Posted 20 May 2024 in Go solo

Best places to explore for first-time solo traveller in Rishikesh

Over the years, Rishikesh has turned into one of the best places to explore for first-time solo travellers. This is mainly due to its association being the yoga capital and an ultimate budget backpacking destination in India. The city has evolved from a serene spiritual hub to a bustling adventure-packed destination with river rafting and bungee jumping activities. But that’s not all, there are several nearby places to visit from Rishikesh making it the perfect base for solo travellers to explore this Himalayan destination. This town on the banks of the Ganga River entices travellers with its diverse experiences. It's a budget-friendly and safe destination, especially welcoming for solo female travellers. So, grab your yoga mat and immerse yourself in the tranquil charm of Rishikesh amidst the majestic Himalayas with these places to visit and hidden gems to explore. 

Places to visit in Rishikesh

Rishikesh is a haven for spiritual seekers and adventure enthusiasts, offering many attractions. Here are six must-visit destinations in Rishikesh:

  • Laxman Jhula: This 450-foot-long iron suspension bridge offers panoramic views of the Ganges River and the surrounding mountains. It is said to be the spot where Laxman, Lord Rama's brother, crossed the river on a jute rope. The bridge is lined with shops selling religious items, clothes, and souvenirs, adding to its vibrant atmosphere.
  • Ram Jhula: Like Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula is another iconic suspension bridge in Rishikesh, connecting the Swargashram area with Sivananda Ashram. The bridge is a popular place for devotees and tourists to stroll and enjoy the scenic views of the Ganges and the ashrams along its banks. It is also lined with shops and eateries, making it a bustling hub of activity.
  • Triveni Ghat: This sacred bathing ghat is located on the banks of the Ganges River, where it is believed that the Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati rivers confluence. Devotees visit the ghat to take a holy dip in the river and participate in the evening Ganga Aarti ceremony, which is a mesmerising sight. The ghat is also known for its vibrant market, which sells religious items and souvenirs.
  • Neelkanth Mahadev Temple: Located at an altitude of 1,330 metres in the Garhwal Himalayas, this old temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to legend, this is where Lord Shiva drank the poison that turned his throat blue during the churning of the ocean. The temple, known as "Neelkanth" (blue throat), is a popular pilgrimage site offering beautiful views of the mountains and valleys.
  • Parmarth Niketan Ashram: One of Rishikesh's largest and most renowned ashrams, Parmarth Niketan is known for its spiritual ambience and yoga programs. The ashram offers a range of activities for visitors, including yoga classes, meditation sessions, spiritual discourses, and cultural performances. It is also known for its commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable living practices.
  • Rajaji National Park: In the Shivalik ranges near Rishikesh, Rajaji National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. The park has various flora and fauna, including elephants, tigers, leopards, and deer. Visitors can explore the park through jeep safaris, elephant rides, and nature walks, allowing them to experience the beauty and diversity of the region's natural landscape.

Rishikesh hidden gems to explore 

Discover the lesser-known treasures of Rishikesh, where spirituality meets serenity and adventure awaits around every corner.

  • Rishikund: Rishikund, a natural hot water spring, has a rich history. The sacred pond is believed to have healing properties. The place is surrounded by ancient temples and ashrams, creating a serene atmosphere for meditation and reflection. Pilgrims and tourists visit Rishikund to dip in its holy waters and experience its spiritual significance.
  • Jhilmil Gufa: Jhilmil Gufas, the three caves on Manikoot Parvat, are about 21 km from Lakshman Jhula in Rishikesh. Each cave has a unique history, with one dedicated to Alha Udal, another to Guru Gorakhnath, and the third to Guru Jhilmil. Safe for all ages, including senior citizens, the caves offer a peaceful retreat.
  • Garud Chatti Waterfall: Discover the beauty of Garud Chatti Waterfall near Rishikesh. Surrounded by greenery, this majestic waterfall is a peaceful retreat from the city. A short trek through the forest leads to the waterfall, offering a scenic adventure. The clear waters and the natural pool make it an excellent spot for relaxing and enjoying nature. Perfect for nature lovers and photographers, Garud Chatti Waterfall is a must-visit for its tranquillity and beauty.
  • Astha Path: Astha Path, popularly known as Marine Drive of Rishikesh, is a three-kilometre-long pathway around the bank of the river Ganga. The walk extends from Triveni Ghat to Barrage and provides scenic views of the meandering Ganges. During sunset, the reflection of lights in the Ganges gives a very picturesque view of the Triveni Ghat. The place is dotted with many ashrams, temples, and yoga institutes.
  • Phool Chatti Waterfall: Phool Chatti Waterfall near Rishikesh is a peaceful spot surrounded by nature's beauty. A short hike through the forest leads to this tranquil waterfall. The clear waters cascading down the rocks create a mesmerising sight. You can swim in the pool and even at the waterfall's base. It's a perfect place for a relaxing picnic or to capture beautiful photos.

Read more - Here’s why you should go to Rishikesh on a family - friendly vacation, “Abode of the Gods”

Things to keep in mind for solo travellers in Rishikesh

Rishikesh is unique and safe for solo travellers, making it a favourite destination among backpackers. Here are five reasons why Rishikesh is the perfect place for solo travellers:

  • Crowded all around the year: Being a spiritual hub, Rishikesh attracts visitors throughout the year, including families, young groups of friends, and solo travellers.
  • Late nights are not scary: Late nights in Rishikesh, which has many hostels, cafes, and hotels, are safe, with young people roaming around. Some shops keep their doors open until midnight, and many ashrams get visitors overnight.
  • Safe transportation options available: Local transportation in Rishikesh, such as auto-rickshaws, taxis, and buses, is considered safe. Several licensed and reputable transportation services are available to help people move around the town.
  • Renting a bike is easy: There are several registered rental agencies and shops where you can rent bikes for a day or longer. This is a popular option for travellers who want to explore Rishikesh and its surroundings at their own pace.
  • Many renowned hotels: Rishikesh houses several top brands, hostels and hotels. These hostels come with all necessary amenities and CCTV surveillance in shared spaces. Additionally, the mountain views from these places are mesmerising.

Things to do in Rishikesh

Rishikesh offers a blend of serenity and excitement like no other. Dive into the top activities to make the best out of Rishikesh:

  • Bungee Jumping: Bungee jumping in Rishikesh offers an exhilarating experience, with an 83-metre jump platform overlooking the stunning Shivalik mountains and the Ganges River. Operated by professionals, it's safe and thrilling, making it a must-try adventure for adrenaline junkies visiting this spiritual city in Uttarakhand.
  • Parasailing: The thrilling adventure activity allows you to soar high above the Ganges River and enjoy panoramic views of the mountains and lush forests. With experienced instructors and top-notch equipment, it's a safe and exhilarating way to experience the beauty of Rishikesh from a unique perspective.
  • River Rafting: River rafting in Rishikesh offers an adrenaline-pumping experience as you navigate the rapids of the Ganges River. With varying difficulty levels, it's suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters.
  • Ganga Aarti: Ganga Aarti is a spiritual and mesmerising experience. Held at dusk along the banks of the Ganges River, the ceremony involves chanting, singing, and offering lamps to the river. The ambience is serene and uplifting, providing a profound connection to the spiritual essence of Rishikesh.
  • Flying Fox: A thrilling adventure involves flying over the Ganges River valley suspended by a harness and a series of ultra-strong steel cables. Participants can experience the exhilarating feeling of soaring like a bird while taking panoramic views of the river and surrounding mountains. The activity is conducted by trained professionals with a focus on safety.
  • Mountain Biking: Explore the rugged terrain of Rishikesh on a mountain bike, feeling the adrenaline rush as you pedal through rocks, mud, and woods. Rent bikes from several companies in Rishikesh or join organised tours that offer mountain biking as an activity.
  • Jeep Safari: Embark on an adventurous jeep safari through Rajaji National Park, one of the best places to visit in Rishikesh in June. Explore the park's diverse flora and fauna up close. Book a guided tour to spot Nilgai, leopards, Indian hares, jungle cats, Indian sloth bears, and more.
  • Giant Swing: Experience thrilling cliff swinging in Mohan Chatti, Rishikesh, where you'll swing between two cliff edges while enjoying breathtaking views of the lush green mountains.

Accommodation in Rishikesh

Unwind and rejuvenate in the lap of Himalayan serenity with Rishikesh's diverse range of accommodations. Here are the top recommended places to stay:

High end hotels in Rishikesh:

  • The Roseate Ganges: The Roseate Ganges Hotel offers a serene retreat along the banks of the Ganges, blending luxury amenities with cultural immersion and natural beauty.
  • Aloha On The Ganges: Aloha On The Ganges offers serene accommodations by the Ganges, blending modern comforts with spiritual ambiance for holistic retreats.
  • Lemon Tree Premier: Lemon Tree Premier, Rishikesh offers a serene retreat by the Ganges, blending modern comforts with spiritual ambiance, perfect for rejuvenation.

Mid range hotels in Rishikesh:

  • Hotel the Shivaay: The hotel has a restaurant and clean, spacious rooms with all the necessary amenities.
  • Hill Hoppers Hotel: Hill Hoppers is a hostel in Rishikesh perfect for solo travellers and groups of friends.
  • Vasundhara Palace: This luxury hotel in Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh, offers excellent service and welcoming rooms with free Wi-Fi and safe deposit boxes.

Hostels in Rishikesh:

  • Blue Jay Hostel: Blue Jay Hostel offers budget-friendly accommodations with a vibrant atmosphere, ideal for travellers seeking adventure and a sense of community.
  • Zostel Rishikesh: Zostel Rishikesh offers budget-friendly accommodation with a vibrant atmosphere, ideal for backpackers looking to explore the spiritual capital.
  • The Hosteller: The Hosteller offers a vibrant community, comfortable accommodations, and immersive experiences, making it a perfect base for exploring the spiritual city.

Note: These are just a few hotels you can choose to stay at. Rishikesh has several accommodations to consider based on your budget. 

Food to try in Rishikesh

The streets of Rishikesh are filled with delicious aromas and stories through food. Join us on a culinary adventure to explore the city's tasty wonders.

  • Samosa: The crispy triangle filled with spicy potato is a favourite in Rishikesh. Some stalls offer unique fillings like mango and chocolate. The best place to try this is the Rajasthani restaurant near Triveni Ghat.
  • Sweets: Rishikesh is a paradise for sweet lovers, with jalebis and besan ladoos made with pure ghee. A must-try spot is Geeta Bhawan Swargashram.
  • Aloo Poori: A breakfast staple in Rishikesh, fluffy pooris served with spicy potato curry are a delicious treat. 
  • Chole Bhature: This Punjabi dish is a hit in Rishikesh, with spicy chickpea curry and fluffy bhatura. The best place for this is Chotiwala in Swargashram.
  • Dosa: Crispy dosas served with chutneys and sambar are a South Indian delight in Rishikesh. The best place to enjoy them is Uttar Dakshin Restaurant in Tapovan.
  • Pani Puri: These crispy balls filled with spicy tamarind water are a street food favourite. Find the best in the bustling lanes of Swargashram.

Shopping places in Rishikesh

Let’s explore the top unique shopping destinations found in Rishikesh:

  • Rishikesh Main Market: Rishikesh Main Market is a bustling marketplace offering a variety of goods and services. From spiritual items like rudraksha beads and idols to clothing, souvenirs, and local handicrafts, the market caters to the needs of tourists and locals alike. It also features eateries serving delicious local and international cuisine.
  • Laxman Jhula Market: Laxman Jhula Market, located near the iconic suspension bridge of the same name in Rishikesh, is a buzzing shopping destination. The market offers various goods, including clothing, jewellery, spiritual items, and souvenirs. It is also known for its street food stalls and cafes.
  • Shri Gandhi Ashram Khadi Bhandar: Shri Gandhi Ashram Khadi Bhandar is a store that promotes khadi, a hand-spun and hand-woven fabric. The store sells various khadi products, including clothing, accessories, and home furnishings. It is part of the Gandhian philosophy of promoting self-reliance and sustainability through khadi.
  • Ram Jhula Market: Ram Jhula Market is a busy area near the Ram Jhula Bridge in Rishikesh. The place offers a variety of goods, including clothing, accessories, spiritual items, and souvenirs. It is known for its lively atmosphere, with numerous shops, food stalls, and cafes lining the streets.

How to reach Rishikesh?

Embark on a journey to Rishikesh, the gateway to the Himalayas, with ease and convenience. Whichever route you choose, the trip to Rishikesh is just as enchanting as the destination itself.

  • By air: To reach Rishikesh by air, fly to Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport, which offers daily flights from Delhi and other cities. The airport is just 35 km from Rishikesh, and upon arrival, you can easily hire a taxi to reach your destination.
  • By train:  Although Rishikesh has its railway station, it only has three slow trains daily. Therefore, Haridwar railway station is a better option. From Haridwar, you can easily take a bus or taxi to reach Rishikesh.
  • By road: Rishikesh is well-connected by road to major cities in India. Regular bus services operate from Delhi, Haridwar, Dehradun, and other nearby towns to Rishikesh. Private and state-run buses offer a comfortable and affordable travel option.

The best time to visit Rishikesh 

The best time to visit Rishikesh is from February to mid-May, when the weather is pleasant. Winter is ideal for rock climbers and trekkers to enjoy the natural beauty. Besides, summers are the perfect time for whitewater rafting. Let’s get into more details down below: 

  • Rishikesh during winter: Winter is a delightful time to visit Rishikesh, typically from November to February. The weather remains pleasant making it perfect for outdoor activities like yoga, meditation, and river rafting. Clear skies offer breathtaking views of the surrounding Himalayan landscape.
  • Rishikesh during summer: Summer, from March to June, is an ideal time to visit Rishikesh. The weather remains warm, making it perfect for adventure activities like white water rafting, trekking, and camping. However, it can get quite hot, so ensure you stay hydrated and pack appropriate clothing for outdoor excursions.

Read more - Here is how you can have a thrilling weekend in Haridwar & Rishikesh from Delhi


Rishikesh, located in Uttarakhand, is known for its spiritual charm and adventurous spirit. Situated along the Ganga River, it offers a mix of yoga retreats and thrilling activities like white water rafting. The town is safe and budget-friendly, making it ideal for solo travellers. Explore the iconic bridges of Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula, or visit the sacred Triveni Ghat. Discover hidden gems like Rishikund's hot springs or the serene Jhilmil Gufa caves. Whether you seek spirituality or adventure, Rishikesh has something for everyone to enjoy. Ready to embark on an unforgettable journey? Book your flight tickets to Rishikesh now and dive into a world of spirituality and adventure. Whether you seek tranquillity or thrill, Rishikesh awaits!

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