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Rishikesh: The Gateway to Himalayan Shrines

Rishikesh is situated at an elevation of 372 m above the sea level and comes under the district of Dehradun under the state of Uttarakhand. As the history states, Rishikesh is an important part of ‘Kedarkhand’ which at present is known as Garhwal. Lord Rama is said to have served his penance for killing Ravana here. The famous Lakshman Jhula which is among the best places to visit in Rishikesh has mythological importance and it’s believed that Ram and Lakshman crossed the mighty River Ganga here.

Rishikesh or usually called as the `Yoga Capital of the World’ is the most tranquil place in northern Uttarakhand which is surrounded by hills and bisected by the wide and sluggish Ganges. If you want to to meditate or study yoga then this is the best place as the sacred rivers and mountains sets the perfect scene for yoga. Rishikesh is also a starting  point to Himalayan pilgrimage centres such as Badrinath, Kedarnath , Gangotri, Yamnotri. The Celestial City of Rishikesh may be a hermit’s hermitage, a sage’s abode and an adventure lover’s hub. This city is among the holiest places of Hindus.

Rishikesh got Western fame in late 60s when Beatles visited ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi which today is popular as The Beatles Ashram or Rishikesh Ashram. From then on number of ashram and all kinds of yoga and meditation classes kept rising in the city. In the evening, an breeze which seems supernatural blows down the valley, setting temple bells ringing as sadhus, pilgrims and tourists prepare for the nightly ganga aarti. 

Whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, mountain biking and camping along the fast-flowing Holy Ganges are some of the many things to do in Rishikesh and Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula,Parmarth Niketan Ashram, The Beatles Ashram are the top sights in Rishikesh. It also acts as the gateway to many Himalayan treks.

Every temple here has its own beauty which attracts people from all over the world, be it the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Raghunath Temple, or the 13-storey Trimbakeshwar Temple. Outstanding architectural of the twin Ram & Lakshman Jhulas are feats in themselves, their suspension bridges span for over 750 ft. over the Ganges.

My trip to Rishikesh was a three day trip in summers. This is the best time to visit Rishikesh as in monsoon season the river rafting and other adventures activities are banned by the government due to heavy flow of water in the Ganges which makes such activities threat to ones life. Obviously, you don’t want to miss any experience here so you should too plan your trip in summers.

During my trip I tried all the activities which one can possibly try in Rishikesh. I tried river rafting in the the holy river and cliff jumping which was included in Rishikesh rafting package; visited different Yoga centers and Ashrams which took me closer to the almighty. One thing which I miss the most is the camping alongside the sacred river in Himalayan nature’s lap.

Unlike the other parts of the country the water in Ganges here is very clean and pure. If you love travelling then you can take a day trip from here to Haridwar, Dehradhun and Mussoorie and if you a devotee then you can visit pilgrimage centres such as Badrinath, Kedarnath , Gangotri, Yamnotri. Rishikesh to Kedarnath is just 5 hours drive and travelling from Rishikesh to Haridwar takes just 40 minutes.

Rishikesh Hotels are available at very cheap rates which start at just Rs. 200 which gives you

Some details about Rishikesh:

Rishikesh Temperature/Rishikesh Weather

October to February8 to 34°CWinter – Chilly
March to May14 to 39°CSummer – Hot and humid
June to September24 to 35°CMonsoon – High Rainfall

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