Rishikesh is 20 Kms away from Haridwar, 46 Kms away from Dehradun, capital of Uttarakhand and 228 Kms away from New Delhi, capital of India. Rishikesh is located at lower part of Himalayas and is surrounded by beauty of hills, Holy Ganga flowing as small streams and rivers. Rishikesh is considered to be one of the most sacred place, as many of the saints got the spiritual power by doing meditation, puja’s, ceremonies and more. Even today also we can find many Saint’s, Sadhu’s and others doing spiritual ceremonies and meditation to attain Moksha. We can find many ancient historical temples, in which Rishi’s had done meditation, along the side of River Ganga.
You can find Shartughna Temple which is ancient temple situated on the banks of holy river Ganga near Ram Jhula, is one of the two temples in the world which are dedicated to the youngest brother of Lord Rama – Shartughna. The other temple is at Paymmal in Thrissur district of Kerala. Rishikesh is the home-land of many peoples and sadhu’s who get shelter and free food to lead there life without any worries. Rishikesh is also known as “Capital City for Yoga and Meditation”.
Rishikesh is an ideal place for the people who are interested to get more knowledge and experience by practicing in the field of Yoga and meditation, as it always has cool temperature all over the year.
Apart from spirituality, Rishikesh is also getting famous for White Water Rafting, Trekking, Biking and Adventure Sports.
The actual name of “Rishikesh” is “Hrishikesh”, “Hrishik” means senses and “ish” means master of Lord. This place got the name as “Hrishikesh” after Lord Vishnu appeared to `Raibhya Rishi` as a result of his Tapas, as Lord “Hrishikesh”. As per Skanda Purana, this place is also known as `Kubjamrak`. Other Legend says this place is also known as “Agni Tirth” – The Holy place to penance of Lord Agni.
Rishikesh became very famous religious place after many famous religious leaders of contemporary time visited and Adi Shankaracharya was one among them who visited in the 9th century AD
Every year from 2nd Feb to 7th Feb, International Yoga Week will be held on the bank of Ganga River, which attracts the people from all over the world.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple: Situated on the outskirts of Rishikesh, around 12 Kms away. It is revered temple, knows as “Neelkanth Mahadev”. Situated on top of a hill, at a height of around 5500 feet, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legends say that the Lord Shiva had drunk venom which had oozed out from the sea. After drinking the poison, his neck turned blue with the poison and hence he was called as “Neelkanth”, the one avatar with blue neck.
Vasishtha Guha, is just one hour drive from Rishikesh, where famous saint Vasishtha meditated on the banks of river Ganga. The cave is very peaceful and is a perfect place for meditation.
Triveni Ghat: The main bathing Ghat in Rishikesh, where every morning several pilgrims take a dip in the holy water of Ganges. Every evening hundreds of pilgrims attend the Ganga Aarti at the Ghat. The Ghat is so named because it is believed that this is the place of confluence of three holiest Hindu rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. It is of belief that those who take a dip in water at this Ghat washes away all their sins and purifies the soul and will have salvation, a relief from all sins carried out; the water here has the power to purify them. Daily in the morning and evening there are thousands who take bath here and enjoy the Maha Aarti being performed here on every evening. It very soothing to sit on the banks of river and enjoy the cool breeze from the river.
Rishi Kund is located near Triveni Ghat and is the most ancient place in Rishikesh. Many Legends say this place has a history which is related to Kubz Saint and he was blessed by Goddess Yamuna by saturating this pond by its water. The pond reflects the temple of Lord Raghunath, dedicated to Lord Rama and Goddess Sita.
About Laxman Jhula
As per mythological scriptures, Lord Rama meditated and practiced penance at this place after the execution of Ravana. Lord Rama's younger brother Laxman crossed the river Ganga through the Jute rope, after that the same place has been named as "Laxman Jhula". As the Jute bridge became older and unsafe, it was replaced with Iron bridge in 1889. Iron bridge was completely damaged in 1924 flood, after that the present Iron suspension hanging bridge was fixed in 1939.
In & around Laxman Jhula
Trayambakeshwar Temple: Temple is an ancient temple, situated on the banks of River Ganga. Set on the beautiful Himalayan Ranges, this temple is a religious adobe of Lord Shiva and is also known as one of the twelve Jyotirlinga’s. A beautiful idol of Lord Shiva is placed in the temple, which is the main attraction. The temple was found during the 12th century by Adi guru Shankaracharya. Tourists and devotees visit Shri Trayambakeshwar temple during the Shiva Ratri festival, which is one of the major events celebrated in the destination.
Laxman Temple: Temple is situated on the right bank of the Ganges.
Tera Manzil temple: Temple is very popular among the travellers as it is enshrined with idols of different Hindu gods and goddesses. The temple provides the visitors with a beautiful view of sun set and the surrounding area from the top most floor of Tera Manzil Temple.
About Ram Jhula
Ram Jhula is situated around 3 Kms north of Rishikesh; the bridge is built with an iron suspension. The bridge is built across the River Ganges and is a landmark of Rishikesh. Ram Jhula has been recently built between Sivananda Ashram and Swarg Ashram.
In & around Ram Jhula
Gita Bhawan: Ashram was built in 1950’s. The Paintings, Statues, scenes from the epics of famous Indian epic Ramayana and Mahabharata are depicted on the walls. This Bhawan consist of one free Ayurvedic dispensary and branch of Gita Press, Gorakhpur. Ceremonies, puja’s and bhajan’s takes place on regular intervals and one can enjoy Bhakti sangeet in the evenings. The Bhawan also has well-built rooms for accommodating the yatri’s.
Paramarth Niketan: One of the most renowned ashram in Rishikesh, known for its substantial work on Hinduism, there is a school run on traditional Indian patterns. The ashram organized Ganga Aarti and Hawan on the Paramarth Ghat every evening, 5 PM in the winter and 6 PM in the summer.
Swarg Ashram: Swarg Ashram as the name connotes is a beautiful place situated I picturesque surroundings at the foot of Himalayas on the left bank of the Ganges between Rishikesh and Laxman Jhula. The area is known for its healthy and satwik living environment. It is the place where from ages of yore the famous yogis and rishis have been doing the tapasya. The spiritual air of the soul pacifies one and all.