Isn't it beautiful when you start something in your life from a place, every action and event happening in that place drives you crazy, makes you more determined to follow your passion more dedicatedly, and shows you a wider picture of it? And that is how I started my solo trips. Haridwar and Rishikesh were the two places that I planned to visit in Uttarakhand followed by other places on my very first solo trip. Both places are widely popular among travelers across the globe.
Haridwar and Rishikesh are two different places with completely different things to offer. One is religiously significant for Indians and the other one is completely for yoga and adventurous freaks. Also, these places are considered twin heritage cities and Rishikesh is just 25 -30 km from Haridwar. Well, I wanted to see both places and then move to my next destination, so I started my journey from Haridwar. However, these two glorious places look similar but still so different, mentioning below the detailed overview of both the towns and if you are planning to visit, this post will help you understand the surroundings. Take a look and decide!
Haridwar is filled with temples, shops, and hotels in every corner. Witnessing thousands of devotees who come here every year to pay their respects to the holy river Ganga. Many people visit this religious city to take a dip in the holy waters to wash away their sins. The bustling lanes of Haridwar will have you roaming for a long time to admire the city, its culture and to explore every corner of the town as there are so many ghats, temples and each has a unique sight to offer, a place where anyone can sense spirituality and devotion in the air. Well, Haridwar is not only the gateway to Char Dham but also the welcome junction of Dev Bhoomi, Uttarakhand. This place is also famous for Kumbh Mela which is usually organized every twelve years, many devotees specifically travel here to attend the Mela and the next mela is going to be in 2022.
One should never miss the famous Haridwar's Aarti which takes place every day in Har Ki Pauri Ghat. Thousands of devotees and traveler's come here to attend this peaceful Aarti. The entire places look spectacular with the pooja thalis, the diyas, the lighting, the flaming torches, the chiming bells all these combined combination gives an enthralling experience of a lifetime and calms down the soul leaving a pinch of peacefulness in heart and mind.
If you visit Haridwar, you will have to visit the sites mentioned below:
This focal point of the town is one of the most popular places in Haridwar. This ghat is a holy bank of Ganga where the world-famous Aarti is held every day. And after the Aarti ends, one can see the sight of floating diyas in the serene holy waters. Overall, the place offers a spectacular sight while experiencing closely the Indian culture. Also, try to take a walk in the early hours of the day in the ghat to experience the surreal beauty of the sun rising from the river.
The city is adorned with several temples dedicated to various Hindu gods and goddesses, ringing bells, mantra chanting, and sadhus is something which you can see in every street here. One of the very famous temples named as Manasa Devi temple, located at the hilltop which everyone should visit is considered as wish-fulfilling. You can either walk up the hill or take the cable car and enjoy a bird's eye view of the lively city. There are some other important temples also like the Maya Devi temple on the riverbank and the Chandi Devi temple on Neel Parvat which you can visit.
No trip is complete without trying the lip-smacking street food of the region. Well, Haridwar is renowned for its local food especially the aloo poori and Kachoris. Do not forget to try if you are there in the city.
Everyone should always buy a souvenir wherever they go. Well, Haridwar has a lot of ethnic things to offer when it comes to shopping right from bangles to small saree potlis or bags to beautiful shawls, you can find all these in the market surrounded by the ghat. So, Happy Shopping.
Rishikesh is blessed by nature, situated at a higher altitude, and called as “Yoga Capital of The World”. It has a lot to offer in terms of spirituality and adventure. This place is a blend of grand temples, architectural wonders, and adventure sports.This city is dotted with ashrams and many of which are tourist places and gives a chance to meditate and unwind from the mundane hassle of everyday life. One should try the adventure infused activities here in summers like river rafting, Paragliding, cliff jumping, Parasailing, and many more. This place is a magnet for adrenaline junkies, explorers, adventure freaks, and spirituality seekers.
There are a lot of places to visit in Rishikesh though every place cannot be mentioned in the blog mentioning few which you must visit when you are in Rishikesh to have a fulfilling experience.
They are the highlight of Rishikesh and are 450 feet long iron suspended bridge which is the architectural wonders, a significant pilgrimage spot. Pay a visit to Ram temple, Laxman Temple, and Trayambakeshwar temple which is situated nearby.
In the 60s, the Beatles visited this Ashram and since then, it has generated a lot of acclaims. One can visit the ashram for a meditation session which is sure to offer a great spiritual experience.
One of the most sacred shrines of Lord Shiva, many devotees visit the temple for a bath in the freshwater spring inside.
Situated alongside Ganga, the Triveni Ghat is another famous place to visit where one can see numerous pilgrims bathing in the waters, the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati taking place. In the evening, you can sit in the ghat and watch the sunset, and it is beautiful.
A trip to Rishikesh will be incomplete if you do not head out for river rafting. Experience the adventure junkie in you and it will certainly leave you enthralled. While river rafting, follow the instructor's instructions to keep yourself safe. And at the end there will be a place where your instructor will tell you to experience the cliff jumping so do not forget to try that, it is amazing.
One can visit Haridwar and Rishikesh at any time of the year except for the monsoon. Especially August month, as it is the wettest month with roadblocks and overflowing rivers.
The ideal trip duration to visit Haridwar and Rishikesh is 3 days and it is enough to cover the places.
Enjoy the serene waters of the holy Ganga, attend the Ganga Aarti, take the blessings, float a diya in the waters, take a walk around the ghat, be an adventure freak and have some time spent with yourself here. Trust me, you will feel amazing. Have a good trip.
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