I decided I wanted to do something fun on my Birthday. And Rishikesh being the adventure capital of India I figured what better place than that. The destination was set. The next step was to do a proper research on places to see in Rishikesh which I totally skipped and which later turned out to be a mistake. Anyways more on that later. Given that my friends being busy in corporate offices I was pretty much on my own for the trip. But that was okay, I guessed. I had made a dozen of solo trips before, lived some amazing experiences. Experiences like playing chess with a 6-year-old girl in Coorg and listening to the stories from a 60-year-old man in rann of kutchh of how he had been faced to face with a Silverback Gorilla in Africa.
How to Reach?
I opened up new tabs of Wego and Skycanner. Found a great deal on Mumbai to Delhi flight on the latter and booked it. Later booked my train from Delhi to Raiwala Junction. ( you can also book Delhi to Haridwar train and then make your way to Rishikesh )* A Funny Story ( fast forward to the day of travel ) – It was an overnight train and I was supposed to get down at Raiwala Junction early in the morning but apparently, I overslept and went passed 40 minutes of Rishikesh. Anyways, a few people I met on this trip made their way from Dehradun Airport. That’s also an option. Choose what works best for you.
Things to do/ Places to see in Rishikesh
Kunjapuri Sunrise Trek
My hostel organised this trek (1-hour drive and 300 steps to the temple) most days of the week. I read about this on zostel’s website but had no real plans about it until my fellow travellers (people I met in my hostel) recommended it. I heard all good things. So, I figured, why not? But hearing about it and experiencing it from your own eyes is a whole different thing. This misty sunrise was as magical as it could get. You may not be a morning person but this is something you might not want to miss. I’m certain it’ll be as amazing for you as it was for me. And if by any chance your stay isn’t at Zostel then you can try booking this tour on klook.
Tip: Cover yourself with enough layers in the winter. Temperature here goes down till 6 degrees and it sure feels like 3.
At the height of 83 metres people might think twice before jumping. I wasn’t scared. This was the reason why I went to Rishikesh. And after a long wait (It was a long queue you know) I got my chance. “Keep your head down and dive for a great jump and a swing” he told me at the edge. I did exactly as I was told and it was indeed incredible. The speed of your fall fills you with adrenaline which makes you want to jump all over again. If you’re not faint hearted, definitely give it a go. You can also try flying fox and giant swing. For more information about prices and bookings you can check out its website: www.jumpinheights.com. To reach the jumping site you can take a bus right from its office or you could hire a two-wheeler.
Ram and Laxman Jhula
As soon as I reached Rishikesh I was off to see those bridges with my zostel mates. Ram and Laxman Jhula are the main attractions here. Maybe just walk them? Maybe watch them light up in the night? or maybe just hangout with those monkeys on these jhulas?
And if you’re at laxman jhula visit the Trayambakeshwar temple which is right next to the one side of the bridge. Go to the top of the temple for a great view of laxman jhula.
This is where the ganga aarti takes place every evening during the sunset. You may or may not be a spiritual person but do certainly come here. You will like the experience and find it peaceful. Zostel organises this as well and also combines it with the food tour.
The two café’s which I highly recommend is the Devraj Café Corner ( german Bakery ) and The little Buddha Café. They provide you with an amazing view of the Laxman Jhula.
What did I miss?
The Beatles Ashram
Neer garh waterfall trek
Again, Zostel organises this trek as well. You can also try Viator for this tour.
From Rishikesh to Jumping Height’s jumping site I found few small walking trails which will lead you straight to these secret beaches.
And I know, I know, you must think without paying visit to the Beatles Ashram and without trying my hand at river rafting that my trip was left incomplete. It indeed was but given the short stay I had of only two and a half days there’s only so much I could do. As I have mentioned above of how I made a mistake of not watching those vlogs or reading blogs and not doing a proper research on places to see in rishikesh. But in a way its still okay. It will only make me want to visit Rishikesh one more time. Given that the place has so much of positive vibes, why wouldn’t I?
Note * The shared autos in Rishikesh will charge you 10 – 30rs depending on the distance and the private ones will set you back 200 bucks. (flat fee)