ABOUT RISHIKESH                                                                                                                         <<Back

Rishikesh 24 Kms. from Hardwar. Located in the laps of lower Himalayas, and is surrounded by scenic beauty of the hills on three sides with Holy Ganga flowing through it. The whole place is considered to be sacred as it is believed that meditation at this place leads to attainment of salvation. There are many temples-some ancient, some new along the river Ganges. Rishikesh is important not only as pilgrimage centre closely associated with the Ramayana, but also as home for many important centres of Hindu religious thought and spirituality, and as a very great Yoga Centre. There are a great many ashrams and Yoga institutes here. Rishikesh is also the gateway and the start-off point for journeys to important religious places like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.

Rishikesh is also acquiring greater significance as a centre for white water rafting, other revering sports, a base for treks and hikes in the beautiful Garhwal Himalayas.

Rishikesh is an ideal destination not only for pilgrims but also for those who want to delve deeper into meditation, Yoga and other aspects of Hinduism. For the adventurous, Rishikesh is the place for starting their trekking expeditions and excursions towards the Himalayan peaks. The International Yoga week, which attracts participation from all across the world, is held here every year from 2nd to 7th Feb on the bank of Ganga river.

Lakshman Jhula

This suspended bridge running from one bank of Ganga to other is the landmark of the city. It was built in 1939. The legend behind it states that Lakshman crossed a bridge made of jute ropes here on river Ganga. The view from the bridge itself is panoramic. The mountains covered in green belt, the waters flowing below, a cool breeze, all these together make Lakshman Jhula a great place to visit. You can also feed the fish in the river below from the bridge itself, the fish gather at the place where people drop food for them. To take a better view of the Jhula, one can take a boat ride in the river below, the scene with Lakshman Jhula in the foreground and green mountains in the background make a picturesque view and you can also feed the fish while you are in the boat. Ram Jhula, a similar structure to Lakshman Jhula is a more recent addition to the city. Also known as Shivanand Jhula, it connects Shivanand ashram with Swarg ashram.

Triveni Ghat

It is the main bathing ghat in Rishikesh where every morning several devotees take a dip in the holy waters of Ganga. The Ghat is so named because it is believed that this is the place of confluence of three holiest Hindu rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Sarswati. This is the place where River Ganga takes a complete right angle turn. The most enchanting experience here is that of the evening aarti. Scores of devotees stand on the steps of the ghat at this time. The priests perform the rituals, the golden flames come out of large pure ghee lamps (being rotated in set circular motions), vedic chants fill the air in praise of goddess of River Ganga and the conchs in the temples on the Ghat fill the air with their sound. The spiritualness in the air mesmerises one beyond expression and no matter what religion the people on the ghat belong to, their soul cannot remain untouched by this. What follows is even more spectacular. Turning the waters into golden, people float leaf boats into the river with flowers and lamps burning in them. Eyes follow these lamps as they go with the flow of the river. This small ceremony of ownership symbolizes hope, remembrance and wishes for future.

Nilkanth Mahadeo Temple

At a height of approximately 5500 feet is the famous temple of Nilkanth Mahdeo. It is situated at a hill top above Swarg ashram. Legend goes that this was the place where lord Shiva had drank venom which had come out from churning the sea. After drinking it, his neck had turned blue with the poison and hence he was called 'Neelkanth', the one with blue neck. To visit this most revered temple of Rishikesh, jeeps are available from Lakshman Jhula. Every year in the months of monsoon - mid July to August - fairs are held here. There is also a fresh water spring within temple complex where people take bath before paying a visit to the temple.

Bharat Temple

This is the oldest temple in Rishikesh built by Adiguru Shankaracharya in 12th century. Dedicated to Bharat, younger brother of Lord Ram, it is situated in the old town near Triveni Ghat. Details about temple are available in ancient records of Kearkhand. The original temple was destroyed by Tamur during his invasion in 1398. However, many important things are well preserved till date here. In the inner sanctum there is an idol of Lord Vishnu carved out of a single Saligram (the divine stone of Mahavishnu). There is also a Shriyantra placed on the canopy above that was places here by Adi Shankaracharya. Recent excavations have revealed more about the rich history of the temple. Old statues, coins, pots and other things have been discovered from the premises of the temple.

Kailash Niketan Temple

Crossing Lakshman Jhula, the main temple you will see is Kailash Niketan Temple. It is a 13 storey structure slightly different from regular temples. The temple has sculptures of all the gods and goddesses.


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