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View of Lakshman Jhula

Rishikesh – 2 Days in the Himalayan Foothills

Rishikesh is a beautiful city in the state of Uttarakhand, right on the foothills of the mighty Himalayas. The river Ganges cuts through the city in her purest form with mesmerizing green waters. Irrespective of where in the world you are from, the city will cast its charm on you. Rishikesh is known for spirituality, pilgrimage, adventure and in the recent days working from Rishikesh is also in the trend, especially post Covid. My travel guide ‘Rishikesh – 2 Days in the Himalayan Foothills’ will give you all the details on everything to do in Rishikesh when you are tight on time. ?

How to reach?

Buses and trains ply everyday between Delhi and Dehradun/Haridwar.

I found Kota DDN Exp (12401) from Delhi Nizamuddin Station to Haridwar to be the best among all the commute options. It took 4 hours to reach Haridwar in Rs.555/- in 3 Tier AC and around 50 mins to Rishikesh from there in a shared auto at Rs.50/-

FromDistance (approx.)Time (approx.)
Delhi (Nizamuddin, Majnu-ka-tila, Kashmiri Gate, Mori Gate)240 km5-6 hours
Dehradun Bus Stand47 km1-1.5 hours
Dehradun Jolly Grant Airport21 km40 mins
Haridwar25 km55 mins

Where to stay?

If you are on a budget travel and if there aren’t any kids travelling with you then hostels would be the best choice. Hostels provide you with bunk beds and private rooms based on your budget. They are mostly located in and around Tapovan and Lakshman Jhula.
Note: I stayed at Live Free Hostel and Hostel Cozy Beds

You can find multiple luxury hotels and resorts on the banks of the Ganges offering you exquisite views of the beautiful city around Tapovan, Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula.

Rishikesh being the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, has multiple ashrams for various spiritual programs and retreats which includes practicing different forms of Yoga and meditation techniques, also offer accommodation while you are taking their courses.
Note: Parmarth Niketan Ashram is open for pilgrims to stay and practice Yoga and meditation. They have about 1000 rooms priced reasonably and prior booking is necessary.

ParmarthAshram
Parmarth Ashram

Click here to get the hotel list and rent estimate in Rishikesh.

Adventure in Rishikesh

Rishikesh attracts adventure lovers with sports like white water river rafting, bungee jumping, cliff diving and kayaking in Ganges. River Ganga is said to have one of the safest plains for all these activities.

If you want to do rafting in Rishikesh which is for a short distance in a 2-day trip then I’d suggest you to find rafting agencies near Ram Jhula, opp. to Parmarth Niketan Ashram. I did my 16 km river rafting and indulged in other adventure sports in Byasi which is 34 km from Rishikesh. You can read my blog post on that here.

DistanceTimePrice (approx.)
10 km2.5 hoursRs. 600
16 km3.5 hoursRs. 800
24 km4.5 hoursRs. 1200

Note: Many of the adventure sport agencies also provide accommodation in tents in and around Rishikesh. You can check with them before booking hotel rooms.

What to wear?

There are no restrictions on the clothes to wear in Rishikesh unless you are inside the premises of temples or any centre (Ashrams) that teaches spirituality. During winters Rishikesh doesn’t get any snowfall but it is preferable to pack your jackets to keep yourself warm.

How to commute?

I always prefer to explore any place on foot. It was the same case in Rishikesh and only when the distance was more than 5 km, did I board shared auto rickshaws. If you plan on staying for more than 2 days and you want to explore places not restricted to Rishikesh you can rent a 2-wheeler at Rs.350-500/- per day excluding petrol charges.

What and where to eat?

In Rishikesh, you can find cuisines from all over the world with an Indian touch to it in different price ranges. If you are up for a walk from Tapovan to Lakshman Jhula then you will find tons of restaurants with some even offering a lovely view of the Ganges.

I have had food at Frog Life Café, Beatles Café, and Little Buddha Café. There are so many more to explore. ?
You will also find carts all over the city selling lemon soda, sharbat, ice gola and sugarcane juice.

RefreshmentsinSummer
Another colorful hand cart

Places to Visit

Lakshman Jhula

Legend says that Lord Ram’s brother Lakshman crossed river Ganga on a jute rope at the same place where the current bridge is situated. It was a jute rope bridge before the iron suspension bridge was built in the 1930s.

You will find many temples once you cross the bridge along with eateries and shopping areas. It is one of the most happening places in Rishikesh.

During weekends this will be the most crowded bridge as you can see hordes of people clicking selfies, cows wanting to cross the bridge, while you enjoy nice breeze and the view of the folks doing white water river rafting. The bridge is less wide in comparison with Ram Jhula and swings when it is windy.

LakshmanJhula
Lakshman Jhula at night (clicked from one of the river facing cafés)

Ram Jhula

Similar to Lakshman Jhula, Ram Jhula was also a jute rope bridge which was replaced with an iron suspension bridge in the 1980s. There are many temples and ashrams around Ram Jhula. This bridge is less crowded and wide enough for 2 wheelers to pass through.

RamJhula
Ram Jhula from distance

Beatles Ashram or Chaurasi Kutia (now Rajaji Tiger Reserve)

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who is known for his transcendental meditation techniques established Chaurasi Kutia. Apparently, the band Beatles visited this ashram in the 1960s and since then it became a famous spot for tourists and fans of the band.

BeatlesBackground
Wall painting of the band

There are many wall paintings in the ashram premises and dome shaped structures for meditation. I felt Beatles Ashram isn’t worth the hype unless you want to click pictures of yourself in the ruins.

Meditation caves
Dome shaped caves for meditation on the right

Note: Currently the Ashram ruins are taken over by the Government and it is named as Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
Entry ticket: Rs.150/- (Indian), Rs.600/-(Foreigner)

Where to experience Ganga Aarti?

There are 2 places for this. I would suggest you to visit Triveni Ghat for Maha Aarti in the evening, which is more beautiful and soul filling. You can get a shared auto from Ram Jhula. Nevertheless, if you are short on time then Parmarth Niketan Ashram should be your go to place right in the heart of the city to experience the Aarti. ?

MahaAarti
Triveni Ghat Maha Aarti

Note: Ganga Aarti in the mornings attract very less crowd both in Rishikesh and Haridwar

PlaceAarti Start Time
Parmarth Niketan5.30 AM – 6 AM, 5.30 PM – 6.30 PM
Triveni Ghat5.30 AM – 6 AM, 6.30 PM – 7 PM

Note: Aarti time can change based on the sunrise and sunset on that particular day.
If you also want to do Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat and take part in the pooja ceremony you will be asked to pay Rs.300/-

FlowersforGanga
Some flowers for Ganga

Note: Please reach both the places at least 30 mins before the Aarti time if you want to get a seat.

The vibe that Rishikesh gives is something you will experience only when you visit the city. It lights the soul of anyone in search of spirituality or adventure. It attracts people from all walks of life. My travel guide to Rishikesh for 2 days would have given you an idea about the things to do in Rishikesh. Now, why don’t you experience it for yourself? 🙂

NamahShivaya
Shiva Statue in front of Parmarth Ashram

Tips to be a responsible traveller

  • Carry your own water bottles, tumblers/mugs when you travel
  • Avoid buying bottled water in shops, instead you can fill filtered water in any ashram, hostel, hotel, or restaurant in Rishikesh while you explore the city
  • Don’t carry wet tissues because they are non-biodegradable, instead carry small towels and hand kerchiefs
  • Use menstrual cups in place of sanitary napkins during your periods. Napkins are again non-biodegradable and takes at least 500 years to decompose after releasing toxins into the soil
  • Reduce, Re-use and Recycle to protect Mother Earth

Click here to check my other blog posts.

Aarthy Chinnaiya

Hola, you travel-prying soul! Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by! My name is Aarthy Chinnaiya, exploring new places, food and people gets me excited. I focus on budget travel and exploring places to the fullest in limited number of days (being a Software Engineer I don't get much leaves you see :P). Follow me for a constant dose of my travel stories, experiences, tips and much more.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Sutapa

    Wonderful pics and travel guide ??
    It’s very very helpful.. thanks Aarthy.

    1. Aarthy

      I am glad 🙂

  2. Subhankar

    Nice description ☺️

    1. Aarthy

      Thank you!

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