|Rishikesh is located in the northern
part of Uttar Pradesh. It is 238 km northeast of Delhi and 24 km north of
Haridwar and spreads on the right banks of the Ganges, at its confluence
with the Chandrabhaga stream. It is surrounded by hills on three sides and
is perched at an altitude of 356 meters above sea level. The name Rishikesh
is loosely applied to an association of five distinct sections encompassing
not only the town but also hamlets and settlements on both sides of the
These include Rishikesh itself, the commercial and communication hub; the
sprawling suburban Muni-ki-Reti or the "sands of the sages";
Shivananda Nagar, north of Rishikesh; the temple section of Lakshmanjhula, a
little further north; and the assorted ashrams around Swarg Ashram on the
east bank. In Rishikesh, the winters last from November to March, when
temperatures fall below 0°C. The monsoons are generally experienced in
the months of July and August.
Legend has it that the sage Raibhya Rishi did severe penance and, as a
reward, God appeared to him in the form of Hrishikesh. Rishikesh also
represents the site where Lord Vishnu vanquished the demon Madhu. The place
is known as the Tapo Bhumi or the place for meditation of the Gods. Tapovan,
on the other bank of the Ganges, houses a temple to Lakshmana. It is
believed that Lakshmana, the younger brother of Lord Rama, carried out
penance here. The Neelkanth Mahadev temple is believed to be the site where
Lord Shiva had drunk the venom that came out during the churning of the
ocean. In the 1960s, the place came into limelight as the place where the
pop group Beatles met their guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Attractions of Rishikesh
- Lakshmanan Jhula
This suspended Iron bridge was build in 1939 and has been a major
attraction among the tourists to Rishikesh. It is said that Lakshman
crossed Ganga on jute ropes between the place where this bridge is
built. The Ganges appears very panoramic from the bridge.
One can enjoy the picturesque surroundings and the cool breeze from
the River while standing on the bridge. If you feel like feeding the
fish in the Ganges, take a boat and cross the river. The boat ride
makes the bridge appear more gorgeous. Close to LakshmanJuhla is the
Ram Jhula - This suspended bridge was recently build between
Shivanand Ashram and Sawarg Ashram. It is similar to the Lakshman
Jhula. Ram Juhla is also known as Shivanand Jhula.
Bharat Mandir: Built by Adiguru Shankra Chrya around 12th century,
Bharat Mandir is situated in the heart of the old town on the Banks
of the Ganges. Detailed account of this oldest temple of Rishikesh
are available in anciant record of Kearkhand. The Inner sanctum of
the temple has the idol of lord Vishnu, carved out of a single
Saligram. In the inner canopy above the idol is shree yantra
installed by Adi Sankraya Charya. The original temple was destroyed
by Tamur lane in 1398 A.D. Lot of old statues , coins, pots and
other things of historical importance were found in recent
excavations in the premises of the temple.
- Parmarth Niketan
One of the most renowned temple complex and ashram in the area .
Known for its substantial work on Hinduism, three is a school run on
traditional Indian Patterns. The ashram organises excellent Ganga
Arti and Hawan on the Parmarth Ghat every evening.
"When global orange sun suspended, waits low amid the
red/yellow streaked horizon, then all these combine to give this
town a very special evening. The temple bells roar, priests enchant
mantras. Immersed in sublimation stand the pilgrims . Cupped leaves,
with saffron marigold petals and a small candle flame, flickering
ride the current of water of wisdom. Suddenly the sky darkens ,
spreading a blanket of stillness. Everything stops, except the sound
of current , which has just sunk the tiny flames of cupped leaves,
few minutes back".
Transcendental Centre of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:Situated on the
extreme end of Geeta Bhawan area , Marishi's TM centre is situated
in the peaceful forest area. Once the most active branch has nothing
much to offer to the visitors today.
- Kunjapuri Temple
Drive to Kunja Puri, one of the thirteen most important Goddesses
of Shivalik range , the lower Himalayas.One can witness excellent
sunrise or sun set on the Greater Hiamalayan Peaks and the vast Indo
Gangetic plains . One can see almost all the peaks of Garhwal
Himalayas from here eg Banderpunch (6316 Mts), Swarga Rohini (6252
Mts), Gangotri ( 6672 mts), Chaukhamba (7138 mts) etc.
- Vasishtha Goofa
One hour drive from Rishikesh up river is situated Vasishtha Goofa
, where famous saint Vasishtha meditated on the banks of the Ganges.
The cave is very peaceful and is a perfect place for meditation.
Close to Trivenighat is the most ancient place, the Rishikund.
Anciant records relate this to Kubz Saint , who was blessed by the
Goddess Yamuna by saturating this pond by its water.The pond
reflects the temple of Ragunath , deidicated to lord Rama and his
- Triveni Ghat
The main Ghat in the town area where most of the pilgrims take holy
dip. Every evening hundreds of pilgrims attend the Ganga Arti at the
- Nilkanth Mahadeo
Mythology says that in the ancient times when the ocean was being
churned for 'amrit' (Potion for immortality), first venom oozed out.
Lord Shiva drank the venom at a place which is now called Nilkanth
Mahadeo. It is 12 kms from Rishikesh and is surrounded by peaceful
and other Spiritual Centres in Rishikesh
Yoga Study Centre
One of the best and most dedicated ashram to Hatha Yoga. Yoga
classes are held in the morning and in the evening every day under
the supervision of Shree Rudra Dev, one of the most dedicated yoga
teethed in the area.
Shiva Nanda Ashram (Divine Life Society)
One of the oldest and most active ashrams in the area.
Spiritual as well as activities related with Hinduism are the
practiced here every day. The ashram runs the best and biggest
charitable hospital from which hundreds of local people get free
medical services every day.Ashram also runs yoga and meditation
courses very often.
One of the most active ashrams in the area. Ashram runs
traditional Indian School, Guest house and Ganga Arti every
Ashram runs yoga and Mediatation classes regularly. Govt is
planning to have its First Yoga Acedemy in India, in the
ashram.Transcendental Meditation Centre of Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi: Once the most active ashrams in sixties has very few
activities rarely. The ashram is best located in the forests on
the banks Ganga and is ideal for meditation.
Sacha Vedic Sansthan
One of the most active ashram in tapovan area. Ashram has its
own guest house on the river and organises spiritual and Hindu
religious activities very often.
How to get
The nearest airport is Dehradun (Jolly Grant), 25 kms. Vayudoot
services operates from Delhi to Dehradun (Jolly Grant).
Rishikesh is connected by rail via Haridwar (24 kms), to Howrah,
Bombay, Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Dehradun and other cities.
By road Rishikesh to Haridwar 24 kms, Dehradun 47 kms, Mussoorie 77
kms, Badrinath 301 kms (Son Prayag), Kedarnath 228 kms, Gangotri 258
kms, Yamunotri 288 kms (Hanuman Chatti), Srinagar 105 kms, Joshimath