A small urban city located at the foothills of the Himalayas, with the holy Ganges running through it, Rishikesh and Haridwar are neighbours recognized around the world for many reason, the biggest one being its spirituality. A popular yoga and meditation hub, especially with international travelers, it is also a hub for adventure sports in North India. Here’s what you need to do when you’re visiting.
Bharat Mandir (Rishikesh)- This ancient temple is amongst the most famous in the area and was built by Adiguru Shankaracharya back in the 12th century. Situated in the heart of the old town, its location along the banks of the Ganga is ideal. The main deity installed here is of Lord Vishnu, and the idol has been carved out of a single piece of Saligram.
Ram Jhula (Rishikesh)- Also referred to as the Shivananda Jhula, this suspension bridge across the Ganga river was once just a hanging jute rope across which Lord Rama is said to have crossed the river. On either side there are busy market places, and the Shivananda Ashram on the Swarg Ashram side, is one of the most famous in Rishikesh. This iron bridge is Rishikesh’s biggest landmark and attraction.
Laxman Jhula (Rishikesh)- Lakshman Jhula is an iron suspension bridge across the river Ganges, located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north-east of the city of Rishikesh in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The bridge connects the two villages of Tapovan in Tehri Garhwal district, on the west bank of the river, to Jonk in Pauri Garhwal district, on the east bank. Lakshman Jhula is a pedestrian footbridge that is also used by motorbikes.
Patanjali Yog Peeth (Haridwar)- Located in Haridwar, this is the centre for Yoga and Ayurveda activities in India. Named after Maharishi Patanjali who invented Yoga 5000 years ago, the ashram is run under the guidance of Swami Ramdev Ji Maharaj who has revived Yoga and helped in spreading it across the world. Patahnajali Yog Peeth provides visitors with several facilities including Yoga classes where you’re taught ancient techniques like Tattva Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Ashtana Yoga.
Har Ki Pauri (Haridwar)- This is one of the main attractions for those traveling to Haridwar and Rishikesh for religious purposes. This is believed to be the exit point of the Ganges from the mountains and entry into the plains. The ghat is also known as Brahma Kund, and was built by King Vikramaditya in memory of his brother Brithari who often meditated on the banks of river Ganga. History records an imprint of Lord Vishnu’s foot on one of the stones present on the ghat, which is where this religious site takes its name from.
Camping (Rishikesh)- The best way to complement your rafting adventure, is by ending the day at one of the many river-side camps. Tents are pitched beside the river, and you can choose your type of tented accommodation based on your budget. Before dinner, all the campers sit around a bonfire where they’re served drinks and snacks before proceeding to a simple yet lavish spread for dinner. This is the perfect way to complete your experience, under a blanket of stars, breathing in the fresh mountain air.
Raja Ji National Park (Haridwar)- Distinct for its pristine scenic beauty and rich bio-diversity, the Rajaji National Park in the is situated along the foothills of the Shivalik range and exhibits the Shivalik ecosystem. Rajaji is one of northern India’s major wildlife reserves, and is one of the best places to see the flora and fauna of the terai region. The park has been named after the late freedom fighter Sri C. Rajgopalachari, who was popularly referred to as ‘Rajaji’.
Rafting (Rishikesh)- Rafting is a sport known to man of the most exciting and thrilling adventure. Those who have had the pleasure of rafting expeditions to ensure this. Rafting in turbulent waters is an experience that you will keep the rest of his life. In the foothills of the Himalayas, they serve as the perfect setting for Rafting in Rishikesh. If you have not had the experience of rafting in India, however, plan your next adventure holiday here to be removed from their daily lives, to be thrown into a world of thrills, chills and spills.