If you're reading this guide, you're probably traveling to Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun soon. And you have found the best travel guide to plan your trip. This guide will show you how to reach Rishikesh, Dehradun, and Hardiwar in the U.S. fastest, cheapest and most rested way possible.
Don't just consider this as another guide. This is a collection of professional tips for everyone who wants to reach the base camp of most hikes in Uttarakhand. You will find extremely useful advice and knowledge that we have gathered over ten years. While the entire post is full of inside information, we've specially tagged some PRO TIPS – that's gold!
This post is a love work, so the post is quite long. For this reason, we have designed a practical table so that you can dive straight into your area and skip what is not important to you at the moment.
If you still have doubts, drop them in the comments section at the bottom of the page. We have our best experts answer your questions.
Use this table to navigate through the content of this page
- Why Choose Rishikesh and Dehradun over Haridwar if you're a trekker
- Why it is important to reach these cities a day before your trip to the base camp
- How to get to Rishikesh
- How to get to Haridwar
- How to get to Dehradun
| Why should you choose Rishikesh and Dehradun Haridwar if you are a trekker?
Here is our first advice for you. When hiking in Uttarakhand, avoid using Haridwar as your base. Haridwar's street access is crowded as it is an important pilgrim city.
Even driving a few tens of kilometers outside of Haridwar is because of that Traffic built up on narrow streets. It is also further from the mountains than Rishikesh and Dehradun.
So here is what you should do.
If your hike leads towards the center of Uttarakhand (Valley of Flowers, Deoraatal, Dayara Bugyal), choose Rishikesh as your base city. Starting from Rishikesh, you have a head start. It is closer to the mountains.
They also leave the traffic of Haridwar behind when you start from Rishikesh. The journey from here is quick and pleasant. It also gives you extra time in the base camp, which is a huge bonus for a trekker.
If your hike leads towards West Uttarakhand (Kedarkantha, Rupin Pass, Har Ki Dun), also choose Dehradun As a starting point, do not try sightseeing tours in Rishikesh / Haridwar before your hike. Save it for later.
For example, take a look at the map below: Haridwar is the southernmost of the three cities, Rishikesh just above in the east, 21 km away, and Dehradun further north, 52 km away. This distance of 21 km / 52 km really puts you back in an 8-hour drive to the base camp.
|Distance between Haridwar and Rishikesh||21 km|
|Distance between Haridwar and Dehradun||52 km|
| Why do you reach Rishikesh / Haridwar / Dehradun the day before your trip to the base camp?
The biggest mistake trekkers make is to travel to these three cities overnight and head straight to base camp. However, it is important that you reach a day earlier and stay the night. Here's why.
We have seen that hikers often travel long distances to reach these three cities. They come from Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai. To get cheaper fares, they fly early in the morning (by that we mean unearthly hours like 3 a.m.). Then they take a train ride that takes another 8-9 hours.
After all this hustle and bustle, they drive at least 8 hours on mountains, on bumpy roads, to their remote base camps.
We are surprised that they can even hike after this long ordeal. It leaves her extremely tired even before they start their hikes. It spoils the trekking experience.
That is why we advise hikers do not transport overnight to one of these cities. You don't want to travel to these three cities from home and then to the base camp.
We strongly recommend that you reach Rishikesh / Haridwar or Dehradun base camp one day before your trip. This gives you the LOTS of rest you need to relax before starting your trip to base camp.
So if you drive to base camp on day 1, you will reach one of these three cities on day 0. This way you have a welcome break on your trip and start your hike with a new note.
| Another advantage? If your night transportation is delayed, you may miss your early morning shared taxi to the base camp. If you reach a day earlier, you won't have any of these problems.
| How to get to Rishikesh
Rishikesh is usually the travel center for hikers. Hikers come to Rishikesh and travel to base camps such as Sankri, Govind Ghat and Sari. However, Rishikesh does not have a functioning train station or airport, which makes access to Rishikesh somewhat difficult, but not unmanageable.
In this section we will talk about how to get to Rishikesh by plane, train, bus and car.
Use this little table to easily navigate:
• • How to get to Rishikesh by flight
Fly straight to Jolly Grant Airport
We recommend all our trekkers a flight to Rishikesh. This is the fastest and most convenient way to get to Rishikesh. It also gives you an extra day off in Rishikesh.
Here's the thing. Rishikesh does not officially have an airport. However, Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport is closer to Rishikesh than Dehradun. So take a flight straight to Jolly Grant Airport from your city.
|Distance from Jolly Grant Airport to Rishikesh||21 km|
|Distance from Jolly Grant Airport to Dehradun||32 km|
| The best way to get from Jolly Grant Airport to Rishikesh:
Dehradun Airport is somewhat impractical when it comes to connecting to the city (either to Rishikesh or Dehradun). Airport buses that run between Rishikesh and Dehradun only run through the airport once an hour. In our experience, the hour can even range from 1½ hours to 2 hours.
Taxis are available at the airport (many). Prepaid taxis are available (look for the prepaid taxi counter just in front of the conveyor on arrival). You can also stop a taxi (a bit of a bargain) with taxis outside the airport. Airport taxis are exorbitant. They usually calculate between Rs.800 to Rs.1.000 according to Rishikesh.
Usually, most passengers take taxis from the airport. Try to connect with fellow travelers on the flight for your taxi ride to Rishikesh.
If you Really Want to save money, try catch a car right in front of the airport terminal complex. They usually come there to drop passengers. Cars are not allowed to enter the airport complex. They charge Rishikesh about Rs.300.
If no cars are available, continue walking for 1.5 km to get to the Rishikesh Dehradun highway. From the highway you can stop normal city buses or shared cars (shared cars are called Vikrams). The bus ride to Rishikesh costs about Rs 30. Shared cars charge around Rs.20.
• • How to get to Rishikesh by train
As already mentioned, Rishikesh does not have a functioning train station. Most trains reach Haridwar, bypass Rishikesh and go directly to Dehradun. Haridwar is the closest train station to Rishikesh, from where you can reach Rishikesh by road.
Select to travel by train just if you find that your ticket difference between Delhi and Dehradun is more than Rs. 1,000. The rest and the shorter travel time to Dehradun are worth the difference.
If you choose this option because we want you to have a good night's sleep before you travel to base camp, we recommend the following.
You want to end your trip to Delhi + Rishikesh within one day and spend the night in Rishikesh. Here are the steps:
| Step 1: Make sure you book a flight to Delhi in the first half of the day. From Delhi you have to take the train to Haridwar.
| Step 2: Take the afternoon Jan Shatabdi Express (train no.12055 / 12056) from New Delhi train station (departure at 3.20pm) until 8.00pm in Haridwar.
| Step 3: When you get to Hardiwar, take an immediate bus to Rishikesh at 9:30 p.m. (the bus stop is opposite the train station).
If your flight only reaches Delhi by evening: In this scenario, take a night train / bus to Rishikesh. Buses are much faster than trains.
Do not book a night train other than that Nanda Devi Express. Mussoorie Express is notorious for its delay. Your pickup vehicle can go without you. If you don't get tickets for the Nanda Devi Express, take a bus from Delhi to Rishikesh, however do not book on the Mussoorie Express.
• • How to get to Rishikesh by bus
To get to Rishikesh by bus, you first reach Delhi and then a bus from Delhi.
There are many on which Rishikesh depends Kashmere Gate, ISBT. There are regular Volvo AC buses. You can also get buses without AC. AC bus tickets cost around Rs.700.
Take the government's UPSRTC or Uttarakhand Parivahan Nigam buses. That is more reliable buses. Local private buses usually try to pick up passengers on the way, stop at unnecessary places and invariably take much longer travel times. Stick to government buses. Only take private buses if you don't have tickets on government buses.
Buses run frequently and are usually not crowded. You can get a bus almost every half hour. It is safer Book them online instead of getting on a bus. It takes approximately 8 hours for a bus to arrive from Delhi to Rishikesh. If you are leaving before 12 p.m., you will reach Rishikesh at 8 p.m.
• • How to get to Rishikesh by car
If you go on a hike, we are I would not recommend driving on your own to Rishikesh. It's getting tiring.
But if you go there, it's a pretty easy drive through Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, Roorkee, and Haridwar. Most of the trip takes place on the NH334.
It takes one long time coming out of Delhi on the street. So plan one early morning Exit from Rishikesh. This also gives you time in Rishikesh. If this is not possible, drive off late at nightafter 10 p.m. for an early morning arrival in Rishikesh. You should reach between 3 and 4 in the morning
Here is a route map from Delhi to Rishikesh by car:
• • Best hotels in Rishikesh
If you arrive and stay in Rishikesh a day earlier, you will find the best hotels in Rishikesh here. We have selected hotels that are closer to the bus stop to our pick-up point so you don't have to commute too much within the city.
Zostel is a modern backpacker hostel, excellent for women traveling alone. It has basic amenities like bunk beds, towels, good bathrooms. The entire site is very hygienic. The bathrooms are shared.
Average cost: Rs.400 – Rs.800 per bed. The rooms start at around Rs 1,200
➤ SK INTERNATIONAL
SK International, Besides Zostel, this is another good option. It has clean rooms with good amenities.
fees are about Rs.1,000 – Rs.1,200 per night
Contact number: 013-524-42943
➤ SHIV SHAKTI HOSTEL
Shiv Shakti Hostel is another good, decent option at a price similar to Zostel. This is a hostel like Zostel. They also have rooms.
• • 5 most frequently asked questions to achieve Rishikesh
❖ How to get to Rishikesh from Delhi
If you are traveling from Delhi to Rishikesh, take a bus directly to Rishikesh or a train to Hardiwar and then to Rishikesh. To learn how to take a bus, click here. And to learn how to get to Rishikesh by train, click here.
❖ How to get to Rishikesh from Mumbai
The best way to get from Rishikesh to Mumbai is to fly to Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun and take a taxi to Rishikesh. To understand how this works best, click here.
❖ How to get to Rishikesh from Haridwar
You can take a bus from Haridwar to Rishikesh. There is a large bus stop right in front of Haridwar train station. Buses to Rishikesh run almost every 10-15 minutes. The journey takes about 1-1.5 hours.
The last bus from Haridwar to Rishikesh leaves at 9pm. So if you take the Jan Shatabdi train and then a bus to Rishikesh, Don't waste time.
❖ Is Rishikesh safe at night?
Rishikesh is a city that sleeps early. Most shops close at 9 p.m. So there is not much going on at night. However, walking around at night is pretty safe. If your trip takes you to Rishikesh at odd times, you can easily find vikrams (cars) near the bus stop. They are always available.
❖ Are there Uber in Rishikesh?
Uber does not work in Rishikesh. Not even Ola. Overland trips in Rishikesh are quite easy due to the network of buses and Vikrams. With these you can move anywhere.
| How to get to Haridwar
If you hike in Uttarakhand we are would not recommend it Keep Haridwar as the base city. It is further from the mountains than Rishikesh and Doon. And it will take longer to reach your base camp. In addition, Haridwar is a fairly crowded pilgrim city.
The roads to and from Haridwar are usually crowded and make your trip longer and more exhausting.
So we're not going to go into too much detail about how to achieve Haridwar. But we'll quickly go over how to get to Haridwar by plane, train, bus, and car.
Here is a small table to help you navigate:
• • How to get to Haridwar by flight
To reach Haridwar by plane, the nearest airport is the Dehradun Jolly Grant Airport. Take a flight to Dehradun and then a bus / taxi to Haridwar.
Follow the same steps from Dehradun Airport to Haridwar as from Jolly Grant Airport to Rishikesh.
If you're on a tight budget, here's another option. Take a bus from the airport to Rishikesh and then a connecting bus to Haridwar. Airport buses that run via the airport between Rishikesh and Dehradun only run once an hour. In our experience, the hour can even extend to 1½ hours. There are no direct buses that go from the airport to Haridwar.
• • How to get to Haridwar by train
The easiest way to get to Haridwar is by train. It is well connected by train. However, you have to be careful when choosing the right train.
Again, follow the same information about the train ride to Rishikesh. These trains stop in Haridwar before continuing to Dehradun.
If you are hiking and going from Haridwar to base camp, the Jan Shatabdi train is the best option. It arrives at Hardiwar at 7:30 p.m. and offers you enough rest for the night before your trip the next day.
• • How to get to Haridwar by bus
It is easy to get to Haridwar by bus from Delhi and the surrounding cities.
There are many on whom Haridwar depends Kashmere Gate, ISBT. There are regular Volvo AC buses. You can also get buses without AC. AC bus tickets cost around Rs.600.
| A tip Here for you the government is to take UPSRTC or Uttarakhand Parivahan Bigam buses. There are usually a lot of local businesses out there that might try to outsmart you or screw them up. In this sense, government buses are reliable.
Buses run frequently and are usually not crowded. You can get a bus almost every half hour. It is safer Book them online instead of getting on a bus. It takes approximately 7 hours for a bus to drive from Delhi to Haridwar. This way you can reach Haridwar at 7:00 p.m. if you are leaving before 12:00 p.m.
• • How to get to Haridwar by car
Haridwar is well connected by road. If you are arriving from a city like Delhi, take the NH334 through Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, Roorkee and to Haridwar. It could take around 6-7 hours to reach Haridwar from Delhi over 225 km.
Here is a route map from Delhi to Haridwar by car:
• • Best hotels in Haridwar
Here are some of the best hotels in Haridwar from our experience. We have set up easily accessible hotels near the train station and the bus stop. These are also low-cost hotels in Haridwar.
Bedhubs is a good bunk bed stay in Haridwar – which is rare among the Haridwar Dharamshalas and Ashrams. It is very close to the action of Haridwar, around 500 m from Har Ki Pauri, Ram Ghat. The fees range from 800 to 1,000 rupees.
Contact number: 01334 224 567
➤ HOTEL RADIANT
Hotel Radiant There are decent, spacious rooms near Haridwar Station. The room prices are Rs.750 for a room without air conditioning and Rs.1.050 for a room with air conditioning.
Contact number: 9557155557 (Nitin Sharma)
➤ HOTEL RAHI
Hotel Rahi, a state owned GMVN property is pretty decent. Spacious but old building. Almost opposite Haridwar train station, just behind the bus stop. Prices start at around Rs.700 for a room.
Contact number: + 91-135-2431793
• • 3 Most Frequently Asked Questions To Achieve Haridwar
❖ How to get to Haridwar from Kolkata
From Kolkata to Haridwar, it is best to take the Doon Express (train # 13009). It is a long train journey (approx. 35 hours). It is also known that the train is 2-3 hours late each time. However, this is the most convenient way to get to Haridwar from Kolkata. It leaves Howrah Jn at 8:25 p.m. and arrives at Haridwar at 4:45 a.m. after a day in between.
If you are short on time, cancel your trip by taking a flight to Delhi / Dehradun and then continuing by train / bus to Haridwar.
❖ Is Haridwar Safe At Night?
Haridwar is a city that sleeps early. But it's safe to walk around at night or go to the bus stop / train station. Public transportation in the form of Vikrams (local cars) and buses are usually also available at night, although very rarely.
❖ How much does a taxi cost from Haridwar to Rishikesh?
A taxi ride from Haridwar to Rishikesh costs around 400 to 500 rupees. Don't pay anymore.
| How to get to Dehradun
Dehradun is a busy hub for travelers, tourists and hikers and well connected by all means of transport. This section tells you how to get to Dehradun by plane, train, bus and car.
Follow this table to navigate through the sections to reach Dehradun:
• • How to get to Dehradun by flight
Getting to Dehradun by flight is as easy as it gets. Dehradun has an airport that is well connected to most cities in India. It might be a little more expensive than a flight to a more popular airport like Delhi, but it is worth saving time and energy.
The airport is however quite far away from the city of Dehradun. Just follow these two steps to get to Dehradun quickly by plane.
| Tip 1: Take a prepaid taxi into the city from the airport (this is a bit expensive).
If you don't want to spend a lot on a taxi, leave the airport, cross the street and take a bus / shared taxi into town (this is cheaper). The trip to the city of Dehradun takes about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
• • How to get to Dehradun by train
Dehradun is well connected to most cities by train – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata have direct trains to Dehradun. Given that Dehradun is far away in Uttarakhand, it takes a long time to get there by train. For example, it takes 36 hours from Kolkata and around 34 hours from Mumbai.
It is best to fly to Delhi and then take a train to Dehradun.
| The best train from Delhi to Dehradun: Jan Shatabdi Express (Train No. 12055)
We highly recommend this train as it comes quickly to Dehradun. This saves you time and if you go on a hike in one day, you can rest in Dehradun.
➤ Leaves Delhi (NDLS) at 3:20 p.m.
➤ Reach Dehradun at 9.10 p.m.
➤ Usually on time.
| The second best train from Delhi to Dehradun: Nanda Devi Express (train # 12205)
If you arrive in Delhi after noon, choose this night train to Dehradun.
➤ Leaves Delhi (NDLS) at 11:50 p.m.
➤ Reach Dehradun at 5.40 a.m.
➤ Usually on time.
| Which train NOT to choose: Mussoorie Express (train no.14041)
This train is never on time, so avoid choosing it.
➤ Leaves Delhi (Sarai Rohilla Station) at 9:30 p.m.
➤ Reach Dehradun if it wants (should reach at 8:10 a.m.).
➤ Rarely on time.
• • How to get to Dehradun by bus
There are many options if you want to get to Dehradun by bus. You can easily get this from Kashmere Gate, ISBT, Delhi. Both AC and non-AC buses are available. Book them online stay on the safer side in advance.
Take the government's UPSRTC or Uttarakhand Parivahan Bigam buses. There are usually many local companies that could try trick you or fleece yourself. In this sense, government buses are reliable.
It takes approximately 11-12 hours to reach Dehradun from Delhi. So go early at 7:00 p.m. so that you can reach Dehradun by 6:00 a.m. if you go hiking in one day.
• • How to get to Dehradun by car
Dehradun is well connected by road from Delhi. The best way to get there is through Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur. If you are going on a hike, we do not recommend driving. You need the rest that comes by train / bus.
Here is a route map of the road from Delhi to Dehradun:
• • Best hotels in Dehradun
We strongly recommend reaching Derhadun a day before Your trip to the base camp and stay there. We have put together some of the most convenient hotels in Dehradun below. They are close to the Dehradun train station and are inexpensive.
➤ HOTEL DRONA
Hotel Drona, which is a state property of the GMVN, is decent. It is an old but large and spacious property. It is about 1.5 km from Dehradun train station. The rooms start at Rs.750.
Contact number: + 91-135-2746847
Book online: http://gmvnl.in/newgmvn/online_reservation/
➤ NOMAD'S HOUSE
Nomads House is another new backpacker hostel in Dehradun. The atmosphere is good. The hotel is neat and clean. Indiahikes trekking guides love Nomads House. It is about 10 minutes from Dehradun train station. Bunk beds start at Rs.400, rooms start at Rs.800. Shared cars are readily available to get to Nomads House.
Contact number: 9760596464
MyRoom252 is a new backpacker facility in Dehradun. Modern, colorful and clean. Bunk beds start at Rs.300. Rooms are also available. It is not far from Dehradun train station. Shared cars (called Vikrams) can take you there.
Contact number: 086308 81083
• • 3 Most Frequently Asked Questions To Achieve Dehradun
❖ How to get to Mussoorie from Dehradun
Many tourists like to visit Mussoorie when they go to Dehradun, and why not, it is an extremely picturesque mountain station. (Trekkers actually drive through Mussoorie on their way to their base camp when driving from Dehradun to Sankri / Taluka.)
To reach Mussoorie from Dehradun, take a bus from the train station. It takes about an hour and a half to reach Mussoorie. Private taxis and shared taxis are available from the train station. Both buses and taxis are available on the premises of the train station.
❖ How to get to Dehradun from Delhi
The best way to get to Dehradun from Delhi is by train / bus. To learn more about how to get from Delhi to Dehradun by bus, click here. Click here to learn how to get from Delhi to Dehradun by train.
❖ How to get to Dehradun from Mumbai
The best way to get to Dehradun from Mumbai is to fly straight to Jolly Grant Airport. This is a fast flight that takes you to Dehradun in less than 3 hours. There is also a train that runs this route, but it takes about 34 hours to reach Dehradun, which we would not recommend.
If you travel to one of these three cities, The fastest way to fly to Jolly Grant Airport and from there connect with the city of Dehradun, Haridwar or Rishikesh.
By train the best option is the Jan Shatabdi train or the Nanda Devi Express overnight from Delhi.
And if you take a bus, any night bus will take you quickly to these cities. Book them online in advance so you don't risk not getting a seat.
If you have any questions about how to get to Rishikesh / Hardiwar or Dehradun, or if you want to share your trip to these cities, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!