If you have a day off in Rishikesh, you can go on a one-day tour to explore the surroundings around the Holy city.
Haridwar — gateway to God
At a distance of 50 km is another major religious center Haridwar, also located on the banks of the Ganges. Haridwar literally translates to the Gate to the Lord, “Dvar” in Sanskrit — the door (yes, Sanskrit is a root of many other languages, including English, so do not be surprised), the gate, and “Hari” is translated as the Supreme. In fact, Rishikesh and Haridwar are two cities from which the Himalayas begin to the North, since ancient times associated with the abode of the Gods.
Haridwar is famous for the fact that once in twelve years the city hosts the world’s largest festival Kumbha Mela, the next will be in 2022. The city has many temples and ashrams, and the famous Ganga Aarti is held at sunset.
Dehradun and the Tibetan settlement in Clement town
The capital city of Uttarakhand, Dehradun, is about the same distance away. The town is located in the Dong valley (hence the name) and is particularly unremarkable, except for a few temples and a settlement of Tibetan refugees in Clement town on the outskirts of the city. Getting here, you get into a completely different world of peace and quiet.
Here is the famous Mindroling monastery and one of the world’s largest Buddhist stupas. Visit better on weekdays, as the weekend is noisy and a lot of tourists from the locals. On the other hand, the upper floor of the stupa opens on Sunday. So, if you plan a trip early in the morning, it is possible on Sunday.
Devprayag – confluence of two rivers
Devprayag is another popular place for pilgrimage. It is here that the two rivers Bhagirathi and Alakananda merge into one and the river called Ganges begins. If you have a free day, be sure to go for a bath at the confluence of the two rivers.
Rishikesh is ancient Indian city in the footprints of Himalayas, now widely knows as Yoga Capital of the World