Rishikesh 24 Kms. from Haridwar. 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
Lakshman Jhula, the famous hanging bridge across Ganga, is about 3 km from the main township of Rishikesh. It is 450 feet long and is situated at a height of 70 feet from the river. As per mythological tales, once Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Rama, crossed river Ganga at the same site where the bridge now stands. At that time, there was only a suspension bridge, made of jute. After this incident, the bridge came to be known as ‘Lakshman Jhula’. With time, the jute bridge eroded and a new iron bridge was built along the same path in 1939.

Lakshman Jhula is actually an adjoining bridge across the Ganga, along the old route to the holy shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath.
 The jhula has now become one of the most visited tourist spot of Rishikesh, not simply because of its ancient origin and religious sanctity, but also because of the grand temples and wonderful local market have come to be developed around it. A thirteen storey temple, called Terah Manzil, near the Lakshman Jhula is very popular amongst visitors. The top floor of this temple gives a wonderful view of the surroundings.

 Ram Jhula
Ram Jhula is situated 3Km north of Rishikesh. It’s a very popular place amongst people coming for religious purposes because it has very known Ashrams. Most known is Geeta Bhawan and Swarg Ashram and these temples are very important in Hindu society and you will see much more commotion here then in Laxman jhula. You can contact the ashrams for accommodation but if you like nature the Laxman jhula area is a better choice.

Everybody coming to the area of Rishikesh should go and see the evening prayer at Geeta Bhawan's ghat (Bank of the river). It’s a special experience to see how Hindus worship the river Ganga. The evening prayer will take about 30 minutes and you can take your camera along with you. The famous restaurant Chotiwala is also in Ram hula, there actually two of them and it very unclear which is the real one. It is 50 years old now and is very famous for its delicious servings, you will love the taste of food their.

 Bharat Mandir
Bharat temple is situated in the heart of the township of Rishikesh. It is approximately half kilometer away from the Triveni Ghat, the famous river bank in the town. Said to be the oldest temple in Rishikesh, it is also regarded as one of the most ancient shrines in India. According to historical evidences, Adiguru Shankracharya, the great theologian, laid the foundation stone of Bharat temple. The temple has been named after Lord Ram’s second brother ‘Bharat’; however the presiding deity of this temple is Lord Vishnu, ‘the Preserver’.

The statue of God Narayan (Vishnu), enshrined in Bharat temple, is of black stone, carved out from a single piece of Saligram. The image has a noticeably Himalayan appearance. Though the temple’s main deity is Lord Vishnu, it holds a number of other illustrations as well, generally related to Lord Shiva, the Destroyer. The idol of Lord Rishikesh Bharatji is also installed in this temple. The idol was obscured in the Maya Kund of the temple, in order to save it from the attack of the Buddha people.

Every year, on the day of Basant Panchami, the idol of Lord Rishikesh is taken out, in a holy procession, for a dip in the sacred water of river Ganga. Followers from far off places come to Rishikesh for participating in this procession. The holy records of Bharat temple can be found in the ancient records of Kedarkhand, a religious text of Hindus. It is said that the temple that stands now is actually a renovated image of the original temple, which was destroyed by Tamur, a bandit. Bharat temple is the perfect destination for tourists who have a love for ancient religious monuments and a desire to explore historical facts.

Parmarth Niketan
Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh is located right on the banks of the holy river Ganga. It is the perfect place to imbibe the goodness of Yoga in the peaceful environment of the ancient Indian retreat, 'ashrama'.

The Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh is the place which hosts the internationally acclaimed annual International Yoga Festival. Many dignitaries from all around the place come here to gain valuable information about the science of Yoga. Many ayurveda tours are conducted by the different organizers which visit the Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh.

 Swarg Ashram
Swarg Ashram is a small township located 5 km upstream from Rishikesh, on the left bank of the Ganges, opposite to Shri Shivananda Ashram. It can be reached by two ways - either by crossing river Ganges by boat or by walking through the Ram/Shivanand Jhula built across the river. The ashram was built in the memory of Swami Vishudhanand, the saint better known as Kali Kamli Wala (the saint with a black blanket) amongst the localities. There are lots of ashrams, temples and caves, inhabited by saints, inside the Swarg Ashram.

Swarg Ashram also encompasses several cafes, stores, shopping complexes, libraries, parks, meditation centers, Ayurvedic dispensaries, restaurants and hotels. The area lies amidst forest hills, with beautiful orchards and an atmosphere that is free from the pollutions of a motorized city. The area consists of a dozens of large ashrams, generally two or three-storey buildings, with hundreds of rooms that serve as residential quarters for priests, pilgrims, students and tourists looking for an economical accommodation.

Inside the ashram premises, there are several temples and numerous shrines, each of them depicting a number of Hindu deities. Every temple is headed by a priest who takes care of the shrine as well as the residing crew. Several religious ceremonies, like chanting, processions as well as birth and death ceremonies, regularly take place inside the Swarg Ashram. All these residential cells, temples, cafés and other complexes that form a part of the Swarg Ashram are maintained by a trust called ‘Kali Kamliwala Kshetra’.

Kali Kamliwala Kshetra trust has been organized by the followers of Swami Vishudhanand. It is a mammoth organization in the name of Swami Vishudhanand, embracing several activities. Swarg Ashram is very popular amongst foreign tourists as well, mainly because of the ethnic touch that it provides them. They basically visit this place for ‘Yoga tours’ and ‘a study of Ayurvedic medicines’. It is an ideal destination for all those people who love to have a word with nature and are spiritually inclined.

 Triveni Ghat
Triveni Ghat is the most popular place in Rishikesh where many people take a holy dip to wash away all their sins. What makes it more popular is the fact that it is believed to be at the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Hundreds of people attend the Ganga Aarti every evening at Triveni Ghat.

Triveni Ghat has a significant place in Hindu Mythology and Puranas. This ghat was mentioned many places in Purana and great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is believed that Lord Krishna paid a visit to this holy spot after he was hit by an arrow shot by Jara, a hunter. This is a highly revered place in Samantha.


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