Undoubtedly, Rishikhesh has been my favorite weekend getaway from Delhi. The time while I was working, Rishikhesh always came as a ready breather while I wanted to calm my senses from office chaos and obvious change of air. Also known as the ‘Yoga capital of the world’, Rishikhesh attracts thousands of tourists every year from around the world for its popularity in Yoga, white water rafting and spirituality.
With the recent opening of the world famous Beatles ashram, the place has attracted more tourists to this area. No doubt, it has become one stop destination for everyone seeking peace and fun at the same time
But the destination has always remained limited to this whereas the truth is that Rishikhesh is much more than just Yoga or camping. Let me introduce you to 5 such things:
Jungle Safari in Rajaji National Park
A Jungle Safari in Rajaji or Chilla National Park is a perfect way to add that extra punch to your holiday. It’s not about riding through the jungles or dating the wild guest but romancing the nature in its truest form.
Consider an early morning walk towards the river at Chilla power plant and believe me it’s a true blessing you will consider giving yourself. The national park is around 25 KMs away from Rishikhesh and a normal safari by a jeep ride usually takes 3 to 4 hours to complete the 36 KM stretch. The cost varies between Rs. 1200-1500 per person and carried twice in a day, 7 AM and around 2 PM. Surreal and breathtaking view, shall give you the much needed relaxation you might just be looking for.
Rishikhesh homes many lesser-known waterfalls, the beauty of which is the trek one has to undertake and subsequent encounter with the hidden trove. I remember when I visited Neergarh the wild beauty which surrounded me while I was trekking up to reach the waterfall, left me in awe.
The small pond along the hike is just what you need to sit and enjoy the serenity of falls, while soaking the tired feet. The trekking to Neergarh Waterfall starts 3 kms away from Laxman Jhula on the Badrinath Highway. For the best views, visit Neergarh just after monsoon to see the wild beauty wiason. One will not only witness water cascading thousands of feet from the mountain top, but you will find yourself walking amidst thousands of brightly coloured butterflies. Vendors are also available to sell the beverages alongside the fall which cost slightly higher but I think a cup of tea in hand will be a good idea to enjoy the surreal beauty fully
Devprayag is quite famous among the spiritual people visiting Rishikhesh as it’s the confluence of two holy rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi, which meet to form Ganga.
But for me it is a place wherein I would like to sit for hours and get lost in nature’s admiration. In the middle of nowhere and surrounded by the pristine two rivers, Devprayag is a perfect getaway to cut from everything and connect with inner self. It’s a small town situated in Tehri Garhwal district in the state of Uttarakhand, located on the Rishikhesh-Badrinath highway.
There are all sought of treks available near Rishikhesh now which can be categorised into Easy, moderate and hard treks. Small treks can be done in the adjoining villages and waterfalls while the longer treks can be taken in near-by mountain regions.
Few options are Neer garh waterfall hike/trek, Kunjapuri trek, Neelkanth Temple Trek, Jhilmil Gufa Trek etc. Longer treks which serves route from Rishikhesh are Gomukh (Gaumukh) Trek, Valley of flower Trek, Tungnath-Chandrasheela Trek, Deoria Taal Trek, Hemkund sahib trek, Kuari Pass Trek and Roop kund Trek.
Nature’s beauty on-route Neelkanth Temple
Neelkanth temple is amongst most sacred places of worship for the Hindus. It is situated on a hill above Swargashram and located at a distance of 32 Kms from Rishikhesh. This temple is considered to be an apt example of complete natural hill heaven that lies adjacent to mountain ranges of Nar-Narayan.
Because of its raw beauty & religious significance, both the devotees and nature lovers visit the place round the year. The way to the temple is quite exhilarating. There are steep & narrow roads taking above the hill, which will add the extra jest of adventure amidst the beauty. There is river flowing on one side and mountain terrain is on the other side. Road is very curvy and narrow with steep slopes. Certainly an apt way to calm your senses.
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