"BEACHES ON THE GANGA AT RISHIKESH" Top 5 Page for this destination Rishikesh by lynnehamman
Rishikesh Travel Guide: 94 reviews and 290 photos
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.
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:Fresh air, clean river
- In a nutshell:Still a Hippy paradise
There is no alchohol for sale in Rishikesh, and the city is strictly vegetarian. The lack of alchohol has obviously not... more travel advice
Perched upon the hillside at the one end of the Hanging Bridge, this little coffee shop/restuarant has great views of... more travel advice
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