Haridwar, a sacred city located on the banks of the Holy River Ganga and covered by the Himalayas is a quick getaway for North Indians. About a 6-hour drive from New Delhi, the city has a lot to offer. Apart from being a religious city, it is also an adventure activity hub. River rafting, mountain climbing, trekking, camping are some of the major attractions within the city.
When I opened my eyes, our car was parked on the bank of the river Ganga next to a small restaurant in Rishikesh. As we got out of the car, we realized the truth of the rash decision we had made. But since we were there already, we decided to make most of the opportunity. After breakfast, we made a plan for the weekend ahead. We decided to go for Bungee Jumping and river rafting in the city and then go camping in Kanatal (which is 80 km up the hill from Rishikesh).
None of us had tried Bungee Jumping before and we were all set to take our chances. We reached the spot and got all geared up for our jump. When my turn came up, I jumped from 120 feet height without a second thought and those 8 seconds of freefalling through the air are going to stay in my memory, my entire life. We were still recovering from the feeling as another adventure awaited us down the hill on the banks of the river Ganga. A 36-kilometres long, 3 hr river rafting challenge was all set for us. Two major activities planned back-to-back within the course of one day was bound to get us tremendously tired and so we had booked our camp for the night before we going river rafting.
I am not a water person per se, but river rafting was a thrilling experience. My favourite part was the rapids, where the water crashed against our boat and we had to try our best to maintain our balance. Cliff jumping was a part of the river rafting experience, but I was extremely scared to jump off the 20-meter high cliff. I somehow managed to gather my courage and do it. After a fantastically tiring and adventurous day, we just wanted to crash into our camp beds. We decided to have dinner at a small Israeli restaurant owned by some immigrants from Israel. After a 2-hour drive up the hill, crossing the famous city of Dehradun in the Himalayas, we finally arrived at Kanatal. Our camp was set and we crashed straight into our beds and slept like logs.
The camp crew had planned the next day for us, which included mountaineering activities like rock climbing, rappelling and trekking. We spend half the day learning about the mountain activities and enjoying them to the fullest. The weekend had turned out to be reasonably adventurous. We had a bonfire and relaxed on our last night in the city.
Every trip has its own mindset. That weekend had been a touristy and an exploratory trip to the city but what I realised is that sometimes, it’s not the destination which matters but the people who you travel with. It was more of a friend’s timeout than a ‘Trip to see Rishikesh’. I remember that trip not only because I had a great Mountaineering experience but mostly because I had the best time with the group of people I cared the most about.
To summarise the activities of the trip and the total expenditure, let me list the 10 main attractions in the city.
Things to do in Rishikesh:
- Take a dip in Holy River Ganga. (Free!)
- Bungee Jumping (£37)
- River Rafting (£20)
- Camping (£40 per Day. Includes Mountaineering activities in Package.)
- Rappelling (Included in Camping Package.)
- Mountain Biking (Free. You can rent a bike for £20.)
- Trekking (Free)
- Kayaking (£20. May vary as per the season.)
- Cliff jumping (part of River Rafting.)
- Take a walk around the holy city of Haridwar. (Free!)
Here are some more pictures from the trip .
Feel free to share your experience if you have visited the city. Do share any information that you can for our readers. Thank you.