First Time Tourists Guide in Rishikesh

Rishikesh - Photo by AYMYogaSchool on Pixabay

Rishikesh is a city in India. It's famous for its beautiful Hindu temples, such as Lakhsman Temple.

Rishikesh also has the world-famous suspension bridges, named Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula

Legendary rock band The Beatles is known to have visited Rishikesh and composed numerous songs during their time in the ashrams (monastery).

Every year on March, Rishikesh hosts International Yoga Festival for one week.

As a religious city, Indian attire or dressing modestly is preferable if you’re visiting this city to respect the sacredness of the city itself.

To know more about Rishikesh, let's dive deeper with Tripboba!

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SIGHTSEEING

To start your Rishikesh city tour, we’d recommend you to visit Laxman Jhula (Lakshman Jhula) and Ram Jhula for sightseeing. Laxman Jhula is a 137-meter suspension bridge, crossing the Ganges river. It offers a beautiful view of the Ganges itself. After being renovated in 2019 for two months, now Laxman Jhula is open for pedestrian-only.

Around the bridge, you can find plenty of cafes and shops. While you’re in this area, look out for monkeys around. They might be aggressive sometimes, so it’s better to not eat your food outdoor. You can also see cows along the river as well.

Just 2 km away, you can visit Ram Jhula. Just like Laxman Jhula, it’s a famous suspension bridge crossing the Ganges River. Although the design is similar to Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula is bigger with the length of the bridge reaching 229 m. Unlike Laxman, two-wheelers vehicles are allowed to cross this area and there are fewer cows that you can see around.

Laxman Jhula

Probably the most favorite place in Rishikesh.

The natural beauty of the surrounding is very pure and beautiful.

The view from the bridge is really amazing.

Good to place for family and children for roaming around and photography.

Address : Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249137, India

Ram Jhula

The place is ancient and its view is beautiful.

A religious place with a peaceful vibe.

Serene and clean, Ideal place to walk around and explore.

A must visit place for tourists.

Address : Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249137, India

DOWNTOWN

Because Rishikesh is a city of temples and ashrams (monastery), there are not so many interesting places you can find in the downtown. But, we recommend you to visit Virbhadra Temple. It’s a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Each year, Virbhadra Temple hosts the festival of Maha Shivratri, which always greeted by high enthusiasm by the people of Rishikesh. There is no entry fee to enter Virbhadra Temple. The opening hours of this temple is from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Virbhadra Temple

One of the famous temple in area.

Quite relaxing and quite place.

Environment is good and temple is pretty clean too.

Address : Aam Bag, IDPL Colony, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249202, India

SHOPPING

Near the Laxman Jhula, you can do shopping in Laxman Jhula Market. The market is filled with street vendors offering clothes, jewelry, unique stones, books, spiritual things, and many more. You can also find traditional rejuvenating oils and all kinds of ayurvedic medicines in this market.

You can also visit Gole Market in Rishikesh for evening shopping. On the weekend, the market is even more crowded, but the possibility of finding good products is also higher. It’s a great place to buy traditional Indian clothing.

Don’t forget to make a bargain before purchasing. Since it’s a tourist place, the price should be able to get lower than the first one offered by the seller.

Laxman Jhula

Probably the most favorite place in Rishikesh.

The natural beauty of the surrounding is very pure and beautiful.

The view from the bridge is really amazing.

Good to place for family and children for roaming around and photography.

Address : Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249137, India

Gole Market

You can easily find daily needs in Gole Market

Food outlets, sweets, clothes, even furniture shops are available

Address : Manvendera Nagar, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249201, India

FOOD & DRINK

The famous local food that you have to try when visiting Rishikesh is Samosa. It’s a deep-fried snack stuffed with potato filling. People in Rishikesh often eat Samosa for breakfast, accompanied with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Other traditional foods you can try in Rishikesh are Besan ki Barfi, Nariyal Barfi, and Besan Ladoo.

For the drink, you can try Burans. It’s an authentic drink from Uttarakhand, as well as Rishikesh as a city of the state. The drink is made from Burans flower, it’s served in a non-fancy glass. It has a jelly-like consistency and sweet taste. It’s also said that Burans has a lot of health benefits, such as increasing body immune against mild seasonal diseases, diarrhoea, dysentery, hair-loss, and skin acne.

CULTURE

In general, Rishikesh has a similar culture to other cities in India. Most people believe in an arranged marriage, and the major festivals celebrated are Holi and Diwali. During May, June, and July, Rishikesh would be more crowded with local people because of the major festivals.

The main languages spoken in Rishikesh are Hindi and Garhwali. Non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly prohibited in Rishikesh because it’s a religious city. But, it’s a perfect city to find spiritual peace and to do activities like yoga and meditation.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Rishikesh is ideal to visit all year long. However, the best time to visit the city would be in February, March, and then August to October. The weather is most pleasant and the places are not very crowded.

If you like your vacation to be a quiet one, we recommend you to avoid visiting Rishikesh on July. This is because there is a huge festival called Savan, where thousands of people come to Rishikesh, making roads blocked and hotels become crowded.

HOTEL

To find a hotel in Rishikesh is not hard at all. Since it’s often visited by tourists and there are a lot of festivals going around, there are also a lot of accommodation nearby. To name a few, we picked Aloha on the Ganges and Hotel Ishan – A Riverside Retreat by Salvus.

Aloha on the Ganges is located right on the banks of the Ganges River and also close to Laxman Jhula. The resort offers a serene environment which is ideal for meditation and mind expansion. There are various options of rooms and apartments as well. Their deluxe room is facing the garden, as well as superior room. Others are apartments with Ganges River view or Hill view.

Hotel Ishan is located only 2 minutes of walking distance from Laxman Jhula. Their staffs are also known to be helpful and very welcoming. With delicious meals, spacious rooms, and well maintained building, Hotel Ishan guarantees you a comfortable stay in Rishikesh.

Aloha on the Ganges

The location is in prime spot and well maintained property.

The complimentary breakfast has many options and is delicious.

They have really nice pool and spacious rooms.

The staff are extremely helpful.

Address : National Highway 7, 58, Rishikesh, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249192, India

Hotel Ishan - A Riverside Retreat by Salvus

The location of the hotel is the best in all of rishikesh.

It’s location is perfect for a scenic view

Rooms are well maintained and spacious.

The breakfast is superb in a charming atmosphere.

The staff are very welcoming and excellent.

Address : Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249192, India

RESTAURANT

When visiting Rishikesh, keep in mind that you won’t find any places serving meat and alcohol (or at least you’ll have difficulty in finding them). However, you can fulfil your need of Indian cuisine adventure in Bistro Nirvana and The Sitting Elephant! Bistro Nirvana serves North Indian foods, as well as Mexican and Asian cuisines. Unlike other restaurants being full vegetarian, Bistro Nirvana offers chicken-based menu.

The Sitting Elephant offers you a gorgeous view of Ganges River while enjoying north Indian foods. The staffs are known to be friendly and attentive. The ambience of the restaurant is very peaceful and enjoyable as well. Unlike Bistro Nirvana, The Sitting Elephant only serves vegetarian food. The prices is also higher, but the view from the restaurant makes it worth it!

Bistro Nirvana

One of the best restaurants in Rishikesh.

It offers delicious meals at reasonable price.

The design of the roof and the seats is antique.

Nice ambience with professional and polite staffs.

Address : Swami Omkarananda Saraswati Rd, Near Green Valley Cottage, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249192, India

The Sitting Elephant

Elegant place to have food with beautiful view and creative interior.

Outstanding service and best curry in Rishikesh.

The Indian food is good.

Overall a nice place to enjoy the view of river ganga while eating in a fine dining ambience.

Address : Hotel EllBee Ganga View, 355, Haridwar Rd, Palika Nagar, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249201, India

CAFE

Looking for a place to wind down in Rishikesh? Go to Little Buddha Café and Beatles Café!

Little Buddha is located near the Ganges River, with chill ambience and delicious foods. Not only that, you will also be accompanied with good music in the background and friendly staffs. Don’t worry about their serving size, because their portions is generous. Definitely try their Tofu Masala with lemon soda if you’re visiting.

Our second pick of café, Beatles Café, is also one of the best cafes in Rishikesh. The view is amazing especially at sunset. Friendly staff, delicious foods, and great music from 60’s and 70’s makes this cafe’s atmosphere really cozy. The walls are covered with The Beatles and other musicians’ posters. If you’re visiting, try their Vegan Burger!

Little Buddha Cafe

The cafe is amazing with the ambience it provides, the scenic beauty of river.

There are huge variety of food available and is at as very reasonable price

The service they provide is amazing and politeness.

They also have separate washroom for gents and ladies.

Address : Laxman Jhula Rd, near Little Buddha Cafe, Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249302, India

Beatles Cafe Rishikesh

Excellent cozy place to sit and unwind in the beauty of the nature.

This place has seriously good vibes and amazing views.

They provide multi cuisine foods and also provides vegan foods.

The service is good and the foods are also amazing.

Address : Paidal Marg, Tapovan Sarai, Badrinath Road, Laxman Jhula, near Hanuman Mandir, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249192, India

BAR AND NIGHTLIFE

As we have explained before, Rishikesh is a religious city so alcohols are prohibited. If you want to experience nightlife, you can visit Nirvana Club in Dehadrun city instead. It’s 1 hour and 16 minutes of driving or 49.1 km away from Rishikesh. It’s somewhere you can have fun, dance, and enjoy the music in the nighttime.

Nirvana Club is spacious so you won’t feel that the room is too crowded. An ideal place to hang out with friends!

Nirvana Club in Dehadrun (closest to Rishikesh)

Best Lounge in the city to explore with friends.

It is a wonderful place to enjoy with a group of 20 to 30 people.

Very energetic vibes with good service.

Recommended only for big parties.

Address : Shiva tower 1st floor, Sahastradhara Rd, above syndicate bank, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248001, India

INTERESTING PLACE

Visit Parmarth Niketan Ashram to have a peaceful meditation in Rishikesh. It is the largest ashram with over 1000 rooms, clean and well maintained. The atmosphere is also very ideal for the meditation, with pure and sacred ambience being emphasized by the place.

The daily activities include morning universal prayers and meditation class, many kinds of yoga, daily sastang (connecting with people) and lecture programs, kirtan (recitation of India’s religious culture and arts), and Ganges aarti at sunset at the shore of Ganges River. Many people from all over the world booked rooms in this ashram.

Our second pick for interesting place is Triveni Ghat. It is the biggest and most famout ghat (valleys or stepped land with elevation declining to the river) in Rishikesh at the bank of Ganges River. Triveni Ghat is frequently used by people for rituals linked to the death of their loved ones. Oil leaves with diya and petals are left floating in the pristine river of Ganges in the ritual.

Parmarth Niketan Ashram

Pretty serene and beautiful place with lush gardens.

It is quite famous for yoga.

This place itself gives you a spiritual feeling.

You can easily find foreigners here.

Address : Near, Main Market Road, Ram Jhula, Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249304, India

Triveni Ghat

Serene , nice place to sit and dip your legs in clean green ganga river.

It has interesting idols and statues around.

The place is very peaceful and filled with good vibes.

Very religious and must watch if you go to Rishikesh.

Address : Mayakund, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249201, India

INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOT

Rishikesh indeed has many beautiful religious sites and temples, but our honorable mention for instagrammable places goes to Beatles Ashram and Lakshman Temple.

Beatles Ashram is an ashram in Rishikesh where The Beatles studied their meditation, along with other celebrities such as Donovan, Mia Farrow, and Mike Love. It was closed in the 1990s due to its popularity by the Beatles’ fans and then reopened to the public in December 2015. It’s located on a high cliff overlooking the Ganges River.

There are street painting arts in the building which makes it sensational. The structures of abandoned buildings will tell your Instagram followers many stories behind the place.

Last but not least, our pick for instagrammable spot in Rishikesh goes to Lakshman Temple. It’s a huge Hindu temple on the bank of Ganges River, known for its decorative wall engravings. The look of the place is extra pretty at sunset. Don’t forget to bring your camera when visiting this place!

Lakshman Temple

Lakshman Temple is one of the ancient temple of india in Rishikesh.

Nice atmosphere and a Hindu temple.

Great place to cross the river and meditate.

The view is awesome.

Address : Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249137, India

Beatles Ashram

This a very good place to visit and have great surroundings.

It is so peaceful and filled with positive energy.

The hall dedicated to the Beatles is breathtaking.

You must visit if your are traveling around.

Address : Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249304, India