Haridwar and Rishikesh are fascinating in their own right, and for a multitude of reasons. As a traveler, you’ll generally associate to Haridwar as an out-and-out pilgrim destination, while Rishikesh gets viewed as a place where you can camp and go for rafting. There’s no denying that that’s true, but both these places are so much more than what meets the eye.
Often termed as twin national heritage cities, both these places have a lot in store for the traveler in you. While Haridwar lets you soak in its religious aura, Rishikesh presents a different proposition altogether with a great mix of recreation of sightseeing. Here is a list of some of the top places to visit in Haridwar and Rishikesh:
Top places to visit in Haridwar
Witnessing thousands of devotees who come here every year to pay their respect to Ganga, Haridwar is where you can sense devotion and spirituality in the air. Many people visit the religious city to take a dip in the holy waters in order to wash away their sins. Since Haridwar has gradually become a spiritual and cultural center for people, it is a good idea to opt for one of the tour packages for Haridwar. Instead of just confining you to one spot, these packages let you discover the city bit by bit.
Mansa Devi Temple
Credited as one of the most famous attractions in Haridwar, the Mansa Devi temple can be visited in a cable car, which provides you a breathtaking view on the way. Dedicated to Goddess Mansa, the temples consist of two main idols of the goddess, both located in the area of the main temple.
Located on the railway road, Bara Bazaar is a famous shopping hotspot in Haridwar. Since you are in a religious city, you will find several pooja items in the market. You can also buy handicraft articles as souvenirs. Other things that you can find in Bara Bazaar are churan and Rudraksha seeds. You can also buy delectable milk sweets at this place.
Har ki Pauri Ghat
Har ki Pauri Ghat is a holy bank of Ganga where you see several people taking a dip. The ghat offers a fascinating view at sundown, right at the time when the Ganga aarti begins. The flamed torches and the chiming bells make for an enthralling experience at that instant. After the aarti ends, the sight of the floating diyas in the serene holy waters lends a sense of calm and makes for a spellbinding sight.
Sapt Rishi Ashram
Situated 5 kms away from the city, the Sapt Rishi Ashram is a must-visit place when in Haridwar. Permeating an old-worldly charm, the ashram is a Sanskrit learning point. It is named Sapt Rishi Ashram because this is that very place where Bhardwaja, Atri, Vishwamitra, Jamadagi, Gautam, Vashisht, and Kashyapa once meditated. Located very close to the banks of River Ganga, the ashram has stunning environs surrounding it.
Top places to visit in Rishikesh
Rishikesh, the birthplace of Ayurveda, is a city that offers a stimulating blend of grand temples, architectural wonders, and adventure sports. The city is literally dotted with ashrams, many of which are popular tourist places of Rishikesh. From rejuvenating meditation sessions to the spectacular Ganga aarti, the city has a lot in store.
At the same time, Rishikesh is a magnet for adrenaline junkies and spirituality seekers. It offers a much-needed respite to visitors. There are plenty of beautiful places to visit in Rishikesh, which is not the least bit surprising when you consider the remarkable beauty it has. However, in order to fully explore the holy city, you must go for Rishikesh tour packages.
Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula
Laxman and Ram Jhula are the 450 feet long iron suspended bridges that are a highlight of Rishikesh. Located 4 km from Rishikesh railway station, these architectural wonders are significant pilgrimage spots and find their name in the best places to visit in Rishikesh. After you have visited these bridges and reveled in their beauty, you can then pay a visit to Ram temple, Trayambakeshwar temple, and Laxman temple which are situated in close proximity, and are among the famous places in Rishikesh.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram
In the 60s, the Beatles visited the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ashram. Since then, this ashram has garnered a lot of acclaim and is one of the best places to visit in Rishikesh. The tranquility of this place will leave you speechless. You can visit the ashram for a meditation session which is sure to offer you a great spiritual experience.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is one of the most sacred shrines of Lord Shiva, and easily among the best places to see in Rishikesh. Many devotees visit the temple for a bath in the freshwater spring inside.
Situated alongside Ganga, the Triveni Ghat is one of the popular tourist places in Rishikesh. On visiting the ghat, you will see numerous pilgrims bathing in the waters. At this very ghat, the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati takes place.During the evening aarti, you feel a spiritual aura all around the place which transports you to a different place altogether.
A trip to Rishikesh will never be complete if you do not head out for rafting. It calls out to the adventure-junkie in you; it is an experience that is certain to enthrall. What’s important here is that you follow what the instructor says, and keep yourself safe while at it.
There is no dearth of places to visit in either Haridwar or Rishikesh. It is an experience that intertwines sanctity with adventure, a combination that can interest even the most ardent of travellers. You just have to plan it well.