A spiritual mecca, Rishikesh has been attracting movers and shakers since before The Beatles put it on the map. Astride the holy river Ganges the self styled ‘Yoga Capital of the World’ holds a sacred place in the hearts of Hindus around the country. Filled with ashrams, yoga centres and Ayurvedic wellness practices it is not all “Om Shanti Om”; the fast flowing Ganges and vertiginous valleys make it a favoured destination amongst adrenaline junkies too. Many of the best places to stay in Rishikesh combine the two, allowing guests the best of both healing and exhilarating activities.
No visit to Rishikesh is complete without witnessing the mesmerizing evening ‘aarti’: a devotional fire ritual in honour of the goddess Ganga involving singing, rituals and dedications. A truly hypnotic performance, you will be swept away.
A great way to explore this small town is with a private walking tour. Starting at Laxman Jhula Bridge you will be taken through the markets, ashrams and temples. Learn about the area’s culture, history and religion.
Many hotels offer private yoga classes however Omkarananda Ganga Sadan and the Sivananda Yoga Centre are two of the most prestigious. Or, if you fancy a giggle, why not try ‘Hasya’ otherwise known as ‘Laughing Yoga’.
Unfortunately the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram, where John, Paul, George and Ringo made their home in the 1960’s has seen better days. However it enjoys a secluded spot and is a scenic walk out of town. Renovation work is set to take place in 2016.
The river and the mountains are a draw for lovers of the great outdoors. From white water rafting to trekking and even bungee jumping, there is plenty to get your pulse racing.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Rishikesh are all ideal for making the most of this destination, whether you're after the action or the relaxation.
Still not sure which to book? From back to nature to wellness retreat browse through our list of the best places to stay in Rishikesh to start to plan your trip. Or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
AquaForest provides comfortable accommodation on the banks of the Ganges in six air conditioned tents. More than just a place to rest your head, staff will go out of their way to organise your trip in Rishikesh. Breakfast and dinner are served and included in the price. Book or you'll miss out!
Rishikesh (Tehri Garwhal)
A design property and a perfect blend of active and pamper break. Boasting a spa with floor to ceiling windows and a bounty of excursions, there is something to suit every tempo. Rooms benefit from private balconies and are decorated in locally sourced woods and rich colours, with modern bathrooms.
Another of Neemrana's faultless heritage hotels. With an enviable location on the banks of the River Ganges, nestled amid a mango orchard, Glasshouse boasts vintage decor and friendly service. Rooms are bespoke design, making the most of the views and filled with antiques. For true escapists!
Where leisure, activities and serenity meet. Chic, modern mountain hideaway ideal for families and outdoor lovers. Comprised of 22 private cottages with iPod docks but no TVs, private terraces and Ganga views. Comfort food is served in the cosy White Water Cafe. An award winning hotel.
Former palace turned luxury spa retreat. Rooms are decorated in natural palettes of creams and greens, all have balconies. The restaurant serves healthy cuisine and there is daily afternoon tea with sugar-free options. There is a pool, award winning Ayurvedic spa and fitness centre.