I got a chance to visit Rishikesh in April 2015. This was not my first trip. My memories of Rishikesh are those associated with family; with my parents and then with my own. But the trip I made in April stands out; it was very different. It was not just another Rishikesh trip; it was also a reunion with my school mates.
We were to gather at Delhi and then travel to Rishikesh. We decided to stay at a resort – called 'Aloha on the Ganges'. We started our trip from Delhi in a 27 seater bus at night and reached Rishikesh early in the morning.
Rishikesh, is in Uttarakhand, on the foothills of the Himalayas. It is also known as the 'Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas' and the Yoga capital.
The name Rishekesh has its origins in two Sanskrit words – Hrishika and Isha – Hrishikesha meaning he who is the lord of senses. While at Rishikesha, it is a must to visit the two suspension bridges – the Ram Jhula and the Lakshman Jhula. It is here that the sacred Ganges starts her journey into the plains of North India. The temples here are old and beautiful. There are temples dedicated to Ram, Bharat, Lakshman and Shatrughna.
The other place of attraction is the Vashishtha Guha which is 21 kms up from the town of Rishikesh.The Ganga arti performed at dusk at Triveni ghat is popular with pilgrims.Rishikesh is the starting point for travellers who undertake the Char Dham yatra, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri.
It is also known as yoga capital. People from US, Europe, China and Australia come to learn Asanas and Kriyas which helps us to lead a healthy life. Rishikesh is also famous for ayurvedic treatments.It is becoming famous for adventure sports like water rafting,hiking,trekking and rock climbing. The best time to go to Rishikesh is in the summer.
It is advisable to avoid rainy season and winter. You can enjoy the sound of wind as there are lots of trees and mountains. There is lot of greenery in the area. We can connect ourselves to mother nature by sitting on the rocks on the banks of the 'Holy Ganges'. Watching the sun rising from behind the mountains is a lovely experience which I will cherish my entire life.
We can reach Rishikesh by road from New Delhi or by train till Haridwar. From Haridwar there are lots of Govt buses plying to Rishikesh. As it is a mountain area the roads are very narrow so it will be better to go by a small bus. From New Delhi by road it takes 6 hours to reach Rishikesh. You can always trek up to the Lakshman Jhula, but if you prefer to take it easy, you will get six seater autos that will take you there for Rs 150. There are jeeps that will take you to Ram Jhula we get jeeps from Lakshman Jhula. There are many guides who will also help you out.
There are very nice resorts and hotels for accommodation at reasonable prices. As it is a holy city only vegetarian food is available. Booking in advance is advisable. I really enjoyed my trip to Rishikesh.