Haridwar to Rishikesh | Rishikesh from Delhi- Today, Rishikesh itself as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, which has masses of ashrams and all kinds of yoga and meditation classes. North part of the Rishikesh town is most happening area, where the exquisite setting on the fast-flowing Ganges, surrounded by forested hills, is conducive to meditation and mind expansion. In the evening, the breeze blows down the valley, setting temple bells ringing as sadhus (holy people), you can participate in the nightly ganga aarti. You can learn to play the sitar or tabla; try Hasya yoga (laughter therapy); practise humming or gong meditation; and experience crystal healing.
But Rishikesh is not all spirituality and contorted limbs; it’s now also a popular white-water rafting centre, a backpacker hang-out, and the gateway to treks in the Himalaya.
Rishikesh is divided into two main parts, the crowded, unattractive downtown area or Rishikesh town, from where you can get the bus and train stations as well as the Triveni Ghat; and other is the riverside communities 2km upstream around Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, where most of the accommodation, ashrams, restaurants and travellers are ensconced.
The two jhula (suspension bridges) that cross the river are pedestrianonly – though scooters and motorcycles freely use them. Perched on the eastern bank, Swarg Ashram is the traffic-free ‘spiritual centre’ of Rishikesh, while High Bank, west of Lakshman Jhula, is a small enclave popular with backpackers.
The nearest railway to Rishikesh is in Haridwar which is approximately 25 kilometres far away. Haridwar, in turn, is well connected to major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Varanasi. Some of the popular trains are Shatabadi Express, Jan Shatabdi, AC Special Express and Mussoorie Express. It is advisable to you to take the train till Haridwar and then either take a bus or hire a taxi to Rishikesh. While the bus take about 45 minutes to reach Rishikesh and taxi will take you to Rishikesh in around half an hour.
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The nearest airport to Rishikesh is Jolly Grant, Dehra Dun (20 km/ 30 mins), connected to Delhi daily by Air India, Jet Konnect, Jet Airways and SpiceJet flights. Return taxi fare to Rishikesh is around Rs 1,000.
Rishikesh is connected to Delhi by NH58 via Meerut, Roorkee and Haridwar. NH58 continues onwards to Rishikesh, Devprayag, Rudraprayag and Badrinath. Lucknow is connected to Rishikesh via NH24 to Bareilly, then NH74 to Haridwar via Pilibhit and Kashipur an then NH58 Haridwar to Rishikesh. Uttarakhand Roadways(Tel: 011-22158641) operates 13 daily bus services to Haridwar from Delhi’s ISBT Anand Vihar and two night services from Chandigarh.