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About Rishikesh

Named after the God Hrishikesh whose appearance is an answer to the lord penances by Rabhiya Rishi. The place also stands as a synonym to Haridwar, the Place of Sages. The Holy Chardham yatra has its starting point from Rishikesh. It is a place filled with different specialist for different people, most famous of which is yoga week that is held every year in the month of February and attracts devotees and solace seekers from across the world. Apart from the sanctity of the place it is a heaven for trekkers and adventures to start their treks to mighty Himalayas or to try river rafting.

Rishikesh The only gateway to major pilgrims centers like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. This is the only place where holy gangas enters into sprawling plains of North India. Approx 235 kms of Delhi located in the Northern Part of Uttar Pradesh is just at half an hour drive from Haridwar where we can see the confluence of Chandrabhega stream. Almost at an height of 360 meters above sea level surrounded by mountains on all the three sides is an example of creativity by mother nature. Rishikesh encompasses all the aspects of commercial and communication hub, places like Muni-Ki-Reti, Sivananda nagar the temple side of lakshman jhula and number of different asrams makes the city as a valuable place to our culture and the World Capital of yoga.

Around Rishikesh: One can find untouched nature with high mountains and beautiful water falls. Rishikesh is a city located at the foot hills of Himalayas at the Indian State Uttranchal in Northern India. This small city is the gateway of Himalayas and is situated at the Bank of Holy River Gangas, where Gangas crashes down in full glory onto huge boulders and creates long stretches of white sandy beaches.The banks are lined with ashrams, where saints and holy men rested before beginning their arduous pilgrimage up into the snow-covered land of the gods. It islocated about 25 kilometers away from another holy city, Haridwar, and is considered an access point for the destinations that form the Char Dham - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.

Attractions of Rishikesh

Shivanand Jhoola: Also known as Ram Jhoola, this is a recently completed suspension bridge which spans the river near Swarg Ashram.

Triveni Ghat: This is a sacred bathing Ghat where the three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati flow together and devotees take holy dips and offer prayers. Triveni Ghat is believed to be the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the legendary Saraswati river. The "Aarti" ceremony done at Triveni Ghat, on the south end of Rishikesh, takes place at the sundown.The dusk Aarti on the ghat is most impressive and is a real sight to behold. Devotees release flower-filled leaf boats carrying tiny oil lamps and let them float out on the river, which is a ceremony of worship, remembrance and hope.

Temples at Rishikesh: Although there are about three hundred and thirty million Hindu gods whom the Hindu Religion Follower follows but all of them do not have temples dedicated to them in most part of the world. But a majority of gods and goddesses are worshipped at Rishikesh. Shiva and Vishnu have the maximum number of temples with their numerous forms represented as installed idols. Some of the important temples in Rishikesh are:

Bharat Mandir: Reputedly the oldest temple in Rishikesh. Though some scholars believe that this temple has not been named after the loyal brother of Lord Ram, popular belief contends otherwise. The image installed here has a distinctly Himalayan cast of features. Though the temple is dedicated to Lord Maha Vishnu, it holds a number of images normally associated with the worship of Lord Shiva.

Nilkanth Mahadev: This is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva drank the poison churned out of the cosmic ocean. It turned his throat blue which is why he is also called Nilkanth. The temple is located atop a hill accessed by a 10 km. walk or a 32 km. drive. Every Shivratri and Shravan (mid-July to August), fairs are held here.

Raghunath Mandir: Generally regarded as the most important place for religious ceremonies in Rishikesh. It is believed that the Ganga is joined here by the Yamuna, and the Saraswati Rivers. Geographically, however, the Yamuna joins the Ganga in Allahabad and the legendary Saraswati has not been located by surveyors as yet.

Hanuman Mandir: Located at Maya Kund, this temple was erected in 1924 by Swami Ramdas alias Oriya Baba. It draws a large number of devotees every Tuesday – the day traditionally fixed for Hanuman worship. Another important Hanuman Temple is at Sivanandnagar. Other important temples in Rishikesh include the Pushkar Temple, the Venketshwara Temple and the two ‘modern’ temples across the Ganga at Lakshman Jhoola. One of these temples is an imposing 13-storeyed structure with many smaller temples in each storey. A temple which has come up on the right bank of Ganga has arguably the world’s biggest Shiva Lingam.

Ashrams: Most ashrams at Rishikesh are centers for spiritual studies which also, often, calls for physical disciplines. Some ashrams, however, are monasteries. Among the better known ashrams are:

Sivanand Ashram: Modestly started by Swami Sivanand as an ashram, it has today grown into the Divine life Society with branches in India and abroad. The activities of the society include studies of Vedanta and Yoga, a hospital and the production of herbal medicines.

Omkarananda Ashram: Located above the Yoga Niketan, Omkaranand Ashram is also known as the Durga Mandir. The organisation runs a school, maintains several temples and conducts classes in Sanskrit, Hindi, music, classical dance and English at the Omkaranand Vishvakul at Muni-ki-Reti.

Swagashram: One of the oldest ashrams in Rishikesh, its founder Swami Vishudhanand was also known as the ‘Kali Kamli Wala’ (One with The Black Blanket). Today the Kali Kamliwala Kshetra is a mammoth organization embracing many activities.

Geeta Bhavan: Founded in early 1950s, it runs a free Ayurvedic dispensary and has a branch of the Gita Press, Gorakhpur. There are several hundred rooms for visiting pilgrims. Foreigners are not accommodated in the Ashram.

Parmarth Niketan: Across the Ramjhoola Bridge stands the mammoth Parmarth Niketan Ashram. The ashram has hundreds of rooms. It conducts many religious programmes. Foreigners can stay only with special permission.

Other important ashrams includes: Vanprastha Ashram, Ved Niketan, Dayanand Vedanta Ashram, Vanmali Gita Yogashram, Shankaracharya Nagar Transcendental Meditation Centre, Vithal Ashram and Yoga Study Centre.

Trekking at Rishikesh : Rishikesh can be made the base for treks into the Garhwal Himalayas offering a very wide range of trekking. One can do religious treks, scenic treks, botanical treks, treks to experience the land and its people – with the option of doing a low altitude trek or a high-altitude trek.Two popular treks out of Rishikesh are to Neelkanth from Swarg Ashram, 10 km, with option of using motor transport also, and Kunjapuri Temple, from Tapovan, again a distance of 10 km. Both temples are on hilltop and provide beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Garhwal has over 100 peaks more than of 6000 metre high.