Both the cities Haridwar and Rishikesh are sacred cities adjacent to each other on the holy Ganga river bank. It has a very significant role in the Hindu religion and the Indian culture. Here are many best tourist destinations and exciting visiting places in Haridwar Rishikesh.
Hindus believe that Haridwar is the gateway to heaven. It is also termed as Mayapuri, Gangadwar, and Kapila.
Har ki Pauri is one of the most essential “ghats” in Haridwar as it is where thousands of people gather every day for Holy prayer (Ganga Aarti).
Today, Haridwar has religious importance and modern civilization and the captivating beauty of nature; it has become one of the most crowded holy places.
Haridwar is one of the four places where Maha-Kumbha Mela occurs every twelve years where crores of pilgrims come and take a bath in the holy Ganga. The security barrier is implied in the region to protect swimmers from falling in the water. During monsoon season, many Ghats are closed due to the massive flow of the river.
Rishikesh means- the one who controls the senses. It is the name of Lord Vishnu. It is one of the most popular destinations for international and Indian travellers, tourists, families, friends, and even solo travellers. The Beatles have also visited here in the late 60s.
Rishikesh is popularly known for thrilling river rafting and yoga. You can see Sadhus and Saints all around the place.
Thrilling waves of rivers, heavy water flow, and dense forests attract people across the world like a magnet.
Yoga is another beauty of Rishikesh. It teaches you hows to connect with yourself and find peace of mind, soul, and meaningful life. The whole ambiance of Rishikesh is sure to stir the spiritual emotions of the pilgrims.
Historic Beauty of visiting places in Haridwar Rishikesh:
Haridwar and Rishikesh are the places where Himalayan foothills stop, and the bare plateaus begin. During winter and early summer, you can see beautiful Siberian cranes in Neel-Phara Pakshi Vihar. India is a culturally rich and inherited country. You can revitalize your drained body and mind in the mesmerizing surroundings of this holy town, where you can let your soul sink in the thrilling crystal clear water rafting in Rishikesh.
Why visit Haridwar and Rishikesh
Being a significantly crucial spiritual place, Haridwar and Rishikesh’s entire region’s vibes are different from the rest of all sites. If you believe that you’re an atheist, you must visit Uttarakhand. The world’s most influential personalities like Bill Gates and the Beatles have visited and experienced the glory of God’s own doorstep. Nowadays, the young generation is more excited about adventurous activities organized by many operators and tour guides. Most importantly, it is the gateway to the rest of Uttarakhand and Char Dham Yatra.
How to Reach Haridwar:
Undoubtedly, Haridwar and Rishikesh is just 210 km from the national capital of India, Delhi. The geographical location makes it one of the most frequent visiting tourist places and weekend gateways for travellers, friends, couples, or even families. North Indian people have a location advantage as most beautiful tourist locations are very close to them (less than a single day trip).
Reach Via Bus/taxi
Many small local tour operators run their own taxis and buses with the rough, entire town’s viewpoint charge of INR 200 to 600 or $5 to $20. State transportation buses also run frequently on cheap fares.
Reach via Train:
Haridwar railway station has excellent connectivity of trains across India. You can travel by trains even from down south to northeast states.
Reach via Flight-
Jolly Grant airport Dehradun has good connectivity for domestic flights. Usually, travellers from India and worldwide reach New Delhi via flight and then catch Taxi/Train for Haridwar.
Best season or time to visit Haridwar and Rishikesh:
From Mid February to June is the perfect time to explore the best visiting places in Haridwar and Rishikesh. Late August to mid-November is also a crazy time to explore the ideal tourist places in Haridwar and Rishikesh. You should plan at least three days to Haridwar and Rishikesh to cover the major tourist destinations, temples, and adventures like trekking and river rafting. During these months, the temperature lies between 2°C to 25 °C degree.
List of 11 Best Visiting Places in Haridwar Rishikesh, Uttarakhand:
Best Tourist Destinations in Haridwar, Uttarakhand:
1. Har ki Pauri Ghat:
Har ki Pauri Ghat is the most sacred and visiting ghats across India on the bank of the Ganga River. At the time of Ganga Aarti (holy prayer), the sunset light shines on the opposite side of the ghat and gives a stunning view. This heavenly place is so credible even if any human dies, their body ashes submerge in the holy Ganga river. As per Hindu mythology, flowing bones in the Ganges can purify their souls and save them from all sins they have done in their lives.
2. Mansa Devi Temple:
Mansa Devi Temple is made in the name of Goddess Mansa Devi. Her devotees walk for almost three kilometers from Har ki Pauri to reach here. People can directly go via the ropeway to Mansa Devi Temple. The temple is situated in the Shivalik ranges. It opens throughout the year from 5 AM to 7 PM.
3. Birla Ghat:
Birla Ghat is another tourist place in Haridwar with significantly less crowd. People can easily take a holy dip in the river. There is a barricade implied that protects you from the heavy river flow. Birla Ghat is close to Vishnu Ghat and Haridwar Railway Station. Most importantly, people can easily take Guesthouses, Ashrams, and Dharamshala for their stay. It is also very close to the marketplace.
4. Bara Bazar:
Bara Bazar is a famous visiting place in Haridwar as a shopper shop for handicraft, architecture, and design. This traditional market spreads in narrow lanes and offers varieties of products, including ethnic wear, crafts, delicious food, and the Himalayas’ antique stones. Local sweet stores are very famous for unique sweets (Peda ).
5. Sapt Rishi Ashram:
Sapt Rishi Ashram is a place where a human can relax in a peaceful environment among Saints and Yogis. Global media and magazines have covered so many exciting things about Sapt Rishi Ashram. The temple trust provides lodging, free food service to their devotees and tourists. You will feel fresh in the aura and vibes of this place.
Best visiting places in Rishikesh for Tourists and Travellers:
1. Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula:
On both sides of the valley, Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula are the hanging bridge that gives an iconic view of the river bank and the dense forest. Both hanging bridges are important passage options as there is no nearby bridge for crossing. Everyone feels joyful and happy at Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula.
2. Neelkantha Mahadeva Temple:
Neelkantha Mahadeva Temple is a 7km hike, and the viewpoint of the entire town makes the city even more parishes. Healthy people take 3 hours to reach the top of the mountain. You can get shared taxis too. This Lord Shiva temple is one of the oldest temples in the region of Haridwar and Rishikesh.
3. River rafting
People know Rishikesh as the best river rafting destination. It is the most thrilling adventurous experience one can have in India. River crossing through many passes and vast forest areas that provide a perfect place to enjoy summer. Kaudiyala is where you can camp, climb the rock, and enjoy the local dishes near the river bank.
Shivpuri is a camping village of Rishikesh in the deep forest. It is only 15km away from the town. You can experience Kayaking and even overnight jungle camping.
5. Kunjapuri Sunset View:
Kunjapuri Sunset View is a short 30km drive from Rishikesh; it gives you a clear view of snow-capped Himalayan ranges. At the top of the mountain, a small temple is located that is a perfect place for meditation. Doon valley in the south will leave you awe-struck.
6. Rajaji Tiger Reserve:
Rajaji Tiger Reserve wildlife is one of the best visiting places in Rishikesh. Here, junky travellers can spot big wild cats across the park, thrilling jungle safari. You can even be the eyewitness of dancing Asian elephants in the hilly terrain. Lusting greenish valleys, undulating tracks, and unexplored grasslands give you extreme joy and happiness.
Common animals in the Rajaji tiger reserve are; tiger, king Kobra, elephant, wild bear, monitor lizard, Kakar, wild dogs, chital, panther bear, and many bird species.
Best Adventures Activities offer in Rishikesh.
- Bungee Jumping
- River rafting
- Camping in the River Beach
- Giant Swing
- Cliff Jumping
- Mountain Biking
- Trekking and Forest Camping
White water river rafting is the most thrilling sports activity that anyone can experience in his whole life.
The entire region is covered with greenery and dense forest. So, for nature lovers, forest camping and trekking are other adventurous things they can do while visiting Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Where to stay- Best Hotels and Resorts in Haridwar and Rishikesh:
Well, accommodation is not an issue in both cities Haridwar and Rishikesh. You will book many hotels, resorts, guest houses, hostels, and Ashrams from very affordable rates to luxury treatments. Being Hindu pilgrim sites, many NGOs, and social groups run their Dharamshalas for free. Whereas, camping near the river bank is one of the most popular stay options among youths. At the same time, families and young couples prefer to stay in hotels, resorts, and hostels.
Top Luxury hotels:
The Roseate Ganges Rishikesh
Radisson Blu Haridwar
Taj Rishikesh resorts
Mahayana Resort & spa
Cheap and super affordable hotel/guest houses/Dharamshalas to stay in Haridwar and Rishikesh:
Nishkam Seva Trust
Gujrati Samaj Dharamshala
Delicious Food and Local Cuisine in Haridwar and Rishikesh:
Never miss the local cuisine while visiting places in Haridwar and Rishikesh. It is famous for traditional sweets and snacks. Hot sweet milk near Ganga Ghat in the evening is what no one would miss.
Other Mouth Watering Dishes in Haridwar and Rishikesh are;
Prachin Mathura Wala- Dessert sweet shop and tasty Chola puri
Mohan Ji Puri wale– delicious breakfast and sweet shop near the railway station
Pandit Sevaram Sharma Doodh wale- Sweet shop famous for packaged snacks item
Guru Nanak Dhaba– This Panjabi Dhaba based on the village theme offers quality and economical range of north Indian dishes.
What can you expect while visiting places in Haridwar and Rishikesh:
- Being a spiritual place, you should not expect more western culture.
- Most of the Ghats and streets are full of Sadhus and devotees, which give you the feeling of spiritual surroundings.
- Many places close to the city are robbing hubs; you must take care of your belongings.
- Rishikesh has a lot to explore untouched beauty for all age groups.
- While Ganga Aarti, Triveni Ghat in the Rishikesh is the most stunning place in the evening.
- The most important notice for everyone is not crossing the barrier while taking a bath in Holy Ganga. Otherwise, you can lose your life.
FAQs About Visiting Places in Haridwar Rishikesh
Haridwar and Rishikesh- significant distances
Distance from New Delhi to Haridwar- 210km
Distance from Chandigarh to Haridwar- 220km
Distance from Mumbai to Haridwar- 1600km
Distance from Kathmandu to Haridwar- 990km
Q. Are Haridwar and Rishikesh the same place?
Ans. No, Rishikesh is 20km from Haridwar but on the same river bank.
Q. Is the monsoon season an excellent time to visit?
Ans. No! because most of the Ghats remain closed due to an increase in water level. There can also be a life threat as river rafting becomes very dangerous in a massive water flow.
Q. Which is the best place among Haridwar and Rishikesh?
Ans. Well, this is a biased question. I like Rishikesh because of Hippie culture, vast forest area, less crowded, adventurous activities, and Ashrams. But, I travel to both the places Haridwar and Rishikesh whenever I plan my trip. Both are simply amazing that can give lifetime memory.
Q. Is the trip to Haridwar and Rishikesh affordable? What are the minimum charges for overnight camping and river rafting?
Ans. Most tour operators include river rafting in the package. But if you are planning to experience it in your own way, the cost may vary as per the season. It starts from INR 700 to INR3000 as per the short and long rapids.
Q. Is forest camping in Rishikesh legal?
Ans. No. You will need special permission from the forest department to get access to reserve areas. Many incidents happened in previous years, and many had witnessed the wild attacks as well. So, do not put your life at stake. Take a guide along the trek or forest camping to make your trip safe and beautiful.