Ganges or mountains as you savour lip-smacking food? The most popular ones include the 60’s Cafe Delmar, Little Buddha Cafe, Madras Cafe, Pure Soul Cafe & Organic Kitchen and The Sitting Elephant. And did we mention that they're super budget-friendly?
Now, who would want to leave a city without exploring its signature handicrafts, created by the local craftsmen? If you’re looking to find something that reflects the essence of Rishikesh, Garhwal Wool and Craft Shop is where you need to be. Not only is it one of the oldest shops for winter clothes and handcrafted, decorative items but offers the kind which is inspired by the traditional Garhwali attires and craftsmanship. If you’re into junk jewellery, a shop called Sudha Chandran Mahal is perfect for all your accessory obsessions. It offers such a wide range of colourful, funky jewellery, made of precious stones, seashells and pearls that won't let you leave without trying--or buying them all!
So, what are you waiting for? Plan a trip with your friends to this paradise of happiness right away!
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