Rishikesh

Rishikesh is town in the Dehradun District of Uttarakhand state in India. Total population of Rishikesh is 75,020 (53% male and 47 % female) as of 2001. Rishikesh is situated at 409 meters above sea level in the foothills of Garhwal Himalayan Range and surrounded by the Shivalik range. Rishikesh is 35 kms far from Haridwar, 90 Kms from Mussoorie, 25 Kms far from Jollygrant airport Dehradun, and 240 kms far from New Delhi.

Rishikesh has spectacular view of jungle-clad hills. Rishikesh has also confluence of River Ganges and Chandrabhaga. The glorious attraction of Rishikesh is none other than the great river Ganges herself, running rapidly throughout the city. In the ancient time and still so many yogis, rishis, sages and sannyasis attracted to Rishikesh to practice yoga in this peaceful location. Since then, Rishikesh has known as an abode of sages. Rishikesh is a holy town with so many Ashrams and it is famous for the yoga world wide. Rishikesh is now world famous as a Yoga Capital of the world. Every year during the March month one week long International yoga festival is hosted by Rishikesh.

Rishikesh is also known as gateway to the Char Dham. Char Dham is four popular holy temples on the hills (Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri) Thousands of people attracted every year to Rishikesh for spiritual relief, peace, learn yoga, adventure and to take a dip for salvation. The famous among them were Beatles, Kate Winslet and many more others celebrities. It is believed that by meditation in Rishikesh one can get "Moksha" (liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth) as well as holy dip in the river Ganges.

Apart from spirituality now Rishikesh is also hub for the adventure activities such as rafting, camping, trekking and bungee jumping. Rishikesh is full of tourist every time. There are also big ashrams, centers for Yoga, Meditation, Ayurvedic Massage and astrology are here. Rishikesh is also known as the white water rafting capital of India.

Attractions in Rishikesh

Triveni Ghat : Triveni Ghat is biggest bathing ghat in Rishikesh. Situated near the main market this ghat has mesmerizing view of mountain and river. The reason for the name is it is believed that this is conference of 03 rivers Ganges, Yamuna and legendary Saraswati. Due to the conference this ghat is great place to take a bath. Ghat is structure of steps where people can acess river for holy bath. Everyday Ganges ceremony (Ganga Aarti) is organized at ghat in evening. (5 PM in winter and 6 PM in Summer) This is beautiful place to sit right on the bank of the river and view the mountain and river with the company of cool river breeze. Triveni Ghat is situated just 100 meter far from the main market. Small Shani Mandir is also located near Triveni Ghat.

Lakshman Jhula : Big iron suspension bridge on the river Ganges which is 4.5 kms far from Rishikesh. It is believed that Lakshman (Brother of lord Ram) crossed the river here by jute rope. Current bridge is built in 1929 in when the old bridge (1989 built) was damaged in flood. Laskman Jhula is popular in tourist for shopping and other activites such as rafting. Both side of the bridge has so many different shops with interesting things to buy. Lakshman temple and Tera Manzil Temple is also situated here. From the bridge you can have spectacular view of river and the city. Lakshman Jhula is pedestrian bridge but it is also used for bikes.

Ram Jhula : Suspension bridge similar to the Lakshman Jhula between Sivananda Ashram and Swarg Ashram is known as Ram Jhula or Sivananda Jhula. Boat is also available here on sharing basis to cross the river. So many shops are available on the both side of bridge for shopping. Sivananda Ashram, Yog Niketan Ashram and Omkarnanda Ashram is located at one end of the brindge and the other end has Swarg Ashram, Gita Bhawan and Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Ram Jhula is pedestrian bridge but it is also used for bikes.

Parmarth Niketan : Parmarth Niketan Ashram is located in the Swarg Ashram area. The Ashram has so many rooms for devotees as well as tourist. Ashram has many religious statues inside. Parmarth Niketan is also host for the Internationa Yoga Festival every year. Ashram is popular among the tourist for Yoga. Every day Ganga Aarti ceremony is organized at the Ghat of the Ashram in Evening.(5 PM in winter and 6 PM in Summer. The aarti is widely visited by the tourists.

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple : This temple is situated at 1325 meters height and 31 kms far from Rishikesh. Neelkant Mahadev is Temple of Lord Shiva. According to legends Lord Shiva came here for meditation when he consumed poison during the sea churning. Lord Shiva's throat became blue colored due to the poison so he is known as a NeelKanth (Blue throated) here. Thousand of tourist visit this temple during Shivratri and Kanwar Mela. Temple is also accessible by trekking route and by road from Swarg Ashram. Temple Timings: 05 AM to 01 PM and 04 PM to 09 PM.

Sivananda Ashram : Sivananda Ashram is also known as Divine Life Society. It is located near Ram Jhula. Sivanada Ashram was established by Swami Sivananda. Swami Sivanada lived here for more than 30 years. There are several activities performed by the Ashram such as Yoga Meditation and hospital. Sivananda Ashram has rooms for the guest. Ashram has Meditation hall, Yoga Hall & Music Hall. Sivananda Ashram is one of the most popular ashrams in Rishikesh.

Bharat Mandir : Bharat Mandir Temple situated at the center in Rishikesh and near the main market. This is one of the oldest temples in Rishikesh. The deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu. Raibhya Rishi made penance here and lord Vishnu appeared in front of the sage to give him blessing. Temple has small musium also. Bharat Mandir Temple is inside the Rishikesh Market area and can be reached easily from Chandrabhaga Bridge(Temple Timings: 05 AM to 11 AM and 3 PM to 09 PM).

Gita Bhawan : Gita Bhavan (Geeta Bhawan) is Ashram located in Swarg Ashram area. The ashram has large complex with discourse hall and more than 300 rooms which they are offering to tourist at very low cost. There is temple of also inside the ashram. Lessons from Bhagvad Gita is written on the walls of Ashram. Inside the temple you can see life of Lord Krishna in pictures. Cloth store, Book store, Ayurvedic medicine shop and restaurant are part of this.

Swarg Ashram : Swarg Ashram is area between Lakshman Jhula and Rishikesh. This place is well known for various famous ashrams, beautiful surroundings, healthy and divine living. So many shops are also here for shopping. Place is accessible via Ram Jhula bridge by walk or by road via Beraj. Parmarth Niketan, Gita Bhawan, Bhootnath Temple and many other intresting places are part of the Swarga Ashram area.

Tera Manzil Temple : Tera Manzil Temple has 13 floors. Each floor has many small temples with different deities throughout the This temple is located near the Lakshman Jhula. The view from the top of the temple is amazing. Temple is also known as Trayambakeshwar Temple, Trimbakeshwar Temple or Kailashanand Mission Trust.

Beatles Ashram : Beatles Ashram is located in the Swarg Ashram this ashram is closed in 1997 and consumed by forest department. Still there are some building such as meditation cells and lecture halls are there as a witness of the glory of ashram. In February 1968 Beatle stayed here to learn yoga and meditation. After the Beatle's visit Rishikesh came in limelight throughout the world for yoga.