Haridwar and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand are popular Indian getaways for taking religious Hindu pilgrimages and temple tours. Collectively known as the Twin National Heritage Cities, they are located at the Himalayan foothills along the sacred River Ganges.
Both the cities are in close proximity to each other, the Haridwar to Rishikesh distance is only 25 km. Haridwar is best known as the gateway to Hindu pilgrimage sites, while Rishikesh is famous for its numerous yoga centers. Haridwar is also the place of origin for the ancient medical science of Ayurveda.
That being said, the places to visit in Haridwar and Rishikesh are not just limited to religious sites. You can find a lot of adventure sites and this kind of unique combination is rare to find anywhere else in India.
Since the main appeal of these two northbound cities is holy temples and ashrams, it’s hard to find alcoholic drinks or meat dishes for consumption during a vacation in these holy cities.
How many days are enough for Haridwar and Rishikesh?
You can comfortably cover Haridwar and Rishikesh in 3 to 7 days, depending on your schedule. Jolly Grant Airport (DED) in Dehradun is the nearest airport to reach the Twin National Heritage Cities. This airport is located about 35km from Rishikesh.
The Haridwar Rishikesh tourism thrives on religious pilgrimages. Interested in Hindu pilgrimages? Come, visit India! Have your cheap flights to India booked with Indian Eagle, the name you can trust for the best offers and the lowest airfares?
Here’s our best bucket-list of tourist places in Haridwar and Rishikesh:
The Mansa Devi Temple in Haridwar
The bustling streets of Haridwar are packed with temples and it is quite common to hear the chanting of the Hindu mantras and the sound of the ringing of the temple gongs while walking in the streets.
At the top of our bucket list of places to visit in Haridwar and Rishikesh, we have the iconic Mansa Devi Temple in Haridwar. Devotees strongly believe that the Goddess Mansa Devi fulfills the wishes of those who make a wish here. Reaching the temple is the best part as it involves a thrilling cable car ride that offers panoramic views of the city.
Har Ki Pauri Ghat in Haridwar
Har Ki Pauri Ghat is a popular Ghat along the banks of the sacred River Ganges. The name of the Ghat literally translates to “Footsteps of Vishnu”. Pilgrims frequent this spot to take a dip in the sacred waters and detox themselves from every sin. The crowds usually get thicker during the sunset i.e. the time for Ganga Aarti.
The wonderful Aarti by the riverside cannot be missed! The ringing of temple gongs and the chanting of the sacred mantras by Pandits who perform the aarti with the large torches of fire in their hands fill the air with spirituality.
Adventure Sports in Rishikesh
The peaceful city of Rishikesh has some adventure activities in store for adventure enthusiasts who like to get their adrenaline pumped up.
White water rafting in Rishikesh is something that one cannot afford to miss during a tour of Rishikesh. You could choose from Grade 1 to Grade 4 level of rafting depending on your comfort level. A vital point to keep in mind is you must listen to your instructor for a hassle-free rafting experience.
Laxman Jhula Market in Rishikesh
No trip to a new place is complete without buying the local souvenirs and handicrafts for giving them as gifts or for treasuring them for unforgettable memories.
The shopping bazaars of Rishikesh are some of the best places to visit in Haridwar and Rishikesh. Travel to the famous Laxman Jhula Market in Rishikesh for shopping the exotic wall paintings and household wooden furniture items which can enhance the look and feel of your home.
Best Yoga centers in Rishikesh
Rishikesh takes pride in being the Yoga Capital of the World! So, a trip to Rishikesh without visiting any of its yoga centers is not really a trip to Rishikesh!
The city shot into the limelight as a haven for spiritual healing in 1968 when the popular Rock group, The Beatles first took refuge at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram to take part in Transcendental Meditation. Our best pick for a good yoga center in Rishikesh is Parmarth Niketan.