Rishikesh, a city in the foothills of the Himalayas, abode to the holy river Ganga, is a place where spirituality and faith meets. And yes I travelled solo to Rishikesh in the state of Uttarakhand. The city is the host to yoga, meditation, river rafting, bungee jumping, trekking etc. In this blog post I will cover the places I travelled within Rishikesh and soon there will be a post on the Rishikesh food blog.
As I have mentioned in my few posts that I have always wanted to travel solo so here I am jotting down my experience as a solo female traveller to Rishikesh.
Best time to visit:
I learnt from the locals that summer is the best time to visit Rishikesh, March to June. The water of the river is blue and transparent, and one can do a lot of adventure activities like river rafting, bungee jumping , trekking etc.
However, I went during monsoon in the month of August when all the adventure activities were closed due to the obvious reasons and the water of the river was grey and black. But I tell you, I didn’t miss out on any fun. I had checked the weather before booking my tickets and there was no heavy rainfall predicted. During my stay I didn’t get much rain. There used to be light showers for 10 mins and then clear blue sky with white cotton clouds complimenting the emerald green mountains. The most alluring view for the eye of a gypsy.
Ways of Transport I took:
I travelled by UTC bus, Uttarakhand Transport Corporation from Gurgaon which starts in the morning. There are private buses from Delhi and Gurgaon as well. I preferred UTC for 2 reasons:
a) The bus starts from Gurgaon in the morning and reaches Rishikesh by evening. As I was travelling solo I preferred to be on the road till the day light is there. Where as the private buses timings were odd. It starts after midnight and arrives in the morning.
b) The tickets are quite reasonable compared to the private buses.
Where I stayed?
As a solo traveller I preferred staying at a hostel. I met new people, so many stories were shared and good vibes exchanged. I stayed at Live Free Hostel near Lakhshman Jhula. The hostel is close to the Ganga ghat, Kevat, and one can hear the burbles of the river from the terrace of the hostel with an amazing view of the mountains.
Things I did in Rishikesh
- Sunrise at Kunjapuri TempleThe temple is situated at a height of 1600 meters on the Kunjapuri hills. There are two ways to reach the temple by 16 kms trek or by a vehicle. During monsoon the trek was closed hence I went with my hostel friends by a car. Due to an amazing weather the entire hill was covered with clouds and it was a beautiful view to experience.
- Neergarh Waterfall IIThe achromatic natural waterfall is around 7 kms away from Lakhshman Jhula. This fall emerges out of the rocky cliffs with the most enchanting scenery. While I was there it rained for sometime bringing the green forest and waterfall into life.
- Ganga Aarti at the Triveni GhatOne of the most spiritual event of Rishikesh for me was this Aarti. I was spellbound by the vibrations over there. The river Ganga was so mesmerised by the devotion that she was dancing to the tunes of every mantra chanted. It felt like she was alive. She is in her most natural living form on earth. Please maintain cleanliness.
- Early morning meditation at the Kevat Ghat, Lakhman JhulaDuring my 3 days stay everyday early morning around 5:00 AM I used to be at the Kevat Ghat. It was the most peaceful time of the day no rush and crowd. Just me surrounded by the nature. I would sit on the Ganga Ghat with my eyes closed listening to the rumbling stream, watching the sun kissing the mountains covered with mist and among all that my existence was hard to believe. It was the best way to start my day. I was connected to myself and I was myself. Amidst all that captivating beauty I was there.
- Yoga in the yoga capital of the worldThere are a lot of yoga centers that teaches yoga. As I do yoga everyday I didn’t want to miss out on it in the yoga capital. Encompassed by the picturesque view I definitely did some asanas and it was refreshing.
- Sunset at Ram JhulaThat is how my day usually used to be in Rishikesh, sunrise at Lakhshman Jhula and sunset at Ram Jhula. Once I crossed Ram Jhula I discovered a lot of places. There is Beatles Ashram, Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Ram Jhula Bazaar and the Ganga Ghat. By the time I reached the entry to Beatles Ashram was closed so I came across Parmarth Niketan Ashram. I was so enthralled by the sunset at the Ganga Ghat that I chose to walk along side the ghat and soak in the last rays of sun for the day in Rishikesh.
- Shopping at Ram Jhula BazaarOnce I crossed Ram Jhula there was a Bazaar put up. There were handcrafted bags, Madhubani paintings, Bohemian pants, Rudraksha beads and many more.
- Rishikesh is the safest for solo travellers.
- Within the city I commuted by shared rickshaws to have the local experience.
- Carry trekking shoes for trekking, comfortable flip flops to walk around the city, umbrella, sunscreen and clothes that would be below knees.
- If you’re taking the private rickshaws, bargain good.
- Bargain good while shopping as well.
- Two wheelers on rent are available.
- Be careful of the monkeys though.
- To see the sunrise one needs to start at 4:30 AM.
- The hostel can arrange for trekking and other activities.
- Please respect the sanctity of the place by keeping it clean.
- Entry to Beatles Ashram closes at 4:00 PM.
- Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat is from 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM.
Budget for one person:
Gurgaon ⇄ Rishikesh by bus = Rs 1000
Rishikesh bus stand ⇄ Live Free Hostel by private rickshaw = Rs 200 to 400 (depends on how good you can bargain)
Lakhshman Jhula ⇄ Ram Jhula by shared rickshaw = Rs 20
Stay at Live Free Hostel = Rs 1300 for 3 nights
Food = Rs 700 to Rs 1000 (per day) (In my next post I will blog about Rishikesh’s food and its cafes)
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