SOUL SEARCHING EXPERIENCES IN RISHIKESH YOU CAN'T-MISS
Looking for a way to calm your mind with relaxing places and explore the ancient Indian culture, Rishikesh is the perfect travel destination for you. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, often known as the "Yoga Capital of the World", Rishikesh is popular for attracting tourists from all across the globe. The powerful flow of the holy Ganges has always attracted those seeking direction and inspiration from devout Hindus, yoga and meditation gurus, and even the Beatles.
How to reach
By Road: The road connectivity to Rishikesh is quite accessible and commutable. As it is situated 245 km from New Delhi, 50 km from Dehradun, and just 30 km away from Haridwar, You can easily find buses or taxis from these major cities to Rishikesh.
By Rail: The Rishikesh Railway Station provides decent connectivity to travel here. However, Haridwar Railway Station is suggested as the best option to travel Rishikesh by train as this railway station connects with Delhi, Rajasthan, Amritsar, Varanasi, etc.
By Air: There are sufficient daily flights from New Delhi to Dehradun available. The nearest airport to Rishikesh is Dehradun Jollygrant airport which is just 25 km away from Rishikesh. Many airlines provide daily flights to Dehradun.
Best time to visit
Rishikesh holds an evergreen destination and spectacular views throughout the year. However, the right time to visit Rishikesh is from August to March. In summer, with a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius in May-June, it can be bothering.
Here are some great things to do in Rishikesh to explore its rich ancient culture and have a soulful experience you do not wish to miss out on.
Witness the Ganga Aarti
With an auspicious atmosphere, you can sit at the banks of the Ganges river and rejoice in the music, the appeasing breeze, and enjoy the evening Aarti Ceremony at Parmarth Niketan or Triveni Ghat. The evening starts with the chanting of devotional songs (bhajans) accompanied by prayers and a purifying ritual called “hawan”. Concluding the ceremony is the act of the “aarti”—where the ashram residents and the spectators send an offering to the Ganges by floating a small diya laden with flowers and a lighted lamp, into the River Ganga.
Yoga and Meditation
Rishikesh, enriched with old customs and legacy of Yoga and Meditation, gives you a unique opportunity to mitigate your whole self. There are lots of Yoga and Meditational centers in Rishikesh where you can become familiar with its strategy, meetings by incredible specialists and saints. Delightful nature, fantabulous surroundings, mountain ranges, and India's most heavenly waterway the Ganges what else would you want to feel a tranquil bond with nature having such an amazing experience and appreciate this city.
Visit the Holy Temples
Rishikesh is full of countless small, big, new, and very old temples, spread in the mean streets of the city. Aside from regaling at the elaborate architectural designs, these temples ushers in a soulful experience, especially if you get a chance to witness an ongoing religious activity inside the temple. Some of the important temples in Rishikesh are as follows.
Tera Manzil Temple: It is a multistory temple that is extremely popular among tourists. The temple has several deities under one roof with amazing architecture to behold. Here you can capture an unforgettable view of sundown from the top of the temple.
Kunjapuri Temple: Kunjapuri Devi Temple is a sacred temple of intense importance in the Hindu religion, devoted to Goddess Durga. Situated at a height of 1676 meters from sea level on a hill, this Temple is also considered by Shaktipeeth.
Bharat Mandir: Bharat Mandir is one of the very old temples among the all which is constructed by the Hindu famous saint Adiguru Shankracharya in the 12th century. This temple is devoted to Bharat, the younger brother of Lord Ram; it is to be found in the old town next to Triveni Ghat.
Nilkanth Mahadev Temple: Nilkanth Mahadev temple is one of the very famed temples which is positioned at a height of around 5500 ft. The splendid architecture of the temple will stun you with its fine detail. Outside the temple, you will find several stalls stocking memoirs and Pooja ingredients.
Explore the street markets
The city, with hills on either side, is connected by two suspension bridges known as Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula. The markets around both these bridges are crowded with shops selling beads, precious stones, local handicraft items, and puja items. You can bring many interesting things from here like; Spiritual books, Jewellery, clothes, gems, precious and semi-precious stones, idols and other great items too.
Enjoy the festivals
Rishikesh, being a holy pilgrimage site, celebrates the usual Hindu festivals like Holi, Diwali, and Dussehra with great enthusiasm and love. The month of Sawan is also considered of great significance here. Rishikesh is also an ideal spot for some grand International and National Festivals like International Yoga Festival - an annual festival celebrated from 1st to 7th March every year to give knowledge about yoga, International Kayak Festival - organized to promote water activities on the Ganges, Basant Panchmi - a harvest festival, Ganga Dussehra - an annual festival celebrated in the month of May-June to celebrate and worship the River Ganges.
Volunteer and travel
Rishikesh is famous for its culture and spirituality. People travel here for sightseeing and pilgrimage. But, have you ever thought about adding value to society and experiencing the real taste of the city’s culture? Many volunteering opportunities available here let you have this unique experience.
Teaching: You can volunteer at an NGO providing formal education to children from slum areas teaching them various subjects, art and music skills, sports, etc. As a foreigner, you can also introduce them to the culture of your country. Some NG0s providing this experience are Khushi Charitable Society, Children of the Ganges, Mother Miracle, etc.
Cleaning up River Ganges: Pollution is severely chipping away at India’s beauty. The Ganja river is the holiest in all of India and is being carelessly overtaken by pollution. You can help in cleaning this holy river, along with other volunteers. Ganga Action Parivar is an NGO that works for the cleaning and development of the River Ganges.
Animal Care: You can also volunteer at an NGO providing medical care to street animals by helping dogs who suffer and bringing awareness to people about animal rights and welfare. Rishikesh Animal Care, Karma Animal Trust are some NGOs working for animal welfare.
Besides these you can also work with organizations like Who Commune - Here you can volunteer for marketing the products in the charity shop. The profits whatever gained by selling the products will go to childcare. Holistic wellness guesthouse – where you can volunteer for the charity work conducted by the institute by helping in the distribution of food, blanket, and stationary to the poor kids. Besides this, they have animal welfare works as well. Eco-sustainable farm and guesthouse – here you can volunteer on a farm by taking care of the crop, cutting vegetables, helping in the eco-friendly mud hut constructions.
Rishikesh besides being famous for its culture is also a hub for adventure seekers. From white-water rafting in the Ganges, Bungee jumping, Giant swing, waterfall trek, waterfall rappelling to several other adventure activities will let you experience the thrilling adrenaline rush in your body.
If you want to enjoy Volunteering and travel in Rishikesh, click here!
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