It was a girls weekend in Rishikesh. I know there are a lot of better options out there for a weekend but somehow it came down to this. I had never been to Rishikesh before so I was game! I had also never done white water rafting or bungee jumping before and Rishikesh is quite famous for doing both these activities. So we packed our bags, booked our 3 bedroom Airbnb apartment and took our flight to the Dehradun airport known as the Jolly Grant Airport that happens to be closer to Rishikesh than to Dehradun apparently.
Our cab from the Airport to our apartment – in Ganga Vatika Phase II which is close to Ram Jhula cost us a total of ₹ 1,000/- We reached our destination in about 30-40 minutes. The apartment is a 3 bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms – 1 attached bathroom and 1 common between 2 bedrooms. It’s an entire apartment and each bedroom key can be taken for a security deposit of INR 1,000/- The apartment is part of a gated society/colony. Clean, well maintained apartment. We were given bathing towels, shampoo sachets and tiny soaps on our arrival for each person. You can read my entire review for the apartment HERE.
An artist freind’s (Harsh Raman) graffiti very close to the Lakshman Jhula and the Lakshman Jhula itself.
There is a walk-able shortcut to the main road which is very close to Ram Jhula. A 6-seater can be hired to go to Laxman Jhula for about ₹ 100/- for the entire 6-seater. Since we were 4 girls we preferred hiring the entire 6 seater to avoid the horrendous Indian men there – both locals and also the tourists. The vibes you get from the men in Rishikesh are just absolutely uneasy unfortunately. The place is over-run by tourists, is filthy, noisy and dying. I don’t see myself visiting Rishikesh ever again and that is so so sad.
But back to our weekend activities – We set aside one day for the bungee jumping (highest in India – 83 meters which is roughly a 25 story building) + Flying fox (longest in Asia) with Jumpin Heights. The combo of both activities cost us ₹ 4,500/- per person and was definitely worth it. It is a good setup but if you are going on a weekend, being the first persons to arrive there will be in your best interest because it can get very very crowded and the line gets really long not to mention the temperature keeps rising if you visit this time of the year. We were the first in line and it was still very pleasant being morning time. We first did our bungee jumps which was such a terrifying blur that I don’t really have too much that I recollect. I only remember my lips going really dry and zoning out when the guy started counting down. They are supposed to say 3,2,1,Bungee which is when you are supposed to take the jump. And I only remember him saying 3 and after that I remember hearing my own out-of-a-horror-movie scream. IT WAS LOUD. They called me the screamer. In retrospect I still don’t know how I managed to do this and I’m not even sure that I will be able to do it again if I ever were to try but I did it and I was glad when I finally reached solid ground hands trembling and all. It doesn’t help that you have to hike up for about 15-20 minutes after doing the jump. lol. They do give you a bottle of water to help you regain your brain power so that helps a little.
After that the flying fox was easy peasy and pretty. We did it in pairs. It actually tends to get a bit boring towards the end when they are getting you back slowly.
Some snippets from the bungee jump:
That’s me basically wondering why I make such life choices and laughing at myself.
Next day was the river rafting in the Ganges. We booked our activity via Paddle India. And I HIGHLY recommend this for your rafting experience. Just brilliant service and a splendid experience that I will cherish for years to come. We were picked up from our apartment at 7:30 am from where we went to their office to make the payments, leave our belongings (we only carried our cellphones, a bottle of sunscreen and a camera – basically small stuff that can all fit into 1 waterproof pouch). We then got back in our car and drove about 26 km upstream to start our rafting very much in a beautiful and quiet place with very few other rafts other than ours. We were 4 girls and 3 others in a group. We had Darshan from Paddle India who was in our raft navigating the raft in the right direction while we rowed with our very virgin shoulders. Ofcourse the flow of the river took us forward – I’m pretty sure if we were in stagnant water all our rowing combined wouldn’t have moved the raft an inch. But I could be wrong. lol. Darshan said we were pretty decent with it and I would like to believe him. WE were given safety instructions, what to do when Darshan gave us specific orders while rafting. WE were also joined by Rohit from Paddle India who was in his own kayak and was the rescue guy incase things went south for us. The rafting happened for about 2.5 hours and cost us ₹ 1,500/- per person and was WAY more than worth it!!! We were the ONLY raft through the entire duration that had their own rescue kayak. No other kayak and there were a LOT of other rafts. After Shivpuri it sort of just looks like a raft traffic jam actually. Darshan and Rohit were so much fun, so sweet, nice and professional, not to mention good at their jobs – everybody should get their rafting done with Paddle India. And no this is not a sponsored post in any way whatsoever.
Darshan is on the left and Rohit on the right. Wooooh!
Some nice places we ate at were the Beatles Cafe also known as Delmar Cafe or even 60s cafe, Little Buddha which gives you Curlies vibes from Goa, German Bakery or Devraj Coffee Corner (try the brownie here). Other than that it is nice to just walk around and discover the place while being shoved around and having horns being blared in your ears simultaneously. You can cross the river by boat once at Ram Jhula in the evening for 10 bucks and cross the Lakshman Jhula on foot.
To end my blog post I will also mention the fact that you do not get any non-vegetarian food and alcohol in all of Rishikesh.