The glistening Ganges is a charmer, the chants of Hindu prayers touch the soul, the scenic backdrop refreshes the senses and the adrenaline-pumping adventures wreck the nerves the way it should. Often found as a highlight in most Uttarakhand tours, Rishikesh is a fusion of piousness and thrill, which is why the city has two names- Land of God, and The Adventure Capital of India. Thanks to the endless opportunities in this little city of Uttarakhand there are numerous things to do in Rishikesh, for people of all ages.
36 Best Things To Do In Rishikesh
This list will get you an acquaintance with the top adventure activities in Rishikesh. Pack your bags now and leave for a vacation to try the below-listed Rishikesh attractions for a blissful vacation amidst serene surroundings.
1. River Rafting
Rishikesh and river rafting complement each other in such a way that today one word cannot be thought without the other. Your trip is incomplete if you don’t try your hands at river rafting in Rishikesh. It, in fact, is one of the best adventure activities in Rishikesh. If you’re an adventure-junkie, then trying this is what you should do!
Best time for river rafting in Rishikesh: Anytime is the best time for river rafting in
Rishikesh, except monsoon. October to June is the ideal time to try river rafting in Rishikesh (except Jan). Needless to say, river rafting is one of the best Rishikesh activities, India.
Grade levels for rafting in Rishikesh: Basic (Grade I & II), Standard (Grade III) and Expert (Grade IV)
Rishikesh river rafting stretch: Kaudiyala to Lakshman Jhula (36 km)- with 13 major rapids
River rafting routes:
- Kaudiyala- Marine Drive (10 km with grade III & IV)
- Marine Drive- Shivpuri (11 km with grade II & III)
- Shivpuri-Brahmpuri (11 km with grade I & II)
- Brahmpuri-Lakshman Jhula (9 km with grade I)
Rafting charges in Rishikesh: Rs 400-1300. (Charges for river rafting in Rishikesh gets cheaper in packages)
Long Weekend Trips Starting @ Rs 3499/-
2. Bungee Jumping
An adrenaline junkie’s fuel as we can also call it, Bungee Jumping is yet another of fun things to do in Rishikesh with friends. Feel your heart pound as you kiss gravity losing yourself in the air from a height of more than 80 meters above the ground.
Where to do bungee jumping in Rishikesh: Jumping Heights, Mohanchatti
Age limit: Minimum 12 years
Weight requirement for bungee jumping in Rishikesh: 35-110 kg
Timings: 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Suggested Read: Top 15 Places To Visit In Uttarakhand
3. Camping And Bonfire
When the rapid pace of city life takes away the peace away there are serene hideouts to get yourself together, camping in Rishikesh is one of those. As the Ganges flow right beside you, and stars start to twinkle above you, you can grab your guitar and hum a tune you love. The flicker of bonfire will further keep you company and the fun increases multifold if its winters making it one of the best things to do in Rishikesh in winters.
Best time for camping in Rishikesh: The best time is from February to May and September to November
Best camps in Rishikesh: Camp Aquaforest, Camp Rapidfire and Camp Gold Coast.
4. Mountain Biking
For those who love to take the road less traveled on their bicycle, Mountain biking in Rishikesh is something that will leave them in awe. Pedal through the rocky terrains, mud and woods and let the adrenaline flow through you.
There are various bicycle/bike renting companies in Rishikesh from where you and your friends can avail. Many camps and tour agents also provide mountain biking as one of the activities in Rishikesh.
Mountain biking route: Rishikesh and surrounding areas are all yours to explore
Best time for mountain biking in Rishikesh: Anytime is the best time. Try to avoid in monsoons.
5. Flying Fox
With a harness tied to you, you roll down with the wire up to 7 meters from the ground at the speed of about 160 km/hr, and then go back up. Usually flying fox in Rishikesh is done by 3 people together, but if someone wishes to do it alone it is possible by paying extra charges. It is, without a doubt, among the top things to do in Rishikesh with your travel buddies.
Minimum age requirement: Minimum 12 years
Weight requirement: 20-130 kg
Charges for flying fox in Rishikesh: Rs 1199-1399
Where to try flying fox in Rishikesh: Shivpuri
6. Cliff Jumping
As Rishikesh falls in Shivalik region there are cliffs with varied heights, cliffs that are embraced by holy Ganges, this geographical phenomenon led to the introduction of cliff jumping in Rishikesh. Like many other adventure sports in Rishikesh, this too can be done by beginners as well as experts as they like. But all in all, you’ll find that it is actually one of the most adventurous things to do in Rishikesh.
Average height of cliffs: 20 feet (10 feet if the water level rises)
Where to do cliff jumping in Rishikesh: 2 km before Lakshman Jhula from Brahmapuri
Suggested Read: Bungee Jumping In Rishikesh: Here’s All You Need To Know
7. Body Surfing
Letting yourself loose while in the water is always a relaxing experience. Body surfing in Rishikesh is easy and fun! You don’t have to be a hard-core adventurer or require any sort of training to indulge in this sport, which makes it one of the most fun things to do in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.
Charges for body surfing in Rishikesh: Mostly, you can enjoy it for free when trying river rafting in Rishikesh
Best time to for bodysurfing in Rishikesh: Try body surfing in Rishikesh during February end to June and October to November
There’s a whole treasure trove for trekking-enthusiasts in and around Rishikesh. From easy to expert level, trekking in Rishikesh is meant for everyone. One can opt for easy waterfall trek and enjoy around the glistening waterfall. Trekking near Rishikesh through jungles and nature trails of Rishikesh is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts, as compared to other places in Northern India.
Best time for trekking in Rishikesh: Anytime is the best time! Try to avoid in monsoon season.
Best trekking route in Rishikesh: Waterfall trek, Kunjapuri Trek and Neelkanth Mahadev Trek
Trekking difficulty level in Rishikesh: Beginner to expert
Suggested Read: 15 Adventure Sports In Rishikesh For Every Thrill Seeker
9. Rappelling And Rock Climbing
Yet another delight for all the adventure junkies, rappelling and rock climbing in Rishikesh is surely something that shouldn’t be missed. It’ll be a true test of your strength and will power unlike other activities in Rishikesh. And to top it all up, it can be done by beginners as well. Both of these activities can be considered amongst the most amazing things to do in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.
From moderate to challenging the levels of kayaking in Rishikesh is there to suit anyone, everyone! The trainers provide lessons for beginners so that they can try their hands on kayaking safely and explore their skills as they sail. It is one of the most calming and serene activities that teach you about balance and patience, as compared to the adrenaline pumping activities in this holy city.
Where to do Kayaking in Rishikesh: Shivpuri region
Charges for Kayaking in Rishikesh: Charges for kayaking in Rishikesh can vary. One can sign up for kayaking training school (for beginners and experts with multiple duration).
11. Ayurvedic Massage And Therapies
Ayurveda was born in India, and Rishikesh is nothing less than a holy grail when it comes to the best Ayurvedic practices. This is where your mind and body find utter serenity. Ayurvedic massages in Rishikesh are provided in different budgets. This is one of the best things to do in Rishikesh at night.
Best places for Ayurveda therapies and massages in Rishikesh: Hemadri Ayurveda Centre, Ayurveda Bhavan, Ananda in the Himalayas and Braham Yoga and Healing, among others.
Best time for Ayurvedic therapies and massages in Rishikesh: Anytime is the best time to give it a go!
12. Parasailing And Paragliding
Kiss the sky and behold the Land of God from a completely different angle as you try Parasailing and paragliding in Rishikesh. This sport, in particular, is among the best activities to do in Rishikesh with family, as it suits all age group and can be done in affordable rates.
Best time for Parasailing and paragliding in Rishikesh: Anytime! Try avoiding in monsoon as it is cloudy.
13. Yoga And Meditation
For many, Rishikesh means adventure sports, but Yoga and meditation are the inseparable soul of this city. One can find numerous Yoga and meditation centres in Rishikesh. Just walk in and embrace the tranquility inside you. This is hands down the best way to rejuvenate yourself in Rishikesh.Best ashrams in Rishikesh for yoga and meditation: Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Omkarananda Ganga Sadan, Sivananda Ashram and Shree Mahesh Heritage School are among the top Rishikesh ashrams.
14. Cafe Hopping
The food culture of Rishikesh is varied and impressive, especially when feasted on in a cafe with raw setting and view of the Ganges. Right from Pastas to Dal Fry, the food in Rishikesh comes with several options for the foodies. Most of the cafes and restaurants of Rishikesh are budget-friendly and provide free wi-fi.
Popular cafes in Rishikesh: Little Buddha Cafe, The 60’s Cafe, Bistro Nirvana and Ellbee Ganga View, among many. These cafes have that chill-vibe, and many of them overlook the glistening Ganges.
Cost for two: Food is generally of nominal cost. Cost for two varies from cafe to cafe.
15. Hot Air Ballooning
Maybe one of the easiest sports activity in Rishikesh, hot air ballooning is bewitching in every sense; whether it is the cool breeze up above or view of this incredible city. Hot air ballooning is among the best tourist attractions in Rishikesh with family, as there is no specific age requirement and fitness prerequisite either.
Best time for hot air ballooning in Rishikesh: Winters (November to March)
16. Ganga Aarti
Rishikesh has two sides, one is rip-roaring and the other is tranquil. To get in touch with the other side of this city, attend the Ganga Aarti in Rishikesh and witness the vibrant Hindu culture and customs. Let your spirits get acquainted with the calm and peaceful side of this adventure-packed city once the sun goes down and the ghats are lit with thousands of incensed lamps.
Rishikesh Ganga aarti timings: 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Ganga Aarti in Rishikesh venue: Triveni Ghat
17. Beatles Ashram- Visit
The popular music band Beatles made their way to India, to learn transcendental meditation from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Today, this Ashram is one of the coolest places to hangout in Rishikesh with friends. Since the walls have such cool graffiti art your selfies are going to come out incredible! This is one of the best offbeat things to do in Rishikesh.
18. Waterfall Trekking
Climbed enough of rocks and hills? Why not try climbing waterfalls now? Yes folks, it’s a thing! Trekking up a mountain and then tracing the path of the flowing river against its motion is among the top things to do in Rishikesh. And doesn’t being able to climb a waterfall sound like the most thrilling thing to do anyway? If you agree with us, add this exciting feat to your itinerary at once!
Suggested Read: Best Resorts In Rishikesh To Enjoy The Spirit Of The City
19. Wildlife Sighting
If you’re wondering what to do in Rishikesh then venture into the home of the Asiatic Elephants and the Bengal Tigers for a day amid the wilderness of Uttarakhand that you’ll surely cherish forever. Taking a jeep safari through the wild terrain of Rajaji National Park is one of the most adventurous things to do in Rishikesh where you can have an up close and personal encounter with the extensive array of flora and fauna. Book yourself a guided jeep safari tour inside the park at once and set off on your expedition to sight Nilgai, Leopards, Indian Hare, Jungle Cats, Indian Sloth, and more.
Timings: 7 AM – 5:30 PM
Per person entry fee: INR 150 (Indians) | INR 600 (Foreigners) | INR 300 (Guided tour)
20. Giant Swing
if you’re thinking about what to do in Rishikesh for adventurous activities the this activity is similar to and as thrilling as bungee jumping. As the name suggests, a quite adventurous swinging is involved in this particular outdoor activity. Clinged to a rope, the person is made to swing between the two extremes of the cliff. While you’ll be swinging up there, you’ll be able to see the lush-green mountainous landscapes of Rishikes in all their glory!
Opening hours: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (closed on Tuesdays)
21. Beach Volleyball
If you’re visiting Rishikesh with your family or friends and wondering what to do in Rishikesh, then spending time playing volleyball can be a fun thing to do here. This outdoor activity is full of fun with which you get to spend some quality time with your dear ones! Starting your day off with volleyball will keep you rejuvenated and excited throughout the day, making your exploration more fun and interesting!
Suggested Read: 15 Places To Visit In Uttarakhand This Winter 2020
22. Exploring Temples
A visit to Rishikesh would remain unfulfilling if you don’t visit the culturally and historically enriched temples of this place. With a gamut of temples, Rishikesh lets the tourists get a clear glimpse of the culture and traditions being followed in the town since times immemorial. If you have a thing for religious history and are seeking a peaceful moment after a long day, do remember to stop by the temples to regain your spirit!
23. Attending Classical Music Concert
If you are inclined towards classical music and looking for fun activities to do in Rishikesh, then this one’s for you! There are places like classical music schools or temples where you can just sit, unwind, and listen to classical music being played by the professionals. The musical instruments being played are reflective of our vast and beautiful heritage, bringing the audience closer to the amazing Indian cultures!
Now who wouldn’t want to come and collect the ravishing souvenirs from Rishikesh! If you’re a shopaholic and looking for exciting activities to do in Rishikesh, then you must explore all the local shops here to get you hands on something that you think reflects the culture of Rishikesh the best! There are a lot of exotic and organic products that you can buy for yourself or your loved ones or can even choose some cool t-shirts that are even brought and worn by the foreigners in Rishikesh.
25. Parmarth Niketan-Aarti By Kids
One of the last few Ashrams that still offer Vedic education to children, Parmarth Niketan is a place every visitor must visit on their trip to Rishikesh. Some places should not be visited just for enjoyment but for other reasons too and the reason for you to visit this place is to witness the morning and the evening aarti done by the kids.
Timings: 6:00 AM-9:00 PM
26. Mukti’s Health Food- Try Healthy Food
If you want some healthy and fresh home-cooked food then there are many wellness and rejuvenation centres in Rishikesh doing just that. Trying the many options available are one of the famous things to do in Rishikesh with family. One of the most famous places to try out freshly prepared healthy food is Mukti’s Health Food and we suggest trying their Apple Pie.
Timings: 9:00 AM-10:00 PM
Suggested Read: 6 Best Resorts Near Rishikesh And Haridwar
There are many things to do in Rishikesh at night and one of those things is camping at Brahmpuri. A few minutes drive from Rishikesh, Brahmpuri is one of the best spots if you wanna try camping by the river side. The sound of the gushing Ganga through the terrain of the Himalayas, bonfire and waking up to fresh air is what you can experience here.
Best time to visit Brahmpuri September to June
28. Ganga- Take A Dip
A trip to Rishikesh is incomplete without taking a dip in the holy Ganga. It’s one of the best things to do in Rishikesh and Haridwar. It’s said that taking a dip in the sacred waters of Ganga washes away all the sins someone has committed and its this belief that moves people and the reason as to why you will always find Ganga ghats crowded.
Suggested Read: Luxury Adventure Camping On A Weekend In Rishikesh
29. Osho Ganga Dham Ashram- Visit
The best place to take a stroll and enjoy a walk in the lush green surroundings and to meditate too, the Osho Ganga Dham Ashram is a place where you can introspect and maybe find peace. Founded by the Indian spiritual guru, Osho at this ashram you can also learn active meditation techniques which help people to think better.
Timings: 6:30 AM-9:00 PM(Thursday hours)
30. Vashishtha Caves-Visit
Dedicated to and named after rishi(sage) Vashishtha who meditated here, these caves are beautiful and those who meditate here say that they find peace. Legends say that Vashishtha was the Manas Putra(human son) of Lord Brahma and the sage had a very rough life which eventually led to him meditating in the cave. You too can meditate here as it’s considered to be one of the most spiritual things to do in Rishikesh.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM
Suggested Read: Best Things To Do On A Trip To Rishikesh And Auli With Friends
31. Lakshman Jhula
One of the most iconic places and the identity of the town is Lakshman Jhula. Moving around here and shopping is one of the most exciting things to do in Rishikesh, India. One of the busiest places in the town, here you will always find tourists. There are many bazaars and local markets around the place where you can shop.
Timings: Open 24 hours
32. Bharat Mandir – Visit
One of the most famous, sacred and oldest temples in Rishikesh, Bharat Mandir is located in the heart of the city of Rishikesh. An ancient temple that is a prime tourist spot for devotees to worship Lord Hrishikesh Narayan that was also visited by Lord Buddha.
Address: 9, Ghat Rd, Mayakund, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249201
Famous For: Religious, Spirituality
33. Trayambakeshwar Temple – Visit
This is a 13-story temple that is perched along the banks of the river Ganga that stands tall and reflects so much beauty and charm against a stunning backdrop visible from the Lakshman jhoola. The temple is dedicated to multiple gods and goddesses that are places on different levels with Lord Shiva being placed at the top. The temple provides stunning views of the glorious river Ganga and Rishikesh.
Address: Laxman Jhoola, Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249302
Timings: 6 am – 12 pm
Famous For: You can worship all the deities at one place, Architecture
34. Ashram Activities
Live the divine life by indulging in these several ashram activities in Rishikesh and seek spirituality for a deep soul cleansing regime. There are several ashrams and yoga meditation centres in Rishikesh that allow you to do seva and yoga activities. Learn about philosophy, spirituality, the art of yoga, meditation and the practice of giving to strengthen their sadhana and further their spiritual progress.
Famous Ashrams in Rishikesh: Sivananda Ashram, Parmarth Niketan, Anand Prakash Ashram
35. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple – Visit
One of the most sacred and famous temples that is located a bit far away from Rishikesh, it has scenic surroundings that lies next to the Nar Narayan Mountain range. It’s a famous pilgrimage site and one of most popular temples that is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Address: Kotdwar – Pauri Rd, Kotdwara, Uttarakhand 246149
Famous For: Dedicated to Lord Shiva
36. Gita Bhawan – Spiritual Retreat
Built by Guru Shri Ram Sukh Daas ji who was considered to be one of the greatest thinkers of his time, this place is one of the prime places of worship, spirituality and religious purposes. Devotees gather around this place for Ramanayana readings that happen twice a year.
Address: Gangapar, P.O, Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249304
Famous For: Ramanayana readings
Further Read: Paragliding In Bir Billing: Living The Fantasy Of Flying
Excited much? Quickly text your gang and plan your Rishikesh trip today! Take the much-needed break and try out various things to do in Rishikesh listed here. Is there anything out of the box that you have given a try in Rishikesh? We’d love to know! Leave your experience in the comment box.
Frequently Asked Questions
A. There are numerous amazing things to do in Rishikesh such as going for river rafting, bungee jumping, giant swing, flying fox, camping at the bank of river Ganga, going for a short trek, visiting numerous temples, etc.
A. The following are the best night experience of Rishikesh:
1. Visiting Laxman or Ram Jhula
2. Camping Riverside
3. Staying at Shivpuri Jungle Night Camp
4. Having peaceful hours at numerous cafes
A. A two-day stay in Rishikesh will be enough for general excursions, however, if you are interested in taking yoga and meditation sessions then you can extend your stay for up to 5-6 days.
A. Prefer wearing Indian attire before visiting religious places in Rishikesh. Wearing decent clothes is advisable while exploring the place.
A. Rishikesh is famous for its spiritual sights and scenic beauty.
A. You can either plan your visit to Rishikesh in the months of September, October and mid-November or between March to April.
A. Yes, Rishikesh is completely safe for couples. You can also indulge in interesting couple-activities here.
A. The following are the most popular stays in Rishikesh:
1. Hotel Welcome
2. Stay Inn
3. Ganga Kinare
4. EllBee Ganga View
5. Divine Resort & Spa
6. Hotel Vasundhara Palace
A. No, Rishikesh doesn’t experience snowfall.
A. Hindi is prominently used in Rishikesh.
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