Translating to “Lord of the Senses”, Rishikesh showcases its rich religious traditions and a spectacular natural environment. Rishikesh is also known as the “Yoga Capital of the World”, offering yoga, meditation, rafting and trekking.
Things to do
Religion plays a big part in the Rishikesh lifestyle, with temples and ashrams welcoming all visitors. Head to Lakshman Jhula, a suspension bridge and holy site spanning the River Ganga. Also along the Ganga riverbanks, you can visit the 13-storey Trayambakeshwar Temple, devoted to the three-eyed Lord Shiva.
Merging the concepts of spirituality and physical well-being, the yoga centres of Rishikesh often operate in ashrams. Healing yoga sessions can be paired with meditation and relaxation at Swarga Ashram, which is a fully self-functioning township with temples, shopping centres, parks and Ayurvedic dispensaries. Sanskriti Yogpeeth ashram also offers classical dance and music and operates a restaurant and cyber cafe.
In keeping with the “sacred city” designation, cuisine in Rishikesh centres around vegetarian dishes. A favourite with locals is Little Buddha Café, a restaurant with a treehouse theme that offers international fare. Check out Romanas Garden for fresh organic food served on a patio with spectacular views of Shivalik Hills.
Outdoor activities include mountain climbing, hiking and white-water rafting. You can join experienced guides at Paddle India for short excursions or day trips. Shivpuri and Brahmpuri beach camps stretch along the riverbank for picnics and nature walks.
Rishikesh is pedestrian-friendly with most attractions within walking distance. Taxis, jeepneys, buses and auto rickshaws are readily available, especially near the railway station.