Rishikesh, the land of yogis, sadhus, and holy men, is a place where spirituality and adventure collide. Whether you’re looking to meditate in the Himalayan foothills or raft down the Ganges, Rishikesh has something for everyone. So, let’s take a look at some of the top things to do in Rishikesh, and I’ll try to make it as humorous as possible!
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, then rafting down the Ganges is a must-do activity in Rishikesh. The rapids here are no joke, so be prepared to get wet and maybe even fall off the raft. Don’t worry; the water is holy, so it will wash away all your sins!
Attend an Ashram
Rishikesh is known for its ashrams, which offer spiritual and yoga retreats. If you’re feeling stressed out from the daily grind, then spending a few days at an ashram might be just what you need. You can learn yoga, meditation, and even take part in a fire ceremony. Just remember, the only fire you should be playing with is the one at the ceremony!
Walk the Laxman Jhula
The Laxman Jhula is a suspension bridge that crosses the Ganges River. It’s a popular tourist spot, and you’ll likely find many people taking selfies and feeding the monkeys. Just be careful, though; the monkeys are known for stealing food and even sunglasses. If you see one approaching, don’t panic; just give them your sunglasses and move on!
Visit the Beatles Ashram
Did you know that the Beatles visited Rishikesh in 1968 to learn meditation from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi? The ashram where they stayed has since been abandoned but has become a popular tourist spot. You can walk around and see the colorful graffiti that adorns the walls. Just be careful where you step; the last thing you want to do is step in some psychedelic paint!
Take a Dip in the Ganges
The Ganges River is considered one of the most sacred rivers in India, and taking a dip in it is said to purify your soul. But before you jump in, remember that the river is also heavily polluted. So, if you want to take a dip, make sure to do it in a designated area, and maybe wear a hazmat suit!
Visit the Triveni Ghat
The Triveni Ghat is a bathing ghat where people come to wash away their sins. It’s also a popular spot to watch the nightly Ganga Aarti ceremony. Just make sure to bring a towel, because it can get crowded, and you don’t want to get bumped into the river!
Trek to Neer Garh Waterfall
If you’re looking for a beautiful natural spot, then Neer Garh Waterfall is a must-visit. It’s a short trek from Rishikesh, and the waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery. Just be prepared to get wet, because the waterfall is so powerful that you’ll likely get soaked!
Watch the Sunset at Parmarth Niketan
Parmarth Niketan is a spiritual center that offers yoga and meditation classes. It’s also a beautiful spot to watch the sunset over the Ganges River. Just be prepared for some awkward moments when you’re trying to meditate and some tourist starts taking selfies in front of you!
Yoga: Let’s start with the most obvious thing to do in Rishikesh, yoga. Yes, you heard it right, yoga, the ancient Indian practice that has taken the world by storm. Here in Rishikesh, you will find all sorts of yoga schools, ashrams, and gurus who will teach you the art of bending your body in ways you never thought possible. So, get ready to strike a pose, breathe deeply, and become one with the universe. And if you’re lucky, you might even achieve enlightenment, or at least a good Instagram post.
Meditation: If yoga is not your cup of tea, then maybe meditation is. Rishikesh is home to many meditation centers, where you can sit in silence for hours on end, contemplating the mysteries of life, or just taking a nap. You can choose from various meditation techniques like Vipassana, Transcendental Meditation, or just plain old sitting and doing nothing. And if you’re lucky, you might even have a spiritual experience, or at least a good nap.
Ayurveda: Now, this is something that’s unique to India, Ayurveda. It’s a system of medicine that uses natural herbs and remedies to heal your body and mind. In Rishikesh, you will find many Ayurvedic clinics and spas where you can get massages, oil treatments, and other therapies that will make you feel like a new person. So, get ready to be slathered in oil, rubbed down, and detoxed. And if you’re lucky, you might even lose a few pounds, or at least some body hair.
Adventure sports: If you’re the kind of person who likes to live life on the edge, then Rishikesh has got you covered. You can try your hand at rafting, bungee jumping, flying fox, and other adventure sports that will give you an adrenaline rush like no other. So, get ready to scream your lungs out, wet your pants, and conquer your fears. And if you’re lucky, you might even survive, or at least have a good story to tell.
Spiritual tourism: Rishikesh is not just a place for yoga and meditation; it’s also a spiritual hub that attracts people from all over the world. You can visit the many temples and ashrams that dot the town and immerse yourself in the spiritual vibe. You can attend aarti at the Ganges, chant mantras at Parmarth Niketan, or just wander around in a daze, feeling the energy of the place. And if you’re lucky, you might even meet a guru, or at least a stray cow.
Food: Now, this is something that we can all agree on, food. Rishikesh has a wide variety of food options that cater to all tastes and budgets. You can try the local cuisine, which includes chole bhature, rajma chawal, and lassi, or you can go international with pizza, pasta, and falafel. And if you’re lucky, you might even find a restaurant that serves good food, or at least food that won’t give you food poisoning.
Overall,Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world and the land of the hippies. Here, you will find people doing all sorts of things in the name of spirituality, self-discovery, and adventure.