Rishikesh- Best Time To Visit And How To Enjoy The Different Seasons
Rishikesh can be visited the entire year round so to speak. The beauty of the place is such that it attracts tourists and adventure seekers throughout the year. Rishikesh lies in the laps of the Himalayas, so it is always a pleasant experience to visit the mountains during the summers. The winters however, bring a different kind of charm and beauty to the place and those who love the snow visit Rishikesh at that time. Here are some of the things you will be able to do when you visit Rishikesh at various times of the year.
Rishikesh in Summer
Summers in Rishikesh are very pleasant and a large throng of tourists descend on the hills at this time. The months of March to June see people of every age group visiting Rishikesh. While the young mostly come here to indulge in various adventure activities that Rishikesh is famous for, the elderly come to visit the temples of Rishikesh and connect with their spiritual sight. It is a pleasure to see humanity coming together in such a big way on the mountains as the Himalayas look on with pride on the teeming throngs of people.
Rishikesh has a plethora of temples dedicated to many gods and goddesses, predominantly Lord Shiva. The elderly mostly cannot come to the hills during the winter because of the freezing cold. The summers are pleasant and give them the opportunity to visit the various temples of the hills. The shops selling various items of worship are also all open at this time of the year but some of them are closed down during the extreme cold of the winters. Hence, they can comfortably go from one shop to another, buy their puja items and then visit as many temples as they want and pay their respects.
For the youngsters, Rishikesh has its own share of thrills. This region is the haven for thrill-seekers and there are provisions to engage in a large number of adventure sports. The most popular one of them is river rafting. The rapids in Rishikesh are almost entirely frozen during the winters so the summer is the best time to try this out. There are various stretches in Rishikesh and you can choose rapids of varying intensity, depending on how good ad experienced you are at it. Your tour operator will help plan it for you.
Among the other adventure activities, there is rock climbing, mountain biking, and rappelling. With the terrain mostly under the snow during the winters, the summers are the ideal time to try out all these sports. This is also the very reason why novice trekkers come to trek in Rishikesh during the summers. Until and unless one is extremely seasoned, it is not advisable to go for trekking at other times of the year. You can trek to your desired destination, and then camp under the stars and light a bonfire. The monsoons often have seen roadblocks and the winters have trails hidden under the snow and most of them are even shut off. But during the summers, all the adventure activities are open.
One of the things to remember while visiting Rishikesh during the summers is to make your reservations well in advance- be it for the hotel rooms or for the slots of adventure activities. It is important to make the bookings because either there will be no rooms to avail in the last minute or the rates will be extremely high. You will find a number of budget accommodations here as well.
Rishikesh in Monsoon
The monsoons in Rishikesh bring their own charm but it is mostly the off season. The months of July to September sees most of the tourists leaving the mountains and yes, depending on how hard it rains, the mountains can get quite tricky. Landslides are not uncommon and one mostly has to stay indoors when sightseeing is interrupted.
And yet, those who love the rains and the mountains will get to see a very different kind of picture during the monsoons. The mountains engage in a play of hide and seek with the clouds and it is a sight to be seen to be believed. Not many people get to experience that. When the rain stops from time to time and the sun comes out again and hits the mountains, the scene truly turns heavenly. Once you are equipped with special footwear for better grip on the rocky and slippery terrain and have a good raincoat with you, you could venture out as well. The streets and alleys are free from tourists and you can take in the local charm of the place. You do not have to wait in queues for anything and prices are also quite inexpensive for most items.
However, you will not be able to do any of the adventure activities at this time of the year. River rafting is completely shut off because the Mountain Rivers and rapids, fed by the rain water, become downright dangerous. It is okay to stand at the banks and look at them but none of the boats venture out. Rock climbing and rappelling and also shut down. Hence, monsoons in Rishikesh is all about connecting with nature and enjoying the peaceful vibe of the place. Let all the excitement and thrill take a back seat for a while you simply lay back and let the soft breeze and the soothing ambience calm your senses. The masala chai and the pakoras will definitely feel extra special to you. And when it rains too much to venture out, just cuddle under the blanket by the window and read the book you have always wanted to read.
Rishikesh in winters
Once the monsoons are over and the sky begins to clear, the first chill in the air starts to set in from the month of October and till February, the winters continue and brings its own set of charms. The mountains around slowly start turning white and tourists again start coming here who wants to experience the snow. The months of December to January sees tourists who want to experience the cold and the true majestic nature of the mountains and Christmas and New Year is the time when the youngsters come here in high numbers to party in the hills.
One of the activities that are done heavily in the winters in Rishikesh is to practice yoga. Yoga can be practiced at any time of the year in Rishikesh, even in summers and monsoons, but the winters mean that many have to spend time indoors because of the cold outside, much like the monsoons. Moreover, the crowd here is somewhat still lower than the summers, and the calmer and soothing the ambience is, the better it is to meditate. It is a joy to face the snowy mountains in front of you as you try to gather your thoughts. The yoga sessions here will refresh and rejuvenate you mind, body and soul and the winter courses here are almost always full. Hence, be sure to book your slot well in advance.
If you are an experience trekker, then you can also think of taking on the trails during the winters. You need very good pair of trekking shoes which can withstand the snow and provide you with firm footing. Depending on how much snowfall has been recorded, the trails are open and closed and so you need to find out about them from the local authorities before you start and get the required permission.
When Christmas arrives, the mountains come alive and there is a lively and jovial atmosphere in the hangout zones here. It is truly spending a very different kind of Christmas and New Year and you will think of coming again with your friends the next year.
No matter which time of the year you visit Rishikesh, you will discover a new side to its beauty. The Himalayas take on a different persona at various times of the year and you will have an extraordinary experience each time you visit Rishikesh during the various season.
Hey! I'm Gauri. Sagittarius by birth, clumsy by choice. An engineer turned writer. Loves animals tolerate humans. Has a thing for pizza and old books. Expertize in awkward conversations and creepy smiles.
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