Haridwar Rishikesh Tourist places
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Distance from Delhi: 250 kilometers
Holy cities abound in India and coming in a close second to Benares are the cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Haridwar literally means ‘the abode of Lord Vishnu’ and millions of people flock here every year to take part in an annual pilgrimage. Rishikesh is another perfect weekend getaway endowed with natural beauty. Haridwar and Rishikesh are meat and alcohol free cities because of their holy nature. Haridwar and Rishikesh are considered the “twin national heritage cities”. Since both the cities are popular tourist destinations, they provide a wide range of gastronomic options that are delicious and caters to people on various budgets and with different tastes. The mystical and spiritual environment of Haridwar and Rishikesh are the reason why they are considered perennial holiday destinations for people all around the world.
What to Do in Haridwar
Haridwar is one of the most populous cities of Uttarakhand. Masses of people frequent Haridwar every year to pay their respects to the holy river Ganga. The bustling lanes of Haridwar will have you roaming for a long time because there’s a unique sight to see at every corner of the town. However, beware of rhesus monkeys who are notoriously famous for harassing people along the ghats. Haridwar is the busiest during the Kumbh Mela that’s a religious pilgrimage and a photographer’s delight because of uncommon sights seen during this event.
1) Har ki Pauri Ghat – Literally meaning the ‘footstep of God’, it is a holy bank on the river Ganga. The place is teeming with people wanting to take a dip in the holy waters. Every evening at sundown, the ghat is a sensory spectacle when the Ganga aarti is performed, with bells ringing and flaming torches everywhere.
2) Temple Hopping – Haridwar has several temples dedicated to various Hindu gods and goddesses. The hilltop temple of Mansa Devi is very popular as she is considered to be the wish-fulfilling goddess. You can either walk up the hill or take the cable car. The Maya Devi temple on the riverbank and the Chandi Devi temple on Neel Parvat are some of the other important temples.
3) Ashrams – If you’re looking for a peaceful abode for meditation, head to one of the many ashrams in the city. Shanti Kunj Ashram is set in a beautiful garden and provides lodging, meals and spiritual activities. Patanjali Yogpeeth is another popular ashram, especially for practising yoga.
4) Adventure Tours – Apart from spirituality, Haridwar is also famous for other activities such as trekking, bird-watching and rafting. Visit Rajaji National Park, which has a large population of wild elephants and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a tiger!
5) Food Trail – Street food of Haridwar is renowned, especially the aloo puri at Mohanji Puriwale and the kachoris at Kashyap Kachoriwala. Try the sweets at Mathura Walon Ki Prachin Dukaan. Don’t forget to pack an iron stomach! Haridwar Rishikesh Tourist places *
Where to Stay? Hotel La Casa (3 star), Godwin Hotel (4 star), Aalia on Ganges (5 star)
Budget: Rs. 1,000 per person for 2 nights (inclusive of 3 star hotel and breakfast)
Distance From Delhi: Haridwar – 250 km
Traveller Type: Family, Friends
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Haridwar Rishikesh Tourist places
What to Do in Rishikesh
Infamous for the Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh has a lot to offer in terms of Spirituality and adventure.Rishikesh is considered the ‘yoga capital of the world’ and there are plenty of ashrams that allow you a chance to meditate and attain ‘moksha’ which is supplemented by a dip in the Holy river. Rishikesh is the birthplace of Ayurveda. Despite being a magnet for soul searchers and thrill seekers, Rishikesh has survived the ravages of time and has retained an old-world charm that influences you, the moment you set foot in the town. Even The Beatles had visited Rishikesh back in the 60’s in search of what everyone comes to Rishikesh for, enlightenment and Activism. There’s lots to see and a lot more to do once you’re in Rishikesh.
1) Adventure Trails – Rishikesh is very popular with adrenaline junkies who are lured by the white rapids of the Ganga. White water rafting is very popular and you can choose the grade (ranging from 1 to 4) based on your age and appetite for adventure. Bungee jumping is another activity you can indulge in here.
2) Yoga Retreats – Ever since the Beatles popularised transcendental meditation years ago, Rishikesh has been a haven for those seeking spiritual enlightenment through yoga and meditation. Parmarth Niketan on the banks of the Ganga is the foremost yoga centre in the city. Alternatively, try Sanskriti Yogpeeth for a more luxurious stay.
3) Temples – Rishikesh is the starting point for the Char Dhaam Yatra and there are several ancient temples around Lakshman Jhoola, the bridge that spans the Ganga. The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple and the Trimbakeshwar Temple are most popular.
4) Triveni Ghat – The confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati is the main ghat for taking a holy dip. The ancient Rishi Kund and Raghunath Temple nearby are also worth a visit.
5) Shopping – The bazaars of Rishikesh are a shopper’s paradise. Here you can buy beautiful wall paintings and wooden furniture to give your home a rustic haveli look.
6) Aarti at Parmarth Ghat – Rishikesh is popularly known for it’s ghat- side aartis that take place at dusk. The aarti at the Parmarth ghat is a spectacular sight and is also a photographer’s delight.
7) Where to eat in Rishikesh – The Chotiwala restaurant is an age old family run business that deserves a visit for it’s fabulous food and the dressed up Chotiwala pandit who sits outside the restaurant at all times.
8) Outside Haridwar – Take a day trip to the Rajaji National park located close to Haridwar, and travel among the thickets of the jungle to discover herds of elephants who roam in the park.
Here are a few tips if you’re planning a weekend getaway to Rishikesh: Haridwar Rishikesh Tourist places
Where to Stay? Hotel Akash Continental (3 star), The Amaris (4 star), Ananda in the Himalayas (5 star)
Budget: Rs. 5,000 per person for 2 nights (inclusive of 3 star hotel, transfers and sightseeing)
Distance From Delhi: 220 km
Traveller Type: Family, Friends
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