Rishikesh, also known as Hrishikesh, is one of the top spiritual destinations of the world. Lying at the serene foothills of the Himalayas on the banks of the holy Ganga, Rishikesh has been getting international attention as the ‘Yoga capital of the world’ due to all the ashrams, including the world-famous Beatles Ashram. My trip to Rishikesh was with my family in late September. Rishikesh offers so much more than spiritual getaways and is quite a memorable place to visit. Hence, I decided to avail a licensed Rishikesh car rental with a driver to start the journey from the get-go and not miss out on a single minute of my stay there.
From Delhi to Rishikesh
The distance from Delhi to Rishikesh by road is around 235 km via the NH334. The roads are well-maintained and you’ll be crossing some prominent places like Meerut and Muzaffarnagar en-route. You can alternatively drive through the NH9 via Chandpur, which is a longer drive of 288 km compared to NH334. We decided to take the NH334 route and booked a reliable cab from Delhi to Rishikesh considering the altitude and difficulty of the route. We started from Delhi at 6 am as we were informed that the journey would be around 6 hours long. The drive was extremely pleasant and we stopped en-route near Muzaffarnagar to have some delicious Dal Makhani and Rotis. There was a slight drizzle on the way which only added to the charm of the entire journey. We reached Rishikesh around 1 pm.
Where Did I go?
As soon as we reached, we checked into a hotel to freshen up after the long drive. We got some hot water to help with our leg cramps that came from sitting too long. As I’d mentioned before, Rishikesh is a place that caters to multiple interests, so we almost had an argument in choosing the itinerary. We finally decided we’d explore adventure sports as well as the temples together as a family. Looking back, I’m so glad we did that because the drive and the activities really did make a big difference in our family dynamics and bought us much closer.
Adventure Sports Ahoy
Our first trip was to one of the white water rafting spots in Rishikesh, so that we could finish exploring the outdoor activities before it got dark. Now, we were all concerned about safety as the sport could prove to be dangerous. However, we had availed a licensed Rishikesh car rental with a driver to take us around Rishikesh and the driver was extremely helpful in identifying a safe place for the sport. We reached the spot at 2:30 pm and spent some amazing time white water rafting as a family. All the people were extremely helpful; not only were we able to finish the activities safely, but we also returned with a lot of happy photographs.
The Golden Night
After the amazing adrenaline-pumping experience, we checked back into our hotel to take a hot shower and change into warm clothes. We had some snacks to energize ourselves after the exhausting white water rafting. At 6, we left for the Parmarth Niketan, which is home to one of the most prominent Yoga schools of Rishikesh. We meditated in those serene halls for a while. Around 7, when the sun had set, we saw that hundreds of people had gathered for the pious Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Ghat. I feel the Ganga Aarti is one event that everyone has to witness due to its absolute splendor. The river looked as if it were adorned with lights and it was such a beautiful visual to see hundreds of people collectively create something like that.
After the Ganga Aarti, we went back to our hotel to have some lunch and fell asleep quite quickly. The next morning, we left Rishikesh at 6 am so that we could relax for half a day before getting back to work. The trip was short, and even exhausting at some points; however, it was an absolute delight to make an impromptu trip and drive along with the beautiful sights the terrains offer. Rishikesh is an absolute delight as a mini-vacation; it is quite feasible from Delhi. I’d definitely recommend everyone to have this experience.
10 thoughts on “A Guide to Rishikesh”
I have beautiful memories of River rafting in the Ganges and the Ganga Aarti too. Yes, Rishikesh was beautiful just how you mentioned in your post.
I have visited this place 2 years back must tell i had a heart stealing movement during the arti of ganga full of positive energy… Loved ur post just recalled the memories…
I have been here a few years back. It’s a beautiful place, although we couldn’t do river rafting as kids were too young and it wasn’t advised.
Rishikesh looks awesome in every season there r many places to explore..good place and nice atmosphere.
Your post reminded me of my trip to Rishikesh many years back with my parents. That time river rafting was not that popular. But now people especially go to Rishikesh for it.
I have been to Rishikesh umpteen times and have beautiful memories of the place. Your exhaustive guide sent me back in memory lane
Rishikesh is so beautiful that I wish to revisit it. We have been to Rishikesh two years ago and still all memories are fresh.
Experiencing the Golden hour with Aarti at Ghat would have been a wonderful experience. I want to visit rishikesh now.
We did a self-drive road trip to Rishikesh last year and our driving experience was not that good due to the maddening traffic jam on the highway. But yes Rishikesh is a beautiful place, and we would love to go there once again but this time definitely taking the car rental service & not drive on our own.
Great Article. Keep up the good work.