Rishikesh, a name that derives is origin from Hindu
mythology, meaning “Lord of Senses”. 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 river Ganges. These include
Rishikesh itself, the commercial and communication hub; the
sprawling suburb Muni-ki-Reti or the "sands of the sages";
Shivananda Nagar the home of Sivananda Ashram and the Divine
Life Society founded by Swami Sivananda, north of Rishikesh;
the temple section of Lakshman Jhula, a little further
north; and the assorted Ashrams around Swarg Ashram on the
east bank. The Ganga Aarti performed at dusk at the Triveni
Ghat is popular with visitors. Neelakanta Maha Deva Temple
(or, 'Neelkanth Mahadev Temple'), situated 28 km from
Rishikesh, amidst forest is also a popular local pilgrimage,
along with 'Vasishtha Guha', (Cave of sage Vasishtha), 21km
up from the town by the Ganges.
The sacred river Ganges flows through Rishikesh. It is here
that the river leaves the Shivalik mountains in the
Himalayas and flows out into the plains of northern India.
Several temples, ancient as well as new, can be found along
the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh.
As with Haridwar about an hour south, Rishikesh is
considered by Hindus to be a holy city and is vegetarian by
Rishikesh - Best Time to Visit Rishikesh
Rishikesh is a picturesque destination affording enchanting
views throughout the year.
The climate here is continental type but its location in the
foot hills gives it a pleasant weather throughout the year.
One can visit Rishikesh ANY time of the year.
However right time to visit Rishikesh would be February,
May June is quite hot at Rishikesh temperature touching +
Best Time To Visit Rishikesh Best Time - Season to
Visit Rishikesh for River Rafting
The best time to visit Rishikesh for River Rafting is from
late September - October to mid November, and then the best
time to visit Rishikesh is from early March - April to first
week of May.
In July there is a festival in Rishikesh called Savan where
thousands of people flock to Rishikesh. Major roads are
blocked and hotels are crowded. It is better to avoid
traveling to Rishikesh during that time.
Following are the Tourist Attractions of Rishikesh
To be found in the heart of town, is the most famous bathing
ghat, where most pilgrims take a holy dip earlier than they
visit the various temples. This is done generally in the
early mornings, with the pilgrims offering prayers and milk
at the Ghat and feeding the fish in the water. An amazing
sight here is the evening arati, a ceremony accompanied by
lights, drums and chanting, with the entire ghat lit with
lamps glowing from a distance.
Near the Ghat, is the temple known as Bharat Mandir said to
be the oldest temple here built by the Adi Shankaracharya.
This 9th century temple has the deity of Lord Vishnu carved
out of a single black stone popular as Saligram, and is
placed in the inner chambers of the temple. The original
temple was said to have been destroyed in 1398 AD. If you
are lucky, catch the spring festival also called Basant
Panchami celebrated here.
Close to the Triveni Ghat is the very old place of Rishikund
where the Saint Kubz is said to have been blessed by the
Goddess Yamuna, who filled the pond with her water. The
temple of Raghunath dedicated to Lord Rama and his wife Sita
is sited here.
2 kilometers from Swarg Ashram, is the well-known Lakshman
Jhula a suspension bridge 450 feet long and built in 1939.
Named after Lord Ram's younger brother Lakshman, it has
temples dotting its either side, including the famed
Lakshman Temple at Tapovan. One more noteworthy ashram is
the 13 storeyed Kailashananda Ashram, with each storey being
dedicated to a different deity.
Ramjhula 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
Bhavan & Swarg Ashram and these temples are very important
in Hindu society and you will see much more commotion here
then in Lakshmanjhula.
To be found at a distance of 12 km from Rishikesh, this
temple stands at a height of 926m on top of a hill across
the river Ganga. It derives its name from Lord Shiva.
According to mythological belief; the cosmic churning of the
oceans (Sagar Manthan) for the potion of immortality (amrit)
by the Gods and the Demons; produced a venomous liquid,
which was consumed by Lord Shiva at this place. As a result,
his throat became blue in color, which in Hindi literally
means 'Neelkanth' (blue throat). The place is a favorite
among the religious tourists.
There is a cluster of ashrams on the eastern bank of the
Ganges, and the place is popularly known as 'Swarga Ashram'.
Most of these ashrams provide courses on yoga and spiritual
studies, and are well-known among the tourists. Some ancient
temples with beautifully carved statues are also located in
the place. There are a few vegetarian food joints that serve
various Ayurvedic food and refreshments. A few shops are
also found, that sell various trinkets and souvenirs in the
form of religious tapes, books, beads, beaded garlands,
shells and clothe
Near the Lakshaman Jhula, is the newly constructed building
of Gita Bhavan. It runs a free Ayurvedic dispensary and also
has a branch of the Gita Press, Gorakhpur. There are more
than a hundred rooms for visitors and this edifice houses
various striking paintings and statues of ancient
mythological characters. The stories of the ancient epics-
the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are beautifully illustrated
on its walls. The place is also popular among the tourists.
One of the few Ashrams left in India where Kids get the
Vedas Education. Must Visit in Evening for the Pooja/Aarti.
5 PM in Winter and 6 PM in summer.
One hour drive from Rishikesh up river is situated Vasishtha
Goofa , where famous saint vasishtha meditaed on the banks
of the Ganges. The cave is very peaceful and is a perfect
place for meditation.
On the east bank of the Ganges at Lakshman Jhula Bridge, is
13 stories high, with different deities throughout.