Camping: While a lot of people usually associate camping with rafting, one can opt to just camp by the river Ganges without opting to go rafting. The pristine white sand of the banks of Ganges with the river gurgling by is a must-experience.
Camping by the Ganges. Image Source.
Paintballing: A great stress buster, this is one activity that the entire family can enjoy together. It’s also a great way to bond with friends or colleagues while on a trip.
Yoga: Did you know that Rishikesh is growing to become the ‘Yoga Capital’ of the country, if not the world. With various schools of Yoga being practiced, the city attracts Indians and foreigners alike. If one has some time on hand, one can plan to sign up for a course here and maybe, even get to experience the serenity of practicing Yoga on the banks of the Ganges.
‘Arati’s/ Prayers by the banks: Rishikesh is one of the main Hindu pilgrimage spots and people flock to see the morning and evening ‘Arati’s’ here. Triveni Ghat and the Har Ki Pauri Ghat are among the major Ghats in Rishikesh where one can experience the evening Arati. Even if one is not spiritual, watching the prayers/ Arati is a good experience for the energy and fervour that is built around the ceremonies.
Arati at Triveni Ghat, Rishikesh. Photo credit: Arian-Zwegers/Flickr
Wildlife Safaris: Close to Rishikesh, in the Dehradun-Haridwar belt, lies the Rajaji National Park. Between November to June, one can enjoy wildlife safaris in the Park and get an opportunity to spot peacocks, spotted deer or cheetal, monkeys, Sambhar, Elephant and many other animals and birds. This is a good way to teach your kids to appreciate nature and the natural environment.
Rajaji National Park. Image Source.
Spas & Wellness Centres: Along with Yoga centres, Rishikesh also has several wellness centres and natural healing spas. These range from basic one to ultra luxurious ones like Ananda in the Himalayas.
Ananda in the Himalayas. Image Source.
The ‘Beatles Ashram’: Originally, known as the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram (Chaurasi Kutia) in Rishikesh, this Ashram is more popularly known as the ‘Beatles Ashram’ among tourists as it was here that the legendary music band- The Beatles- came to in pursuit of learning transcendental meditation. It is believed that a lot of the bands’ popular tracks were inspired and/or originated during the time they spent here. Today, the Ashram attracts fans and non-fans of the Group and has become a ‘hip’ attraction.
Food: Did you know that Rishikesh, being a ‘holy city’, does not have any establishments that serve non vegetarian food. However, Sattvic food (i.e., without vegetarian and without onion/garlic) is quite easily available here and one must sample the available fare to believe that even ‘simple’ vegetarian food can be delicious.
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In recent years, Rishikesh has grown in popularity for the variety of adrenaline pumping activities it has on offer. But, there’s more to Rishikesh than just adventure vacations or rafting. The place has several options to make it a family-friendly destination as well. Here are some popular activities for those looking for a more relaxed holiday at Rishikesh:
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