A paradise on earth for adventure seekers, a magical haven for nature admirers and a surreal abode for culture vultures, these things to do in Rishikesh make the city a perfect place for every type of traveler.
Well, I’m a Traveler, Adventurous and this is my experience of visiting the Merge of Bliss and Thrill city, “Rishikesh”.
I had my entire schedule planned, as I wanted to see each and every corner of city, of which I have heard so much. We reached Dehradun Airport at 10 am. I boarded the bus from Dehradun Airport and finally around 12.30 pm, we reached the camp house where tents were speckled nicely amid oodles of sand. We were amazed at the location as we could hear nothing but the flow of the holy Ganga and it filled our minds with calmness. The view from the tent was spectacular…serene… almost like staying amongst mountains and river.
So, it was day one, what could have been a better beginning than going to the holy city of Haridwar by Auto Rickshaw. It was a new experience of travelling to Haridwar by Rickshaw to visit the Daksh Mahadev Temple.
Daksh Mahadev temple
This is one of the spiritual tourist destinations of the Haridwar city. This temple depicts the story of Sati, the first wife of Shiva who was later reborn as Parvati. We spotted a fascinating Statue of Lord Shiva across the river about half a Km away, close to the ‘VIP Ghat’- the clean part of the Ganga and have restricted entry only for foreigners, NRI’s and people with permission.
There are many temples in the complex along with shops selling all kinds of Puja accessories. The best time to visit is in the evenings when Aarti is performed on the banks of the Ganga. I witnessed to the breath taking Aarti of Mother Ganga, which made our trip was worth every effort that we took.
After exploring Haridwar we drove back to our camp. After a quick chilling shower and snacks, we enjoyed a night camp with bonfire, Music, dance and dinner. Cold winds… flow of the holy Ganga every moment spent were worth it…
We woke up to a beautiful chilly morning and we left for a small trek to enjoy sunrise… The Pleasant weather, breathtakingly beautiful view, everything was perfect. After breakfast, we headed for the most exciting part of my life “Bungee Jumping’ which would be my first ever experience.
Bungee jumping in Rishikesh – these words can give Goosebumps to many travelers across India. When I started planning for this trip, the only thing I was looking forward was Bungee jumping and rafting.
The venue for bungee Jumping in Rishikesh is located in Mohanchatti with the name, Jumping Heights. It is run by ex-army officers and the jump masters are from New Zealand, the Adventure Capital of the world.
This was easily one of the most daring things I’ve ever done! I jumped from the 83 meters (Which is approx 273 Ft) . It was a thrilling experience to jump from a place that high and when you look in the front, you can only see a forest on a mountain. There was a cool breeze and a splendid green landscape which made it even more beautiful.
You fly for that split second with the anxiety and bloody rushing head on into the fall and suddenly that pull!! What a thrill!! It was just an amazing adventure. Woo! Wanna do it once again.I would really love another jump in the future!! (Auckland Bridge Climb and Bungee)
The view from the ghats down below is just stunning. Walking on the Laxman Jhula, across the Ganga, is something I absolutely love. The fresh and cold air passing by, everything felt amazing. It was a moment that I wanted to capture. It might not seem appealing to normal people but for a traveler witnessing sunset from that place would definitely be PURE LOVE!
Late evening we checked out from camp and stayed in a hotel at Laxman Jhula. I was happy I chose to stay on this side of the bridge; about 15 minutes walk from Laxman Jhula and the main market drag.
In the evenings, when the city became eerily quiet, you can go to the market near Laxman Jhula. You can experience all of India in one place. You can see everything in the market. From the snake charmer, cows and dogs, sadhus, the Ganga, pilgrims, colorful saris to everything that saturates your senses. And you will see foreigners more than Indian Travelers.
The Long day ahead for us the next morning. The most amazing part would be river rafting in ice cold water and that would be my third experience. The River rafting experience was not new to me. I had enjoyed rafting before at Zanskar river Ladakh and Kolad, Maharashtra.
White water rafting on the Ganges
Early next morning, after some blissful tea, a few snaps, a short walk, we left for rafting.
We started our rafting down from Brahmapuri to Laxman Jhula. A 16km rafting, covers 9 rapids, body surfing, cliff jumping.The first and second rapids were so powerful that our concentration was on protecting ourselves from the force rather than enjoying the thrill of the ride. The remaining rapids were full of fun that cannot be described, just experienced.
Gliding on the icy cold Ganga River, in the midst of towering mountains is a sight to behold. The rapids are challenging themselves, giving a thrilling ride from start to finish.
Being a fan of casual white water rafting, I had heard that Rishikesh was the best place to do it. And it didn’t disappoint!!
We had visited in late evening and its worth watching river ganga from the top. And atmosphere which we had watched from besides of Ram Jhula is memorable. And lighting from other side and clouds sets on river was so beautiful that I m not able to narrate it. In short, it was too beautiful and memorable visit.
It would be worth if you visit this place in the evening.
Day 4 – Last day
Yoga capital of the world
Besides the adventure and Holy place “Rishikesh” is known as the ‘yoga capital of the world’, therefore yoga is one of the best experiences for travelers here.
So, Next day we woke up extremely early in the morning, decided to try a little yoga. The balance of body, mind and soul is the key to not just health and wellness, but it also reveals the secret of a higher level of existence. It was really peaceful to sit there for a while in silence, with no chanting, no noise, no offerings, no frills of any sort at this part of Ganga.
Rishikesh is the place where the mountains, the rushing river, temples will take your heart away. And this is my experience to mesmerizing Rishikesh – the city that I absolutely love and the city that captures the essence of Incredible India to its fullest.
Things to know before you go –
- Absolutely no electricity or mobile network coverage in most camps.
- Don’t forget to buy your alcohol and smokes before going to the campsite in the night because there are no shops in that area.
- Your hotel staff will probably offer to arrange adventure activities and bike rentals for you.
Bungee Jumping – Rs 3550/- pp, Rs 750/- for video and Rs 200/- per photo copy…
River rafting – Rs 500/- pp.
Bike rental – Rs. 400/- per day.
- Oct to Feb is a good time to go there as it would be less crowded
- If you are a foodie, then Rishikesh won’t disappoint you… You must try Puri-Halwa, Chole bhature, and Kheer, Gulab jamun, Rasmalai… It’s a paradise for sweet-tooth folks!! (Bhandari Restaurant, Pyramid Café, Madras Café)
I will write more on the city soon, until then, Happy Travelling!