One of the most prominent places in Rishikesh, Laxman Jhula is a 450-feet long suspension bridge at the height of 70 feet from the river. Built in the year 1939, the bridge is an important attraction as it is believed that it is the same place where Lord Laxman crossed the Ganga River on a jute rope.
While you will find plenty of cafes on both sides of the bridge, the famous places you should definitely visit are Laxman Temple and Tera Manzil Mandir situated close by.
When crossing the bridge, do stop in the middle and just soak in the view of the hills all around you. Nothing is more surreal than this!
If you are planning for trip in January, Check more details – Places to Visit in January
A few miles downstream from Laxman Jhula is the Ram Jhula. Almost similar in its structure and construction, this suspension bridge was built in 1980, a little later than Laxman Jhula.
As you cross this bridge, you will witness the Himalayas peeking out of clouds on clear days and the Ganga River gushing down in full flow. It does make for a scenic vista which you don’t want to miss when in Rishikesh.
The bridge is also renowned for linking two popular ashrams of the town – Swarg Ashram on one end and the Sivananda Ashram on the other. About 450 feet long, this bridge offers breath-taking views of valleys and the temples around. Walk slowly if you want to take it all in.
Also known as Trimbakeshwar Temple, this is one of the most renowned temples of Rishikesh. Perched on the banks of River Ganga, the temple (as its name suggests) has 13 storeys and a strikingly beautiful architecture. It can be easily distinguished from afar thanks to its colourful facade.
One of the oldest and the most revered temples in the entire city, Shri Bharat Mandir is dedicated to Lord Hrishikesh Narayan. This glorious temple has several mythological stories behind it. For instance, it is believed that the Pandavas, on their way to heaven, stayed at this temple and worshipped Lord Hrishikesh. It is also believed that at one point when Lord Buddha visited the temple, it was converted into a monastery for a few years. Fascinating, isn’t it?
It is one of the most famous ghats in Rishikesh and makes for a beautiful place to watch the evening Ganga Aarti. The sanctity of the Ghat comes from the legend that it sees the confluence of three major rivers – Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati.
The ghat is considered sacred and if Hindu mythology is to be believed, it is said that a dip in the holy water of Ganga near the ghat can purge all your sins. After all, this ghat has been mentioned in both our epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Sit by the ghat in the evening and soak in the splendour of the Aarti.
Located at a distance of around 18 km from the city centre, The Beatles Ashram is among the most important places to visit in Rishikesh. After the Beatles visited the ashram to do transcendental meditation, the outlook on Indian spirituality changed the world over.
The time the Beatles spent at the ashram is touted as one of their most productive periods where they wrote plenty of songs. If you are a Beatles fan, you have to visit the ashram and soak in its tranquillity. The place is not maintained properly but still, the ruins look beautiful. Just find a spot inside the ashram and spend some hours meditating.
If you’d like to know where you can camp under the starlit sky, read our blog on camping in Rishikesh.
No trip to Rishikesh is complete without trying the adrenaline-spiking water sport – river rafting. And the best place to indulge in one of the most exciting adventure activities in Rishikesh is Shivpuri. A hub for river rafting, the place is crowded with people who want to try this adventure sport. Whether you want to go for the short 9-km or the long 21-km expedition, you will find all the equipment and arrangements at Shivpuri.
Of course, if you want to do it all, we recommend you book a 1N/2D camp. After river rafting, you can chill out in tents and spend your evenings around a bonfire.
Located around 30 km from Rishikesh, this holy temple is considered as one of the most important pilgrimage places for all the devotees of Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that the temple is built at the same spot where Lord Shiva drank the venom ‘Halahala’ that was extracted after churning the ocean to obtain the elixir of life.
Not only this, the temple also has a freshwater spring where devotees take a holy dip.
Rishikesh, being the adventurer’s paradise, is also the hub of one of the most daunting yet exhilarating activities of them all – bungee jumping. And the best place to try this adventure sport is Jumpin Heights.
Apart from bungee jumping, this adventure sports point has provisions for flying fox and giant swing. Right from expert instructors to the gears needed for bungee jumping, you will find everything here. Plus, you can also record your reaction on camera.
Parmarth Niketan is among the top places to visit in Rishikesh if you are an ardent Yoga follower. Established in the year 1942, this ashram has grown into one of the biggest spiritual places in the country.
Byasi is a small village about 30 km from Rishikesh. If you are an adventure lover, this is the place for you. Camping, river rafting, and boating are some activities that happen here all through the year. The village has lots of restaurants and homestays too.
In the list of tourist attractions in Rishikesh, this town is a popular choice. Filled with innumerable Hindu temples and ashrams, the place will keep you grounded and calm. The town is just 6 km from the main Rishikesh city. The Ganges is less crowded here and you can enjoy a stroll through its banks.
For adventure seekers, Kaudiyala is one of the best tourist places in Rishikesh. Located 40 km away from the centre of the holy city, this place is located on the banks of Ganga and has turned into a camping and adventure activity zone. The white sands add beauty to the town.
An important temple in Rishikesh, the Raghunath Temple is dedicated to Lord Rama and his wife Goddess Sita. Many important religious ceremonies take place in this revered temple.
Rishikund is called the ‘pond for rishis’ and is a holy water body located near the Ragunath Temple. The pond reflects the entrance tower of the Raghunath Temple and is a very relaxing place to spend some time in. The pond is said to have been blessed by the River Goddess Yamuna.
This very old temple is located near Lakshman Jhula and is said to be the place Lord Lakshman meditated to seek spiritual enlightenment. This temple is known for its ancient carvings, sculptures, and paintings and is a very famous place in Rishikesh.
Dedicated to Saint Vashistha, this is said to be the place where he lived and meditated at the end of his life. Located in a beautiful spot, this is one of the popularly visited places in Rishikesh. You can spend some time on the premises and meditate inside the cave.
Situated on the top of a small hill, you will have to climb 80 steps to reach the famous Kunjapuri Devi Temple. It is considered one of the 52 Shakti Peets, hence quite crowded on weekends.
Sivananda Ashram is located about 3 m from Rishikesh and is a very popular Yoga centre in the city. Many famous personalities have paid a visit to this ashram to participate in the powerful and empowering Yoga programmes conducted by the gurus.
The Omkarananda Ashram is located on the banks of River Ganga and was established more than 50 years ago. Visit this ashram for a spiritually enlightening experience.
While these are just some of the places in Rishikesh, there are plenty of ashrams in this holy city. Parmarth Niketan and Geeta Bhawan being the prominent one.
Himalayan Life is an initiative of Institute for Integrated Rural Development (IIRD) , a not-for-profit developmental organisation dedicated for brining prosperity in the communities through research & studies, training & capacity building, project planning & implementation, monitoring & evaluation and institutional networking in the national and global perspective. (For details, Please visit https:// iirdshimla.org)