"BEACHES ON THE GANGA AT RISHIKESH" Top 5 Page for this destination Rishikesh by lynnehamman

Rishikesh Travel Guide: 106 reviews and 311 photos

Everything was as I imagined it to be.

Sometimes one has a mental picture of a place - and it often is very different in reality. Rishikesh lived up to all my expectations.
It is a small city- can be seen in a day. But one really should spend a few days here- the atmosphere is so serene , and the scenery is breathtaking. The Ganga is crystal clear and blue, and there are beaches. I would never have imagined that. The sand is white and clean,and there are rocks.
We spent hours walking along the banks.
Of course, as we all know, Rishikish is THE city for meditation, yoga and other such spiritual activities. There are Ashrams everywhere.
Downtown Rishikesh is not appealing- dusty and unattractive. The bus & rain stations are situated here.
Upstream, about 2kms away, is the real Rishikesh.This is the travellers area- with the main activities happening here.
There are two bridges crossing the Ganga here- the Ram Jhula and the Lakshman Jhula hanging bridge.. They are supposed to be for pedestrians only, but of course, being India, motor-cycles tear across every few seconds.
The bridges dangle above the crystal clear water, and sway slightly on crossings.
On the one bank there is the huge temple of Swarg Niwas- quite impressive. There were crowds waiting in line to enter as we passed by.
Shops and stalls also line both sides of the river- the areas are quiite hilly, and some of the walks have many steps leading to the bridges.
The scenery around Rishikesh is quite beautiful. The hills are green, and vegetation is lush. One can walk on the beaches, and experience the beauty of the river and the mountains.The air is crispy and devoid of the pollution that permeates in other Indian cities.

Spirituality in Rishikesh

Long time ago, the Beatles put Rishikesh "on the map". It wa 1968, and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the flavour of the moment. Meditation was the "in thing" to be doing. The Beatles spent a couple of weeks at his place, The Swarg Ashram. There must have been something in the water- they wrote some of their best songs here, which ended up on "The White Album". George Harrison perfected his use of the Sitar here, and Meditation and Yoga remained a passion for him.
The Maharishi was a disappointment to the rest of the fab four, and they eventually turned away from him. John Lennon denounced him in a song.
But even today, many of the ashrams are filled with foreigners, and they still dress and behave as if it were still the 60's.
The "New Age" movement is strong in Rishikesh, and I guess that if people find spiritual enlightenment in this, its a good thing.
The evening aarti is as moving here as anywhere in India.

There is no alcohol for sale in Rishikesh, and food is strictly vegetarian.

See Local Customs tip

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fresh air, clean river
  • In a nutshell:Still a Hippy paradise
  • Last visit to Rishikesh: Jan 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (8)

Comments (27)

  • littlesam1's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    Great page. India has long fascinated me. I hope to get here one day.

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2010 at 9:31 PM

    I read "Inde" by Rainer Krack to try to approach this disconcerting country, might go one day --not ready yet. Thanks fr yr comment on forum today, useful. :)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Yes, I remember when the Beatles went to India for meditation (and I was reminded of that when I visited the Beatles Museum in Halle) -- but I had forgotten the name of the town, if I ever even knew it. I'm glad Rishikesh lived up to your expectations!

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2009 at 2:19 AM

    Did you mean a Train station? Nice page, lynne

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2009 at 8:49 AM

    Looks like a great place to chillout for a while. leyle

  • FruitLover's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    BeautifulynneRishikeshPage! Here I made my white water rafting and started the habit of Ginger Lemon Tea with Honey. recommended. Avi

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2009 at 10:28 PM

    Oh wow, Beatles have been here, I didn't know that (although I knew that Harrison was practising sitar). I love this beach, especially with the river and the stones. Ah, yes, alcohol is silly compared to much better ways to relax :-)

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    Beautiful front picture! That looks like an amazing place. You are a real expert on India!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2009 at 8:08 AM

    Another terrific page about a special place in India...you are my "India" expert. I find your passion and love for the people and the culture just so refreshing. What a super introduction. Thanks for being so enlightening.

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2009 at 5:47 AM

    What a fascinating place to visit! I think I would enjoy all the yogies... the coffee bar w/ monkeys included for entertainment. I would be the older western lady meditating on a rock. :-)


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