Rishikesh is one of the most enticing travel destinations in India. In our previous article, Top 10 Things To Do in Rishikesh, we recommended some really wonderful places to visit. The only big question is how to reach there. Given Rishikesh’s poor transport links, figuring out how to get to all of the amazing places you want to explore can be a real headache.
Although it does seem hectic, you still have an unbeatable option here: rent a scooter and navigate smoothly.
The biggest challenge for travelers in Rishikesh is transportation. You only have the choice of renting either auto rickshaws or taxis, both of which use the transfer terms, require an unnecessary amount of money and can be heavy on your pocket. Shared auto-rickshaws run between Laxman Jhula Auto Stand and Rishikesh Market up to Haridwar. Any other place that is not on this route can be considered a no go. Renting a motorcycle is a lifesaver, but not everyone has the know-how.
The easiest, cheapest, and most practical way is to rent a scooter and drive around town. There are a number of garages where scooters can be rented for 400-500 INR for 12 hours from 9am to 9pm. You only have to pay for the petrol when you are on the go.
Seems fair enough? Now it is also important to understand what all travel spots are scooter-worthy.
Here is a list of 5 popular itineraries covering at least two locations that you can easily visit with a scooter.
1) Vashishtha Cave and the two waterfalls
Where one of the seven great sages Vashishtha meditated.
On the way to the Shivpuri Range is the Vashishtha Cave, an ancient cave in which one of the seven great sages Vashishtha meditated. It’s an ecstatic place set right beside Ganga and surrounded by splendid mountains.17 km from Blue Jay, it is quite easy to reach the cave by scooter. Patna and Neer Gaddu waterfalls are on the same route, 6 km and 4 km from the hostel. Two very popular waterfalls, statues of nature, green and sublime.
All three spots can be covered in a day tour and save you the tedious search. Pack some snacks or eat in small shops near the waterfall that serve noodles, tea, and quick munchies. Take a nice sweet ride in picturesque landscapes.
Note that there is an additional 1 to 2 km hike after you reach the waterfalls, so you’ll need to park your scooter downhill in the parking lot. Don’t forget to remember your license plate number.
2) Ram Jhula - Beatles Ashram - Triveni Ghat
A very popular travel route.
Another popular travel route leads from Ram Jhula to the Beatles Ashram and Triveni Ghat.
Start at around 12 p.m. from the hostel, reach Ram Jhula, park your scooter and explore the local market and some ashrams near the bridge, cross the bridge and drive to the Beatles Ashram, which is another 2 km after crossing the bridge.
Named after the popular English rock band who stayed with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in this Ashram and learned transcendental meditation, the Beatles Ashram has that signature vibe backed by the fun stories and graffiti on the walls around the Ashram.
Take a quick tour of the Ashram and then head out to Triveni Ghat which is almost 4 km from Ram Jhula to attend Ganga Aarti, an enchanting fire ceremony that takes places on the banks of river Ganga at the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathy.
Aarti lasts about an hour from 6-7, although the timings can vary depending on the length of day. Scout the local market. You can choose to have some Indian snacks at small stalls near the Ghat or at Rajasthani, one of the most famous Indian restaurants in Rishikesh. Savour your mouth and your soul, all in one trip. Renting a scooter makes this trip easily reachable.
3) Kunjapuri Temple - The Radiant Sunrise
One of the 3 Siddha Peeths in the Tehri district of Uttarakhand
Known for the history of Sati, a famous Hindu goddess, this temple is one of the 3 Siddha Peeths in the Tehri district of Uttarakhand and the highest point on the Kunjapuri slope, 1676 m above sea level and 25 km from Rishikesh.
Rent a scooter a day before and start for Kunjapuri the next day around 4 in the morning. Ride through the steep curves and plush mountains and delve into the stunning surroundings. Park your scooter in the parking lot and hike for a kilometer uphill to reach the temple. Witness one of the most radiant sunrises you could ever see, you can also do Yoga or meditate in the temple.
Your return trip can include visiting villages of your choice, interacting with the locals and taking pit stops wherever you like. Explore at your own pace with your conducive companion – your scooter.
4) Rajaji National Park
Indian national park and tiger reserve.
Rajaji National Park is 22 km from Blue Jay and is an Indian national park and tiger reserve on an 820 km² site. It is known for its pristine beauty and panoramic setting. Driving to the Rajaji National Park is a breathtaking experience in itself. Begin your journey early in the morning and traverse the tranquil nature. The connecting path is an eye-catcher with towering hills and bright green trees. You can also go on a jungle safari if you arrive early in the park. The safari takes you into deep forests and you can spot elephants, tigers and some other animals and birds on this awesome safari.
5) Shiv Puri Range and Neelkanth Temple
The home of Lord Shiva
Shivpuri is considered the home of Lord Shiva. Known for the Shiv Puri Temple, it is a center of various adventure sports such as rock climbing, rafting, cliff jumping, rock rappelling, bungee jumping, flying fox etc. It is also a popular campsite and has some of the most beautiful beaches.
The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is one of the most visited temples in Rishikesh. This divine
temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in a region with pictorial views of Nar Narayan Mountain. Although it is a bit far from Rishikesh, it can certainly be a short stopover on the way to the Shiv Puri range.
Both Shivpuri and Neelkanth can be combined into one trip. It is the same road that leads first to Neelkanth and then on to Shivpuri.
Can a scooter be the most readily available solution to all of your conveyance problems?
A scooter is handy and makes it easy to visit several places together. You can make the caves and the waterfall together or the cave and Neelkanth or Shiv Puri and Neelkanth, Kunjapuri and waterfall and vice versa.
It can also be used for various other activities, e.g. to visit some cafes or restaurants, to stop over at the local market and for an evening or early morning ride to a vantage point to see a nice sunset or sunrise.
There is a comprehensive list of things you can do and places to go with a scooter.
Every third household in India has a two-wheeler. No wonder it is one of the most viable modes of transportation on the market.
Things to remember when renting and riding a scooter.
Riding a scooter is not rocket science and it needs just the right balance and you’re good to go. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind for your security and safety.
It may not look good to mess up your favorite hairstyle. Wearing helmets can also be uncomfortable at times. Do not forget that this is for your own safety. Both the rider and the pillion should wear helmets. The helmets should be in good condition and fit you properly.
Pay special attention to speed limits on highways. Try not to ride more than 40 or
50 km/h on average unless ofcourse you are missing a very important train.
Check your ride thoroughly
Most riders do not think about checking their scooters well before setting off. It is important that you check that all headlights, indicators, brakes, speedometers, etc. are working properly. Check that the seat is comfortable enough and that the tires are inflated. There should be enough petrol to reach the nearby petrol station.
Take a test ride before you rhot the road.
Hire from a trusted professional and with a yellow number plate
Since Rishikesh is very touristy, there are tons of places to choose from. Make sure to rent from trusted companies or seek help from your accommodation. Their knowledge of the vendors and the market can help you. The scooter should have a yellow license plate that indicates permission for commercial use.
Check the registration papers and you should have them with you at all times.
You should have a valid driver’s license to rent a ride. Foreigners need an international driver’s license to drive on Indian roads.
Make a note of the contact details of the company where you rent the scooter. Also share your contact information or an emergency contact. Stay connected if you have any problems with the scooter or the traffic police.
Scooter is fun, easy to use and maintain. With a few right tricks, you can make the most of your riding experience in Rishikesh.