The freshness of the air, melody of the flowing water and the distant sound of bell chimes create a memorable experience for those who visit this ancient pilgrimage town.

Rishikesh represents the Gateway to the Himalayas in the Tehri-Garhwal region of Uttar Pradesh. It abounds in natural splendour. The spectacle of the Ganga rushing through the Himalayan foothills is an awesome sight. Several temples dot the banks of the Ganga at Rishikesh.

Rishikesh is located at a height of about 1360 feet above sea level. It is believed that several yogis and sages lived and practised penance here. Rishikesh represents the site where Vishnu vanquished the demon Madhu.

Rishikesh - Adventure Sports

The rapids and rivers of Rishikesh are excellent spots for the high adventurer. Rishikesh is close to the stretch in the early stages of the Ganges with the exhilarating Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers. You may enjoy the wild white waters of the Indus, Beas, Sutlej and Yamuna too for river rafting.

You may even indulge in canoing at Rishikesh. A gentle canoe trip in a lightweight alloy-metal craft is popular with the adventurers. Hiking and nature holidays are also well accepted by the tourists in Rishikesh. Rishikesh also acts at a base for trekking camps. You may choose from the Chandrashila, Devi darshan, Kauri and several other treks from Rishikesh.

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A popular tourist destination at 570km from New Delhi and 280km from Shimla, Manali is the northern-most town of Himachal Pradesh's Kullu Valley. Situated on the national highway that leads to Leh, Manali is also the gateway to the remote and desolate valleys of Lahaul and Spiti. According to Hindu legend, it was named after the sage Manu after he steered a boat of survivors to safety here during a great flood. In present times, the town was first 'discovered' by the hippies of the 70s and 80s. Later, in the 90s, domestic tourism to Manali got a fillip owing to insurgency in Kashmir. It caught the public's imagination and was soon a legitimate boomtown, eventually growing far beyond its original village size. Today, much of the main town centre, which is based around its bus terminal, is a hotchpotch of thoughtless construction, an overcrowded bazaar and copious amounts of litter, much like .

Manali - Adventure Sports

The best thing to do during the visit to the quiet adventure destination of Manali would be to visit the beautiful picturesque sites in and around the city. There are a number of temple, monasteries, passes, waterfalls, landscapes etc. Besides one can also opt for the various adventure sports organized here every year.

Skiing is a major pastime in Manali. Facilities for skiing are available at Solang Nullah (January-March) and Rohtang Pass (during summer). The Mountaineering Institute at Solang Nullah is a good training ground for mountaineering enthusiasts. Heli skiing is possible in the deep snowfields. The Mountaineering Institute and Allied Sports is about three km from the Mall and offers mountaineering and kayaking courses. Kayaking is possible on the Beas River.

There are several good hikes from Manali. The 12-km hike up the western banks of the Beas to the Solang Valley is worth all the efforts made. Lama Dugh meadow is a six-km hike up to the Manalsu Nala, west of Manali town.

In the summers, several travel agencies organize paragliding on the slopes of the Solang Nullah. The charges generally include accommodation, food, equipment, and a guide, but not transport.

From May to July and, depending on the monsoons, from mid-September to mid-October, some basic rafting is possible on the Beas. The trips generally begin at Pirdi and continue 16 km down to Jhiri.

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