Rishikesh is a happening city, with over 100 yoga ashrams, countless beautiful cafes, shops, swerving motorbikes, cows, and autorickshaws galore - it can be a little tricky to figure out exactly how to spend time here. While there’s plenty to do here, such as getting your yoga teacher certification or visiting the Neer Garh waterfall, one option is to simply relax and take a stroll amongst the hustle and bustle. There is so much to see, hear, smell, and taste all around, while being much more pleasant than strolling through some other nearby cities. So, come tag along as we ramble on down the Ganges...
Wake Up, you're in Rishikesh!
Wake up at the Live Free Hostel whenever you choose. Roll out of bed, and move yourself a few feet to the hammock on the balcony. Soak in the bright morning light shining on the Himalayas and the Shri Makar Vahini Ganga Ji temple across the street. If you’re up in time, you can head to the roof for the morning yoga session that takes place every day. When you’ve got an appetite worked up, head downstairs and order breakfast at the Live Free Cafe. The paranthas are always a solid choice!
Time to wake up! Follow the main road outside of the hostel to the left, and make your way to Laxman Juhla bridge. There are plenty of shops selling handicrafts, stalls frying up snacks, and cows lumbering down the ancient steps to keep you company.
Across the bridge, take a right and head down the main road. It’s time for a little one on one time with the holy Ganga. About a 3 minute walk down the road, you’ll see an opportunity to walk down to the river on your right hand side. There are likely many people already hanging on the steps or taking a swim. Walk down to the beautiful, fast flowing river and let it all sink in. The more time spent here, the better. Life is unfolding all around on the steps of the Ganga.
Head to the oh-so-so-delicious Little Buddha Cafe. Menu favorites include: aloo gobi (they make an unusually creamy and delicious version of this dish), chips and guacamole, and lemon ginger honey tea. To be honest, though, everything we’ve ever tried has been amazing, so just order whatever your belly desires.
The peaceful route to Ram Jhula
As you keep walking south down the road over a hill or two, you’ll notice that the scene quiets. Veer off of the main road, and you’ll be lead to a calm (for India standards) street, lined with ashrams, cows, and peaceful babas. There are no cars, trucks or Sumos here, only a few motorbikes. Take a seat at one of the many spots to just stop and watch the Ganga. You might already see the beautiful Ram Jhula in the distance. When you’re ready to move on, head to the bridge and join the crowd of selfie-takers, motorbikes, and cows, as you make your way across the vibrant bridge.
The other side of the bridge
You’ll notice there are now things for sale again. Explore some of the shops and have a chai at the Madras Cafe. You can catch an autorickshaw back to Live Free for around 100 INR, or continue on into Rishiskesh City to visit the market. If you’ve still got some juice in you when you get back to Live Free, catch the 4:30pm Hatha Yoga class at Yoga Vini. It’s super close to Live Free, and it’s a little secret gem of a class. The 5:30 yin yoga class at World Peace Yoga is another good option.
Head to the roof at Live Free Hostel to watch the beautiful sunset over the mountains. Grab a leisurely dinner at the Free Spirit Cafe (pro tip: the Israeli Salad is beautiful here!), and then head to Shambala Cafe for a tea, dessert, and late night jam session.
A laid back day well spent in beautiful Rishikesh. Time for a snooze.