Are you planning for that long-awaited trip to the ancient town of Rishikesh? Worry not! We are here to help with the best places and things to do in the city to make the most of your quick getaway to the hills.
It is famous as a temple town, yoga capital, and the ideal place to be at one with nature. Nestled in the lower Himalayas, it is perfect for those seeking spiritual awakening in the hills. From being surrounded by forested hills to an ideal spot for meditation and mind expansion, the Yoga Capital is renowned as one of the most modern and luxurious holiday spots for people worldwide.
Being an enchanting city, you can find many people coming from different nationalities strolling down the bustling street with exuberant energy in Rishikesh. The chic bohemian cafes here accommodate deep conversations punctuated by the fainting sounds of the fast-flowing Ganges River or the nearby temple bells.
For a hassle-free vacation in Rishikesh, you can head straight to jüSTa Rasa Retreat & Resort and immerse yourself in the luxurious and serene vibes of the holy city. To provide a soothing and peaceful experience in Rishikesh, jüSTa Rasa Retreat & Spa is one of the finest places to experience the city’s luxury and peace.
What to Do in Rishikesh?
In this comprehensive travel guide, we aim to present the top 10 places to visit and activities to do in Rishikesh, ensuring an unforgettable journey.
Go for Adventures in Rishikesh
The yoga capital is famous for spiritual awakening in the hills. However, if your interest is beyond spirituality and you are looking for some adventures in Rishikesh, try the bustling adventure activities in the city.
The city offers a wide range of sports that cater to adrenaline junkies. The most popular activities in this area are white water rafting and bungee jumping, which are often quite busy. Besides this, you can also try zip lining, mountain biking, or trekking and hiking for some thrills in the hills.
You will be surprised by the energy and enthusiasm these activities can bring while trying one of the best activities in Rishikesh.
Pro tip: Book your adventure activities from a reliable source at affordable prices in advance during the peak tourist season to avoid any last-minute rush.
Savour in the Bohemian Cafes of Rishikesh
Rishikesh is known for its holy and adventurous vibes but has far more than anyone can imagine.
Set amidst the mighty River Ganges, serene setting and tranquil vibes, Rishikesh is full of cool cafes with the best dishes in town. From Israeli food to North Indian and street food, the taste blends with religion and is reflected in the city’s multilayered soul.
The cafes here are busy, energetic, and glorious, filled with travellers worldwide enjoying the food with spectacular views. Some must-visit cafes are The Little Buddha Cafe overlooking the Ganges, Freedom Cafe for tasty hummus pita and falafel, Tiny House Cafe for amazing shakes and Vj’s Giardino for Firewood Pizza. However, one must note that non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly off-limits here.
Check out: Under The Banyan Tree: The Best Restaurant in Rishikesh
Meditate in the Vashishtha Caves
Meditating in the ancient Vashishta Cave is undoubtedly one of the top activities in Rishikesh for those seeking a profound spiritual experience. Situated 22 km above the city, it was once the holy abode of Sage Vashishtha, who was the human son of Lord Brahma.
This cave offers a serene and fascinating environment, making it an ideal space for introspection. As you enter the cave, you’ll be enveloped in an unseen energy of tranquillity, with the gentle sound of the river and the scent of incense permeating the air.
Meditating in the Vashishta Cave is not just an activity; it is an opportunity to connect with the ancient roots of spirituality and experience a profound sense of peace and enlightenment.
Pro tip: Before going for your meditation, we advise you to seek guidance from experienced practitioners or local guides available to offer insights into the cave’s history and significance.
Appreciate the Art in the Famous Beatles Ashram
With the famous Beatles’ trip, this slow town gained global recognition. And if you top the list of die-hard fans, exploring the Ashram where the Beatles resided (also called the Beatles’ Ashram) is something you cannot miss.
Originally known as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram, this is the place where the Beatles stayed and wrote their White Album and more than a few tracks that they were supposed to. This is what made this place as famous as The Beatles Ashram.
Neglected for decades, it is now a pilgrimage site for those seeking to appreciate the striking art and graffiti on the walls. From several abandoned buildings to creepy and fascinating ones, you’ll find a meditation hall, rock-lined hallways and derelict lodging where the Beatles resided.
To add to its vibes, the whole site is surrounded by jungle and an electric fence to keep away the animals. So, if you are a big Beatles fan or artist searching for an offbeat experience, the Beatles Ashram is one of the best places to visit in Rishikesh.
Fun Fact: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles stay in Rishikesh, a permanent photo exhibition was held in 2018. It showcased the images of Paul Saltzman, the sole photographer allowed inside the Ashram, who recorded their stay.
There is also a designated space for Transcendental Meditation, which Maharishi Mahesh established in this location.
Seek Blessing at the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
Nestled at the rolling hills above Swarg Ashram, the Neelkantha Mahadeva Temple is one of the most famous places to visit in Rishikesh. The shrine is devoted to Lord Shiva and is at the exact spot where Lord Shiva consumed the Venom from the sea, and gods and demons obtained the Amrit or the elixir of life.
Dedicated pilgrims walk to the temple along a forest path from Swarg Ashram to offer holy water of the Ganges at this temple.
Pro Tip: If you wish to avoid walking to the temple, we recommend an alternative route through a long road (about 20 km) via Lakshman Jhula, where you can quickly get a Jeep taxi for your return.
Must Read: 10 Mystical Temples in Rishikesh You Should Visit in 2023
Camp on the Banks of the Ganges
Camping on the banks of the holy Ganges River is an ideal activity to do in Rishikesh. As the sun goes down, you can immerse in the serene vibes of nature and the soothing sounds of Ganga from the mountains.
The city offers a range of camping options for enjoying the riverside. Campsites come alive at night with the warm glow of bonfires, creating a cosy and inviting atmosphere. Wake up to the soft rays of the rising sun, dip in the refreshing river, and start your day with yoga by the riverside.
Camping on the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh offers a unique blend of adventure, spirituality, and natural beauty to create memorable moments in this enchanting city.
Attend the Evening Aarti at Triveni Ghat
The evening Aarti ceremony on the Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh is the most divine experience that stands as the top highlight of the city. As dusk descends, the ghat comes alive with chantings, bhajans, crisp and cold air, and an illuminating ambience.
This Aarti is a sacred ritual dedicated to the river Ganges and is believed to cleanse the sins and bestow blessings upon the devotees. Thousands of lit oil lamps cast a lovely glow along the riverbank. As you join the crowd in the Aarti, you can feel the spiritual energy and devotion in the air. People from different places come together with their faces aglow with faith and dedication as they pray to the holy river.
It is a powerful and humbling experience to witness the collective devotion and to be a part of this ancient tradition.
Visit the Neer Garh Waterfall
Neer Garh is a lovely waterfall situated at the end of a 20-minute hike starting 2km north of Lakshman Jhula. This waterfall is one of Rishikesh’s most famous and touristy places for families and couples.
The journey itself is an adventure, allowing you to embrace the beauty of nature and discover hidden gems along the way. It is an ideal outdoor spot to chill and unwind in the sun while soaking in the milky white water running down the beautiful rocky terrain.
Because of its touristy setup, it is bustling with crowds, especially on weekends. You may also find snacks, beverages, and souvenirs near the waterfall.
Rejuvenate your Senses with Yoga and Meditation.
A trip to Rishikesh is incomplete without practicing deep yoga and meditation. Eminent as the Yoga Capital of the World, Rishikesh is a perfect place to connect with your inner self and find peace. To celebrate the joy of yoga and the spirituality of this holy land, International Yoga Week is held every year in March.
There are lectures, theatre performances and art exhibitions at various locations across the town. You can start your day by listening to calming Kundalini music and meditating in the beautiful environs of Rishikesh as the sun sets. It will offer you a strong sense of peace and unmatched strength.
The city is bustling with yoga retreats and ashrams where you can find trained masters of this ancient art helping you get in the rhythm. jüSTa Rasa Retreat and Spa being a 5-star luxury retreat in Rishikesh, is a distinctive name in the realm of comfort and architecture. Here, you can find yourself in the private abode of nature and experience unparalleled luxury.
Explore The Wildlife at Rajaji National Park
Just 30 minutes drive from Rishikesh, Rajaji National Park offers an excellent experience for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.
Spread across the Shivalik range of the Himalayas, this huge national park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, offering a beautiful paradise for nature enthusiasts.
You can take a thrilling safari through the park’s dense forests to spot majestic creatures like elephants, tigers, leopards, and various species of deer. Keep your binoculars handy to observe the rich birdlife, including the vibrant Himalayan bird species.
Soak in the spiritual vibes of Rishikesh with jüSTa Rasa Retreat & Spa
jüSTa Rasa Retreat & Spa is a luxe retreat in a scenic location overlooking the lush green hills and the sacred Ganges, making it the best 5 star hotel in Rishikesh. The luxury retreat is equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and is away from the usual hustle and bustle of city life.
To reach our blissful retreat, you have to drive from central Rishikesh City towards Neelkanth Road, passing via lush green trails.
We offer unique attractions and warm hospitality to help you relax and unwind in our elegant and spacious rooms. Following this, you can begin your day by tasting the rich food of Uttarakhand at our in-house fine dining signature restaurant, Under The Banyan Tree. Not only this, but you can also take a mind-refreshing dip in the outdoor pool and relax on the lush green lawn in the evening while sipping a hot coffee.