Rishikesh

Why To Go

Rishikesh is a beautiful, scenic holiday destination and is one of the important pilgrimage destinations for Hindus. Located at an elevation of 1220 feet in the lap of the Himalayas and  at the convergence of rivers Ganga and Chandrabhaga, this majestic hill town is also popularly called the Yoga Capital of the World.

It happens to be the Gateway to the Himalayas and this is what greatly adds to its beauty. Named after the God Rishikiesh, the town is situated on the banks of river Ganga, and whether you want to get in touch with your spiritual side, or rejuvenate yourself with some fantastic adventure sports, Rishikesh offers it all. Known as much for river rafting and camping as it is for meditation and religious purposes, it is one of the best holiday destinations in India.

Rishikesh has been an abode of ascetics since, well, time immemorial. It is also imporant as the gateway to the Garhwal mountains and holy spots in them like the source of the Ganga, the Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines and more. Rishikesh is a city in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand, in the Himalayan foothills beside the Ganges River. Temples and ashrams (centers for spiritual studies) line the eastern bank around Swarg Ashram, a traffic-free, alcohol-free and vegetarian enclave upstream from Rishikesh town.

Travel Tips

Rishikesh is best visited during early summer (April to June), when temperature is cool and during winter months when temperature though, is chilly but nice and moderate. The month of March is also thronged by tourists because of Yoga festival. September to June is best for rafting lovers. Dry bags should be taken along with you to carry small stuff like towel, sun protection cream, sunglasses, lip balm, money, inhalers for nose congestion, driver’s license and so on. Basic first aids like antiseptic liquid, cotton, joint pain creams, paracetamols, digestion medicines, anti vomiting tablets should be taken. Snacks and drinking water is a must because no lunch breaks are possible in between the rafting activity. Neoprene boots or old sneakers should be taken for safely of the feet. People with cardiovascular or respiratory problems should not try out river rafting. Lifejackets are to be taken compulsorily for the purpose of survival in case the individual falls into the rapids. Both dry and wet suits are required for rafting and should be used depending on the temperature of water. After wearing the dry suit inside, the wet suit should be worn above it because the water in Rishikesh is chilling.

Things To Do

There are many places to explore, while at Rishikesh. The Triveni Ghat is a must visit, especially during the evenings when the goddess Ganga is worshipped. The river is sacred for Hindus, and many pilgrims come to dip themselves in the holy water of the Ganges, in order to wash away their sins. It is also rumoured that Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, the three holy rivers, flow together underground at this spot. Rishikund is another sacred spot you must visit. It was made on the behest of Kubz saint, who had requested the holy river Yamuna to drench this pond. The Shani Mandir is also located here. Ganga Aarti has been a centuries-old tradition to worship the river in the morning and evening in small private ceremonies, The Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh has converted the evening aarti ritual to a spectacular show. The diyas floating on the Ganga in the dark are a sight to behold. If you are staying in an ashram, then it probably has is own timings for the aarti. Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula are the chief attractions of Rishikesh. The latter is a hanging bridge which is 450 feet long, and was made in 1939. It stretches across the River Ganga, where it is said that Lord Rama’s brother, Laxman, had crossed the river using a jute rope. It offers a breathtaking view of the Ganga, and it is a thrill to walk over the bridge. The Ram Jhula is even longer, and is also very picturesque. Bharat Mandir is the oldest temple at Rishikesh. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and it is said that Rishi Rabhya did penance at this spot. There is a spectacular Shree Yantra located here, and Basant Panchami is celebrated with a lot of aplomb over here. The Neelkanth Mahadev temple is one of the most important temples here. It is said that Lord Shiva drank the venom of the Sagar Manthan from here, after which his throat turned blue. The Kunjapuri Devi temple is also quite important, for cultural as well as religious reasons, because it is dedicated to the thirteen most important goddesses in the Shivalik Range. The Tera Manzil Temple is also worth a visit, as is Geeta Bhavan. The latter is a very important destination for Puranic and Mythological studies. It is a museum for the same. If you want to relax and unwind your body and mind, taking up Yoga lessons at one of the many Ashrams here is a wonderful idea. The Himalayan Yoga Gurukul, the Ved Niketan Ashram, the Rishikesh Yoga Peeth are just some of the important Yoga centres in this town. If you want to enthrall yourself with some quality adventure sports, Rishikesh is the perfect place to go to. Cliff climbing, rock-climbing, cliff jumping, camping and kayaking are just some of the thrilling adventure sports which you can indulge in. White-water rafting can also be done here, but only between March-May, as well as in September and November. You can also indulge in Bungee jumping from Jumpin Heights.

Getting Around

Hrikesh or Rishikesh is a holy as well as a hilly town and as such you may avail auto rickshaws or buses to move around the city. Although, the best way to walk around to experience the charm of the hilly town.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

For airways, the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport. There are flights available to this airport from all major metropolitan's. One may also take a flight to Dehradun via Delhi or Lucknow. Then you may take taxis or private cars from the airport to reach Rishikesh. The distanceis around 22 km and it takes around half an hour to reach the town.

TRAIN

If you go by railways, then the nearest station is Haridwar which lays around 25 kms away from Rishikesh. After getting down at the station, you can hire a taxi or even take a bus to Rishikesh. Taxis and buses are also available from Rishikesh to Muni-ki-reti and Swargashram.

ROAD

If you want a free drive through the road ways, then a long drive of 6-7 hours from Delhi is sufficient to make you reach Rishikesh. Apart from cars, you can also book a seat in the bus services from Delhi. Rishikesh is also well connected with all major north Indian cities like Dehradun, Haridwar, Tehri, Uttarkashi, Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida via bus.

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Surrounding Attractions

As the base camp is made near the banks of the river, so the surrounding appears to be away from civilization. This is the greatest attraction for the tourists. Apart from that, there are other sightseeing spots in Rishikesh that are extremely breath taking to watch. The water fall trek is the jungle trek to the Waterfall in Rishikesh is another spectacular event for the tourists. The unforgettable trekking experience down the beautiful routes through the jungle in the rhythm of the waterfall simply can drive you crazy if you are fond of knowing the unknown. The Char Dham is the holy place of Lord Rama, then the Chat Dham pilgrimage is ideal for you. This includes, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. The worship places of Ram and Laxman, Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula are the other places of tourist interest. The fantastic works of architecture and deep devotional ambience is really something worth experiencing when you are in Rishikesh. Rajaji National Park is a wonderful adventurous experience through the lush green forest safari. Elephants and beautiful birds are the best attractions in this national park. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a very old temple of Lord Shiva. People visit here for pilgrimage and the well being of their lives. Triveni Ghat is an awesome river bank temple statue of Lord Shiva surrounded by waters. People come here to pray and endorse their souls with the devotion towards God. You may also viist to nearby hilly towns such as Badrinath, Kedarnath, Haridwar, Uttarkashi and so on.These places are inter linked and are also very attractive with natural beauties and offer magnificent views of the Himalayas.
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