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rishikesh, uttarakhand, india overview

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Best time to visit rishikesh

A paradise for adventure sports enthusiasts and devotees alike, Rishikesh (Hrishikesh) is one of the most famous vacation spots in India. The place emerged as the World capital of Yoga when the Beatles paid a visit to the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Located in the foothills of the majestic Himalayas, Rishikesh (Hrishikesh) is settled in the picturesque state of Uttarakhand. Just 225 kms from New Delhi, Rishikesh (Hrishikesh) is perfect for a weekend trip where you can indulge yourself in a variety of adventure sports like rafting, hiking, bungee jumping etc. Besides, Raja Ji National Park is just 16 kms away which attracts the wildlife fans too. The famous Laxman Jhula and the gigantic statue of Shiva meditating in the Ganges, attract millions of devotees every year.

Rishikesh has become a favourite destination for not only peace seekers but adventurous backpackers alike through white water rafting with beach camping on the silver clean beaches of the Ganges, bungee jump, zip line tour and more. Head to this beautiful city located in the foothills of the Himalayas where a new world of adventure and spirituality awaits. 

Rishikesh has been an abode of ascetics since, well, time immemorial. It is also important as the gateway to the Garhwal mountains and holy spots in them like the source of the Ganga, the Badrinath and Kedarnath shrines and more. And now, Rishikesh is also the “yoga capital of the world”, as Uttarakhand Tourism would have it. 

Rishikesh stands on both banks of the Ganga. There is free access to the unpolluted waters and the water temperature is just perfect most of the year. The undercurrents of spirituality are as steady here as the flow of the mighty Ganga. But do take care, every year people drown in the river and in the fraudulent schemes of pretend spiritualists. The best way to go around is on foot as the town is hilly and consists of narrow lanes.

To cross the river take a motor ferry from the narrow iron suspension bridge known as Ram Jhula, which is near the Swargashram area, or walk across either Ram Jhula or Lakshman Jhula, which is 2 km upstream. Noisy tempos (locally called Vikrams) are affordable contraptions. Autos and Vikrams are available on the main road, also on the road to Badrinath. Autorickshaw drivers will take you temple sightseeing, covering the major temples in 3-4 hrs.

Lakshman Jhula, the famous 450-foot long suspension bridge, was built in 1939. It is said that Lord Ram’s brother Lakshman crossed the Ganga on a jute rope from here. The Lakshman and Raghunath temples are here. This part of town is better known for its busy bazaars and cafés. The new 13-storey Trimbakeshwar Mandir near the Lakshman Jhula has many shrines, chambers that house religious and Vedic texts and jewellery and gems shops. Nearby is the Swarg Niwas Mandir, a 12-storey temple with various idols of Hindu gods and goddesses on its many floors. 

Just 2 km ahead downstream from Lakshman Jhula, at Muni-ki-Reti, is another suspension bridge, built later. This is Ram Jhula (also called Shivanand Jhula) surrounded by a cluster of ashrams on both sides. It connects Sivananda Ashram on the east bank and Swargashram on the west. Swargashram is a bustling spiritual hub with many ashrams, temples, bazaars and ghats.

While it has been a centuries-old tradition to worship the river in the morning and evening in small private ceremonies, the Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh has converted the evening aarti ritual to a spectacular show. It is alternatively called touristy and hypnotic but don’t miss it. The diyas floating on the Ganga in the dark are a sight to behold. If you are staying in an ashram, then it probably has its own timings for the aarti.

It is believed that the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati took place here. This ghat is large and clean, Many ashrams in Rishikesh offer short and long-term courses in yoga. Some of the most respected names are the Sivananda Ashram, Omkarananda Patanjala Yoga Kendra, Parmarth Niketan and Yoga Niketan Ashram. 

It is advisable to join a well-known ashram or a place recommended by someone, for yoga or meditation classes mushroom all over town. Reiki, Ayurvedic massage, crystal healing and other attractions for Western tourists are on offer everywhere. An annual International Yoga Festival (March 1-7; international yogafestival.com) is organised jointly by Uttarakhand Tourism and Parmarth Niketan Ashram.

The one thing most people carry back with them from Rishikesh (Hrishikesh) is the holy water of the Ganga. Plastic bottles for carrying Gangajal are sold on all the major ghats. The narrow lanes of the town are lined with shops selling gems, precious and semi-precious stones, puja items, and religious music CDs.

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questions about Rishikesh

40 questions about Rishikesh
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Dec 09 2012
Agree totally with Team ixigo's answer below !
Jan 23 2013
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May 13 2013
No, It is open for everyone but the local cops do not let Indians go there. The reason and explanation given by the cops is very simple, They say that local Indians tend to copy foreigners and try to show off their swimming skills at the Goa b ... read more
May 28 2013
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Rishikesh traveller reviews

60 Rishikesh reviews
Mar 28 2014
rishikesh is synonymous with rafting amongst youngsters and with temples for people with religious interest
Mar 28 2014
Great weekend getaway for activities like rafting, bungee jumping, hiking etc. Lot of corporates go out to Rishikesh for offsite as well.
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Rishikesh Travel Guide

Rishikesh Tourism

- Get information on Rishikesh tourist places and sightseeing tours. This page presents a visual Rishikesh travel guide. Our friendly trip advisor from ixigo helps you plan your next tour and gives you great ideas on what to do, where to eat, where to stay and when to go there. We curate the best information from the web to give you precise, meaningful and useful travel guide for leading places to visit in india and from across the world. ixigo has curated the best travel information on Rishikesh (Hrushikesh, Rushikesh, Hrishikesh) tourism spanning genres as diverse as tourist places, tourist spots, major sightseeing attractions, the best time to visit, the top places to visit in Rishikesh, the must-see things to see and do, maps, restaurants, hotels, nearby tourist destinations, local public information and more. To start with check out information on how to reach Rishikesh :
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