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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What is the historical and cultural significance of Rishikesh?

Nitin Gurha DEC 10 2012
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Rishikesh is known by many as a pilgrim centre. It is said to be laden with several religious and mythological anecdotes, having many temples and shrines, and attracts tourists and devotees alike throughout the year. It is noteworthy that despite all the development, the local areas and lanes still retain an ancient, sacred feel to them.

Rishikesh is located on the foothills of the Himalayas. The river Ganga, considered the most sacred river among Hindus, leaves the Shivalik Hills here and flows through the plains of the North herefrom. It is believed, as per the legends of the Ramayana, that Lord Rama performed his penances here after killing the demon king Ravana.

 

The famed Lakshman Jhula too has its interesting history. Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Rama, is supposed to have crossed the river Ganga by using a jute rope to build a bridge here. After this jute bridge was washed away in the floods of 1924,the authorities put in place here a much stronger bridge. The legendary Kedarnath also indicates the existence of Indrakund at this place.  

 

The river Ganga and the river Chandrabhaga converge at Rishikesh, and it is still believed by people across the world that performing austerities at this blessed place, taking a dip in the Ganga and visiting the holy temples and shrines spread across the town would help a devotee attain salvation or moksha, as it’s popularly called, thereby ridding you of your sins.

 

As you traverse through this enchanting place with a historian’s gaze firmly trailing you, Rishikesh promises to be a fulfilling experience.

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