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Introducing Rishikesh

Best time to visit : September to April
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Rishikesh, the city with two diverse facets of being a pilgrimage destination and an adventure spot, is located on the banks of River Ganga in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun District. Bridges that span over the holy river, arrays of well-known temples, yoga and meditation venues and a sense of spirituality filling the environment sum up this popular North India tourist place. Tourists visiting Rishikesh claim to surrender themselves completely to the divine beauty of the place. Attending evening Ganga aarti (prayer), taking a holy dip in the river and a host of adventure activities like kayaking, rafting, rappelling, rock climbing and trekking are among the top attractions of Rishikesh.


Also spelled as Hrishikesh, the name of the city is derived from that of Lord Hrishikesh (a form of Lord Vishnu). Popularly called the land of sages, it is the place where Lord Rama, God Agni and many sages performed strong penances. Because of its world-famous yoga and meditation centres, the city today enjoys the designation as The World Capital of Yoga. Rishikesh is also home to many reputed ashrams frequently visited by the tourists from all over. Rishikesh is known as the gateway of River Ganga to leave Himalayas and flow in Northern Plains. The city is also the gateway to numerous pilgrimage sites in Uttarakhand, the most popular one being Chota Char Dham Yatra (pilgrimage to four holy places, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri). Due to the continental type of climate round the year, sightseeing in Rishikesh is pleasant in every season.

Being a pilgrimage site, Rishikesh has restaurants serving vegetarian cuisines. Though few modern restaurants serving Continental dishes offer non-vegetarian items, but it is advised to avoid it. Chotiwala is an interesting destination to enjoy delicious Indian cuisines. Ganga Ayurvedic Food Place, Ganga View Restaurant and Little Buddha are other recommended places. Ayurvedic tea and lassi are refreshing drinks available at dhabas.

God statues and sculptures made of various materials, incense sticks in different varieties, gems, precious stones and other religious items can be purchased from different parts. Reasonably priced clothes attract the tourists. Handcrafted showpieces made of interesting materials like shells and beads are worthy items to buy. Small shops, stalls and emporiums can be easily accessed all over the city.

Nearby Places:
  • Haridwar (about 20 km.): Another great pilgrimage destination on River Ganga, Haridwar is famous for its temples and ghats.
  • Neelkanth Temple (about 29 km.): An ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is among the top tourist places around Rishikesh and is known for its sacred Shiva Lingam and beautiful shikhara (temple tower).
  • Dehradun (about 45 km.): Worth visiting to explore attractions like Kalinga War Memorial, Mindrolling Monastery, Char Siddhs Temples, Robber’s Cave, Sulphur water springs and more.
  • Devprayag (about 73 km.): Town where Rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi joins to form River Ganga, it is a pilgrimage destination with ultimate natural beauty. 
  • Mussoorie (about 75 km.): Popular as the Queen of the Hills, it is a charming hill station with highlights like waterfalls, lakes and colonial buildings.


Rishikesh remains crowded with tourists visiting various holy places of Himalayas, including Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Joshimath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath, Guptakashi, Uttarakashi and Kedarnath.

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