Best things to do in Rishikesh - view of town from the Ganges river

Best Things To Do In Rishikesh,India

If you know us at Travel Life  you discovered how much India changed us. We plan to return but until we do, we welcome Manmohan from Rishikul Yogashala to share with us his Top things to do in Rishikesh, in Northern India. 

It is no wonder that most of the people know Rishikesh, India as a famous ‘Yoganagari’ (the land of Yoga). Perched on the majestic Himalayas, the town offers a terrific view of the jungle-clad slopes and prolific natural surroundings. The confluence of gracious rivers Ganga and Chandrabhaga is an eminent fascination of this holy town. The land of Rishikesh is blessed with gems like rich flora and fauna, amazing landscapes ideal for adrenaline sports, peaceful atmosphere conducive to indulging in yoga and spiritual practices. Rishikesh is a filled-to-brim treasure trove of India, with plenty of activities, places, and experiences waiting to be unearthed.

The Top Things to do in Rishikesh: Indoor and Outdoor 

1. Yoga and Ayurveda Centers


Rishikesh is the nurturing land of Yoga and Ayurveda. Many saints, sages, hermits, and yoga enthusiasts travel to this land to unfold the divine aspects of the yoga. There are many yoga schools in Rishikesh, as well as yoga classes meditation centers and Ayurvedic resorts where one can learn authentic yogic wisdom. Parmarth Niketan is a yoga school in Rishikesh that provides dedicated yoga classes. Yoga Niketan is another place which offers yoga and meditation classes along with a comfortable accommodation and healthy food.

Things to do in Rishikesh

2. River Rafting 

To start with a long list of adventures, river rafting is the most sought-after adventure sport that gushes up the excitement of the venturesome. Experience massive pleasure by battling the rough and tough cold rapids of the river Ganges. Soar high on spirits by indulging in white water river rafting.

Rafting on the river in Rishikesh India

3. Bungee Jumping 

Rishikesh is  host of exciting adventure activities amidst it's natural setting and splendor. Bungee jumping is another must-try activity in Rishikesh. Fuel your soul by jumping off a height of 83 meters. Feel the adrenaline rush like never before by taking up bungee jumping, flying fox, giant swing, and so much more. Some Rishikesh tourism packages also give away the dare to jump certificate if this is of interest to you! 

4. Vashishta Gufa 

Soak yourself in spirituality by visiting the Vashishta Gufa--a famous cave and meditation attraction. The peaceful atmosphere, the presence of vibrant green Gular (ficus trees), and cascading slopes leading to sacred river Ganga shall help you dive deep in meditation practices and make you experience the much-needed serenity and inner calmness.

Wood structure entrance to ancient Hindu cave for meditation

Vashishta Gufa Cave credit: Pixabay

5. Neer Garh Waterfall

Include on the list of things to do in Rishikesh the mesmerizing Neer Garh Waterfall. Get awestruck by its splendid beauty. A perfect place for the much-needed timeout from the rapid pace of the city and hustle-bustle of traveling that captivates you in its everlasting beauty.

The Garh Waterfall, Rishikesh

Credit: Pixabay

6. Popular Dining

Rishikesh is one of the best places when it comes to treating the taste buds. From Ayurveda cafes to luxurious restaurants, Rishikesh has it all. Invigorate your senses, satiate your hunger pangs, and feel absolute delight by savoring the delicious delicacies. Restaurants in Rishikesh including The Buddha cafe, Pyramid Cafe, Chotiwala restaurant offer amazing views of the holy river Ganges and the beautiful vistas of the town that allures the eyes and make them an unmissable place.

Ordering Thali in restaurants in Rishikesh

Enjoying Thali at one of many fine restaurants credit: Pixabay

7. Great Markets and Bazaars  

Rishikesh sightseeing includes shopping in the array of exceptionally good markets like the Moti Bazaar, Laxman Jhula market, and the Tibetan market. You can find all kinds of products from handicrafts, garments and sweets. Everything will tempt you to loosen up your pockets.

Things to do in Rishikesh

8. Gita Bhavan Ashram

Also known as Gita Bhawan, it is one of the best places to stay in Rishikesh, India. Beautifully situated on the banks of Ganga, among the glorious Himalayas and Swargashram, Gita Bhavan is an ashram, temple, accommodation and a retail center.  It has been a site of penance for various saints like the Swami Ramtirth.  The ancient Banyan tree in the middle of the complex depicted walls adorned with epics from Mahabharata and Ramayana deserves special mention. Kirtans, Satsangs, Pravachans are a regular affair in the ashram which attract thousands of devotees. Additionally, Swarg Ashram, Sivananda Ashram, the Beatles ashram are some of the eminent places to visit.

A riverfront complex with ashram, housing and retail complex

The Gita Bhavan Ashram credit: Pixabay

9. Alluring Temples 

Visiting the revered shrines of Hindus is one of the best things to do in Rishikesh India. Neelkanth Mahadev temple is one of the prominent pilgrimage sites. Surrounded by dense forests, Nar-Narayan mountain ranges enveloped between valleys of manikoot, Brahma, Vishnu Koot-- the Neelkanth temple lures the visitors with its fascinating sculptures and history. Bharat temple, Hanuman Mandir, Virabhadra and mandir,  are some of the ancient and most famous temples situated in the heart of the town.

Things to do in Rishikesh

One of many shrines in Rishikesh.  credit: Pixabay

10. Camping

Explore and embrace the natural beauty and serenity of the town by embarking on a camping voyage. Camping in Rishikesh provides relaxing and rejuvenating experience in serene hideouts. Camping alongside the flowing river Ganges and twinkling stars is a delightful experience. The blazing flicker of bonfire shall further make you feel peaceful. Highly enjoy your leisure time with dear ones by undertaking nature camping activities like beach camping, and riverside camping. 

a log cabin and bonfire in the woods

credit: Pixabay

11. Ganga Dussehra

Lighten up your spirits by celebrating Ganga Dussehra-- a festival where the sacred river Ganga is worshipped and houses and temples are decorated with Dussehra posters. Many people take a dip in the holy river Ganga on this day to get rid of their sins and to attain salvation.

These are my top things to do in Rishikesh, India, it is a place of rest, chill, divinity and you shall experience the same upon your visit.  Do you have any other tips on things to do in Rishikesh?  Please let us know.

For more India Travel Posts you can find them here. 

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Best things to do in Rishikesh- view the city from the Ganges River

About the Author Manmohan Singh

Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas. For more information about him visit his website.

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