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8 Best Things To Do In Rishikesh

Sitting in the foothills of the Himalayas, besides the famous River Ganges, the town of Rishikesh in India is famous for its spirituality.

Thousands of visitors from all over the world come here to study yoga and meditation, including, in the 1960’s, the English band The Beatles. Hence it has earned the moniker ‘Yoga Capital of the World’.

However, in contrast, this charming town is also known for its adventure sports such as white water rafting and bungee jumping.

Rishikesh is also home to ancient temples and ashrams, a couple of interesting bridges and of course some colourful markets.

With a lot on offer, here’s our list of best things to do in Rishikesh.

1. Yoga In Rishikesh

Thousands of tourists flock here every year and scatter across the ashrams in order to master different types of yoga in Rishikesh.

One Indian guy even joked with us upon arrival ‘if you’re born in Rishikesh and can’t do yoga my friend, you are abandoned to another city.’

I guess that was it then…if there was one place in India to try yoga then this was it!

Yoga teacher training in Rishikesh is by far the most popular tourist attraction and on most peoples India itinerary.

Although we aren’t big yogis, we still decided to take a few lessons on the rooftop with a local Indian lady as our introduction to yoga in Rishikesh.

If you are based in Delhi there is a tour From Delhi: 2-Day Tour of Rishikesh and Haridwar that will include an ashram visit and yoga session.

Places To Visit In Rishikesh Hostels
Lauren practising her yoga in Rishikesh

2. Rishikesh Rafting

One of the highlights of our trip had to be water rafting in Rishikesh. For us this would be top of your things to do in Rishikesh list!

We were a bit sceptical at first because just like everything else in India the prices seemed too good to be true.

Sure enough though, we paid our 400 Rupees (around £4) for a Rishikesh rafting trip and took a jeep 10km up the river before gearing up and jumping in.

The guide was a real laugh, don’t expect much of a safety briefing though. He let us do flips off the raft and pulled over to a cliff jumping spot.

The rapids weren’t too wild, which was probably a good thing, but for that price we had a good 45mins on the water and what an experience to say you’ve rafted along the Ganges!

This has to be one of the best things to do in India.

Rafting In Rishikesh Rafting Things To Do In Rishikesh
Gearing up for our Rishikesh rafting experience!

3. The Beatles Ashram

Apart from yoga and water activities, there are still plenty of other things to do in Rishikesh.

One of the most popular of those is The Beatles ashram.

This is an ashram the famous British band visited in the 60’s where they attended meditation teachings and wrote many songs which later appeared on albums such as ‘Abbey Road’ and ‘The White Album’.

To this day the city still thrives off their visit and has taken full advantage of enhancing tourism by creating all types of artwork and even opened a Beatles themed cafe.

4. Neergarh Waterfall

If the Rishikesh rafting doesn’t satisfy your cravings for water activities, then Neergarh Waterfall should do.

The trek from Rishikesh town to Neergarh Waterfall is approximately 5km, and will take roughly 1 hour to reach the falls.

Most visitors tend to start trekking from the famous Laxman Jhula Bridge.

The waterfalls itself is only small, however you’ll likely take any waterfall you can get in India!

The crystal blue colours are a joy to the eye, although be prepared if you’re looking to swim, as Neergarh Waterfall is loaded with a chill all year round.

So much so, that it takes your breath away when you dunk yourself in.

That’s not to say it’s not unbelievably refreshing though!

Neergarh Waterfall In Rishikesh Neergarh Waterfall Trek Neer Garh Waterfall In Rishikesh
Splashing around in Neergarh Waterfall

5. Bungee Jumping

Rishikesh bungee jumping starts at 3550 Rupees per person and gives you the opportunity to jump head first towards the river water below.

India’s highest bungee jump can be found in Rishikesh at 83 metres high!

So if you think you can trust the health and safety in India, which we certainly didn’t, then maybe a Rishikesh bungee jumping could be a great place for you!

6. Rishikesh Bridge

One more thing before we finish, you can’t close a Rishikesh blog without mentioning the two narrow bridges that bring the city together.

They have all kinds of passengers from cows, mopeds and people crying out for selfies.

If you get a chance you can even spot the guys coming down the river during their Rishikesh rafting!

It takes approximately 10 minutes to cross, purely because it’s rammed with people hurrying both ways.

There’s a system in order where you can’t really stop to take pictures as the bridge police will usher you on but that’s only if you get caught!

The bridges were definitely something to remember when sharing our stories about Rishikesh. Organised chaos at it’s best!

Rishikesh Bridge Places To Visit In Rishikesh Bridge
Charlie crossing the infamous Rishikesh bridge

7. Rishikesh Markets

From the moment we arrived in Rishikesh we could feel that it was going to be a very much chilled and enjoyable stop.

Markets are one of our favourite things to explore when travelling, but as we all know they can be dangerous where money is concerned.

As you travel through different towns and cities in India, each place seems to have a different speciality in the markets, and in Rishikesh it was prayer beads.

We got talking to a cute old man that ran a small stall in Laxman Juhla selling prayer beads, among other things.

He explained to us how much the town had changed since the introduction of tourists but how important religion still was to the people who resided in it.

The locals would take their beads down to the river ganges and take a holy dip in the water. So we bought some beads and done exactly that!

Browsing the shops and markets are definitely some of the best things to do in Rishikesh!

Rishikesh Markets Places To Visit In Rishikesh Markets
Lauren shopping in Rishikesh markets
Rishikesh Markets Places To Visit In Rishikesh Markets
Making friends at the Rishikesh markets

8. Eat At The Many Restaurants

Freedom Cafe

For cheap hummus and awesome curries this place is a must. We loved it!

Aside from tourist attractions, eating here is one of the best things to do in Rishikesh!

Little Buddha Cafe

A very popular place amongst backpackers and a perfect place to meet after your yoga teacher training in Rishikesh!

Little buddha has a great ambiance overlooking the river and some awesome food. Just be prepared to wait a little.

Mango Tree Hampi Indian Thali Goa Backpacking India Route
A typical Indian curry, served up with a warm chapati.

Where To Stay In Rishikesh

Luxury

Palm Bliss Resorts

Situated in Rishīkesh, 200 yards from Patanjali International Yoga Foundation, Palm Bliss Resorts features accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness centre and a garden.

Around 1.4 miles from Ram Jhula, the property is also 3.1 miles away from Triveni Ghat and offers free WiFi.

The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests.

At Palm Bliss Resorts all rooms come with a seating area. Rooms also include a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.

Mid-Budget

Hotel Natraj

Featuring a garden and free Wi-Fi, Hotel Natraj in Rishīkesh is situated 1.2 miles from Triveni Ghat and 1.7 miles from Parmarth Niketan Ashram.

The rooms have air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bath or shower and a desk. With a private bathroom equipped with free toiletries, while some rooms will provide you with a terrace.

Boasting a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with an outdoor pool.

The accommodation also offers a children’s playground and spa center.

Guests at Hotel Natraj will be able to enjoy activities in and around Rishīkesh, like cycling.

Budget

Shiv Shakti Hostel

Located 1.2 miles from Ram Jhula, Shiv Shakti Hostel operates a 24-hour front desk.

Shiv Shakti Hostel is located 2.5 miles from Private Bus Station and 3.7 miles from Local Bus Station.

The rooms come with either a fan or air-condition. They come with a heater, tiled/marble flooring and flat-screen satellite TV. The attached bathroom includes free toiletries and shower.

Trekking, white river rafting, biking and camping are all available to arrange at the hostel.

For more places to stay in Rishikesh, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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8 Best Things To Do In Rishikesh

Peta Delsonno

Tuesday 25th of January 2022

I was recently in Rishikesh...I miss it so, and even more now reading your blog....well done. Great article...And I'm going back 😀

Charlie Pauly

Tuesday 25th of January 2022

Thank you. Enjoy the return trip!

sanu

Saturday 19th of September 2020

Nice post....... this article provided me all insights related to rishikesh .... keeep sharing

Jaman Singh Rawat

Saturday 25th of December 2021

@Charlie & Lauren,

Hi great job.

The details are really helpful for travelers. Try out to explore some remote Himalayan valleys. They need you to bring into tourists sightings.

Charlie Pauly

Wednesday 23rd of September 2020

Thanks, glad it was useful!