Places To Visit In Rishikesh

Rishikesh is considered to be a revered holy spot amongst Hindus. People from all over India and even abroad flock to Rishikesh to enrich themselves with the highly spiritual experience that the town of Rishikesh provides. The town stood out even in the eyes of the famed rock band of its time Beatles, and had them stay here relishing the joy and solace offered by Rishikesh for over a month.

There are several places to visit in Rishikesh, ranging from spiritual in nature to ones holding a religious context, to downright sightseeing spots whose beauty will leave you enthralled for a long time. Popular attractions in Rishikesh include Lakshman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Ragunath Temple and Parmarth Niketan. There are several ashrams in and around Rishikesh like Vanprastha Ashram that will provide you with the true experience of a Hindu religious way of life for the duration of your stay. You will also be able to get down to the Ghat to watch the Ganga Arti, or you can opt in to get involved with adventurous activities like bungee jumping, exploration of caves and hiking or camping in the mountains around.

Rishikesh is also a popular starting point for the renowned Char Dham Yatra, as several people get to Rishikesh and begin their visit to the holy Chardham from there. The Yatra is supposed to provide a way for Moksha to people, which means eternation liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth.

No matter what your purpose of visit to Rishikesh is, your trip to Rishikesh will definitely provide you with a number of options of things to do in Rishikesh as per your preference, and your experience will definitely be rich and illuminating.

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Lakshman Jhula happens to be one of the famous hanging bridges across the holy river Ganga. The jhula is a link in between two important villages in Rishikesh. It connects the Tapovan village in Tehri Garhwal and Jonk village in Pauri Garhwal. 

The bridge is made up of iron and it is almost 450 feet long, which is suspended at an elevation of almost 70 feet above the river. Lakshman Jhula has been one of the centres for tourist attraction since its inception for its amazing association of the Hindu Mythology.

As per the popular Hindu mythology, Ramayan, it is believed that Lord Ram and his brother Lakshman had crossed the Ganga river at the same place, where the bridge has been built. 

The bridge was opened for public in the year 1929.  In recent times, in order to boost the tourist footfall, many other developments have been carried out around the famous Lakshman Jhula. 

Tourists now love to spend a considerable amount of time in these places in the course of their Rishikesh Trip. 

You can not only visit the Lakshman Jhula, but you can also spend time in some of the other nearby tourist attractions like Tera Manzil Temple, Ram Jhula, and Lakshman temple. 

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Formerly known as Chaurasi Kutia, Beatles Ashram happens to be a popular ashram located at Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. The place received a lot of hype and achieved wide recognition after the Beatles band of Liverpool came to stay there in the year 1986. 

The members of the band practiced meditation and composed many good songs in this place.   

In the later period, the ashram was left abandoned but was reopened for tourists in the year 2015. At present, the Beatles Ashram is visited by locals as well as tourists, out of which most of the travelers are Beatles band fans. The place usually attracts history buffs, experience seekers, serenity and peace seekers, nature lovers, photo fanatics, and meditation enthusiasts.

 The major attractions of the ashram include its stunning dome-shaped construction, amazing graffiti works, and the beautiful picture of the members of the Beatles band painted in one of the interior walls of Ved Bhavan. 

Other interesting things that can be seen here are the mysterious writings done on the walls of Siddhi Bhavan and Anand Bhavan and the beautifully designed meditation chambers of Chaurasi Kutia. 

The Beatles Ashram is believed to have a unique energy and inspiring vibe of its own that makes visitors realize the real power and value of spirituality.

The relaxing and rejuvenating environment of the place tranquilizes the body from within and refreshes the mind, filling you up with positivity. 

Surrounded by other serene attractions of the city, this place is totally worth visiting when you’re on a trip to the country’s Yoga Capital, Rishikesh.

Parmarth Niketan Ashram, located in the lap of the verdant Himalayas, along the banks of the Ganges, is one of the most popular ashrams in Rishikesh. The ashram specialises in traditional ayurvedic practice treatment, yoga, meditation and various other natural healing techniques. The ashram was founded in 1942 by Pujya Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj. With over 1000 rooms, lush gardens, clean and pure ambience, the ashram provides a calm and serene refuge to devotees and patients alike.

The ashram keeps its doors open for people of all religions, gender, caste, class and nationalities. The ashram is the home to a 14-feet statue of Lord Shiva that has been placed along the river bank. The divine or holy tree, Kalpavriksha, also boosts the sense of spirituality on the ashram campus.  

Various activities of the ashram include different healing yogas, universal prayers and meditation classes, kirtan, daily satsang, spiritual talks and seminars among other events. The ashram with its various activities aims to help people connect with their inner self and rejuvenate their senses. During your stay at the ashram, you can feel being associated with the peaceful surrounding of the ashram as well as nature.

The place has hosted hundreds of holy men, sages and yogis among others from across the globe. Parmarth Niketan Ashram has its own private ghat where Ganga Aarti is offered every evening. This is a blissful sight to witness if you are spending a day or two at the ashram. 

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Lakshman Temple is a Hindu temple on the banks of the Ganga River at Rishikesh, Uttrakhand. The scores of pilgrims use Lakshman Jhula as a ropeway to reach Lakshman Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Ram’s younger brother Lakshman. Lakshman performed penance on this site.

Tapovan is a religious hub on the banks of river Ganga where Lakshman Jhula and Lakshman temple stand today. Lakshman Jhula is 450 feet long hanging bridge at the height of 70 feet and a distance of 4 kilometers from Rishikesh. 

On one end of the Lakshman Jhula, Tehra Manzil is a 13-story temple with carved sculptures of Gods and Goddesses. Wonderful picturesque surroundings give tourists an otherworldly experience. The old route to Badrinath and Kedarnath lies along the bridge.

Hundreds of temples are dedicated to Lord Ram, Lakshman temples are rare to find. Lakshman idol is in the standing posture. Hanuman's orange color stone relief, the marble idols of Hanuman, the wooden relief images of Narad, Badri, and Lakshmi, and the idol of Swami Narayanji are other deities in this temple. Thousands of visitors come to surrounding ashrams.


Mythology and Legends.

Abode of Gods, Rishikesh, is one of the most ancient pilgrimage sites of India. Its history is inconceivable without referencing the Lakshman Temple. Various mythological and legendary stories mark in the historical backdrop of this town.

You will see a beautiful chariot sculpture near Lakshman temple when crossing the Lakshman Jhula.

Several legends are associated with the origin of this mythical bridge. You will see a divine Lakshman idol installed inside the sanctum of Lakshman Temple at Rishikesh. As per the legend, Lakshman crossed the river Ganga on a bridge built with jute ropes.

Lakshman Jhula and Temple stand at that same site. The Lakshman Jhula, made of jute ropes, collapsed in October 1924 in a deluge. Lakshman Juhla was rebuilt with iron and steel during the 1930s and opened to the masses in 1939.

Another folklore goes that Lakshman attained spiritual enlightenment after meditating at this temple. Lord Rama and Lakshman erected a twig bridge to cross the Ganga River to the Himalayas.

As legend has it that Rishi Kund is a bathing square where Rama and Lakshman bathed to wash away their sins after killing the demon king Ravana. Rishi Kund means 'Pond of the Sage.' The Goddess Yamuna blessed a sage Kubz and promised to stay in Rishikesh forever.



Splendor in design and structured figures, just as wall paintings, are the main features of the architecture.  These decorative wall engravings, designs, and ancient sculptures are typical to antiquated time. You will get beautiful views of the Rishikesh valley and Ganga.



The following festivals are celebrated at Lakshman Temple:

Dussehra: To commemorate the victory of good over evil, People celebrate Dussehra on the precincts of Lakshman Temple. Lord Ram slew Ravana to bring about peace and prosperity. Devotees set ablaze an effigy of Ravana.

Diwali: Diwali is celebrated with arrays of lights and earthen lamps to celebrate Ram and Lakshman's return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana.

Neelkanth Mahadev is a Shiva temple at the height of 1330 meters, about 32 km from Rishikesh in Pauri Garhwal of Uttrakhand in India.

This famous pilgrimage near Rishikesh lies above Swargashram adjacent to the Nar Narayan mountain range.

Vishnukoot, Brahmakoot, and Manikoot are the valleys that surround the Shiva abode. Dense forests and mountain ranges of Nar-Narayan surround the temple on the confluence of Rivers Madhumati and Pankaja.

Spectacular sights of the mountains and valleys add to the beautiful natural surroundings of the temple and allure tourists.

A fire has been burning from the beginning of time inside the temple, and devotees carry this fire's soot as prasadam. The temple houses the idols of Sri Kapil Muni and Lord Ganesha in the temple compound.


History and Legend

Devas(Gods) and Asuras(demons) churned the ocean to obtain elixir. Ocean emanated poison after Samudra Manthan(churning of the sea). As per Hindu mythology, here, Shiva consumed poison, and it made his throat blue. Thus, Shiva came to be known as Neelkanth.

After consuming venom, Lord Shiva came to Rishikesh and sat on a mountain peak to remove the poison. His forehead had become hot after holding poison in his throat. Devtas poured water on this forehead to cool him down because Shiva was suffering from poison's negative energy.

Since then, pouring water over the deity or the Shiv Linga has continued. Later, Devtas requested Lord Shiva to go back to his abode Kailash.  

Lord Shiva is regarded as the most authoritative of all gods in the Hindu Pantheon. The aura of the temple is ethereal and subtle. Priests give out vibhuti, Chandan, and Prasad.

Kanvad Yatra

Kawarias(devotees) trek from Haridwar to Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. During the Shraawan(Jul-Aug), Kanvad Yatra is an annual pilgrimage. A single pole is known as kanvar. Kanvarias fetch holy waters of Ganga and offer it at the local Shiva temples. 

Best Time to Visit Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Shivratri during Shrawan month is a gala occasion at the temple. Pilgrims flock here for music, Pooja ceremony, performances, and the temple's decoration in flowers and lighting. This is the best time to enjoy festivity at Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.

Devotees offer Bael leaves, coconut, milk, honey, flowers, fruits, and water to Lord Shiva. The temple observes two fairs annually – Maha Shivratri(February-March) and Shivratri of Shravan(July-August).

River rafting has become synonymous with Rishikesh in recent years because it has developed into a playground for adventure sports. The most popular adventure activity in Uttarakhand is rafting.

Trained guides of the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam(GMVN) conduct rafting courses, including river-guide services, rafting, boarding, and lodging. Even non-swimmers can enjoy rafting with a life jacket on. Under professional guidance, even children take up a fun activity.

River rafting in Rishikesh offers breath-taking views of the surrounding Himalayan range, vegetation, and diverse terrain with varying altitudes. Several camps lie between Shivpuri and Kaudiyala upstream from Rishikesh on the way to Devprayag during the season.


Classification of Rapids

Here is a round-up of rapids available at Rishikesh:

  1. Grade-I: This rapid is perfect for beginners because it happens in the shallow water of plains, and the speed is slow. Moreover, fewer skillset and maneuvering techniques are required. Non-swimmers can partake in grade-1 rafting.
  2. Grade-II: This rapid happens in uneven regions or rocky trails of the river and requires navigating skills and rafting experience. This is the most popular among novice rafters. It is more stringent than the Grade – I and a professional guide can make it convenient.
  3. Grade-III: The fascinating white water rafting begins with Grade-III. These strenuous and tiring rapids with high speed and size crash against the rock surfaces and turn foamy-white and called white water rafting. The river flows downward through rough and rocky patches. It requires superior cruising techniques or skills to take on the challenge. Rafting guide is a must for this rapid.
  4. Grade-IV: After you have learned all the tips and tricks, you can experience the thrill with the Grade-IV because it requires high maneuvering techniques and endurance. It happens in the region where the river descends through rocky patches with high speed.
  5. Grade-V: Only expert rafters with rafting skills and previous encounters with the white waters should undertake Grade-V rapids. The river passes through too rocky patches and whirlpools at the confluence point. Rafters are expected to be good swimmers, and they should move under the supervision of experienced rafting guides.


Rishikesh Rafting Season

The season spans from 15 September to 30 June. Shivpuri is the hub for the main White Water River Rafting at Rishikesh. River rafting remains closed during monsoon from 1 July to 15 September. March is the peak season. These are the four different stretches of river-rafting in Rishikesh:

Brahmpuri Rafting Season: This basic stretch is 9 km with grade II rapids from mid-September to June end.

Shivpuri Rafting Season: This 16 km long stretch with Grade III rapids runs from mid-September to the beginning of June.

Marine Drive Rafting Season: This 25 km long thrilling stretch with grade IV rapids opens in Mid-September and closes 1-2 weeks before the Shivpuri rafting season. It is not for the first-timers.

Kaudiyala Rafting Season: This advanced stretch with grade V rapids operates from mid-October to mid-May for extreme adventure.


River Rafting Points in Rishikesh

Brahampuri(8 Kms): This Grade I stretch from Brahampuri to Ram Jhula is suitable for the family, students, and beginners. The duration is 1 or 2 hours.

Shivpuri (16 Kms): Shivpuri to Laxman Jhula stretch for 2-3 hours is the best selling with camping facility. Shivpuri is 16 km from Rishikesh.

Marine Drive(26 Kms): This moderate expedition from marine drive to Laxman Jhula for 3-4 hours is very popular among corporate groups. Cliff jumping is another attraction with some enjoyable rapids.

Byasi(35 Kms): This rafting site is 35 kilometers from Rishikesh on Badrinath Highway. It offers some thrilling rapids.

Kaudiyala(40 Kms): This stretch involves 13 rapids of Grade III and Grade IV, making it challenging for 4-5 hours.

Devprayag(75 Kms): This strenuous stretch takes two days to complete. On the first day, you will raft 35 kilometers up to Kaudiyala. The next day, you will cover another 35 kilometers up to Rishikesh. It requires stamina and physical strength to undertake this rafting.


Things to Carry

  • Take a small first aid kit with painkiller, antiseptic cream, and lotion.
  • Carry a sunscreen or lotion.
  • Take swimming goggles or sunglasses.
  • Shutterbugs can carry a camera or video camera at their own risk.
  • Wear suggested clothes such as a swimsuit, T-shirt, and shorts. Avoid putting on cotton.
  • Bring towels, an extra pair of clothes, and shoes.


Safety Measures in Rafting

  • Put on river sandals or sports shoes and avoid casual sandals.
  • Getting into the water may cause disorientation.
  • Wear life-jackets.
  • Follow the instructions of your tour guide.
  • During the rafting, avoid alcohol or other intoxicants.
  • Paddle as a team.
  • Get your health check-up done before the rafting expedition. Fitness is a prerequisite for this activity.
  • Do not stand up at all during a moving current.
  • Pregnant women, asthmatics, heart patients, and people with fractures, injuries, or other medical complications must avoid river rafting.
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There are a number of famous places to visit in Rishikesh, such as Laxman Jhula, the iconic spot of Rishikesh. The Beatles Ashram where the Beatles band stayed for over a month is also amongst the top tourist attractions in Rishikesh. You can also go down to Triveni Ghat to watch the Ganga Aarti in the mornings and evenings. Neer Garh Falls is the most famous waterfall in Rishikesh.
The Neer Garh Falls in Rishikesh is one of the most romantic places to visit in Rishikesh for couples. You are also advised to visit the Beatles Ashram and Laxman Jhula with your partner for an exciting and peaceful time together.
You can do adventure activities in Rishikesh like water rafting, bungee jumping, riding the giant swing and trekking. You can also do camping by the water flow at night.Besides, there are places to visit in Rishikesh for sightseeing such as Laxman Jhula, Triveni Ghat for its Ganga Aarti, It is also recommended to grab the delicacies available at Little Buddha Cafe and German Bakery for a complete and fun visit.
Laxman Jhula, Triveni Ghat and Rama Palace are the best places to visit in Rishikesh at night time. Little Buddha Cafe is also definitely worth the visit during the night thanks to its setting and ambience, Camp Riverside and Shivpuri Jungle Night Camp provide the best camping sites in Rishikesh for setting up your overnight camps.
Laxman Jhula, Flying Fox, Beatles Ashram and the Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat are the top places to visit in Rishikesh for sightseeing. You can also take walks along the river or towards the mountains on the trekking routes and catch stunning sights.
Neer Garh waterfall is the most famous waterfall in Rishikesh. It is renowned for the natural beauty and serenity found at this place, and it also offers an exquisite and panoramic view of the scenic valley down below.
Little Buddha Cafe and German Bakery are two of the top places to eat in Rishikesh during your visit. These places not only provide good and fresh food but also good ambience after sunset during the night. Other good places to eat in Rishikesh include The Sitting Elephant, Jal And Jalebi and Flavors Restaurant.