Whenever I hear about this destination two things come to my mind, Sanatan Dharma and Mountains. This is the first destination which comes to the mind of delhiites when you and I think about travelling. You and I both know how much this place has to offer and if you don’t, let me educate you for the good. Rishikesh is located in less explored Uttarakhand and is a 6 hour drive from Delhi. This place is easily accessible by public transport (bus tickets range from 300 – 700 India rupees). You always have the option of driving in your car but most of the hotels and hostels do not provide parking space and you will have to park at paid parking which charge around 200 – 300 Indian rupees for a single day.
This is a perfect destination for the road trips lovers. This place could be ideal for weekend getaway. For the mountain lovers this can be sone pe suhaga.
Reasons why you should consider this as your first travel destination :-
- Safety – If you have read my blog on Why I would never recommend any to visit Malana then you know for me the most important criteria before choosing a destination for travelling is safety. This place offers you complete safety and peace of mind. I hope for you as well this criteria tops the list.
- No Nonsense People – Whether you are travelling with your boyfriend or your girlfriend people generally don’t care. The hotel owners, general public and other travellers are very sweet and welcoming people. You will feel inner peace while travelling Rishikesh.
- Budget Friendly – This place offers good hostels for the budget travellers and offers luxury hotels at well. You can get a single bed for a night at around 300 – 500 indian rupees. My advice would be not to book a hostel online or without talking to the owners about the location of the hostel as many hostels are at remote places and far away. The hotel I stayed in was hotel Ishan. Click to check it out. This hotel offers a perfect view of Laxman Jhula and the Ganges.
- Cafes – Rishikesh has a lot to offer you and one of those things is cafes with great views and scrumptious food. My only recommendation would be Little Buddha Cafe. This cafe is filled with foreigners and often you have to wait for your turn. This cafe offers delicious mexican food with a mesmerising Ganges and Laxman Jhula view.
- Adventure Activities/Sports – To be honest I visited Rishikesh to experience the thrill of Bungee Jumping and it was my primary purpose but then my car broke down and I had to extend my stay for two days. It was fortunate that my car broke down and I got to explore Rishikesh. This place is also famous for rafting.
- Lord Shiva Mandir – Are as excited as I am while writing about this Mandir/Temple. This is a perfect sacred place to visit from Rishikesh. It is just thirty two kilometers away from the Laxman Jhula. You can easily get a scooty for 500 – 600 rupees. The way to Neelkanth Mandir is scenic and let’s you enjoy the beautiful mountain roads.
- Camping – You can experience camping on the banks of a river for just one thousand rupees per night with bonfire and food included. I know it is one thing which is on everyone’s wish list.
I left Delhi early morning directly for Bungee Jumping in Rishikesh. It was the last day of that season for bungee jumping. In monsoon it is not possible to operate the facilities and execute bungee jumping. For two people they charge around eight thousand Indian rupees. Before heading to the jumping location they asked me to sign a contract which states that they don’t have any responsibility if anything goes wrong during the jump.
Then they showed us a short video which explains about the precautions we were required to take while/before jumping. The jump location is a five minute walk from the office. We were informed while filing the form that we will get three attempts for jump and if we didn’t jump, we won’t get any more chances and we cannot claim our money back.
The instructor was from New Zealand and it was a cricket world cup time, they just won a match against India and he was very happy and shocked about it. After wishing him luck for the finals, my partner jumped on the first attempt. I too jumped on the first attempt taking motivation from my partner. Though they took all the precautions I was still horrified and for the first two seconds after the jump I was thinking that this was a big mistake and I won’t feel any pain if I hit directly on the ground. Then I was pulled by the rope and I realized It was a successful jump and I am safe and alive.
On landing I took a bath in the stream and then the weather got stormy. It turned out we were the last couple of people of that season who did Bungy Jump. I did not take the video as they were asking one thousand Indian rupees and I was short on money.
To surprise us my car did not start due to some battery problem. We did a dhakka start and gave it to the service centre. Next day we took a scooty on rent and visited Neelkanth Mandir. I have explained above about the scenic beauty of roads and Mandir.
The best thing about Rishikesh is that there are a lot of yoga and meditation centres. Many hotels offer yoga classes complimentary with the stay. You need to wake up early to take these complimentary classes. What could be better than starting your day with an hour of yoga and meditation with a Ganges view.
We loved Little Buddha Cafe so much that we ate there three times in just two days ignoring other cafes. We visited a few of the waterfalls and spent quality time there. We drove on every possible road in Rishikesh. My best moment in Rishikesh was driving scooty on the Laxman Jhula at night when it was not disturbed by tourists.
P.S. Don’t throw garbage here and there. Drive on mountains only if you know how to drive. Locals don’t like people who don’t know basic etiquettes of driving in mountains.