September 8, 2014


Site Name: Rishikesh
Site Type: Hindu religious site
Location:  Rishikesh, Uttarakhand state, India
Highlights: A center for spirituality, adventure sports and natural beauty
Nearest Railway Station: Haridwar
Nearest Airport: Dehradun - 35 kms from Haridwar
How to reach: Well connected by road 
Hotel: A lot of options including low cost and free accommodation such as ashrams
Restaurants: Varieties of options - but only vegetarian

What is your travel interest? Trekking, water rafting, adventure sports, Yoga, spiritual, visiting temples, heritage, taking dip in the river or enjoying nature? You like any of them or all of them? If yes, your one stop destination would be Rishikesh, the town which delights everyone. 

Rishikesh is located near 25 kms from Haridwar, one of the seven sacred sites for Hindus. It is located on the banks of the river Ganga at the foothills of the great Himalayas. Surrounded by Haridwar, Tehri Garhwal and Pauri Garhwal, Rishikesh is called as the 'Gateways to the Garhwal Himalayas'. 

The name "Rishikesh" is originated from Hrishikesh, which is another name of Lord Vishnu. As Lord Vishnu appeared to the saint Rishi Raibhya under a mango tree in this site, it got this name. As per another legend, this place was affected by immense fire. Lord Shiva got angry with Agni, the fire God, due to this. Agni performed penance in this site to get rid of this sin. Hence, this place is also called as Agni Teerth.

The sacred river Ganga flows through Rishikesh. It is here and Haridwar that the river leaves the Shivalik mountains and flows out into the plains. 

People who visit Haridwar do not miss Rishikesh. Similarly those who go to Rishikesh generally do not miss Haridwar. Although both are two separate towns located nearby, the devotees generally consider them more like a single site. Haridwar and Rishikesh are the starting point for the Char Dham Yatra, the travel to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri.

Rishikesh is full of tourist attractions. There are temples such as Bharat temple, Lakshman temple, Shatrughna temple and Neelkantha Mahadev temple located here. Many of these temples are very rare which cannot be easily found anywhere else. The town is also called as the world capital of Yoga. There are many Yoga centers and ashrams such as Sivananda Ashram and Swarg Ashram located in this town. The suspension bridges such as Lakshman Jhoola and Ram Jhoola and the mind blowing evening aarti at Triveni Sangam attract not only the devotees but even the regular travelers to this town. There are attractions for adventure enthusiasts such as hiking, rafting and bungee jumping. 

Overall, Rishikesh delights all sorts of travelers. Never miss this beautiful site. However, if you go during the peak summer time, you may not fully enjoy as nowadays it is highly crowded during this season. Also, a lot of new small temples have come up in Rishikesh which claim to be ancient targeting donations. It's better to avoid them. Taxis charge extra and hotels too charge huge amount compared to other tourist destinations. Such problems are cropping up in Rishikesh which are spoiling its reputation.

Happy travelling.

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