Haridwar and Rishikesh are considered to be among India’s most sacred cities. Ashrams abound. Pilgrims flock to bathe in the Ganges. In Haridwar, evening Aarti on the Ganges is packed. Rishikesh calls itself the “Yoga Capitol of the World” and draws wandering sadhus year-round.
In August,Shiva's month, worshippers from all over India trek, ride, or drive to both Haridwar and Rishikesh. Called 'kanwarians', they wear orange and carry water containers decorated and hanging from the ends of poles mounted on their shoulders. They come by the thousands to collect water from Mother Ganga and take a purifying plunge in Her sacred water.
In Rishikesh, stay in an ashram, practice yoga, enjoy the spectacle of evening aarati on the Ganges, crossover the Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula bridges with hordes of other tourists and monkeys,visit a waterfall , go rafting, parasail, shop til you drop. These cities have it all.