Jhilmil Cave: A Wondrous Living Cave Near Rishikesh

Jhilmil Cave is  within the Manikoot Parvat region, Jhilmil Cave, also known as Jhilmil Gufa, stands as a testament to time, formed thousands of years ago. Just 25 km from Rishikesh, this extraordinary natural wonder offers a unique and offbeat exploration opportunity.

The cave’s beauty lies in its unique rock formations, with hanging icicle-like structures called stalactites and rising formations known as stalagmites. Many people come here to explore the cave’s interiors and marvel at its natural wonders.

Neelkantht Temple

Legend has it that the cave is named after a sage named Jhilmila Sadhu, who is said to have meditated and attained Samadhi there. It’s located just 4 kilometers from the Neelkanth Mahadev temple on Manikoot Parvat, in the Kajari Van area.

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a tourist with visitors at Jhilmil cave rishikesh                                                                                             A tourist with pilgrims at Jhilmil cave

Jhilmil Cave by Foot

Jhilmil Cave is just15 kilometers from Rishikesh by foot and  you can reach there by taking 15 long trail through the Rajaji National Park. The cave is situated amidst lush green surroundings and offers stunning views of the nearby hills and valleys.

History of the Cave

This cave has a rich history, having formed naturally millions of years ago. It is dedicated to Baba Gorakhnath, who is a follower of Lord Shiva. According to Puranic accounts, Baba Gorakhnath performed intense austerities in this cave, offering Hawan (sacred fire rituals) to Lord Shiva for thousands of years. It is said that Lord Shiva and Baba Gorakhnath engaged in extensive discussions on yoga within these ancient walls.

Mythological Significance

The cave is revered as a spiritual sanctuary, the site where Baba Gorakhnath, a  disciple of Lord Shiva, meditated for an extended period.  Additionally, according to Hindu epic Mahabharata, the Pandavas utilized this cave for meditation and sought refuge here from their adversaries during their period of exile.

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Jhilmil Cave in Rishikesh
Tourists blessed by Baba in the cave

Nearby attractions

Jhilmil Cave include Ganesh Gufa and Hanuman Gufa, which resemble idols of Lord Ganesh and Lord Hanuman, respectively. These caves are popular among devotees who trek up to Jhilmil Cave. Visitors may encounter Naga Sadhus engaged in deep meditation or rituals, and tourists often participate in yoga sessions or moments of contemplation. The surrounding area boasts rich and untouched flora and fauna, ideal for birdwatching.

Where to Stay

For accommodations, tourists typically stay in Rishikesh due to its proximity, offering a range from budget to luxury options. However, staying near Ganesh Gufa is an option for those wishing to avoid traveling back after dark. Accommodations there are basic and may require negotiation with the owner for pricing and facilities.

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Mauni Baba Ashram
Mauni Baba Ashram

Getting There

Jhilmil Cave is about 25 kilometers from Rishikesh, 60 kilometers from Dehradun, and 265 kilometers from Delhi. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, with transportation options including cars or buses to the cave. The nearest train station is in Rishikesh, with local transportation available to Jhilmil Cave.


Accessible by driving along the Badrinath Highway and Neelkanth motorway or trekking from Ram Jhula Bridge.  it’s important to finish trekking before sunset due to wildlife activity, particularly elephants and leopards.

Best time 

The best time to visit is from October to March, avoiding the monsoon months for safety reasons.

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A cup of tea with Sadhu nearby
A cup of tea with Sadhu nearby the cave


The Jhilmil Cave in Rishikesh offers an extraordinary journey that combines adventure, spirituality, and natural beauty in equal measure. The scenic trek through the rugged terrain in the Rajaji National Park is breathtaking experience. Every step of this exploration is a memory that remains into your heart forever.


Namaste! I am Om. I am a licensed Tourist Guide ( Approved by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India), I’m originally from Varanasi. Now, I am living in Rishikesh. I set up this blog to share my tips and experiences for traveling to inspire and help you to travel more. Hari Om

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