Not only the spirituality but also a number of things to do in Rishikesh lure numerous visitors to the holy town. Titled as the ‘Yoga capital of the world’, the sacred city offers adventure, peace, rejuvenation, and so much more.
Besides river rafting in Rishikesh, camping, cliff jumping, kayaking, etc. send the adrenaline rush in the holidaymakers. Bungee jumping is an emerging trend and slowly grabbing the center stage.
Among the many things to do in Rishikesh, the Ganga Aarti held at the Triveni Ghat every evening presents a unique spectacle. Witnessing this spectacular sight and many more such activities are included on the list of must-do things in Rishikesh. Read on to know everything about them in detail.
Best Things to do in Rishikesh for an Exciting Holiday
- Go for White Water Rafting
- Try your hand at Flying Fox
- Take up the Waterfall Trekking challenge
- Enjoy Cliff Jumping
- Delight in the Air Safari
- Revel in Camping and Bonfire
- Get ready for Body Surfing
- Take the leap of faith with Bungee Jumping
- Partake in Kayaking
- Brace yourself for the Giant Swing
- Double the fun with Paintball
- Have a bird’s eye view of Rishikesh with Zip Lining
- Take some time out for Rock Climbing/Rappelling
- Fly in the air with Paragliding
- Test your driving skills with Mountain Biking
- Take a walk on the Lakshman Jhula
- Play Beach Volleyball
- Gorge on delicious food at Chotiwala
- Explore a number of temples
- Visit ashrams in Rishikesh
- Attend yoga and meditation classes
- Witness the spectacular Ganga Aarti
- Rejoice in Hot Air Ballooning
- Rejuvenate yourself at the best spa in the town
- Take a holy dip in the Ganga
1. Go for White Water Rafting
- Best time for River Rafting: River rafting can be enjoyed throughout the year in Rishikesh. However, if there’s heavy rainfall and the tides are high, it is not advisable to go rafting in Rishikesh.
- Ideal Duration: 2 hours
- Famous Places for River Rafting: Brahmpuri, Shivpuri, Marine Drive, Kaudiyala
The pride of Rishikesh, White Water Rafting is one of the best adventure activities in Rishikesh that attracts many adventure enthusiasts to pacify their adrenaline rush. Take up the challenge posed by the gushing River Ganga and test your rafting skills while passing difficult grades.
The town has four grades to offer – Grade I and II (Basic), Grade III (Standard), and Grade IV (Expert). When you are planning a group or solo trip to Rishikesh, white water rafting should be on top of your adventurous things to do in Rishikesh.
2. Try your hands at Flying Fox
- Ideal Duration: Approx. 45-60 min
- Best time for Flying Fox: The activity can be tried throughout the year.
- Famous Places for Flying Fox: Mohanchatti
Note: The minimum age required to perform Flying Fox is 12 years. The minimum weight required is 40 kg and the maximum weight is 110 kg.
Among the most popular things to do in Rishikesh for adventure lovers is Flying Fox. Quite similar to zip-lining, the activity takes place over the furiously flowing Ganges. The speed of sliding between two cliffs or through a valley raises the fun quotient to the next level.
The feeling of rolling down at a speed of about 140 km/hr and then going up again cannot be expressed in words. If done in a trio, the activity will leave your heart pounding for a long time.
3. Take up the Waterfall Trekking challenge
- Best time for waterfall trekking: Any time of the year except monsoon is best for waterfall trekking.
- Ideal Duration: More than 2 hours
- Best places for Water Trekking: Garud Chatti Waterfall, Neer Garh Waterfall Trekking, and Phool Chatti Waterfall.
How does it sound to trek a waterfall? Adventurous, right? Among the best things to do in Rishikesh in summer, water trekking is enjoyed by a number of adventurers for incredible experiences. Be it the rhythmic sound of water or some of the best sights of vibrant fluttering butterflies, water trekking will be a memorable experience.
Birds flying in the soaring blue sky motivate you to complete your task easily. Garud Chatti Waterfall, Neergarh Waterfall Trekking, and Phool Chatti Waterfall are places offering the desired respite to trekking lovers.
4. Enjoy Cliff Jumping
- Ideal Duration: The free-fall time spans just 3 seconds.
- Best time for Cliff Jumping: Cliff jumping can be enjoyed all around the year except for the monsoon season.
Note: This activity is not meant for children below 12 years, height-phobic, and hydro-phobic people.
True to its name, Cliff jumping involves jumping from a cliff and is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Outstanding amongst the rest of the top things to do in Rishikesh, the activity evokes the daredevil in you.
Not only this but also jumping into the river Ganga from a height helps you curate memories of a lifetime. Usually, the height of the cliff is at least 35 meters high from the water level. But, if you have the guts you can choose to jump from a cliff from more height.
5. Delight in the Air Safari
- Ideal Duration: 10-70 min
- Best time for Air Safari: Any time of the year is perfect for air safari in Rishikesh.
One of the most exciting activities in Rishikesh that you can look forward to is Air Safari. Embark on the light sports aircraft and you are ready to fly like a bird. Aerial views of the town and its attractions are sure to mesmerize you.
As soon as your air safari plane takes off, you will get enchanted to discover the unexplored areas which are usually not accessible by any other vehicle. Also known as bush flying, the activity is worth trying at least once in a lifetime.
6. Revel in Camping and Bonfire
- Best time for Camping and Bonfire: February to May and September to November is the best time for camping.
- Types of Camping in Rishikesh: Luxury camps, beach camps, jungle camps
- Best Places Camping in Rishikesh: Neelkanth Road, Mohanchatti, Rattapani, Kaudiyala
Waking up to the best of the sights and sounds while spending a few days along the banks of River Ganga is truly blissful. Thus, one must choose camping in Rishikesh in order to have a firsthand experience of the activity.
Aspen Adventure Camp, Ecoterra Solace Camps, and Wildex Camp Rishikesh are some of the best camps in Rishikesh. You can chit-chat, sing songs, eat flavorsome meals, gossip till your heart’s content, or simply enjoy the solitude. And if you know guitar, match your tunes with the melodies of the flowing water and turn your evening into a memorable affair with bonfires lit outside the camps.
7. Get ready for Body Surfing
- Ideal Duration: As long as you want to
- Best time for Body Surfing: March-end – June and September – November is the right time for body surfing.
Unlike other water sports in Rishikesh, Body Surfing is unarguably relaxing. Let yourself loose in the water and bask in the sunshine. The easy activity is all about lying bare on your back while experiencing the highs and lows of the river. Not requiring too many techniques, the sport can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Body Surfing in Rishikesh is a must for unlimited excitement and fun. Imagine there will be no surfboard but just your body moving along the waves!
Rishikesh Rafting Tour Packages
8. Take the leap of faith with Bungee Jumping
- Best time for Bungee Jumping: Any time of the year is perfect for bungee jumping in Rishikesh except for the monsoon season. The activity might be put on hold due to heavy rainfall.
- Ideal Duration: 4-5 seconds
- Best Place for Bungee Jumping: Jumping Heights is located in Mohanchatti.
Indulge in one of the best things to do in Rishikesh in October, Bungee Jumping. If you are looking for an adrenaline-pumping activity, then Bungee Jumping is perfect for you. Rishikesh is known for the highest bungee jumping in India from a height of 83 meters. This adds a different layer of excitement to the entire activity.
Feel the thrill and scream your lungs out as you jump from the mountain into nothingness. Further, delight in an otherworldly experience as you bounce back. Dare to witness River Ganga from close quarters while being suspended upside down?
9. Partake in Kayaking
- Ideal duration: 2-3 hours
- Best time for Kayaking in Rishikesh: Except for the monsoon season, which stretches from mid-June to September, Kayaking can be enjoyed any time of the year.
The treasure trove of adventure sports in Rishikesh is incomplete without kayaking. Much like canoeing, the watersport allows you to paddle across the waters on your kayak. As there are challenging rapids of River Ganga offering a bumpy ride, this fun-filled activity is not fit for physically weak travelers.
Appealing to the adventure junkie in you, the scintillating sport surely accounts for one of the best things to do in Rishikesh. With an increase in the level of grades, the difficulty also increases. If you want, you can take up Kayaking courses in Rishikesh.
10. Brace yourself for the Giant Swing
- Ideal duration: 10 seconds
- Best time for trying the giant swing: Again except for the monsoon season, any time of the year is perfect for trying the giant swing.
- Best place to enjoy giant swing: Jumping Heights located in Mohanchatti.
Enjoy the thrill while swinging on India’s Giant Swing in Rishikesh. Much akin to Bungee jumping, the activity comes with a small yet notable difference. Reckoned as one of the fun things to do in Rishikesh, the task allows you to swing from one end to the other. The superb adventure activity poses a challenge even for the daring souls.
If you want to double the fun of bungee jumping, then you must try Giant Swing. The enthusiasm for taking up the swing will last lifelong. Get ready to swing like a pendulum and make your friends envy you.
11. Double the fun with Paintball
- Ideal Duration: 40-45 minutes
- Best time for enjoying paintball in Rishikesh: You can try paintball anytime during your Rishikesh tour.
If you are traveling with your family, Paintball is one of the best things to do in Rishikesh with family. This one of the best recreational activities keeps you and your family on your toes. Offering one-of-a-kind adventures, the game arouses a competitive team spirit, which can be a great learning experience for kids. Ideal for the visitors in groups, the sport is a stress buster and allows you to experience a hefty dose of color bombs.
It is good to see your team members working with full devotion to eliminating the opponents from the game. Indeed the team shooting sport has a lot in store for you to learn and cherish.
12. Have a bird’s eye view of Rishikesh with Zip Lining
- Ideal Duration: 1 hour
- Best time for zip lining: The adventure sport can be tried throughout the year.
Note: As such, there is no minimum age but it is not recommended for kids. Children under 18 years must have written permission from parents/guardians. And children under 16 years must be supervised by a participating parent/guardian.
The minimum weight for ziplining in Rishikesh is above 100 kgs and the height required is 4 feet 7 inches (14 meters).
Excitement seems to know no limits with adventure options abound in Rishikesh. Zip Lining is apparently ranking on the bucket list of visitors who are in town to make their holidays memorable. How about reaching at a height of 70 m at one end and then jumping off from there to reach the next end?
Crazy! Enjoy breathtaking views as you slide from one end while being catapulted across the white water rapids. In addition to all this, the speed along with the gushing air makes you scream out loud.
13. Take some time out for Rock Climbing/Rappelling
- Ideal Duration: 5 hours
- Best time for rock climbing: February to April and then September to late December is the best time of the year to go for rock climbing.
Note: Rock Climbing requires your strength and if you are physically weak, do not take up this activity.
Once in Rishikesh, you will be intrigued by the irresistible charm of the uneven Himalayan cliffs. The grueling rock climbing or rappelling is for all those who aim high and have the guts to face any challenge.
Luring climbers from all over the country, rock climbing in Rishikesh tests all the limits of your endurance. There is definitely nothing better than taking up this challenge to overcome your fear of water, height, or speed. Also, don’t forget to pat your back when you reach the top of that mountain.
14. Fly in the air with Paragliding
- Ideal Duration: 10-70 minutes
- Best time for paragliding in Rishikesh: The best time for paragliding in Rishikesh is between September and June.
Note: The bodyweight of the participant should not be more than 120 kg. Also, paragliding can only be enjoyed in good weather conditions. So, if there is excessive rain or fog, it might get canceled.
Spread your wings and fly like a bird with one of the most thrilling things to do in Rishikesh in winter, paragliding. Enjoy the bird’s eye view of the town and witness the sparkling Ganga River from the top. Soar high at the time of sunrise and witness a unique spectacle to behold. Also, this will bring you joy that knows no bounds. Lift the earthly bounds into the open air and conquer the azure sky. Fall past the tall peaks and see the dainty valleys go by.
15. Test your driving skills with Mountain Biking
- Ideal Duration: 2 hours
- Best time for mountain biking in Rishikesh: February to May and September to October
The list of best things to do in Rishikesh is still not over. Set on a quest to discover what lies in the heart of the mighty Himalayas. Follow an unwinding trail full of surprises. Pass by many hairpin bends. Treat your eyes to some of the best views. Spare some time to observe the rituals taken along the banks of River Ganga.
Mountain Biking in Rishikesh offers a great experience, views, and adventure. Take out your bike and proceed to beat some rubber against rocks. Pedaling through rocky terrains will create everlasting memories for you.
16. Take a walk on the Lakshman Jhula
- Best time for visiting: You can visit Lakshman Jhula at any time you are in the town.
A famous hanging bridge known as the Lakshman Jhula boasts of rich mythological associations. According to the folklore, Lord Rama and Lakshman had crossed the holy river at the same site. For this reason, the 450 feet long bridge enjoys extreme repute amongst its devotees.
Perched at a height of 70 meters above the river, the iron bridge appears to be swinging in the air at times. Stand in between the jhula and gaze at the awe-inspiring views of the river flowing beneath.
17. Play Beach Volleyball
- Ideal Duration: You can enjoy the game as long as you want to
- Best time for playing beach volleyball: Winter season is surely the best time to play a match unless you want to tan your skin in summer.
Have fun with your friends or family while playing beach volleyball in Rishikesh. It is fun to play this sport amidst beautiful scenery with the river flowing on the side. Enjoy this game on the powdery sands and soak in the golden rays of the sun.
Plus, this fun-filled activity can be enjoyed by people of all ages and is one of the best ways to spend the day leisurely. The friendly match between you and your buddies or family promises to rejuvenate your senses.
18. Gorge on delicious food at Chotiwala
- Ideal Duration: Eat till your heart’s content
- Best time for eating at Chotiwala: Head to this restaurant whenever you are in Rishikesh.
Serving scrumptious dishes since 1958, Chotiwala is a famous restaurant in Rishikesh. Nestled on the bank of the River Ganges, the age-old restaurant excels in tempting South Indian Vegetarian delicacies.
Another point to note about the food served here is that besides being tasty, the food is also nutritional. Moreover, the traditional Garhwali food lovers can also head to this eatery to satiate their hunger. Apart from all this, getting clicked with the Chotiwala mascot is something that everybody loves to do.
19. Explore Magnificent Temples in Rishikesh
- Best time for visiting temples in Rishikesh: You can go on the spiritually-awakening sojourn at the temples any time of the year.
Chanting of the mantras with bells ringing in the background with the fragrance of incense sticks diffuses in the mind, bringing a sense into you. If that interests you, take a temple tour in Rishikesh.
Bask in the spiritual bliss or listen to several folklores associated with the sanctum sanctorum. Some of the religious places to visit in Rishikesh are the Neelkantha Mahadeva Temple, Bharat Mandir, Trimbakeshwar Temple or Tera Manzil Temple, etc. Along with the unwavering faith of the pilgrims, the architecture of these temples is worth witnessing.
20. Visit ashrams in Rishikesh
- Best time for exploring ashrams in Rishikesh: You can plan a stay in the ashrams of Rishikesh anytime you are here.
Obviously, your Rishikesh trip will be incomplete without a visit to its renowned ashrams. Be it the Beatles Ashram, Sivananda Ashram, or the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, each one of them exudes its own charm.
Besides offering a comfortable stay, the ashrams in Rishikesh also help the visitors to achieve their spiritual goals. Above all, there is no other place that offers a heavenly experience the way these tranquil places do. The experience of waking up to the mesmerizing views along the Ganga Ghat is beyond description.
21. Attend yoga and meditation classes
- Ideal Duration: 2-3 days
- Best time for practicing yoga and meditation in Rishikesh: You can learn about yoga and meditation throughout the year
- Best Ashrams in Rishikesh for Yoga and Meditation: Sivananda Ashram, Omkarananda Ganga Sadan, Yoga Niketan, Sadhana Mandir
There is nothing better than practicing yoga at its birthplace. Right? Titled as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, Rishikesh makes you practice ancient science like no other. Get utter relaxation while unwinding yourself near the banks of River Ganga amidst the lap of nature.
The clean air, breathtaking environs, spiritual vibe, tranquil banks of River Ganga, and above all, a number of yoga centers account for a soul-soothing experience. Partaking in the International Yoga Festival is surely one of the fun things to do in Rishikesh.
22. Witness the spectacular Ganga Aarti
- Ideal Duration: 30 minutes
- Best time for attending Ganga Aarti in Rishikesh: You can attend the Ganga Aarti throughout the year.
Rishikesh is well-known for its illuminating Ganga Aarti that lures spiritual tourists from all over the country. It is one of the must-do activities in Rishikesh in any season you visit. Held at the Triveni Ghat every evening, the age-old ceremony is a visual retreat. Tiny lamps floating on the river mirror small gems on the attire of a beautiful bride.
During dusk, priests carrying huge fire lamps and a number of devotees gather at the Ghat to honor the River Goddess. The sound of the conch shells and the hymns sung to praise the goddess appear euphonious.
23. Rejoice in Hot Air Ballooning
- Ideal Duration: 12 minutes
- Best time for Hot air ballooning in Rishikesh: September to February is the best time for hot air ballooning.
Note: Maximum of 4 adults can be accommodated in one hot air balloon. Children above 5 years are considered adults.
One of the best adventure activities in Rishikesh is hot air ballooning which can be enjoyed by travelers. A unique experience in Rishikesh, hot air ballooning is tremendously delightful. In this activity, fly high in the sky and admire the surreal beauty of the town.
The hot air balloon passes by the town at its own pace and gives you ample time to get spellbound. Unveil the mysteries of the remote areas while traveling across the Great Indian Himalayas. For the best experience, enjoy hot air ballooning in Rishikesh during sunset or sunrise that will cast a spell on you.
24. Rejuvenate yourself at the best spa in the town
- Ideal Duration: 2-3 days
- Best time for availing Ayurvedic treatments in Rishikesh: Ayurvedic therapies work wonders during monsoon season. Due to this June to September is the best time to receive Ayurvedic treatments.
Best Spa and Wellness Centers in Rishikesh: Tattva Ayurveda & Massage Center, Rishikul Yogshala, Ekam Yogashala, Samadhi Yoga Ashram
Take a rejuvenating spa at the best spas in Rishikesh. Get relieved of all your weariness and stress with the Ayurvedic treatments offered by the renowned Spa Centers in Rishikesh. A leading name amongst the best luxury spa resorts in India is Ananda in the Himalayas.
Tucked beautifully amidst lush Sal forest, the spa resort provides a holistic wellness retreat. Well-planning Ayurvedic therapies guarantee result-oriented healing experiences. Experts from all over the world visit the resort to teach the basics of a healthy life.
Suggested Read: 15 Best Spa and Ayurveda Resorts in India
25. Take a holy dip in the Ganga
- Best time for bathing in the river Ganga: You can take the holy dip whenever you are in the town except for the monsoon season.
One of the best ways to complete your Rishikesh trip is by taking a holy dip in the River Ganga. Whether you are a kid or an adult, this activity is one of the must-do things in Rishikesh. And doing so absolves all your sins and makes you a soul free from impurities.
To make the experience more divine, you can choose to bathe at the Triveni Ghat. You can get the blessings of the sacred River Goddess and ultimately take one step closer to salvation.
Rishikesh is no doubt one of the best places to visit in India to satiate your adventure, nature, or spiritual desires. This list of best things to do in Rishikesh will help you gain more new and unique experiences, helping you make everlasting memories.
From thrilling adventure sports like rappelling, river rafting, and paragliding to rejuvenating your mind and soul with a yoga and meditation session, there are ample activities to enjoy on your Rishikesh trip.
So, whether you are visiting with family, kids, senior citizens, solo, significant other, or with a group of friends, book Rishikesh tour packages with Indian Holiday and indulge in fun and exciting activities in Rishikesh and make your holidays memorable.
Do try the aforementioned things to do in Rishikesh and share your memorable experiences.