Rishikesh & Beyond
Rishikesh is the center from where all excursions – spiritual or adventurous - begin. It is the gateway to several religious shrines in Uttrakhand and basecamp for a bunch of adrenalin gushing events.
Rishikesh to Kedarnath
Kedarnath is one of the 12 jyotirlingas and as such has special reverence amongst Hindu followers. Perched 12000 feet above sea level, the shrine has many legends associated with it. It is believed that the Pandavas made a Shiva temple here, which was later reconstructed by Adi Shankracharya.
Rishikesh to Badrinath
Apart from the religious significance, the place has high spiritual energy. For centuries, yogis and mystics have thronged the place. Nestled away in the snowy peaks of the Himalayas, the journey to Kedarnath is complemented by most scenic views of nature. The route to Kedarnath remains open only between the months of May and October.
An enigma for spirituality seekers and adventure enthusiasts, the journey to Kedarnath and beyond is as mesmerizing as the monolithic temple of Lord Shiva at Badrinath. From attending the evening aarti (prayers) and taking dip in the icy Mandakini River, to discovering the beauty of nature by trekking in the area adjoining the temple, there is a lot one can do at Kedarnath.
Depending on you travel plans; you can hire a taxi or take a bus from Rishikesh to reach Kedarnath. Taxis usually take 9-10 hours to reach Gaurikund (Kedarnath). Bus takes longer but is quite cheaper. Make sure you leave early from Rishikesh, since after 8 in the evening vehicles are not allowed on Rishikesh-Gaurikund Highway.
The route to Kedarnath will take you through the town of Devprayag and Rudraprayag before finally reaching to Gaurikund. At Devprayag you get to see the delightful sight of confluence of river Ganges and Alaknanda. At Rudraprayag the confluence of river Alaknanda and Mandakini awaits you with another fascinating sight. Vehicles are not allowed beyond Gaurikund and one can rent a horse or trek to reach the Kedarnath Temple.
Located about 300 km from Rishikesh in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, Badrinath is among the most popular pilgrimage sites of the Himalayan region. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Badrinath temple has lot of reverence amongst Hindu devotees and is one dham in the Char Dham yatra (4 pilgrimages).
Rishikesh to Hemkund Sahib
Route to Badrinath will first take you to Rudraprayag. From there you will head towards east, first to Karnaprayag, Nandprayag and Joshimath before finally reaching Badrinath.
Because of the high altitude, there is no train track to Badrinath, however, regular bus and taxi services are available throughout the day from Rishikesh to reach Badrinath. Usually it takes 5 to 7 hours to reach Badrinath from Rishikesh, depending upon the weather and traffic. Throughout the way, you get to witness the marvelous sights of Himalayan Mountains. Trip to Badrinath is not just a spiritual journey but also an escape into the wonderland of nature, and as such is equally popular among devotees and travellers.
Hemkund Sahib in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand is the highest Sikh shrine. Dense forests, milky white waterfalls and mesmerizing views greet people who trek to Hemkund Sahib. The clear lake surrounded by snow covered Himalayan peaks at Hemkund Sahib is an unparalleled site for devotees as well trekkers.
Rishikesh to Joshimath
To reach Hemkund Sahib from Rishikesh, you first need to make a road trip of 273 km to Govind Ghat, and then commence a steep trek of about 16 km. Gobind Ghat comes on the way to Badrinath, about 23 kms before the main town of Badrinath. From Hemkund Sahib you can also do a trek of 3 km to the much famous Valley of Flowers.
A popular hill station and pilgrimage spot, Joshimath is another top tourist destination of Uttarakhand. Like Rishikesh, the town of Joshimath too is the gateway for many pilgrimage centers and trekking trails of the Chamoli region. Just below Joshimath is Vishnuprayag, which provides the mesmeric sight of confluence of river Alaknanda and Dhauliganga. The town also provides a stunning sight of the huge Hathi Parbat and other Himalayan peaks.
Rishikesh to Auli
About 15 km south to Joshimath is Auli, which is the most popular skiing destination of the Himalayan region. The town is also known as ‘Bugyal’ or ‘Auli Bugyal’, and is also a popular trek. Auli can be reached easily from Joshimath by road. However, a more interesting way of reaching Auli, is through cable car that plys between Joshimath and Auli. Offering spectacular view of the majestic Himalayas, the Gondola, as the cable car is called, glides along to drop tourists at Auli in 20 minutes. January to March is the best time to visit Auli. National winter championships are also held here during these months. Ski training courses are also held here. Lodging in Alpine huts and cottages adds more fun to the whole experience.
Rishikesh to Delhi
You can reach Delhi from Rishikesh from any mode of transportation. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun that is about 20 kms from Rishikesh. There are about several flights every day from Dehradun to New Delhi. Several buses of different bus services run throughout the day from Rishikesh to Delhi. If you want to reach Delhi through train, you can go to the nearby town of Haridwar, which is well connected through train with Delhi and other big cities of northern India.
Ganga Ghats are spread across all the towns and cities that share the banks of the holy river.
Yoga ashrams are places of yoga sanctity. Almost all ashrams in and around Rishikesh.
Rishikesh is a ‘must visit’ place on every rafters map, and rightly so. Plunging from the Himalayan
The Hindu saint, Adi Shankaracharya, built many temples in Rishikesh.
Spring season is ideal for exploring the locales, and are perfect for adventures activities.
Lakshman Jhula, a 450 ft long hanging bridge across the river Ganga at a height of 70 ft.
The best way to reach Rishikesh is to first reach the national capital – New Delhi.
Rishikesh offers a wide range of accommodation options for typical hitchhikers.
Rishikesh is the center from where all excursions – spiritual or adventurous - begin.