Trip to Rishikesh

Has that ever happened to you when you have been planning something for a very long time but it happens all of a sudden in a different way that you never thought of.

My Rishikesh trip was something just like that and you will agree with me as we reach the end of the post.
River rafting Rishikesh

Planning the trip

I have been thinking of a Rishikesh trip since i saw the video of the'subah subah' song. There was a desire to stay in camps along the ganges with a perfect mountain view and try all the adventure sports there. Finally, I planned a solo trip to Rishikesh back in April 2021 but it never happened as lockdown 2.0 just came in at a very wrong time.

Again, this year I was planning to visit Rishikesh during Holi. And as we all know, Rishikesh is the ultimate place to celebrate Holi. We do expect fully booked resorts and a lot of crowds. This is the reason I had been planning this for a month, but no one was ready to join me for this and it felt like Rishikesh needed to wait more. 

Just two days before Holi, me and my brother planned to visit somewhere and Rishikesh had been on my bucket list for a long time, so, I suggested the same and guess what, we are ready to go for the weekend- Saturday and Sunday. Not like I planned it before, but at least it was happening. I was happy with that only.

Beginning of the Journey

Rishikesh trip
Towards Rishikesh

So, it was Saturday morning. Around 4 am, we jumped out of bed, got ready, fastened our seatbelts and drove straight towards Haridwar. And we reached Haldwani to Haridwar in no time. It was 8:30 and we were enjoying ourselves at Har ki Pauri. We didn't stay there for long. As the main motive was to visit Rishikesh.


I am the kind of person who always goes with a lot of planning. Whether it is tickets, rooms, stays, itinerary, I was fully prepared but this time, it wasn't the case. I had a huge list of places to visit, a lot of stuff to do, a lot of cafes to try but there were just two days and we didn't had booking for hotels. And resorts were something that we were not even thinking of as it is a festival, there is a long weekend and Rishikesh is the ultimate destination for this. Somewhere we knew that we could not enjoy it all considering the time we chose to visit. But this trip was something I had been craving for. So, we were just going with the flow.

So, we entered Rishikesh around 9:30 and then we got stuck in a traffic jam 5 kms long and that was the point we realised how much crowd we were going to witness in these two days. We got struck in the traffic for around 2-3 hours. I walked around 2 kms to help my car get out of the one-way traffic by guiding them when they move to the wrong side. We reached Tapovan around 1pm.

We initially planned that we were going to reach Rishikesh by 10 and go rafting the same day. But everything changed when we reached there. Our half day was gone. So, the first thing i did was to find a hotel in Tapovan. 

"Tapovan is the area where you will find a lot of hostels, hotels at very reasonable prices ranging from 800-2000, which are negotiable as well. So if you are planning a budget-friendly trip or a workcation, you can surely find a good place to stay here."

Moving back to the trip, we found the hotel, we changed our clothes, took some rest and went straight to the Laxman Jhulla as it was just 1.5 km from our hotel. The plan was to visit Laxman Jhulla, Terah manzil temple, om freedom cafe as we were hungry, and attend the Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat. Everything was quite simple and on track until we saw the roads full of crowds.

Visiting Laxman Jhulla and Terah Manzil Temple

Terah manzil temple
Terah Manzil Temple

So, we saw a glimpse of Laxman Jhulla and Terah Manzil temple from the road above and it was a great view, but I hardly saw the Laxman Jhulla, it was full of people, no place to stand. We went down and could hardly click any pictures there. Since we were hungry, we went straight to the market after crossing the Laxman Jhulla.

This place is a gem. No wonder it is, you can get everything here, clothes, jewellery, food, snacks and a lot of attractive decorative, which are at very reasonable prices. I bought a few things and was looking for Om freedom cafe. I have also mentioned this cafe in my previous blog on Rishikesh and i really wanted to visit it. But, bad luck, it was full and there was a waiting for 2 hours. Our stomachs did not want to wait for that long. So, we tried a few more cafes. They all were quite full, so we just tried a dhaba, it was less crowded and the food was okay, not too good, not too bad, can be said eatable. 

It was already 4:00 pm and we wanted to attend the Ganga Aarti. So, looking at the crowd, this was the best time we should hurry up. So, we walked to the Ram Jhulla, which is at a good distance from the Laxman Jhulla. It seemed like we had walked for an hour and took an Auto-rickshaw from there to Triveni Ghat. 1 hour of traffic and we were there at Triveni ghat by 6:00 pm half hour before the Aarti.

Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat

Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat
Triveni Ghat

After reaching, I looked for a perfect spot to shoot the Aarti. It wasn't allowed to go in front without getting a ticket which was already full. So, I got to the corner to get a perfect glimpse of the Aarti and where I could capture quite cool shots. And the vibe during the Aarti was unparralleled. It really doesn't matter whichever religion you follow, whichever you worship, but you can still enjoy the vibe.

Aarti looked really amazing. It started when the sun was setting and ended up with a dark sky, so, it seemed like a lot of time had passed, but it was just half an hour. It was very very soothing. The sound, the view, the vibe, everything was really amazing.

After the Aarti, we decided to go back to the hotel, which was 5km away again and we expected traffic as well. So we reached there by 8:30 and we planned to roam around the city at night when there is less crowd on road.

So, we left the hotel by 9:00 and looked for a decent restaurant to eat, found an amazing South Indian restaurant which literally served mouth-watering South Indian dishes and everything was perfect and we were hungry as well, so, it felt tastier to us. It was already 10:00 by the time we ended dinner.

Night views of Laxman Jhulla and Terah Manzil temple

Terah manzil temple
Terah Manzil Temple
After dinner, we sat back in the car, and drove to the market next to Laxman Jhulla to find a good cafe to sit at. We went to the location and for a surprise we saw a lot of teenagers were there  shops were still open, everything was working. Just the crowd was bit less compared to the morning. So, we parked our car, walked on Laxman Jhulla. The wind was blowing so well, the lighted Laxman Jhulla, noise of the ganges and the fast blowing wind, what a feeling it was, could have spent a whole night there.

Laxman Jhulla
Laxman Jhulla

We also walked to the street to again hit up for the Om freedom cafe but by the time we reached there it was closed. There was a small passage which was going towards the bank of the river Ganga. We went there and saw a lot of people sitting by the shore, a group of people were playing guitar and singing songs, so, we spent some time there looking at the river Ganga and getting a good view of lighted laxman Jhulla, enjoying every moment. I got some maggie and momos from the street and enjoyed good music that the guys sitting behind were singing, with a picture-perfect view of Ganges and Laxman Jhulla.

Night doesn't end here. We thought Ram Jhulla will be less crowded, so, we visited Ram Jhulla as well. This time we just drove the car as the road was empty. We reached there in no time and yes, it was less crowded and we could enjoy some peaceful time there.  
Ram Jhulla
Ram Jhulla

So, our night ended like this. It was a pleasing night. At night our one more family friend joined us, and in morning it was a big day. The river rafting about which I was very excited, I just slept for a couple of hours and then woke up early at 6:00, needed to be at the boarding point by 7:00.

River Rafting- a must try experience

We reached the boarding point on time. They drove us to the starting point of the rafting. We were doing a 16km river rafting. On a busy weekend, the price was around 800 per head. And they told us that we could do the same at half rate on weekdays, which we can try maybe next time.

River rafting rishikesh
River rafting in rishikesh

"We also have options for 9km and 32 km rafting. 32km was not available on weekends due to the crowd and 9km is too short. You won't feel those waves in 9km that is basically for kids, so if you are trying for the first time, 16km will be a good option for you."

We were very excited about this wonderful experience. I have been watching reels about this for so many months, and I was very excited about it. Our raft guide was really cool, he guided us with all the pre-requisite knowledge before sitting on the rafts and also cracked a few jokes which made people less nervous.

Here we go, we got settled on the raft, me being the most excited, I chose to sit in the front. We started with the counts to row together and we went like 1,2,3,4.. 1,2,3,4 to row the raft and it was a bit normal till we hit the first wave. You are on the raft and you are not riding it now, it is flowing with the waves and it is getting tilted and you are afraid as well as you are enjoying it. Frankly, the first wave seems scary, but once you cross that and you see you are still alive and you have made it through that, you feel a lot better and excited for the next one as you really enjoyed it. Next time you are ready for the waves and you are not scared, you are enjoying yourself.

We enjoyed a lot, even went down in the water while others were rowing the Raft and we were flowing with it holding the rope, which was also amazing. We also saw people in other rafts falling into the river during the waves, but that is only the case when you don't hear to the instructor. 

Fighting our fears- Jumping in the river

Cliff jumping
Cliff jumping included in rafting package, you can even jump multiple till everyone eats something!

After flowing through 5-6 wave zones which have very cool and exciting names, we went to a rest point where we could try cliff jumping. I did not know swimming and I was quite afraid to jump as well. When I reached at the top, It felt hieght was too much. But then i just jumped and nothing happened, you know when you jump there are some micro seconds when you go blank and black-out and then you realise, okay, everything is cool, and it feels really amazing that you just did it. I even tried it one more time to get a perfect shot, which was missed the first time. Second time I was more confident. 

As Sara said in Malang- " Darr sirf ek baar lagta hai, dobara nhi lagta" i felt that. I was more confident to jump the second time as I knew that nothing was going to happen.

After the break, we went back to the rafts to encounter one last wave zone and then reach back to our end point. Overall, rafting was the best part of the trip. We enjoyed a lot, all were satisfied with it, taking some good memories from the trip. After that they dropped us at the boarding point where we started in the morning, and also shared the videos shot with us, for which they charge extra to all sitting on the raft if everyone wants that.

River rafting
Ending point of 16km rafting

There are many other adevnture sports in Rishikesh that we couldn't try this time but you can surely get a list of those here.

We went to the hotel, took our cars and found a restaurant to have breakfast and found a simple place but to our surprise they served really tasty food that filled our stomachs. After that l, we had to visit two places, the Neer waterfall and Beatles Ashram. I wanted to visit both but we went first towards the Neer.

Visiting Neergarh waterfall

Neergarh waterfall
Neergarh waterfall

If you have read my Mukteshwar blog, you would have witnessed an amazing waterfall already. The standard was high for this one as well. We walked around 5 kms on heights in search of an amazing big waterfall but all we found there was a camp at the top which was really well maintained but the waterfall that we saw was not worth it for two reasons-

  1. It was very crowded, a lot of people were bathing there.
  2. The Neer was called unexplored place, but this time there were entry passes a big line of parked cars and the waterfall was not natural, the direction of fall was changed with objects to create ponds at different hieght, which i guess destroyed the beauty. 

So, I believe my expectations were quite high abiut this but we ended up with disappointment. And we got quite late because of this tiring trekking session that we could not visit the Beatles Aashram as well. So, the trip had a lot of nagetives, the crowd, the disappointing waterfall, but the river rafting made everything worth it, that is the main take away from this trip.

The overall experience

We witnessed very beautiful views, whether it was the night view of Laxman Jhulla, ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat. Our ending point of River Rafting was indeed very beautiful. So, these were the few takeaways that filled my soul. But I missed a lot of things that were on my list. Most probably I am going to visit these places next time with my friends. On a weekday trip or maybe a workcation to explore each and everything. So, until next this was a goodbye to Rishikesh. We drove back to Haldwani and reached on time by night, so that we could attend offices the next day.

So, this sums up my trip. I know it seems like we missed a lot of stuff. But no worries, as Naina said YJHD-

"Kitni bhi koshish krlo bunny, kuch na kuch toh miss hohi jaayega, to kyu na jaha hai usi moment ko enjoy krle" 

So, we did exactly the same and the trip was worth it. And as it is said, if there is nothing left out in a certain place, you do not have a reason to visit it again. I surely do have a lot of reasons to visit Rishikesh again. If you like this post, do share your views in the comment section.

Also do not forget to read more of my posts-

A day out at chandni chowk

Places to eat momos in Satya Niketan


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