A Weekend Getaway to Haridwar Rishikesh

My parents had come to visit us in Delhi and we wanted to take them to somewhere they would love, our pick was Haridwar Rishikesh. Due to time constraints, we skipped Haridwar Rishikesh during our last trip to Uttharakhand. Haridwar is approximately 200kms from our place and Rishikesh is another 30km or so. 

Considering the huge rush on weekends, we thought it is better to watch the Ganga Aarti on a weekday and started our journey Friday early morning at 6 am

We reached our hotel room at 10 am and soon after freshening up, we left for our first site, Mansa Devi temple. Mansa Devi Temple is a Siddh Peetha, the places of worship where desires get fulfilled. It is one of three such Peethas located in Haridwar, the other two being Chandi Devi Temple and Maya Devi Temple. The temple is on top of a hill and the best way to reach there is using the Ropeway. There are multiple ticket options.

  1. 100INR per person – This is a to-fro ticket to Masa Devi temple only –Average waiting time to board the ropeway is 20-50mnts or even more during peak season.
  2. 263INR – This one can be used at Mansa Devi as well as Chandi Devi – Average waiting time to board the ropeway 20-50mnts
  3. 323 INR – This one has both Mansa Devi & Chandi Devi as well as transport till the Chandi Devi ropeway (it is approximately 4kms from Mansa Devi ropeway)- Average waiting time to board the ropeway 20-50mnts.
  4. V.I.P ticket which costs INR 612 and is valid for a year. This can be used across the Udankhatolas in India Mansadevi, Chandidevi, Tara Tarni, Ambaji, Kalidevi and Malampuzha. This is a priority pass and you won’t have to wait to board ropeway.

It took us almost 2 hours including to & fro journey as we took the 100 INR ticket. It was a nice experience (quite different from the temples in South India we usually visit).

Around 5 pm, we took an Ola to Hari ki Pauri as it would be difficult to find parking in the evening. The best place to view the Ganga Arti is Malviya Dweep which is opposite to Hari ki Pauri. The Ganga Arti started at 6:30 pm and it’s something that should not be miss.

Ganga Arti
Ganga Arti
Ganga Arti
Ganga Arti
Ganga Arti

The next day morning it was time to explore Rishikesh. Our first stop was Lakshman Jhula( A very famous suspension bridge made over the Ganges) which was crowded as expected and we didn’t stay there for long. After seeing the chaos in Lakshman Jhula we skipped Ram Jhula. (Ram Jhula is another suspension bridge like Lakshman Jhula)

Lakshman Jhula

What we loved was our evening in the Ganga Ghat near Muni ki Reti( where we stayed). It is the other side of Triveni Ghat where Ganga Arti happens in Rishikesh. There are no words to describe the peace you get while sitting there with your legs dipped in the freezing cold water in the Ganges with Bhajans in the background. If Haridwar is famous for Ganga Aarti, Rishikesh is the place for relaxation as well as adventure for all the adrenalin junkies. We skipped it this time as we were with parents.

The Ganges

This place has got a special charm and power which can give you nothing but peace and happiness. It is what you miss the most in the chaotic run for money and success.

Our tips:

  • You can book the tickets for Mansa Devi & Chandi Devi ropeway online.
  • I parked the car at the Ram Leela parking which is at walkable distance from the ropeway. Another option is to use the DeenDayal Double parking near Har ki Pauri.
  • It ain’t easy to get parking during peak season, it’s better to park your car at the hotel & hire an Ola cab or auto.
  • Make sure the hotel you book is having parking especially during peak season.
  • For people who come by Train, it is better to book close to Hari ki Pauri.
  • Rishikesh has many ashram stays and it is better to book one of those. We highly recommend Madhuban Ashram which we stayed.
  • You can also see Ganga Aarti in Rishikesh Triveni Ghat.
  • For those planning for adventure activities, it’s better to start early. Did I tell you there are camping options, a bungee jumping and more in Rishikesh?
  • The Ganges is calm, serene & beautiful; please don’t throw plastic bottles or waste in there.

About our stay:

Haridwar- Hotel Vibahv Marriott- A pretty good stay at about 5 km from Har Ki Pauri

Rishikesh- Madhuban Ashram which had an ISKCON temple. We loved every bit of our time here. Minimal and peaceful.

Madhuban Ashram
ISKCON temple

Food Joints we tried

  • Jhilmil Dhaba near Muzaffarnagar- we just had some tea and ordered a plate of mix pakora’s which were yummy. This place has decent restrooms if you want to freshen up.

    Jhilmil Dhaba
  • For breakfast, we stopped at Gurunanak Dhaba which is on the outskirts of Haridwar. Food was average, you can skip it.

    Gurunanak Dhaba
  • Had our dinner at Vibhav Marriott where we stayed. Food is good but very slow service.
  • Taste of Mumbai, Rishikesh- Again Average food.
  • Madras Café, Rishikesh- Don’t know why it is named as Madras café. We did not find any authentic South Indian taste in the food served, even though it was rated high.

    Madras Café, Rishikesh
  • Madhuban Ashram Restaurant- Good food and service. Highly recommended
  • Gurudev Punjabi Restaurant, Haridwar- Highly Recommended. This was what we had missed on this trip until this moment, authentic food. This place doesn’t have parking.

    Gurudev Punjabi Restaurant, Haridwar
  • Unlike our usual trips this time we did not get to try the famous local joints this time. Most of these joints are in the crowded area and our parents wouldn’t find it comfortable eating there. We would definitely go back to Haridwar Rishikesh for a more fun tour 😛
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