Haridwar & Rishikesh

Are you planning for a religious tour in India? Many travelers from across the globe love to visit India at least once in their life because it is a land of diverse religions and culture. There are many sacred and serene destinations in this country where they can pay homage and pray to deities. Even if there are plenty of pilgrimage destinations in India, Haridwar and Rishikesh hold a very strong religious significance. These are great places for those who wish to experience spirituality. Plan your pilgrimage trip to these two destinations through Colourful Indian Holidays for experiencing a holistic retreat.

All pious people belong to the Hindu community desire to visit the holy city of Haridwar at least once in their life. Located on the banks of the serene River Ganges in the Uttarakhand state, this pilgrimage destination has high spiritual relevance. This sacred place is blessed with numerous holy ashrams where people can learn philosophy, science, and arts. It is also a venue for some of the famous melas like Kumbh Mela, Somvati Amavasya Mela, and Ganga Dusshera.

Several religious places like Mansa Devi Temple, Har Ki Pauri, Sapt Rishi Ashram, Bhimgoda Tank, Maya Devi Temple, Chandi Devi, Daksha Mahadev Temple, and Parad Shivling are there in this holy destination that enhances its importance. Many famous festivals such as Makar Sankranti, Maha Shivratri, Janmashtami, Kartik Poornima, and Buddha Poornima, also make this destination popular throughout the world. With several convenient transportation options, reaching this holy destination is pretty easy for travelers. Plan a pilgrimage trip to Haridwar through Colourful Indian Holidays to take a holy dip in the river Ganges and explore all the religious sites and attractions in the city conveniently.

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Haridwar & Rishikesh – Two holy sites in India for experiencing soul-quenching peace

India has been a country blessed with diverse culture and different religions. Numerous holy destinations are there in this country where people take tours to offer prayers to their divine deities. Haridwar & Rishikesh are the two most significant pilgrimage centers for the Hindu community ideal to experience divine spirituality. Both are the holiest cities in India where pilgrims can experience amazing soul-quenching tranquility. Many travelers from across the globe visit these religious sites to take a holy dip in the River Ganges and worship the deity.

These cities are home to plenty of temples, ashrams and many other divine sites. Most of them are situated in the middle of misty surroundings and forested hills offering a serene and calm ambiance. Most of the ashrams and holy sites in Haridwar offer yoga and meditation sessions ideal to rejuvenate the body and mind of the pilgrims. With tranquil environments, Rishikesh and Haridwar are the best places for those who seek inner peace. Thousands of people flock to these sacred cities to discover spirituality and acquire perfect harmony of their soul and mind. Choose an affordable religious tour package from Colourful Indian Holidays to make your trip to these holy cities fulfilling and comfortable.

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Haridwar

Haridwar – One of the seven holy cities for the Hindus

There are plenty of choices in India when it comes to sacred pilgrim destinations. Haridwar is one such holy site for the followers of Hinduism. Located at the Uttarakhand state, this holy city is one of the seven sacred destinations for Hindus. Many religious places are there in Haridwar to visit such as Mansa Devi Temple, Maya Devi temple, Chandi Devi, Har Ki Pauri, Sapt Sarovar, and Mansa Devi Temple.

People who visit this holy city include several other sacred places in their travel itinerary like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Kodiyala and Rajaji National Park. You will also love to some other important religious places in this city such as the Jairam Ashram, Shanti Kunj, Doodhadari temple, Pawan Dham, Bharat Mata Mandir, Parmarth Ashram, Vaishnav Devi Temple, Bharat Mata Mandir, and Radha Krishan temple. The Tourism Department of Uttarakhand offers excellent accommodation options for the pilgrims.

This city also has many hotels, ashrams, and dharamshalas for travelers who seek accommodation. A lot of people visit this holy city, especially during the festival season. Some of the popular festivals of this destination are the Makar Sankranti, Maha Shivratri, Ram Navami, Baisakhi, Ekadashis, Kartik Poornima, Janmashtami, and Buddha Poornima.

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Best places to visit in Haridwar

Haridwar – One of the seven holy cities for the Hindus

Located under the foothill of the mesmerizing Himalayas, visiting the renowned pilgrim destination of Haridwar shall be a mind-blowing experience. The tranquil environment of this destination soothes every heart. A lot of pilgrims visit Haridwar every day to witness the Ganga Aarti on the serene banks of river Ganges to offer prayers. They believe that taking a holy dip in this sacred river can wash away all their worldly sins and purify their body and mind. Take a look at the best places to explore during your pilgrimage trip to Haridwar.

Har Ki Pauri in Haridwar

Har Ki Pauri - a divine place

Hari Ki Pauri is among the most sacred places in Haridwar. It is a well-known ghat in this destination located on the banks of River Ganges. The best time to visit this place is in the evening when thousands of lamps lit in the stunning backdrop of the majestic mountains.

The literal meaning of Har Ki Pauri is the steps of Lord Shiva, and thousands of devotees flock this place every day to offer prayers. It is a place where many festivals occur including the enchanting Kumbh Mela. Har Ki Pauri is the place where the sacred nectar is believed to be fallen during the Dev-demon battle. This holy place is ideal for pilgrims who seek spirituality.

Mansa Devi Temple in Haridwar

Mansa Devi Temple - another significant place for the Hindus

Located atop the beautiful Bilwa Parvat, the Mansa Devi Temple is a must-visit destination in Haridwar. Travelers who wish to reach this temple dedicated to Goddess Mansa Devi need to take 2 kilometers to walk from the foothill. Ropeway facility is also available which is helpful for those who cannot walk to reach the temple.

Whether you opt for walking or use ropeway, you can enjoy panoramic views of the mighty River Ganges and the holy city of Haridwar on the way to this temple on the Shivalik Hills. Apart from a renowned pilgrimage center, this place is also popular among adventure seekers because of the trekking opportunities that it offers. The marvelous Chandi Devi Temple is located close to the Mansa Devi Temple worth visiting.

Bharat Mata Temple in Haridwar

Bharat Mata Temple – a temple dedicated to Mother India

With an 8-story temple complex, the Bharat Mata Temple is another great attraction in Haridwar. Located on the scenic banks of River Ganga, each floor of this temple is dedicated to different Gods. You can see a statue of Bharat Mata on the first floor while the second floor is for the well-known heroes of the country. Matri Mandir, the third floor is dedicated to different mythological heroines like Savitry, Maitri, Gargi, Radha, Draupadi, and Mira.

The fourth floor, Sant Mandir, is dedicated to saints from different religions like Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. There is an assembly hall on the fifth floor while the sixth floor is devoted to Goddess Shakti. Various incarnations of Lord Vishnu can be seen on the seventh floor of the Bharat Mata Temple while the eighth floor of it for Lord Shiva.

Doodhadhari Barfani Temple in Haridwar

Doodhadhari Barfani Temple

All the tourist places near Haridwar are perfect for travelers who look to experience peace and tranquility. Temples are the main attraction of this holy city and pilgrims to this destination do not forget to pay a visit to the sacred Doodhadhari Barfani Temple.

Located in the Doodhadhari Barfani Baba ashram, it is among the most attractive temples in this region. You can see separate shrines built in white marbles for Ram-Sita and Lord Hanuman in this complex.

Chandi Devi Temple in Haridwar

Chandi Devi Temple – a beautiful temple on the Neel Parvat

Situated on the Neel Parvat, visiting the Chandi Devi Temple in Haridwar shall be a wonderful experience. But you need to take a 3-kilometer trek from Chandighat or take the cable car to reach this temple.

The main deity of the Chandi Devi Temple was established in the 8th century by the renowned saint, Adi Shankaracharya. You can add this temple in your travel itinerary to Haridwar for wonderful trekking to enjoy splendid views of the Himalayas and beautiful surroundings on the way to this temple.

Patanjali Yog Peeth in Haridwar

Patanjali Yog Peeth – Famous ashram run by yoga guru Baba Ramdev

Do not forget to visit the Patanjali Yog Peeth if you are planning a trip to Haridwar. It is a famous ashram run by the well-known yoga guru, Baba Ramdev.

This large yoga institute is located on the Delhi-Haridwar Highway, convenient for the pilgrims to visit it and explore the ashram. So, ensure to visit it during your pilgrimage trip to Haridwar.

Pawan Dham in Haridwar

Pawan Dham - A temple with alluring glass work

Another great pilgrimage shrine to be visited during your Haridwar trip is the Pawan Dham Temple. This temple fascinates travelers not only with its enchanting beauty but also with its ornamental idols. You can see the craftsmanship and fine artistry of the ancient people by watching the intricately carved idols of this temple.

They express their craftsmanship by using glass pieces. Amazing glass work and beautifully designed walls are the prime attractions of the Pawan Dham temple. The tranquil and non-polluted environment of this temple makes your body and mind refreshed.

kankhal in haridwar

Kankhal

You can come across many popular places in Haridwar if you visit the small colony of Kankhal. It is one of the must-visit places in this holy city as it is home to Maa Anandamoyi Ashram, Daksheswara Mahadev Temple and Patanjali Yogpeeth.

So, ensure to visit Kankhal to make your pilgrim holidays in Haridwar more interesting.

Bara Bazaar – An excellent shopping area

Bara Bazaar – An excellent shopping area

Shopping is an important part of traveling whether it is your family vacation or pilgrimage holidays. People who visit Haridwar do not forget to visit the Bara Bazaar to enjoy a little bit of shopping.

You can buy many souvenirs and handicrafts from this place to take to your home after your pilgrimage holidays in this holy city. Travelers to this sacred city prefer to buy different churan (digestive powders), varieties of sweets, Ayurvedic medicines and Rudraksha seeds from these shops in Bara Bazaar.

Chilla Wildlife

Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary – for enjoying exotic wildlife

Haridwar is famous not only for sacred temples and ashrams but also for scenic nature and several adventure activities. Chilla Wildlife Reserve is a great tourist attraction in Haridwar which is nearly 18 kilometers away from the city.

Also known as the Rajaji Wildlife Sanctuary, this picnic spot is home to a wide range of exotic wildlife such as tigers, bears, elephants and small cats. Spread across an area of about 249 sq. km., this wildlife sanctuary attracts many nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Crystal World

Crystal World – for fun and entertainment

If you are looking for some fun and entertainment during your pilgrim holidays in Haridwar, then plan a trip to the Crystal World. Situated in the middle of the mighty Ganges, this amusement park extended over an area of nearly 18 acres of greenery.

Crystal World has the credit of having the largest family water pool in North India. The Wildwood Jungle Themes- Multi Slide Water Tower fascinates people from different parts of the country. With many water and land-based rides, this park is ideal for both the children and adults alike.

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Rishikesh

Rishikesh – A city known for spirituality and adventure

Rishikesh is another renowned pilgrimage center in India located in the Uttarakhand state. Also known as the ‘gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas’, this holy city fascinates travelers from across the globe with its religious attributes and scenic nature. Rishikesh, the 7th largest city in the country, is also among the most sought-after destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Situated on the panoramic banks of River Ganges, this city is also the birthplace of yoga. Many people reach this destination to practice yoga and meditate. There are many temples, ashrams and yoga centers in this holy city. People who plan a trip to Haridwar also include this sacred city in their pilgrimage travel itinerary. Whether you seek for adventure or spirituality, Rishikesh is an ideal place for you.

Must-visit places in Rishikesh

Home to several ancient temples, a pilgrimage trip to Rishikesh leaves you spellbound. Some of the popular temples in this holy city include the Bharat Mandir, Shatrughna mandir, and Lakshman mandir. This destination is also blessed with many ashrams and yoga and meditation centers. It is also an adventure travel destination in India. Take a look at some of the must-visit places in Rishikesh so that you can organize your trip to this place conveniently.

laxman jhula in rishikesh

Laxman Jhula – A suspension bridge

Laxman Jhula is one of the most important attractions in Rishikesh. It is believed that Lakshman, Lord Rama’s brother, crossed the River Ganges once by using a jute rope and this bridge is constructed in the same place.

This suspension bridge was built in 1939, and today it is a great attraction for the pilgrims to Rishikesh. The renowned Tera Manzil Temple is near to Laxman Jhula. Some of the interesting things that you can enjoy at this place are shopping and visit the nearby restaurants to relish delicious dishes.

Neelkantha Mahadev Temple in rishikesh

Neelkantha Mahadev Temple – A sacred shrine and ideal place for adventure

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a significant shrine in Rishikesh. Nestled on a hill at an altitude of 1675 meters, it offers marvelous views of the surroundings. It is believed that the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple stands at the actual place where Lord Shiva drank the venom.

There are several shops near this temple from where travelers can buy souvenirs. It is also an ideal spot to enjoy different adventure activities.

Triveni Ghat in rishikesh

Triveni Ghat – a confluence of three holy rivers

Rivers play an important role in Hindu Mythology especially the holy rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. The Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh is a must-visit holy place which is the confluence of these three beautiful rivers. You will get the charm and spiritual aura of Rishikesh by visiting the Triveni Ghat. Pilgrims usually visit this prominent ghat at the early hours of the morning to take the bath and offer prayers.

They used to offer milk to the river and feed the fish in them. Another significance of Triveni Ghat is that it is believed to be the cremation ground of Lord Krishna and the chatri of him was constructed here. There is a vibrant market also at this place from where travelers and pilgrims can buy many things such as clothes, precious and semi-precious stones, gems, CDs and pooja items. People love to buy unique items like Nehru jackets, salwar kameez, Kullu topis, paintings, Nataraja idols and bangles from these shops.

Neer Garh Waterfall in rishikesh

Neer Garh Waterfall - for enjoying trekking

Rishikesh is one of the most amazing tourist destinations in India for many good reasons. This destination is not only for pilgrims, but many adventure enthusiasts also visit here to enjoy different activities. If you are looking an ideal spot in Rishikesh for trekking, the Neer Garh Waterfall is a good choice for them.

It is an enchanting waterfall located almost 2 kilometers away from the Laxman Jhula leaves all the visitors awestruck. This picnic spot makes you spellbound with its eternal natural beauty. Do not forget to bring your camera during your trip to this destination as it offers excellent opportunities for photography.

Rishi Kund in rishikesh

Rishi Kund - the holy pond for sages

Located close to the sacred Triveni Ghat and the Raghunath Temple, the hot water spring, Rishikund is another attraction in Rishikesh. Pilgrims to this holy city do not want to miss out this place during their Rishikesh-Haridwar trip. This spring is part of the Raghunath Temple and can be easily accessed.

This ancient pond is believed to be built by a saint, and Goddess Yamuna blessed it and filled the pond with her water. A striking feature of this pond is that it always reflects the image of the sacred Raghunath Temple. Travelers find it a serene place to relax.

Vashishta Gufa in rishikesh

Vashishta Gufa: Another enchanting getaway in Rishikesh

Located close to the sacred Triveni Ghat and the Raghunath Temple, the hot water spring, Rishikund is another attraction in Rishikesh. Pilgrims to this holy city do not want to miss out this place during their Rishikesh-Haridwar trip. This spring is part of the Raghunath Temple and can be easily accessed.

This ancient pond is believed to be built by a saint, and Goddess Yamuna blessed it and filled the pond with her water. A striking feature of this pond is that it always reflects the image of the sacred Raghunath Temple. Travelers find it a serene place to relax.

Kunjapuri Temple in rishikesh

Kunjapuri Temple - for enjoying a spectacular sunset

Nestled at an altitude of nearly 1700 meters above sea level, the Kunjapuri Temple is another must-visit place in Rishikesh. You can reach this temple within a half an hour drive from the city. A small trek is required to reach the top of this shrine, but you will be able to enjoy mesmerizing views once you reach there.

Many locals visit this place in the evening to enjoy spectacular sunsets. They also love to watch the rising sun amidst the mighty Himalayas. You can watch panoramic views of the surrounding hills also from this spot. A massive crowd can be seen in this temple during the Navratri festival and Dussehra.

Geeta Bhavan - A free shelter in Rishikesh

Geeta Bhavan - A free shelter in Rishikesh

Nobody leaves the holy city of Rishikesh without a stay in the Geeta Bhavan, a free shelter nestled on the banks of the holy River Ganges amidst the mighty Himalayan Ranges. This charming hermitage is a relief for the travelers and homeless people. This tourist place can accommodate around 1000 pilgrims at a time, and all of them can enjoy a free stay. People who stay in this hermitage can enjoy vegetarian food, Indian sweets, free ferry ride, and medicine.

It has an apparel shop, Ayurvedic center, and a bookstore. There is a sacred Banyan tree at this place, and many people find it an ideal place to seek spiritual enlightenment. Summer is the best time to visit Geeta Bhavan. Interacting with the people residing there will certainly give you a unique perspective on life.

Yoga and Ashrams rishikesh

Yoga and Ashrams

There are many ashrams in Rishikesh, the ‘world capital of yoga’, where people can practice yoga and meditation. In fact, this city celebrates an annual international yoga festival. Many people who wish to connect with the spiritual side visit this city from across the globe during the festival to be a part of it.

Some of the popular ashrams in Rishikesh where you can practice yoga and meditation are the Parmarth Niketan, Sivananda Ashram, Omkarananda Ganga Sadan, Yoga Niketan, Swami Dayananda Ashram, Phool Chatti, Anand Prakash Ashram, Himalayan Yog Ashram, Shree Mahesh Heritage Meditation School and Osho GangaDham ashram. You can not only participate in yoga and meditation sessions at these ashrams but also attend lectures on various spiritual topics by yogis and gurus.

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Things to do in Rishikesh

Rishikesh, the famous pilgrimage center is not just a spiritual getaway but also a favorite spot for many adventure enthusiasts. You can enjoy many thrilling activities in this destination such as white water rafting, rock climbing, trekking and cliff diving. Even if there are plenty of activities to do in Rishikesh, white water rafting on the rapids of the river Ganges is the most popular thing that you can enjoy here. Take a look at the best things that you can do in this getaway.

Whitewater rafting in rishikesh

Whitewater rafting

Rishikesh is the best place to enjoy rafting adventures. Sailing on the rapids of River Ganges on a rubber boat shall be a mind-blowing activity to do when you are in the sacred city of Rishikesh. It is a thrilling activity that gained a wonderful momentum in the adventure sports scenery in India.

Travelers who visit Rishikesh do not leave the city without enjoying a little bit of white water rafting. Choose either the summer or monsoon season to enjoy white water rafting in this destination. Check the adventure tour packages of Colourful Indian Holidays if you plan to enjoy adrenaline-rushing activities in Rishikesh.

Bungee Jumping in rishikesh

Bungee Jumping

If you are fond of bungee jumping, an adventure activity, then the best place to enjoy it is the Mohan Chutti in Rishikesh. This destination is almost 52 kilometers away from the city. India’s first fixed platform for this activity is located in this marvelous location.

You can enjoy breathtaking glimpses of the mighty Himalayan Mountains and virgin green surroundings through this activity. Travelers can enjoy bungee jumping in Rishikesh during any time of the year, but it is better to avoid monsoon season. This activity certainly gives you goosebumps just like river rafting.

Giant Swing in rishikesh

Giant Swing

Giant Swing is another activity that you can do in Rishikesh which is almost like bungee jumping. With scenic nature, clear skies, fresh mountain air, and pleasant weather, Rishikesh is an ideal place to enjoy an activity like a giant swing. Bungee jumping is almost like a free fall, but in giant swing, the rope harness of the jumper is connected to a holding point and gives him a gentle swing just like a pendulum. You can enjoy this activity also in the quaint village of Mohanchatti. Make your trip to Rishikesh an unforgettable experience by enjoying the giant swing.

Camping in rishikesh

Camping

Rishikesh is a dream destination for every camper because of its panoramic mountain scenery. This spiritual getaway is also a hub for many adventure-junkies as they can enjoy many heart-pumping activities in this destination. Spending a night under the stars shall be a mind-blowing idea especially if you are in the enchanting holy city of Rishikesh.

The scenic River Ganges and the powerful Himalayan Mountain ranges make it a hot spot for enjoying camping. Most of the campsites in this destination offer modern facilities for the convenience of their guests. Besides, they arrange many games such as cricket, badminton, volleyball, chess, carom and playing cards for the entertainment of the guests.

Flying Fox in rishikesh

Flying Fox

When it comes to adventure activities, Rishikesh offers much more than Whitewater rafting. Flying Fox is another exciting activity that you can do in this adventure hub. It shall be mind-blowing for the travelers to glide down a series of strong zip lines or cables attached by a pulley or harness.

What you need to do in this activity is to tie a harness around your waist and fly. The experienced trainers in Rishikesh ensure a safe and comfortable experience for each adventure-junkie. This activity is mainly held at Shivpuri where you can watch picturesque views of the Himalayas.

Trekking in rishikesh

Trekking

With all natural appeal and grandeur, Rishikesh is one of the popular destinations for trekking lovers. Trekking is a must-do activity in this holy city just like river rafting. Each visitor to this region loves to meander through the steep pathways and green meadows in the foothills of Himalayas to explore its natural charm. One of the great advantages of choosing Rishikesh for trekking is that it offers plenty of trekking trails which range from a few hours to a few days.

This city offers several waterfall treks and the most popular among them include the Neer Garh Waterfall Trek, Garud Chatti & Phool Chatti Waterfall Trek and Patna Waterfalls Trek. Another great choice is temple trekking such as the Neelkanth Mahadev Trek, Surkanda Devi Temple trek and Kunjapuri Temple Trek. Some of the popular nearby places to enjoy trekking are Kuari Pass Trek, Chandrashila Trek, and Valley of Flowers Trek.

Cliff Jumping in rishikesh

Cliff - Jumping

Another thrilling activity to experience in Rishikesh is cliff jumping. Travelers who reach this holy city for enjoying rafting ensure not to miss out this exciting activity. Cliff Jumping is a perfect way to test both your mental and physical abilities. It is more or less the same as that of base jumping.

You love the idea of climbing up a hill and then jump off from there for some adrenaline-rushing action. You can know the strength of your body by jumping from a height of nearly 30-40 feet. Cliff-jumping is truly an adventurous and fun-filled sport ideal to make yourself busy during your Rishikesh holidays.

Ayurvedic Massage

Pamper yourself with an Ayurvedic Massage

After exploring all the holy places and indulging in different adventurous activities, it is time to take some rest and relax. You will not find any better way to refresh and rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul than undergo some Ayurvedic massage.

Rishikesh is famous for fantastic Ayurveda centers and resorts ideal for relaxation and rejuvenation. Undergoing Ayurvedic massages and treatments is a fine way to regain your lost energy and maintain the balance between your body and mind. You can go back with a revitalized body and mind after your Ayurvedic massage in Rishikesh.

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Tickle your taste buds with delicious street food

You cannot leave the holy city of Rishikesh without tickling your taste buds in the best way. Travelers can find a rich and varied cuisine in this city especially street food items. Some of the must-try dishes during your trip to Rishikesh include samosa, Aloo poori, different sweet items, chole bhature, pani puri, dosa, masala tea, and lassi. There are many restaurants, eateries, and cafes in this holy city where you can enjoy a scrumptious vegetarian meal.

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