Rishikesh to Mata Kunjapuri – An amazing trek through the fields and waterfalls

The quest to see the snow peaked mountains (the mighty Himalayas) is always burning inside me. Standing tall and majestic, they are truly an epitome of beauty of nature, spirituality and peace.

If you are around in Rishikesh and plan to discover interesting places, people often stumble upon Mata Kunjapuri. This is the nearest place to Rishikesh (approx. 30 kms) from where you can have breath-taking views of the Garhwal Himalayas. Perched at a height of 1600 mtrs , it is one of the shaktipeeths (temple dedicated to Goddess Shakti). There is a proper road connectivity from Rishikesh to Mata Kunjapuri (Rishikesh – Narendra Nagar – Hindolakhal – Mata Kunjapuri).  Numerous websites / trekking companies offer this trek. Usually people start early from Rishikesh, arrive at Mata Kunjapuri in Vehicles, enjoy the sunrise from the temple premises and then head back to Rishikesh on foot passing through villages and waterfalls. However, the one I did recently was from Rishikesh ( Tapovan) all the way to Mata Kunjapuri temple i.e. going up-hill throughout.

The Ganga – entering the plains at Laxman Jhula (Rishikesh)

I began my trip from Dehradun. I took an Uttarakhand Roadways Bus from Rispina pull around 7:30 AM. With the cool morning breeze and with little to no traffic on the highway, it all took about 45 mins to arrive at Rishikesh Bus station (bus fare – Rs. 50/-). I walked for about 1 km to reach the Badrinath- Karnprayag – Haridwar road from where I boarded one of these blue Vikram Autos. They charge Rs. 10/- per person till Tapovan (close to Lakshman Jhula). I started walking from here along the Badrinath highway. Once you walk past the last stretches of concrete buildings in Tapovan, the mighty Ganges flowing into the plains through the Lakshman Jhula area looks stunning. After 2.5 kms (walking alongside the main highway) , you see a signboard that says “Neergarh

Waterfall’. There is a road as well (though the work is not complete yet) that connects the Neergarh waterfall onwards to Narendra Nagar through the villages. You need to tread along this path for another 2 kms. One can choose to continue walking along the main road or take the short-routes through the jungles (road signs are there). Neergarh area has multiple waterfalls that cascades through the mountains. The climb here is quite steep but worth an experience. During summers people even bathe here. Its quite a popular tourist attraction around Rishikesh. I had a cup of tea near the falls, took some rest and then commenced the onward up-hill journey towards the Neer Village.

En-route to Mata Kunjapuri Temple

The climb is steep for another 1 km from the waterfall after which you enter a flat area. The views are amazing from here. You see small river bodies flowing along-side and nicely decorated houses that adorn the vast green valley. Another 2 kms of easy walk leads you to the Neer Village. From here again one needs to climb up-hill until you hit the road again. The area is full of lush green forests with very limited habitation visible. You will pass through 2 villages (Dharkot and Kodar) . For about 2-3kms, you walk alongside the road until you reach the top of kodar village. There are a few shops on both the sides of the road. You have to take a small detour on the right side and climb up the hill until you arrive at another pebbled road that goes towards Kunjapuri. It is from here that you get the first glimpse of your destination. The walk from here is of an easy grade and the lush green valley /mountains makes the walk very interesting. As you move closer to Kunjapuri , you will encounter more and more houses. I even stopped by at a house for water and chatted with the people. Finally, you arrive at the main road and then the last 500 metres you walk along the road until you arrive at the entrance of the temple. The journey is not over yet as you need to climb about 300 stairs until you arrive at the main temple premises.

Mata Kunjapuri Temple

The views from the temple top are indeed break-taking and will truly justify the efforts you will make to arrive here. I spent about 20 minutes here , clicked pictures and then headed back. I took a lift from someone who readily agreed to drop me till Hindolakhal. This is about 4 kms from Mata Kunjapuri Temple. HIndolakhal is on the main Char-dham highway and getting a transport from here is not an issue at all. I immediately got a bus going towards Rishikesh. It took me about 50 minutes to reach Natraj Chowk (Rishikesh) from Hindolakhal (Bus fare Rs. 30/-). From here, I boarded another bus back to Dehradun.

I highly recommend people this trek if you are short on time and do not want to wander too far from Rishikesh.

Some of the facts that may be beneficial for you

Total Trek Distance 19 kms
Trek start point Tapovan (Rishikesh)
Trek end point Mata Kunjapuri Temple
Route via Neergarh waterfalls
Duration 4-6 hours of walk



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