A holy city for pilgrimage and meditation is also the world capital for yoga, stands high at the foot of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
How To Get There
From New Delhi, take a domestic flight to Dehradun Airport with any local airline for an hour journey while busses from Delhi will take 5-6 hours. Railway lovers can ride a train from most major cities to Haridwar then take a quick bus or taxi trip to Rishikesh.
What To Do
Most ashrams and temples are built along the magnificent Holy Ganges riverbank. Plenty of craftshops, restaurants, fresh produce and sweets are nearby in Rishikesh Town.
Chaurasi Kutia, best known as The Beatles Ashram, was where the famous four resided in their spiritual getaway in 1968. Sightseeing aside, rafting and bungee-jumping at the Ganges river are great for thrill-seekers besides various hiking trails.
The biggest ashram, Parmath Niketan, is another beautiful place with thousands of rooms for pilgirms to rejuvenate. At night time, join the daily devotional ritual – ganga aarti – held at the ashram where the crowd gather for prayer ceremonies and singing.
Where To Eat
Food heals the soul too when there’s an abundance of vegetarian choices to explore for a complete restorative holiday. Local restaurant Chotiwala produces diverse North and South Indian cuisines besides Gujarat and Chinese dishes for an authentic feast. Find hot pizzas at Little Buddha Café that offers an international menu or Madras Café known for dosa, an Indian pancake.
Where To Stay
Find craft and comfort in your stay at EllBee Ganga View. The boutique art hotel is accented with ornate mythology murals besides a bathtub in each room. Otherwise, spa hotel Ganga Kinare radiates modern meets tradition themed guestrooms with free yoga sessions and bikes for exploration.
Good To Know
1 Rajaji National Park in Rishikesh is home to many wild animals like elephants and leopards besides having a tiger reserve
2 Alcohol and non-vegetarian food are not allowed in the spiritual town
3 The Lakshman Jhula suspended bridge over Ganges river is legendary as deity Lakshmana who is believed to crossed the exact place on jute ropes
4 The rapid river of Ganges makes water rafting venturous from March till July every year
Words by Jessy Wong