At the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas, the towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh offer spiritual vibes along with delightful views of the mountain landscape, with pine-covered valleys, the roaring upstream Ganges, and the occasional views of the distant peaks. The real joy in discovering the beauty of these places comes from a journey that will lead you here. If you are craving for a quick mountain getaway, without having to travel for 24 hours and have an immersive experience, then nothing’s better than taking a road trip from the city through Haridwar and Rishikesh and spend some time in the lap of nature.
Here’s an ultimate guide to help you plan the road journey.
Delhi to Haridwar
If you start early morning, you can easily reach Haridwar by afternoon, giving you enough time to explore the town, stop by significant places and also indulge a little in locally popular food.
How to travel
The distance between Delhi and Haridwar is roughly 240 KM and can take somewhere between six to eight hours, depending on the route you take. The best way to ensure you have a comfortable, hassle-free drive, is to book affordable and reliable Delhi to Haridwar cabs. Of course, you can drive on your own, but wouldn’t you rather sit back, and enjoy the transition of the landscape as you ride through the cities and into the lusher locales of the hills.
The road between Delhi and Haridwar is quite popular for a drive within north India. The route passes through popular towns like Muradnagar, Muzaffarnagar, and Roorkee. Whether you want to stop for food, fuel, or quick sightseeing, each of these towns makes for an interesting pit stop.
What’s in store?
Muradnagar – The otherwise humble trading town of Uttar Pradesh, Muradnagar has evolved as a travel destination with farm retreats and ecotourism. The ChhotaHaridwar pilgrim site is also an interesting place to see.
Meerut – The ancient town is steeped in traditions and is popular for local food, historic monuments, and few religious sites, like the Ashtapad Jain Temple.
Muzaffarnagar – If you are stopping here, don’t forget to visit the Ganeshdham, famous for the largest statue of Ganesh in north India.
Unlike other mountain locales, Haridwar is anything but quiet. And yet, you will find order amidst the chaos. Always bustling with spiritual energy, the devotion of pilgrims and the priests, and the gurgling Ganges as a faint background melody, the quaint hill town is a sight to savor. With your rental car, you can do a tour of the town, pausing to catch a glimpse of the famous temples, or just absorb the local vibe. If you opt for a Haridwar tour package, you can also plan an itinerary for your Haridwar tour.
Whether you plan or go impromptu, here are a few things to do in Haridwar..
If you are religiously inclined, do a temple tour, which will take you a couple of hours. Start with Shri Mata Mansa Devi Mandir, an ancient temple sitting atop a hill. Then visit DakseshwarMahadev Temple, famous for its colorful architecture, ShantikunjGayatriParivar, a popular ashram in Haridwar, and end your tour at the Ganga Mandir, by the river banks.
Head to Har Ki Pauri, the famous riverside promenade on the Upper Ganges, and witness the evening aarti as thousands of oil lamps light up the evening sky and shimmer on the rippling water.
You can also stay over in Haridwar for the night and head to Rishikesh the next morning.
If you reach Haridwar before noon, you can also head to the Rajaji National Park in the neighborhood and see the raw and wild side of this region.
Don’t leave town without sampling its classic, local flavors at places like PanditJiMPoori Wale, or Pracheen Mathura Wala.
Haridwar to Rishikesh
From Haridwar, Rishikesh is barely a 30 KM away and takes less than an hour to reach. Depending on the season you are traveling, your road experience could vary. For instance, in spring, you can expect a verdant glow with fresh foliage and seasonal bloom, bright skies, and all. In the winter, it becomes quite chilly with a misty cover.
On your way, you can stop at the LaxmanJhula, before entering the town. Walk along the suspension bridge with spending views of mountains on both sides.
What to expect in Rishikesh
Quite opposite to Haridwar, Rishikesh offers a more tranquil environment, steeped in natural beauty. With pine forests, scenic trails, along the roaring upstream Ganges, overlooking the Himalayas, you can expect an ultimate vacation in the outdoors.
Try fun activities like river rafting, trekking, canoeing, hiking, and camping on the riverbanks.
You can also go for a trekking expedition to the Nanda Devi Peak, which starts from here.
If you are a wellness enthusiast, then plan your trip in March, during the International Yoga Festival, or even plan a stay at a yoga retreat for a relaxing vacation.
While one leans more towards serving the devotees of the divine, the other fulfills the adventurous souls. But together, they make for a holistic travel experience. When you book a licensed and highly rated cab in Delhi, you can easily turn a simple drive into an experiential journey and make your vacation worthwhile!
Neha Singh is a full-time writer cum blogger with a keen interest in making friends and penning articles on any topic under the sun. She believes in living life to the fullest, and is on a constant lookout for new skills that she can acquire. You may check more about her on Sosoactive.com