Renowned as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, Rishikesh earned its fame when the popular English rock band Beatles visited the place back in the 60s. The famous band, seeking spirituality, spent their time at the Ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
While spending some time at this ashram is a given when visiting this spiritual city, there are plenty of other places that demand your attention. Start your day with river rafting at Shivpuri followed by a simple breakfast at one of the riverside cafes and then roam around the various shops lined along Laxman Jhula.
Finally, unwind at the Ghat and submerge yourself in the magnificent and stunningly tranquil Ganga Aarti in the evening. And if you need a detailed guide to help you plan your entire itinerary, take cues from this one. Read ahead to know about the popular places to visit in Rishikesh:
Places to Visit in Rishikesh
1. Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh
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!
2. Ram Jhula, Rishikesh
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.
3. Tera Manzil Mandir, Rishikesh
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.
- Location: Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh
- Timings: 6 AM – 7 PM
4. Shri Bharat Mandir, Rishikesh
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?
- Location: Ghat Road, Mayakund, Rishikesh
- Timing: 5 AM – 12 PM; 4 PM – 9 PM; All Days
5. Triveni Ghat, Rishikesh
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.
6. The Beatles Ashram, Rishikesh
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.
- Location: Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh
- Timings: Open on all days till sunset
If you’d like to know where you can camp under the starlit sky, read our blog on camping in Rishikesh.
7. Shivpuri, 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.
8. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Rishikesh
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.
- Location: Kotdwar – Pauri Road
- Timings: 6 AM – 7 PM
9. Jumpin Heights, Rishikesh
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.
- Entry Fees: INR 100, Extra charges for bungee jumping and flying fox.
- Location: District Pauri Garhwal, Mohan Chatti, 30 km from Rishikesh
- Timing: 9:30 AM – 4 PM, All Days
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.