Rishikesh: A Magnet for Spiritual Travelers

Rishikesh is a haven for those on a spiritual quest. It is rightly known as ‘yoga capital of the world’. Rishikesh has a lot of ashrams where spiritual gurus teach people the art of leading a spiritually charged and deeply peaceful life. The place sees visitors from all over the world – those who are seeking answers to some of the most pressing problems of life as well as those who are there just to soak the sun or go on a trek.

Rishikesh is a haven for those on a spiritual quest. Image courtesy Flickr
Rishikesh is a haven for those on a spiritual quest. Image courtesy Flickr

In the recent years Rishikesh has become hugely popular amongst extreme sports enthusiasts for its varied options in trekking and white water rafting. There are plenty of organizations that offer camping trips and rafting and trekking packages for those interested. You can make a reservation before reaching Rishikesh or choose a package when you reach the destination, depending on how you feel comfortable.

hugely popular amongst extreme sports enthusiasts for its varied options in trekking and white water rafting. Image courtesy Flickr Rishikesh is hugely popular amongst extreme sports enthusiasts. Image courtesy Flickr

If you are in Rishikesh on a spiritual mission, do not miss out on a visit to the Triveni Ghat. This is a popular, though not a very clean entrance into the river Ganga. However, attending the Maha Arti in the morning or in the evening can be a really uplifting experience. So even if you do not want to take a dip in the river, it will be worthwhile just to visit the ghat to witness the prayers. You can also visit some of the popular ashrams in the area. These include the Gita Bhavan and Swarg Ashram. Both of these offer rooms for travelers too as well as yoga classes and spiritual talks.

Laxman Jhula. Image courtesy Flickr Laxman Jhula. Image courtesy Flickr

Some other worthwhile places to visit include the Bharat Temple, the magnificent Lakshman Jhoola and the Tryambakeshwar Temple.

How to Get There?

Road: Rishikesh is well connected with Delhi by a network of roads. Rishikesh lies at a distance of 230 Km from Delhi and can be accessed by NH 58. A large number of buses and taxis ply on the route.

Train: You can take a train from Delhi to Haridwar and from there take a bus or a cab to Rishikesh. Several trains run from Delhi and Dehradun to Haridwar.

Air: the nearest airport is the Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun. Once there, you can take bus or a cab from Dehradun.

Where to Stay?

If you want to stay at the banks of the river, Hotel Ganga Kinare is an excellent choice. The resort has a beautiful garden right on the banks of the river and you can spend some quality time there. Another great choice is Hotel Ganga View, which is again on the banks of the mighty river. Hotel Rishikesh Valley has some nice bamboo cottages to offer and is ideal for couples. Some budgeted options for those travelling on a tight budget include Divine Resorts at the Lakshman Jhula, Gayatri Resorts, Hotel Natraj and Blessed Cottages. You can also check out some of the beach camps that offer river rafting, rappelling, rock climbing and other adventure sports. The great Himalayan Expeditions is the most popular options among these beach camps.

Where to Eat?

The German Bakery at Tapovan is the most frequented eating joint by tourists from all over the world. The bakery offers some sumptuous baked goods, coffee and snacks. You can get many vegetarian options in pizzas and pastas. If you want, you can try out the famous Apple pie or the savory Spinach quiche.

For a more Indian fare, try out the buffet lunches at hotel Ganga View. At Rishikesh you will get only vegetarian foods so if you are looking for non vegetarian foods you are going to be disappointed. For a multi-cuisine experience, visit the Little Buddha Café right off the Lakshman Jhula. Here you will get Indian snacks as well as European, Nepali and Tibetan cuisines.


I started my career as a research and documentation associate with the Azim Premji Foundation and went on to lead several development programs with various NGOs in Delhi. I have had the pleasure of being a part of the 14 member National Knowledge Commission’s Workshop for producing recommendations on Education Reforms for the Government of India. I was also part of a 40 member nationwide team that developed and presented proposals for the inclusion of Design and Innovation in school curriculum to the National Knowledge Commission and Ministry of Human Resource Development. I was also the editor and chief contributor to a bi-monthly publication known as Student First. I currently reside in Delhi and spend my time traveling and writing about my travel experiences.


  1. I have been to Rishikesh on a rafting trip, there are several levels of rafting possible at Rishikesh, it is good place for rafting trip in India for beginners and experts both…

  2. There is a German Bakery at Tapovan? Wonder if it has any link with the one in Pune.

  3. Shrishti says:

    Rhishikesh is great place for white water rafting in India. The place also is a frequently visited religious destination for followers of Hindu religion.

  4. Christina Sarich says:

    I am still yearning to visit Rishikesh on my next trip to India. Do you recommend a certain time of year to avoid monsoon season?

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