Rishikesh is one of the best known places in India. It’s hard to miss when travelling in India with kids and families from all over the world go there.
She’s a pleasant and quiet city. For India, that is. I personally really liked the atmosphere at the city itself. It might be packed with people but it has something that makes it much more calm than other Indian cities.
It’s likely you won’t actually stay in the city itself but near the Ganga River in one of the touristic neighborhoods- Laxmanjhula or Ramjhula. They say that Laxmanjhula is the quieter. They’re wrong. It’s more touristic in nature, bigger and noisier and full of Israelis. Ramjhula is laidback, more ‘spiritual’ and has mostly European tourist.
If you go a bit further from the bunk you can find sweet, clean rooms with a kitchen and a garden. You can even find a guesthouse where you can rent a whole apartment with a kitchen and a living-room and everything.
∴ In Rishikesh we met the nicest Cows in India. They’re friendly and enjoy being petted and we really knew some of them personally.
People mostly come to Rishilesh for the courses on offer there- yoga and spirituality and Ashrams plenty. With kids it’s a bit different but plenty of courses let kids in for free.
If its your first time in India, look at the food and drinks safety rules page.
In my opinion, the biggest attraction Rishikesh holds is the Ganga. Soft white sandy beaches and cold water. You can swim every day and pass a month without even feeling it…
♦ And of course the Puja ceremonies that are done in all different ways both right on the Ganga and in temples. Within a week the kids turn to experts.
♦ And the Monkeys! Two kinds rule Rishikesh, and especially the bridges, with an iron fist. The yellow monkeys, wild, full of mischief and pretty aggressive. And the grey-black Monkeys that are very friendly and much less aggressive. So as long as you aren’t holding food in your hand you’ll be fine.
♦ I found the guesthouses in the tourist centers to be run-down and for the most part more dirty than guesthouses in other parts in India. That doesn’t mean you can’t find something good or newly opened. The prices, by the way, are very low. If they tell you there’s hot water 24/7 take it with a pinch of salt.
♦ The food in the local restaurants is spicy and thickly seasoned. The Chai is excellent. The restaurants that serve western food are good but the prices are above average. They have great shakes (even Oreo shake) and cold coffee. And Chocolates Pralines. Yum.
♦ There’s also a selection of Ayuverdic restaurants and lodges.
♦ As well as a great selection of organic products and supermarkets, that even sell some home-made healthy and all-natural, vegan foods.
♦ Many go to the waterfalls around. I didn’t go but my son did and he says they’re really nice. it’s a nice hike just out side the urban area.
♦ There’s also a Waterpark nearby. They say it’s also very nice. and a Bungy jumping site.
we also have a full list of activities specifically for crazy, Adrenalin seeking families :-).
♦ In general you can say that Rishikesh is a real touristic marvel. It has all the luxuries and comforts you need. But it takes time to get used to it. Don’t run away too quickly, give it the time it needs to charm you.
♦ From Rishikesh leave a few beautiful treks. Check with a travel agency.
♦ There’s also wonderful rafting trips in the season.
♦ If you rent a scooter you’ll be a lot more mobile and could jump for visits in nearby villages and rivers.
♦ You could also visit the city daily and go to one of the true pearls of the area- Papu Lassi. Cold, sweet, and delicious. Entirely addictive. In addition, in the city there are a few restaurants that pride themselves in a beautiful and very tasty collection of traditional Indian sweets.
♦ It’s also recommended to visit the colorful fruits and vegetables market.
♦ And to go to the cinema at least once. We’re talking about a real India Cinema, where the crowd is an active participant in the movie and kids with trays of Chai and snacks go between the rows selling throughout the entire movie. A highly enjoyable experience.
♦ As a city located near the Ganga, the sale of meat, Alcohol and Eggs is banned (in the inner burrows of the city you could find all these things if you’re really persistent). To fill up the protein needs eat lots of legumes. It’s recommended to use the Chole stands (cooked Chickpeas, served with spiced vegetables, Salt and Lemon) in the area. 10 Rupees per plate.
♦ In Ramjhula there is a small restaurant called ‘The Office’. It serves very good Chai but its crowning glory are the famous dessert Samosas filled with Cinnamon Apple or Banana and Chocolate. Don’t miss!
Warning: dear girls. Never walk in Rishikesh alone after dark. The streets look safe and innocent but a few very violent cases have happened. Don’t walk alone and definitely not with a revealing outfit.
Please: the Ganga is an extremely holy place to the Indians. Respect that. Don’t swim in a Bikini and keep to the respectful guidelines of the place.
Here is a nice family-friendly route in south India
Prices for example:
A decent room– 350-500 Rupees a night.
Papu Lassi– 20 Rupees.
Thali– 50-80 Rupees.
Scooter per day– 250 Rupees.
Rickshaw bus to the city– 5 Rupees per person (and don’t let them fool you!), kids go for free.
Chai– 10-20 Rupees.
Cold Coffee– 50 Rupees.
*** 7 years of continuous travel with my kids are gathered into my ebook. you are welcome to download and join me.