The temple bells, devotees singing prayers in unison, the chants and the sound of the mob. Might appear like a cacophony of deafening sorts but it is not at all the case in Rishikesh. There is a mystical, serene vibe to Rishikesh. You tend to find melody in the noise. Even at those decibel levels, you are somehow at peace. The fact that the town is nestled against the Himalayas, along one of the most divine rivers of the world helps.
River Ganga which stays emerald green for most part of the year is magical. A dip in the river is enough to relieve you of your day’s stress and exhaustion. Even more so, if we are to believe in the myths and folklore, it washes away your sins. In every sequestered nook, you’ll find someone or the other in trance like state, carrying out and perfecting their asanas. Rishikesh is the Yoga capital of the world after all. You’ll find a decent amount of temples and ashrams right on the banks of Ganga.
Well apart from that, the other things you find along the river are high mountains and some pristine white sand beaches. Ganga is also one of the best whitewater rivers of India, at least commercially so. The terrain in and out of the town seems handcrafted for adventure. It is completely mind boggling that amidst all the spirituality and peace, an adventure industry runs in parallel at a grand scale. So while a priest is releasing his offerings in the river, a set of people in a raft are banging their faces in the waves. While one family is reciting their prayers on the banks, another is shrieking its guts off inside it.
It is a perfect amalgamation of spirituality and adrenaline packed activities. Nowhere in the entire world will you find such a combination. Well we’ve been lucky enough to have been adventuring in and around Rishikesh for more than a decade now. It is an experience like no other. Through this article we wish to share with you the 5 best adventure activities in Rishikesh.
5 Best Adventure Activities in Rishikesh
So let us have a look at the list of adventure activities that you can get a taste of the next time you visit Rishikesh.
1. Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping in India is not a very popular and widespread sport. Although it is rapidly growing and marks the bucket list of many many youngsters. The highest spot for bungee is right here in Rishikesh. Mohan Chatti, located at an hour’s drive from Rishikesh is home to India’s highest bungee jumping platform. Designed by David Alardice of New Zealand and run by a team of experienced Kiwis, the setup is of high quality and has seen thousands of people jump successfully. The platform stands at a height of 83 mtrs, beckoning you, luring you to jump off it. Basically everything is set for you. You just have to take that leap of faith ! This is right at the top when it comes to the adventure activities in Rishikesh. If Bungee is not what you’re seeking, you also have the option to go for the ‘Giant Swing’ or ‘Flying Fox.’
- Operators – Jumpin Heights
- Cost – INR 3500/-
- Duration – 4 to 6 hours
2. River Rafting
Sometimes we have one chance, to ride that wave, one opportunity to jump on, take a deep breath and feel the rush of adrenaline. Rafting is synonymous with that thought process. Riding waves, negotiating rapids and emerging victorious at the end is an incomparable feeling. It is an activity where you are taking the might of nature head on. Ironically you are going with the flow of the river. This sport was banned recently just to be lifted off eventually. It is an activity which lacked regulation due to a large number of operators although the recent ban ensures that the regulations that were in place be executed to full effect. For this one we advise you to choose the right operator, not settle for cheaper ones and ensure that you are getting the right gear and safety. Adventure is an experience that lives with you forever, don’t bargain it against quality. You get to choose for the length of your river run. The rapids on Ganga are tagged as Class 2 – 4. It is a delightful experience and one of the best selling adventure activities in Rishikesh.
- Operators – Red Chilli
- Cost – INR 1000 – 1500
- Duration – 2 to 4 hours
3. Whitewater Kayaking
We just talked about rafting which is adventurous enough. Although it is a fact that while rafting, the control is in the hands of your guide. Yes it is a team effort for sure but the guide runs the show. Now imagine negotiating the same rapids by yourself. You are the driver of your own vehicle. The fun, adventure, adrenaline increases manifold when you sit in a kayak to run the whitewater of Ganga. The catch here is that you can’t run a river on a kayak on the very first day unlike a raft. You need to first undergo kayaking lessons for beginners to be able to negotiate the rapids. It is an exotic and rare extreme sport and you will find only a handful of schools for kayaking in India. Whitewater kayaking involves a fair amount of commitment for one to acquire a decent level of skill. The learning part is in itself an adventure. You get to to see the river in the best possible way, you grasp the concepts of river reading, paddling and rescue drills.
- Operators – Team4adventure
- Cost – INR 3000 – 4000 / day
- Duration – 4 to 6 hours
Unlike bungee jumping, wherein you reach the base in a flash, paragliding is slower but no less adventurous. You waft past some breathtaking landscapes overseeing Rishikesh. Paragliding is a relatively new addition in the list of adventure activities in Rishikesh. The best time to fly is usually around sunsets when the peaks are glistening in the different hues of yellow and orange. A guide/pilot accompanies you on your flight. You start from one of the highest points in the vicinity of Rishikesh and end up landing on the banks of Ganga. It is a challenging sport and requires adequate physical and mental wellness.
- Operators – G5 adventures
- Cost – INR 4000- 4400 / dive
- Duration – 15 – 25 minutes
Camping is one of the most sought adventure activities in Rishikesh, almost at par with rafting. Off late, there has been a lot of legal drama surrounding the existence of camping around Ganga. The NGT banned camping along the banks of Ganga in 2014. So you will not find any camps within the radius of 100 mtrs from the river. Although there are many other fixed camps if you head out of Rishikesh to places like Kaudiyala, Byasi etc. The Shivalik Hills in and around Rishikesh are home to a plethora of wildlife. Camping amidst the forests, close to babbling streams is a surreal experience. Most of the campsites offer activities like rafting, climbing, rappeling, inflatable kayak trips etc. So if you are heading to Rishikesh with your friends, you would fancy a stay in these camps. There are multiple operators for camping at multiple locations. You can choose from forest camps and a very limited range of camps near the river. Apart from campsites, there are a few high quality activity based resorts/hotels. Special mention to Atali Ganga which is a top rated activotel.
- Operators – Camp Aquaterra, Red Chilli Camps,
- Cost – Varied, property and season dependent
- Duration – As long as you like
So that was our list of the best 5 adventure activities in Rishikesh. The season has just begun, which of these activities are you game for?