Rishikesh – The Yoga Capital of the World, is one of the holiest places in India. It is situated entirely along the banks of river Ganga and apart from the scenic beauty of this city, it is more of a different experience being in this city. People come here to learn, meditate, relax and it all actually works here. There is this different energy when you visit this city and no joke you can actually feel it. This article about Rishikesh Budget Travel Guide is for those who want to visit this place and are on a tight budget. Although if you have a decent budget you can also have a look at it.
Rishikesh is probably one of the cheapest cities in India which is known to people. The budget travel guide is actually not needed here as you will find everything very cheap anyway. I stayed in Rishikesh for about 3 days and I think 3 days are enough to explore the city unless you are enrolling yourself in some yoga course.
I met some people in Rishikesh who were living there for 3 months and they also shared their story about how yoga has really changed their lives. Not only Indians but there are a lot of foreigners coming to experience Yoga in this city.
Apart from Yoga, Rishikesh is also the adventure capital of India. So, this Rishikesh Budget Travel Guide is going to be a mix of some things which will relax you and some which would give you the adventure feeling.
Let’s start with the guide.
The cheapest and the most convenient way to reach Rishikesh is from Haridwar. Haridwar is connected to other major cities by railway so it shouldn’t be a problem for you all to reach Haridwar. The next part would be reaching Rishikesh from Haridwar. There are state government buses which run from Haridwar Bus Station to Rishikesh Bus Stand. The cost is just Rs.30 to Rs.50. This is the cheapest way to reach Rishikesh.
You can also catch a passenger train from Haridwar to Rishikesh but the timing is not reliable and the Rishikesh station is also a little far away from the center.
There are other options as well but those go up according to the type of transport you choose. The Haridwar Bus Station is just next to the station, so it won’t cost you anything to get to Haridwar Bus Station from the railway station.
After reaching Rishikesh, you will have to change the mode of transport as the major hostels and other things to do are in Tapovan which is a little away from the Rishikesh Bus Stand. There are these three-wheelers called vikrams, not auto rickshaw but a little big compared to them. They can accommodate around 7 to 8 people at a time and they charge you around Rs.20 to Rs.30.
The total cost from Haridwar to Rishikesh would be Rs.50 to Rs.80
Transportation cost – Rs.80 one side.
Due to the popularity of Rishikesh, there are a lot of hostels in Rishikesh and you can get them at a very affordable price. As mentioned in my Udaipur Budget Travel Guide, I loved my stay at Moustache Hostel, so I opted to stay at the same hostel in Rishikesh.
A 3-night stay in Rishikesh cost me around Rs.920.
You can also opt for a cheaper hostel around in Rishikesh. The hostels in Rishikesh range from Rs.500 to Rs.1000 for 3 nights. This is an ideal price which you should pay. Talking about hotels, if you are in a group you can get a decent double room for around Rs.700 to Rs.800 per night.
Below down is the list of the most highly rated hostels in Rishikesh ranging from Rs.500 to Rs.1000 for 3 nights.
Shalom Backpackers Rishikesh. (Rs.150 more but very highly rated)
(None of the above hostels have sponsored me, although the links are affiliate links i.e. I do get a small commission if you book from the above links)
Accommodation cost = Rs.900/3 days.
This is a part where you probably won’t be able to spend much. Although if you have the money there won’t be any huge bill coming your way for food in Rishikesh. For all the people one very important information I want to give is that the restaurants and cafes in Rishikesh are 95% veg only.
As it is a holy place, you won’t find any non-veg restaurants easily. There are only a few such restaurants which serve non-veg. You are only going to eat vegetarian food during your stay in Rishikesh.
This definitely saves you money plus if you are a non-vegetarian then it wouldn’t hurt to try out some vegetarian food once in a while. I also had to go through the same what you are feeling now, but trust me the food is really very good in some of the restaurants here. It may be the same as everywhere as I don’t really try out any vegetarian food outside, I don’t know, but it was very delicious.
There was a guy selling momos (dumplings) around the corner near my hostel and they were literally the best veg momos I had. They could even beat any non-veg momos out there. The best part was they were just for Rs.50 per plate and the plate came with 8 pieces in it.
Now, talking about the average price for food per day. For a single day you would need around Rs.250 to Rs.350. I spent around Rs.870 to be exact for the 3 days I was here. You could even spend less, it all depends on the individual as I say in all my blogs. But for a single day, you can easily survive for the price I mentioned above.
While traveling I don’t have 3 meals properly, maybe many would agree with me. Either I would have a heavy breakfast and then little snacks and direct dinner or directly lunch and dinner. It completely depends on the individuals and the way you travel.
Food cost = Rs.300/day.
There are many ways to roam around the city like auto’s, vikrams, and other public transportation. But the most convenient way to travel around Rishikesh is to rent your own scooters. And one tip for you. Only rent a scooter from the hostel which you are staying if they offer that service. The advantage of that is you will get a very good rate than the other dealers out there as you are staying in that hostel.
The prices for scooters start from around Rs.400 to Rs.700 per day depending on the type of scooter you rent. For the hostel in which I was staying the rate was Rs.300 for an active. This was a very good deal. Petrol of Rs.100 for a day would be enough for exploring the local areas.
Transportation cost = Rs.400/per day
Now, let’s start with the itinerary
The first day in Rishikesh, as always would be local.
This is the day you could get hang of the local places around you and also get to know the area better. The restaurants, cafes, and the other things you would need for the entire trip. I would suggest you take a hostel near Tapovan area or Laxman Jhula area so it would be easier for you to travel around the places.
The top places you can visit on the first day are.
Rishikesh View Point.
These are the local places which you can visit on the first day.
This would be the day you arrive in Rishikesh so you won’t want to do anything crazy and tiring.
There are no entry fees in any of the places which I have listed above.
Being a budget traveler, I always look for places with no entry fee or which cost very less and are very exciting and famous at the same time.
The total cost which I spent on Day 1 was Rs.920 (Hostels) + Rs.290 (Food) + Rs.60 (Haridwar to Rishikesh).
My overall cost for Day 1 was Rs.1270.
You have to use some kind of transport for this day. The places which I am going to mention today are a little away from the city and you cannot cover them walking.
The places which you can visit for the second day are
Neer Garh Waterfall.
Vashishtha Guha Temple.
These are one of the most picturesque places I visited in Rishikesh. The waterfalls are very different and also there are various ponds around these waterfalls where you can take a bath as an antidote for the hot sun.
Both waterfalls are around at a distance of 4 to 5 km from Tapovan. You can rent a scooter and visit these waterfalls. Also, make sure you carry some snacks with as there are very few shops around these places.
The Vashishtha Guha Temple is around 18 km from Tapovan. This is a very ancient cave. It is believed that the Vashishtha muni, one of the immortal sages meditated in this cave for several years. This place is not very crowded as not a lot of people know about this. Also, this place is far away from the center so people tend to avoid this place. You should definitely come to this place and if possible, try and visit this around 5 p.m. The climate gets very pleasant and you will surely enjoy this place.
The total cost which I spent on Day 2 was Rs.400 (scooter and petrol) + Rs.320 (food)
My overall cost for Day 2 was Rs.620.
This would be a little adventure day. You can do one of the most famous things Rishikesh is famous for i.e. river rafting on your last day.
There are various companies which quote you different rates for this activity. You can choose anyone according to your budget. The packages which are quite popular are as follows.
|Brahmpuri to NIM Beach (9 km)||Rs.600|
|Brahmpuri to Rks (12 km)||Rs.600|
|Shivpuri to Rks (18 km)||Rs.1000|
|Marine Drive to Rks (24 km)||Rs.1500|
|Kaudiyala to Rks (36 KM)||Rs.2500|
According to me, the best package here would be Shivpuri to Rishikesh. There are also a lot of activities which are included in the package.
The total cost which I spent on Day 3 was Rs.1000 (river rafting) + Rs.260 (food).
My overall cost for Day 3 was Rs.1260.
Not everyone would go for river rafting. For all those, I have some alternatives. You can visit these following places.
The Beatles Ashram has an entry fee of Rs.300 for foreign nationals and Rs.100 for Indians. This entry fee was recently reduced. Earlier it was Rs.600 for foreign nationals and Rs.150 for Indians.
The total cost which I spent on Day 3 was Rs.300 (Beatles Ashram) + Rs.260 (food).
The overall cost for Day 3 was Rs.560.
The overall cost of this 3 days is Rs. 1270 + Rs.620 + Rs.1260 = Rs. 3150 (with river rafting)
The overall cost of this 3 days is Rs. 1270 + Rs.620 + Rs.560 = Rs. 2450 (without river rafting)
That’s it for the Rishikesh Budget Travel Guide.
Also, you can arrange the itinerary according to your convenience and I hope you have a great time in Rishikesh.
Hope you like it.
See you in my next article.