Unlike many other places, Rishikesh is famous among tourists, attracting pilgrims, yogi, and travellers looking for wisdom. If your goal is exclusive sightseeing and especially antiquities, then it makes sense to skip Rishikesh. It is considered to be a world`s capital of yoga and also called the gateway to the Himalayas. But, if you are still going to come here, you can pay a visit along with the following places:
Lakshman Jhula is a suspension pedestrian bridge leading to the tourist area of Rishikesh, which offers a classic view of the city and the nearby psychedelic Ashram Trayambakeshwar. In July 2019, it was closed until further notice due to the dilapidated design.
Two waterfalls are located very close to Lakshman Jhula. You can reach them out on foot. From the bridge, you go along the highway along the river. Both waterfalls are located above the main road. The small one is closer, and you have to take a walk to the large one. After about 5 km, there will be a path leading up. There is a tent with tea near the turn. The road to a large waterfall and back will take a couple of hours. Under it, there is a pond in which you can swim. The water is clean and not very cold.
Swarg Ashram is the central quarter of Rishikesh near the Parmarth Niketan ashram and Ram Jhula bridge with a market, ashrams, temples, and other pilgrimage infrastructure. Every evening at sunset, there is a fiery puja takes place on the beach with singing mantras, the fire ritual for the Ganges, and ceremonial rituals.
Maharishi Ashram is popularly known as the Beatles Ashram, this abandoned and jungle complex of unusual buildings has always attracted fans of the unexpected. It got its name because here in 1968, and the Beatles participated in a spiritual tour to India under the guidance of guru Maharishi.
Sand Beach or Ganga Beach:
Sand Beach, Ganga Beach is a sandy beach 1 km upstream from Lakshmana Jhula. Here you can dive into the icy water of the Ganges, sunbathe, have a good time. To avoid harassment from the idly staggering Indians, girls are better off not exposing themselves very much. Sometimes this beach is called Goa Beach.
Meditation and Yoga Ashrams:
Many people come to Rishikesh to live and serve in the ashram. In the minds of most tourists, there is a particular image of an ashram, which is a kind of monastery with strict rules of its own, where students live for free, learn the wisdom of their guru and pay the price for this working physically. There are, but their minority, and getting it is not easy without a preliminary invitation. It is not difficult to find an ashram in Rishikesh, and you can find them wherever you go. They look like multi-story structures with their territory or broken plywood huts. You will be offered an experienced teacher and yoga courses everywhere.
Rafting and Trekking:
It is easy to organize most of the excursions by oneself, moreover, completely free of charge, since almost all exciting places are easy to get around on foot. Agencies can offer you tours to waterfalls or trekking to the blue-necked Shiva temple. But what is the point of overpaying for a walk, right? You will not be able to organize rafting and multi-day trekking on your own, but here you should try to save money. At the beginning and end of the season, prices may be lower. After all, you are in India; bargaining is appropriate always and everywhere! You can gather a group of several people and ask for a small discount.
Rishikesh is a city of spirituality, and one can feel it here like nowhere else. The very atmosphere of the place sets in a calm mood and a slow contemplation of everything around. Looking at the significant number of people around who came here to learn and gain new experience, it feels like becoming better and wiser. Even if you are far from spiritual teachings, Rishikesh can offer something that will win the heart of any wanderer, and this something is the turquoise waters of the Ganges.