Situated at the foothills of Himalayas under Dehradun District, Rishikesh is popularly called ‘The Gateway to Garhwal Himalayas’. It is one of the holiest places of India and is called the ‘Pilgrimage Town’. Since ancient times, many saints and sages have meditated here, to search for higher knowledge. Haridwar and Rishikesh were declared as ‘The Twin National Heritage Cities’ by Mahesh Sharma, the Union Tourism Minister in 2015.
In Sanskrit, Rishikesh is one of the names of Lord Vishnu, which means ‘The Lord of Senses’. Rishikesh is also very famous for ‘Lakshman Jhula’ which is an iron bridge built over River Ganges.
Apart from the thousands of temples present here, Rishikesh is also popular as ‘The Yoga Centre of The world’. Its many yoga centres are a big attraction for the tourists. Along with this, if you wish to enjoy, river rafting, Rishikesh is the best place for this sport. It is also a centre for many adventurous activities like bungee jumping, hiking, rock climbing and many more. It is a fun and religious package, which you will never forget.
Location: 25 kms from Haridwar, 90 kms from Mussoorie
Climate: Summers are very hot, requires normal cotton clothes while winters are chilling cold.
Wear normal cotton clothes in winters. Wear warm woollens to protect yourself from the cold of winters.
Best time to visit: March to first week of May
How to reach:
By Air: Nearest is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun (35kms)
By Train: Nearest railhead is Haridwar Jn Train Station (24kms)
By Road: HPTDC Luxury and Volvo coaches available regularly
Places of Interest
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
Location: About 32 kms from Rishikesh
Timings: Open all days from 6.00 a.m.- 9.00 p.m.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a major shrine for Hindus. The area around this temple is very divine, as according to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva drank the poison originated during ‘Samudra Manthan’ at this place. Due to the extreme poison, Lord Shiva’s neck turned into blue colour. So, this temple was known as ‘Neelkanth Mahadev Temple’. It lies over the Swarg Ashram adjoining Nar Narayan Mountain. The design of the sanctuary is exceptionally appealing. You can see the entire picture of Samudra Manthan at the entryway of the sanctuary.
Location: 25 kms from Rishikesh at Mohan Chatti
Timings: Open all days of week except Tuesday from 10.00 a.m.- 7.00 p.m.
This place is a paradise for adventure seekers. It offers ‘Asia’s Longest Flying-Fox Ride’, which is around 1km. Visitors can also try Giant Swing right over the river and Bungee Jumping. All these activities are done under the supervision of experts and trained staff. You must try at least one activity which will be a memorable experience for you. If you want to participate in any activity, then your minimum age must be 12 years, minimum weight 35 kg and maximum weight 120 kg. Remember to take your ‘Dare to jump Certificate’ after experiencing the wonderful adventure.
Location: 3 kms from Rishikesh
Timings: All days of the week from 5.00 a.m.- 10.00 p.m.
Lakshman Jhula is a popular landmark of Rishikesh. It is a splendid iron bridge build-up over the Ganges River. It is around 70 feet high and 450 feet long. Initially, there was a temporary bridge made from jute rope. In 1889, it was reconstructed into an iron bridge. This bridge has religious values for Hindus. It is believed that Lord Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Ram, crossed the river from the jute rope bridge. In 1986, ‘Ram Jhula’ was also built near ‘Lakshman Jhula’. You can also explore the local market and a number of temples built around the Jhula.
Location: 4.2 kms from Rishikesh
Best month to visit: September to April from 6.00 a.m.- 7.00 p.m.
Triveni Ghat is a spiritual place where 3 holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati merge in each other. The water of this Ghat has divine powers. People believe that after taking bath in this sacred water, they will get rid of all their sins and troubles. You must attend the famous evening Maha Aarti at this place, to experience the spiritual ambience. This Aarti is effectuated with thumping drums, loud ringing bells, chanting of bhajans, and beautiful diyas sparkling everywhere. After the Aarti, you will see thousands of ‘diyas’ floating on the water. It is exceptionally relieving to sit on the banks of the waterway and relish the cool wind.
Location: In Rishikesh
Best month to visit – February to May and October to November
Rishkesh is known as the one of the best places for River Rafting. If you are an adventure enthusiast, then your Rishikesh trip cannot be complete without having the marvellous experience of river rafting. You can do this activity with a group or if you are trained for river rafting, then you can also take a single boat. You can also experience camping along with river rafting. This wonderful experience will rejuvenate your mind and body.