Known for the oldest guest house in Rishikesh "Mama's Cottage", this lane towards the by-pass road has budget homestays overlooking the hills, with good WiFi. The cottage is named after the old lady who runs it. The “aunty”, as everyone calls her, is a warm person who prepares home-cooked Indian food for her guests. The rooms here costing $9/night or $120-150 a month are clean and spacious, and one gets access to a wide-open terrace surrounded by hills on all sides. Just before Mama’s Cottage is the Bhandari Swiss Cottage which offers clean, budget rooms with a restaurant that serves hygienically prepared good food and high-speed internet.
Away from the main tourist town, this area on a small dead-end street is lined with homestays, good cafes, and the Yoga Vidya Mandiram school on the far end. Bistro Nirvana here offers a wide range of food including Indian, Chinese, Italian, and Tibetan cuisines. With a stable internet connection, one can work from the restaurant while enjoying delicious food. From the bypass road, one can plan to visit Kunjapuri temple, which is one of the 52 goddess-focused (shakti-peeth) temples across the country. Situated on a hilltop around 26 kilometers from main Rishikesh, the temple is known for its sunrise and sunset views. It’s also possible to hike there from Rishikesh, which takes about six hours.
Cheena Kapoor is a Delhi-based independent journalist and photographer focusing on a broad range of topics, including travel.
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