Rishikesh-The Yoga Capital of the World: Your Ultimate Travel Guide

With its natural beauty, spiritual aura, and adventure options, Rishikesh, a tranquil and enthralling location, is nestled in the Himalayan foothills. A must-visit for anybody looking for a life-changing experience, Rishikesh, often known as the “Yoga Capital of the World,” provides a unique blend of spirituality and adventure. Whether you’re seeking solace in yoga and meditation or looking for an adrenaline rush with river rafting and trekking, Rishikesh has something for everyone.

Top things to do in Rishikesh

1. Yoga and Meditation

Rishikesh is renowned for its yoga retreats and ashrams. Join a yoga class at the famous Parmarth Niketan Ashram or the Sivananda Ashram to rejuvenate your mind and body.

2. River Rafting

Experience the thrill of white-water rafting on the Ganges River. The stretch between Shivpuri and Rishikesh offers exciting rapids and breathtaking views.

3. Visit Triveni Ghat

Attend the evening Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat, a mesmerizing ritual that involves chanting, fire offerings, and the rhythmic clapping of devotees.

4. Explore Beatles Ashram

Visit the ashram where The Beatles stayed in 1968, now a graffiti-adorned ruin that exudes a mystical charm.

5. Trekking and Camping

Embark on treks to nearby spots like Kunjapuri Temple, Neer Garh Waterfall, and the trails around Rajaji National Park. Camping by the river is also a popular activity.

6. Bungee Jumping and Adventure Sports

Head to Jumpin Heights for bungee jumping, giant swings, and the thrilling Flying Fox experience.

How to Reach Rishikesh

Rishikesh is well-connected to major cities in India by road, rail, and air. Here’s how you can reach this spiritual haven:

By Air

The nearest airport to Rishikesh is Jolly Grant Airport (Dehradun Airport), located about 21 km away. It is well-connected to major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Rishikesh.

By Train

Rishikesh has its own railway station, but it is not very well-connected to major cities. The nearest major railway station is Haridwar Junction, about 25 km away. Haridwar is well-connected to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. From Haridwar, you can take a taxi, bus, or auto-rickshaw to Rishikesh.

By Road

Rishikesh is well-connected by road to various cities and towns. Here are some distances and approximate travel times:

From Delhi: 240 km (6-7 hours by car)

From Haridwar: 25 km (45 minutes by car)

From Dehradun: 45 km (1.5 hours by car)

Regular buses, including state transport and private operators, run from Delhi, Haridwar, and Dehradun to Rishikesh. You can choose from regular, deluxe, or luxury buses based on your preference and budget.

By Car

If you prefer driving, the route from Delhi to Rishikesh via NH 334 is scenic and fairly well-maintained. Ensure your vehicle is in good condition, as the hilly terrain requires careful driving. Book a Myles Self-drive rental and enjoy the scenic road trip to Rishikesh from Chandigarh or Delhi, whichever you prefer.

Weather in Rishikesh

Rishikesh experiences a temperate climate with three main seasons: summer, monsoon, and winter. Here’s a detailed look at the weather conditions throughout the year:

Summer (March to June)

Temperature: 15°C to 40°C

Weather: Summers in Rishikesh are warm, with May and June being the hottest months. However, evenings are relatively cooler.

Activities: Ideal for river rafting, trekking, and camping. Morning yoga sessions are comfortable during this time.

Monsoon (July to September)

Temperature: 20°C to 35°C

Weather: Rishikesh receives moderate to heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. The lush greenery is at its peak, but heavy rains can cause landslides and flooding.

Activities: Adventure sports like river rafting are often halted. However, it’s a great time for those who enjoy the monsoon vibe and fewer crowds.

Winter (October to February)

Temperature: 1°C to 20°C

Weather: Winters are chilly, with January being the coldest month. The weather is generally dry and crisp.

Activities: Perfect for yoga and meditation retreats, as well as exploring the temples and ashrams. River rafting is also possible until early December.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Rishikesh is during the spring (February to April) and autumn (September to November) seasons. During these months, the weather is pleasant and conducive for both adventure activities and spiritual pursuits.

Famous Food in Rishikesh

1. Chotiwala Restaurant

A legendary eatery offering traditional North Indian cuisine, especially its thalis.

2. Aloha on the Ganges

Known for its serene ambiance and delicious vegetarian food, including continental and Indian dishes.

3. The Beatles Café

A popular spot with a laid-back vibe, serving a mix of international and Indian vegetarian dishes, along with live music.

4. Little Buddha Café

Situated on the banks of the Ganges, this café is famous for its multi-cuisine menu and scenic views.

History of Rishikesh

Rishikesh, often referred to as the “Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas,” boasts a rich and fascinating history intertwined with mythology and spirituality. Here’s a brief overview of its historical and cultural significance:

Ancient Roots and Mythological Significance

Rishikesh’s history dates back to ancient times and is steeped in Hindu mythology. The town’s name is derived from “Hrishikesha,” which is another name for Lord Vishnu, meaning “Lord of the Senses.” According to legend, Rishikesh is the place where Lord Vishnu appeared to Raibhya Rishi, a revered sage, after his penance.

Epic Era

The epic Mahabharata mentions Rishikesh as a place of great spiritual importance. It is believed that Lord Rama performed penance here for killing Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. Lakshman, his brother, is said to have crossed the river Ganges using a jute rope bridge, where the present-day Lakshman Jhula stands.

Medieval and Modern Era

In the medieval period, Rishikesh continued to be a significant pilgrimage site, attracting sages, saints, and pilgrims seeking spiritual enlightenment. The town saw the establishment of numerous ashrams and temples over the centuries, further solidifying its status as a spiritual hub.

In the 20th century, Rishikesh gained international fame when The Beatles visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in 1968. This event put Rishikesh on the global map, attracting Western seekers of spirituality and yoga enthusiasts

Nearby Places to Explore from Rishikesh

Rishikesh serves as an excellent base for exploring the surrounding region, which is rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage. Here are some nearby places worth visiting:

1. Haridwar

Distance: 25 km

Highlights: One of the seven holiest places in Hinduism, Haridwar is famous for the Ganga Aarti at Har Ki Pauri, Mansa Devi Temple, and Chandi Devi Temple. The Kumbh Mela, held every twelve years, attracts millions of pilgrims.

2. Dehradun

Distance: 45 km

Highlights: The capital city of Uttarakhand, Dehradun offers attractions like Robber’s Cave, Sahastradhara, Tapkeshwar Temple, and the Forest Research Institute.

3. Mussoorie

Distance: 75 km

Highlights: Known as the “Queen of Hills,” Mussoorie is a picturesque hill station with attractions such as Kempty Falls, Gun Hill, Camel’s Back Road, and the Mall Road.

4. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

Distance: 32 km

Highlights: This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is set amidst dense forests and offers a peaceful retreat with panoramic views of the surrounding hills.

5. Shivpuri

Distance: 16 km

Highlights: Renowned for its camping and river rafting opportunities, Shivpuri is a haven for adventure enthusiasts. The scenic beauty and tranquility make it a perfect spot for relaxation and adventure.

6. Rajaji National Park

Distance: 20 km

Highlights: This national park is a treasure trove of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, leopards, and various bird species. It’s an excellent destination for wildlife safaris and nature walks.

7. Kunjapuri Temple

Distance: 27 km

Highlights: A popular trekking destination, Kunjapuri Temple offers breathtaking sunrise views over the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. It’s a spiritually significant site dedicated to Goddess Durga.

8. Vashishta Gufa (Cave)

Distance: 25 km

Highlights: This ancient cave is a tranquil spot on the banks of the Ganges, believed to be where Sage Vashishta meditated. It’s an ideal place for meditation and quiet reflection.

Tips for Travelers

Respect Local Customs: Rishikesh is a spiritual town, so dress modestly and respect the local customs and traditions.

Stay Hydrated: The climate can be quite warm, especially during the summer months. Carry a water bottle and stay hydrated.

Cash and Connectivity: Carry enough cash as some places might not accept cards. Mobile connectivity is generally good, but it’s advisable to have a local SIM card.

Travel Light: Pack light, breathable clothing, especially if you plan on trekking or participating in yoga sessions.

Safety First: Always use reputable guides and agencies for adventure sports to ensure your safety.


Rishikesh, with its rich history and spiritual ambiance, is a captivating destination that promises an enriching experience. Its proximity to other significant places like Haridwar, Dehradun, and Mussoorie makes it a perfect base for exploring the beauty and culture of Uttarakhand. Whether you’re delving into the spiritual history of Rishikesh or embarking on nearby adventures, this region offers a diverse array of experiences for every traveler.

Book your self-drive car with Myles and embark on the journey of self-discovery to Rishikesh and nearby places to seek spirituality and adventure.