Temporary ferry at Laxman Jhula in Rishikesh

ferry at laxman jhula runs because of bridge construction

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Ellen

The quieter neighborhoods in Rishikesh are on opposite sides of the famous Ganga River between the two pedestrian bridges named Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula (also spelled Lakshman Jhula). These areas are close to the river and mountains, and away from the noisy, congested, modern Indian small city of Rishikesh proper. As of this writing, there is a temporary ferry at Laxman Jhula for people to cross the Ganges.

Laxman Jhula was closed in July 2019 when it was 90 years old — the pedestrian suspension bridge was built in 1929 and it needed major repairs.

Update February 2024: Bajrang Setu is a cable and glass bridge being constructed as an alternative to Lakshman Jhula. It is still under construction, and is not open. An opening date for the new bridge cannot be found in any Indian news source with reporting in English. The ferry is still the only viable option to cross the Ganges in the area of Lakshman Jhula.

The temporary ferry helps people cross the holy Ganges River between between the Tapovan and Lakshman Jhula neighborhoods without walking on a busy road.

Tapovan is on a steep hill with twisting narrow roads that lead up to that busy main road, which becomes a two-lane ‘highway’ on either side of the neighborhood.

In addition to motorcycles, rickshaws, cars, trucks, and buses, cows can jam things up on ‘Highway 7’ and drivers are impatient, which makes it somewhat dangerous in narrow spots.

cows block traffic on highway 7 in rishikesh outside of tapovan

There are more hotels and restaurants and shops in Tapovan, but Laxman is a more pleasant walking experience. At least that’s true while Laxman Jhula is closed.

Unlike Tapovan, Laxman is relatively flat and runs along the Ganga. Motor traffic is limited but cows still rule the road.

cows walk in the laxman neighborhood of rishikesh

Details: Ferry at Laxman Jhula

From Tapovan, the ferry leaves from Pebble Beach — whenever there are enough passengers.

From the Lakshman Jhula neighborhood, the ferry leaves from the ‘Boating Center’ when there are enough passengers. The Laxman boating center is the small white sand beach behind restaurants and shops.

Boating Center beach in Rishikesh for the ferry at Laxman Jhula, pictured under construction in the background.

Depending on the time of day, you might need to wait a half hour for your boat to fill up. Or, since there is only one boat that goes back and forth, the other side might have a queue, in which case the boat will cross empty from one side to scoop up a full load of passengers on the other side.

The cost is 40 rupees ($.50). The ride lasts two minutes.

empty ferry at laxman jhula on the ganga river in rishikesh

Small point, but important for anyone with mobility issues: neither side has steps at the dock, so you are on your own to make a giant step. An Indian man waiting to board on the other side helped hoist me up.

I guess it’s possible an additional ferry at Laxman Jhula might handle cross-river traffic if the International Yoga Festival in March 2023 draws a lot of attendees this year following COVID.

Options aside from ferry at Laxman Jhula

There are two other budget ways to cross the Ganga to and from Tapovan. First, simply walk down the main busy road to the other pedestrian bridge, named Ram Jhula.

map showing bridges in rishikesh

Or, walk east to the hardly-used car and pedestrian Neelkanth Bridge near the Patna Waterfall.

Neelkanth Bridge east of Rishikesh.

It is a gorgeous, easy walk on the Laxman side. However, this is a long walk on the busy two-lane ‘highway’ on the Tapovan side, as you can see from the map above.

You could try to flag down a bus, but they don’t always stop. A bus conductor from the Patna area to Tapovan charged me 50 rupees for two people – me and Mom Diane.

Once, from the Neel Waterfall turnoff, we hitchhiked back to Tapovan. No problem, if you’re open to that.

More expensive ways to cross the Ganga

If you are in a hurry, you can spend 400 rupees (less than $5) for a private boat ride at the Laxman Jhula crossing. You can go at anytime. Might be worth it if you are in a group…

Rickshaws are everywhere, and will be more than happy to charge you ??? for crossing another bridge (not pictured on the map above) southwest of Ram Jhula. I haven’t done that, so I don’t know the price.

In the grand scheme of things, neither of these last two options is ‘expensive’, but if you’re a budget traveler like me, and you want to cross every day – sometimes more than once – it would add up.


But what’s the rush? It’s more relaxing to go with the flow here.

In that flow, there is always something new to see, something new to entertain the mind, something odd to Western senses that tries to bend your understanding about the world — because after all, this is India.

signs on an ashram in rishikesh that read 'serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realise,' and 'god first, world next, yourself last.'

Thanks for reading, “Temporary ferry at Laxman Jhula in Rishikesh.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top