How To Reach Rishikesh, Haridwar And Dehradun – A Guide To Air, Train And Road Travel (With 13 PRO TIPS)

If you’re reading this guide, you’re probably travelling to Rishikesh, Haridwar or Dehradun soon. And, you’ve found the best guide to plan your travel. This guide will tell you how to reach Rishikesh, Dehradun and Hardiwar, in the quickest, cheapest and most-rested way possible.

Don’t think of this as just another guide. This is a collection of pro tips for anyone looking to reach the base camps of most treks in Uttarakhand. You will find extremely handy advice and knowledge that we have collected over ten years. While the whole post is full of inside information, we have specially marked out some PRO TIPS — these are gold!

This post is a labour of love, so the post is fairly long. Which is why we have designed a convenient table so that you can dive right into your section, skipping over 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’ll have our best experts respond to your questions.


Use this table to navigate through the content on this page

  1. Why choose Rishikesh and Dehradun over Haridwar if you’re a trekker
  2. Why it is crucial to reach these cities a day before your drive to the base camp
  3. How to reach Rishikesh
  4. How to reach Haridwar
  5. How to reach Dehradun

Why Choose Rishikesh And Dehradun Over Haridwar If You’re A Trekker

Here’s our first advice for you. If you’re going on any trek in Uttarakhand, avoid keeping Haridwar as your base. Road access from Haridwar is crowded, since it is a major pilgrim town.

Even travelling a few tens of kilometres outside Haridwar is very slow because of the traffic build up on narrow roads. It is also further away from the mountains compared to Rishikesh and Dehradun.

So here’s what you should do.

If your trek is towards central Uttarakhand (Valley of Flowers, Deoriatal Chandrashila, Brahmatal), choose Rishikesh as your base city. Starting from Rishikesh gives you a head start. It is closer to the mountains. You also leave the traffic of Haridwar behind when you start from Rishikesh. The journey is fast and pleasurable from here. It also gives you added time at the base camp, which is a big bonus for a trekker.

Similarly, if your trek is towards western Uttarakhand (Kedarkantha, Rupin Pass, Har Ki Dun), choose Dehradun as your base location — don’t try any sightseeing at Rishikesh / Haridwar before your trek. Keep it for later.

Take a look at the map below for instance, Haridwar is the southernmost city out of the three, Rishikesh slightly above it to the east, 21 km away, and Dehradun further north of it, 52 km away. That 21 km / 52 km distance, really sets you back on an 8 hour journey to the base camp.

Distance between Haridwar and Rishikesh 21 km
Distance between Haridwar and Dehradun 52 km

Dehradun-Rishikesh-Haridwar-Indiahikes


Why Reach Rishikesh / Haridwar / Dehradun A Day Before Your Drive To The Base Camp

The biggest mistake trekkers make is travelling overnight to these three towns and immediately driving to the base camp. However, it is vital that you reach a day earlier and stay the night. Here’s why.

We’ve seen that trekkers often travel long distances to reach these three cities. They come from Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai. To get cheaper fares, they travel in the early morning flights (by that, we mean unearthly hours like 3 am). Then, they take a train journey which lasts another 8-9 hours.

After all this hustle-bustle, they travel on mountains for at least 8 more hours, on bumpy roads, to their remote base camps.

We’re surprised they can even trek after this long ordeal. It leaves them extremely tired even before they start their treks. It spoils the trek experience.

Which is why we advice trekkers not to take overnight transport to any of these cities. You don’t want to do back-to-back journeys from your home to these three cities and then to the base camp.

We strongly recommend you reach Rishikesh / Haridwar or Dehradun a day before your drive to the base camp. This gives you the MUCH required rest to recuperate before you start your drive to the base camp.

Which means, if you’re driving to the base camp on Day 1, reach one of these three cities on Day 0. That way you have a welcome break in your journey and you start your trek on a fresh note.

| A further benefit? If there’s any delay in your overnight transport, you may miss your early morning shared taxi to the base camp. If you reach a day earlier, you have none of these hassles.


How To Reach Rishikesh


Rishikesh is usually the travel hub for trekkers. Trekkers come to Rishikesh and travel further to base camps like Sankri, Govind Ghat and Sari. However, Rishikesh does not have a functional train station or an airport, which makes access to Rishikesh slightly tricky, but not unmanageable.

In this section, we’ll talk about how to reach Rishikesh by flight, train, bus and car.

To navigate easily, use this small table: 


How To Reach Rishikesh By Flight

Fly directly to Jolly Grant Airport

We recommend taking a flight to Rishikesh to all our trekkers. It’s the fastest and most convenient way to reach Rishikesh. It also gives you an added rest day at Rishikesh.

Here’s the thing. Rishikesh does not officially have an airport. But, Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport is closer to Rishikesh than it is to Dehradun. So, take a flight directly 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

Dehradun-Airport-Distance-Indiahikes


The best way to go from Jolly Grant Airport to Rishikesh:

The Dehradun airport is somewhat inconvenient when it comes to city connectivity (either to Rishikesh or Dehradun). Airport buses that ply between Rishikesh to Dehradun via airport run only once every hour. In our experience, the hour can stretch to even 1½ hours to 2 hrs.

Taxis are available from the airport (plenty). Prepaid taxis are available (look for the pre-paid taxi counter just out of the conveyor belt at the arrivals). You can also flag down a taxi (bargain a bit) with taxis outside the airport. Airport taxis are exorbitant. They usually charge between Rs.800 to Rs.1,000 to Rishikesh.

Usually most passengers take taxis from the airport. Try to share cab with co-passengers on the flight for your taxi ride to Rishikesh.

If you really want to save money, try to catch an auto just outside the airport terminal complex. They usually come there to drop passengers off. Autos are not allowed to enter the airport complex. They charge approximately Rs.300 to Rishikesh.

If autos are not available, walk for further 1.5 km to get to the Rishikesh Dehradun highway. From the highway you can flag down regular town buses or shared autos (shared autos are called Vikrams). Bus fare is about Rs.30 to Rishikesh. Shared autos charge about Rs.20.


How To Reach Rishikesh By Train

As we mentioned earlier, Rishikesh does not have a functional railway station. Most trains reach Haridwar, bypass Rishikesh and go directly to Dehradun. So, Haridwar is the closest train station to Rishikesh, from where you can reach Rishikesh by road.

Choose to travel by train only if you find that your flight ticket difference between Delhi and Dehradun is more than Rs.1,000. The rest and shorter travel time of flying to Dehradun is worth the difference.

If you choose this option, since we want you to have a good night’s rest before your journey to the base camp, here’s our recommendation.

You want to finish up all your travel to Delhi + Rishikesh within a day and spend the night at Rishikesh. So here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Make sure you book a flight that reaches Delhi in the first half of the day. From Delhi you’ll have to go to Haridwar by train.

Step 2: Take the afternoon Jan Shatabdi express (Train no. 12055/12056) from New Delhi railway station (leaves at 3.20 pm) to arrive at Haridwar by 8.00 pm.

Step 3: Once you reach Hardiwar, take an immediate bus to get to Rishikesh by 9.30 pm (the bus stand is opposite the railway station).

If your flight is reaching Delhi only by evening: In this scenario, take an overnight train / bus to Rishikesh. Buses are much quicker than trains.

Do not book on any other overnight train except the Nanda Devi Express. Mussoorie express is notorious for its delay. Your pickup vehicle may leave without you. If you do not get tickets on the Nanda Devi Express, take a bus from Delhi to Rishikesh, but do not book on the Mussoorie express.


How To Reach Rishikesh By Bus

To reach Rishikesh by bus, reach Delhi first and then take a bus from Delhi.

There are plenty that ply to Rishikesh from Kashmere Gate, ISBT. There are regular Volvo AC buses. You also get Non-AC buses. AC bus tickets cost about Rs.700.

Take the government UPSRTC or Uttarakhand Parivahan Nigam buses. These are more reliable buses. Local private buses usually try to pick passengers on the way, stop at unnecessary places and invariably take far longer journey time. Stick to government buses. Take private buses only if you don’t have tickets in government buses.

Buses are frequent and not usually crowded. You can get a bus almost every half hour. It’s safer to book these online rather than hop on to a bus. It takes around 8 hours for a bus to reach Rishikesh from Delhi. That way, if you leave by 12 noon, you’ll reach Rishikesh by 8 pm.


How To Reach Rishikesh By Car

If you’re going on a trek, we wouldn’t recommend driving on your own to Rishikesh. It gets exhausting.

But if you’re driving there, it’s a pretty straightforward drive through Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, Roorkee and Haridwar. Most of the journey is on the NH334.

It takes a long time to get out of Delhi by road. So, plan an early morning exit from Delhi. This gives you time at Rishikesh as well. If this is not possible, then drive out late in the night, after 10 pm, for an early morning arrival at Rishikesh. You should reach by 3 – 4 AM

Here’s a route map from Delhi to Rishikesh by car:

Delhi-Rishikesh-By-Car-Indiahikes


Best Hotels In Rishikesh

Considering you’re reaching a day earlier at Rishikesh and staying the night, here are the best hotels in Rishikesh. We’ve chosen hotels closer to the bus stand to our pick up point, so you don’t have to commute too much within the city.

➤ ZOSTEL

Zostel is a modern backpackers hostel, excellent for women travelling alone. It has basic amenities such as bunk beds, towels, good bathrooms. The entire premises is quite hygienic. Bathrooms are shared.

Average Cost: Rs.400 – Rs.800 per bed. Rooms start at about Rs.1,200
Website: https://www.zostel.com/
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/9H8Xakmt8p2TpYFS6


➤ SK INTERNATIONAL

SK International, which is next to Zostel, is another good option. It has clean rooms with good amenities.

Charges are about Rs.1,000 – Rs.1,200 per night
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/KBECMJBD8FKhmuyk8
Contact Number: 013-524-42943


SHIV SHAKTI HOSTEL

Shiv Shakti Hostel is another good, decent option at a similar price range to Zostel. This is a hostel, like Zostel. They also have rooms.

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/aGtcnK3rmoxG89wD6


5 Most Commonly Asked Questions About How To Reach Rishikesh

❖ How to reach Rishikesh from Delhi

If you’re travelling from Delhi to Rishikesh, take a bus directly to Rishikesh or take a train to Hardiwar and then Rishikesh. To learn how to take a bus, click here. And to learn how to travel by train to Rishikesh, click here.

❖ How to reach Rishikesh from Mumbai

The best way to reach from Rishikesh to Mumbai is to fly to Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun and take a taxi to Rishikesh. To understand the best way to do this, click here.

❖ How to reach Rishikesh from Haridwar

You can go from Haridwar to Rishikesh by bus. Right outside the Haridwar railway station, you’ll find a big bus stand. There are buses leaving to Rishikesh almost every 10-15 minutes. The journey takes around 1-1.5 hours.

The last bus from Haridwar to Rishikesh leaves at 9 pm. So if you’re taking the Jan Shatabdi Train and then a bus to Rishikesh, don’t waste any time.

 

❖ Is Rishikesh safe at night?

Rishikesh is a city that sleeps early. Most shops shut by 9.00 pm. So there’s not much activity at night. However, it is quite safe to walk around at night. If your travel is bringing you to Rishikesh at odd hours, then you’ll find vikrams (autos) available near the bus stand quite easily, they’re always available.

❖ Is there Uber in Rishikesh

Uber does not work in Rishikesh. Neither does Ola. The inter-city travel in Rishikesh is quite easy given its network of buses and vikrams. You’ll be able to get around anywhere with these.


How To Reach Haridwar

If you’re trekking in Uttarakhand, we wouldn’t recommend keeping Haridwar as your base town. It is farther away from the mountains compared to Rishikesh and Doon. And it will take longer for you to reach your base camp. Besides, Haridwar is a fairly crowded pilgrim town.

The roads to and from Haridwar tend to get crowded, making your journey longer and more exhausting.

So we’ll not dive too much into the details of reaching Haridwar. But we’ll quickly skim through how to reach Haridwar by flight, train, bus and car.

Here’s a small table to make it easy for you to navigate:


How To Reach Haridwar By Flight

To reach Haridwar by flight, the closest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport of Dehradun. Take a flight to Dehradun and then a bus / taxi to Haridwar.

From the Dehradun airport to Haridwar, follow the same steps as reaching Rishikesh from the Jolly Grant Airport.

If you have 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 ply between Rishikesh to Dehradun via airport run only once every hour. In our experience, the hour can stretch to even 1½ hours. There aren’t any direct buses that ply from the airport to Haridwar.


How To Reach Haridwar By Train

Reaching Haridwar by train is the simplest thing to do. It has good access by train. But you have to be careful in choosing the right train.

Here too, follow the same information given about the train travel to Rishikesh. These trains stop at Haridwar before going further to Dehradun.

If you’re going on a trek and driving to the base camp from Haridwar, the Jan Shatabdi train is your best option. It reaches Hardiwar by 7.30 pm and allows you enough rest for the night before your next day’s journey.


How To Reach Haridwar By Bus

It’s easy to reach Haridwar by bus from Delhi and surrounding cities.

There are plenty that ply to Haridwar from Kashmere Gate, ISBT. There are regular Volvo AC buses. You also get Non-AC buses. AC bus tickets cost about Rs.600.

| A tip here for you is to take the government UPSRTC or Uttarakhand Parivahan Bigam buses. There are usually lots of local companies that could try to trick you or fleece you. In that sense, government buses are reliable.

Buses are frequent and not usually crowded. You can get a bus almost every half hour. It’s safer to book these online rather than hop on to a bus. It takes around 7 hours for a bus to reach Haridwar from Delhi. That way, if you leave by 12 noon, you’ll reach Haridwar by 7.00 pm.


How To Reach Haridwar By Car

Haridwar is well-connected by road. If you’re going 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, covering around 225 km.

Here is a route map from Delhi to Haridwar by car:

Delhi-To-Haridwar-By-Car-Indiahikes


Best Hotels In Haridwar

Here are some of the best hotels in Haridwar from our experience. We have put down hotels that are easily accessible, close to the railway station and bus stop. These are also budget-friendly hotels in Haridwar.

➤ BEDHUBS

Bedhubs is a good bunk bed stay in Haridwar — which is rare amongst the Dharamshalas and Ashrams of Haridwar. It is quite close to the heart of the action at Haridwar, approximately 500 m from Har Ki Pauri, Ram Ghat. Charges are around Rs.800 – Rs.1,000.

Contact number: 01334 224 567
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/9H8Xakmt8p2TpYFS6


➤ HOTEL RADIANT

Hotel Radiant near the Haridwar railway station has decent spacious rooms. Room rates are around Rs.750 for a non-AC room and Rs.1,050 for an AC room.

Contact Number: 9557155557 (Nitin Sharma)
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Wet1aHbVnGTVCwjN9


➤ HOTEL RAHI

Hotel Rahi, a government owned GMVN property is fairly decent. Spacious but old building. Almost opposite the Haridwar railway station, just past the bus stop. Prices start at around Rs.700 for a room.

Contact number: +91-135-2431793
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nm8ikNY8EUWJ7Udw6


3 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Reaching Haridwar

❖ How to reach Haridwar from Kolkata

From Kolkata to Haridwar, the best option is to take the Doon Express train (Train No. 13009). It is a long train journey (around 35 hours long). The train is also known to be 2-3 hours late every time. But, it’s the most convenient way to reach Haridwar from Kolkata. It leaves Howrah Jn at 20.25 and reaches Haridwar at 04.45 am after a day in between.

If you’re short on time, break your journey by taking a flight to Delhi / Dehradun and then connecting further to Haridwar by train / bus.

❖ Is Haridwar safe at night?

Haridwar is a city that sleeps early. But it is safe to walk around at night, or travel to the bus stop / train station. Public transport in the form of vikrams (local autos) and buses is usually available even at night, although quite infrequently.

How much is a taxi from Haridwar to Rishikesh?

A taxi ride from Haridwar to Rishikesh costs about Rs.400 to Rs.500. Don’t pay more than that.


How To Reach Dehradun


Dehradun is a busy hub for travellers, tourists, trekkers, and is well-connected by all means of transport. In this section, we’ll talk about how to reach Dehradun by flight, train, bus and car.

Follow this table to navigate through the sections on reaching Dehradun:


How To Reach Dehradun By Flight

Reaching Dehradun by flight is as straightforward as it gets. Dehradun has an airport that’s well connected to most cities around India. It could be slightly more expensive than flying to a more popular airport like Delhi, but it’s worth the time and energy saved.

However, the airport is quite far away from the city of Dehradun. So, just follow these two steps to reach Dehradun quickly by flight.

| Tip 1: Take a prepaid taxi to the city from the airport (this is slightly expensive).

If you don’t want to spend much on a taxi, go out of the airport, cross the road and take a bus / shared taxi to the city (this is cheaper). The drive to the city of Dehradun takes around 45 minutes – 1 hour.


How To Reach Dehradun By Train

Dehradun is well-connected by train to most cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata have direct trains to Dehradun. But, given that Dehradun is far away in Uttarakhand, going there by train takes a long time. For instance, it takes 36 hours from Kolkata and around 34 hours from Mumbai.

The best thing to do is 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 reaches Dehradun quickly. It saves you time, and if you have a trek in a day, it allows you to rest at Dehradun for the night.

➤ Leaves Delhi (NDLS) at 15:20.
Reaches Dehradun at 21.10.
Usually on time.

| The second best train from Delhi to Dehradun: Nanda Devi Express (Train No. 12205)

If you’re reaching Delhi post-noon, choose this overnight train to Dehradun.

➤ Leaves Delhi (NZM) at 23:50.
Reaches Dehradun at 05.40.
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 21:30.
Reaches Dehradun when it wants (supposed to reach at 08.10).
Seldom on time.


How To Reach Dehradun By Bus

There are plenty of options if you’re planning to come to Dehradun by bus. You’ll get these easily from Kashmere Gate, ISBT, Delhi. There are both AC and non-AC buses available. Book these online in advance to stay on the safer side.

| A tip here for you is to take the government UPSRTC or Uttarakhand Parivahan Bigam buses. There are usually lots of local companies that could try to trick you or fleece you. In that sense, government buses are reliable.

It takes around 11-12 hours to reach Dehradun from Delhi. So leave early, by 7.00 pm so that you reach Dehradun by 6.00 am if you have a trek in a day.


How To Reach Dehradun By Car

Dehradun is well-connected by road from Delhi. The best way to drive down there is through Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur. If you’re going on a trek, we wouldn’t recommend driving. You need the rest that comes with taking a train / bus.

Here is a route map of the road from Delhi to Dehradun:

Delhi-To-Dehradun-By-Car-Indiahikes


Best Hotels In Dehradun

We highly recommend reaching Derhadun a day before your journey to the base camp and staying there. For this, we have put together few of the most convenient hotels in Dehradun below. They are close to the Dehradun railway station and budget-friendly.

➤ HOTEL DRONA

Hotel Drona, which is a government property owned by the GMVN is decent. It is an old, but a large and spacious property. It is about 1.5 kms from Dehradun railway station. Rooms start at Rs.750.

Contact number: +91-135-2746847
Book online: http://gmvnl.in/newgmvn/online_reservation/
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/9H8Xakmt8p2TpYFS6


➤ NOMADS HOUSE

Nomads House is another new backpackers hostel in Dehradun. The atmosphere is good. The place is neat and clean. Indiahikes trek leaders love Nomads House. It is about 10 mins from the Dehradun railway station. Bunk beds start at Rs.400, rooms start at Rs.800. Shared autos are easily available to get to Nomads House.

Contact Number: 9760596464
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/MCfW3oNG7DdPFAtP6


➤ MYROOM252

MyRoom252 is a new backpackers facility in Dehradun. Modern, colourful and clean. Bunk beds start at Rs.300. Rooms are available too. It is not too far from the Dehradun Railway station. Shared autos (which are called Vikrams) can get you there.

Contact number: 086308 81083
Website: http://www.myroom252.com/
Location: https://goo.gl/maps/nm8ikNY8EUWJ7Udw6


3 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Reaching Dehradun

How to reach Mussoorie from Dehradun

Many tourists like to visit Mussoorie when they’re going to Dehradun, and why not, it’s an extremely picturesque hill station. (Trekkers actually drive through Mussoorie on the way to their base camp when they’re going from Dehradun to Sankri / Taluka).

To reach Mussoorie from Dehradun, take a bus from the railway station. It takes about an hour and a half to reach Mussoorie. You also get private taxis and shared taxis easily from the railway station. You get both buses and taxies, within the premises of the railway station.

How to reach Dehradun from Delhi

The best way to reach Dehradun from Delhi is to take a train / bus. To learn more about how to reach by bus from Delhi to Dehradun, click here. To learn about how to reach from Delhi to Dehradun by train, click here.

How to reach Dehradun from Mumbai

The best way to reach Dehradun from Mumbai is to fly directly to Jolly Grant Airport. This is a quick flight, which will get you to Dehradun in less than 3 hours. There is also a train that plies this route, but takes around 34 hours to reach Dehradun, which we wouldn’t recommend.


IN CONCLUSION

If you’re going to any of these three cities, the quickest way is to fly to Jolly Grant airport and connect to Dehradun city, Haridwar or Rishikesh from there.

By train, the best option is the Jan Shatabdi train or the overnight Nanda Devi Express from Delhi.

And if you’re taking a bus, any overnight bus can get you quickly to these cities. Book them online in advance so that you don’t risk not getting a seat.

If you have any questions on how to reach Rishikesh / Hardiwar or Dehradun, or if you’d like to share your journey to these cities, drop in a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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One thought on “How To Reach Rishikesh, Haridwar And Dehradun – A Guide To Air, Train And Road Travel (With 13 PRO TIPS)

  1. Useful information. I was always looking for Bunk Bed accommodation in Haridwar. Just to point out, Rishikesh has 2 bus stands, one government and other semi-govt types(Vishwanath yatra) which has smaller buses. I would recommend govt one as more leg space and less stoppage.