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Holidays for Soul - Rishikesh

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Spiritual Holidays - Rishikesh
| Places to see | Places Nearby | Places to Stay | How to Reach |

Hailed as the Yoga Capital of the World by the Beatels in the 60s, Rishikesh has come a long way since then. It has grown phenomenally, the number of hotels and ashrams have more than doubled up; more tourists visit Rishikesh now than they used to 40 years ago; walk to the Laxman Jhula was used to be a quiet and pleasant affair, today auto-rickshaws (vikram) rules the road of the town and it is noisy. The change has been the norm throughout. One thing that has remained unchanged over the years is the character of Rishikesh. Its association with yoga and meditation, and a favourite destination to relax, recharge and soul search has not changed. It is also a recommended destination to get wet (rafting) in the icy cold waters of the Ganga.

Badrinath Dham

Rishikesh is located on the way to Shri Badrinath Dham and is 24 km from Haridwar. Also called as the gateway to the Char Dham in Uttarakhand, Rishikesh is home to many yoga ashrams. Set on the banks of the Ganga, Rishikesh has long been a spiritual centre. The Ganga at Rishikesh emerges from the high mountains and starts its journey to the northern plains. Rishikesh has been the holy land of rishies, where quest for nirvana has led many on the path of severe penance. Spirituality, yoga and meditation are in-grained in the character of the town.

This quest for spirituality and to attain Nirvana draws many to Rishikesh. City jaded souls come here to relax, recharge and to rejuvenate. Rishikesh is just not a holiday destination that lets you relax and recharge through yoga and meditation; there are options that may set the adrenaline rushing. Rafting, hiking and trekking are popular adventure activities that you can opt for in Rishikesh.

Places to see in Rishikesh
Things to do
  • Take a dip in the Ganga
  • Enroll for a yoga course
  • Attend the evening aarti at the Triveni Ghat
  • Take a stroll along the river

One of the most talked and visited spot in Rishikesh is the Laxman Jhoola. It is a suspension bridge across the Ganga, which has no pillar or support and is 140m long. The bridge was originally built of jute ropes but later replaced by more stable iron chains in 1929. According to the legends Lord Rama's brother Laxman crossed the river on a rope and meditated. On the west bank is the Laxman Temple dedicated to Rama's brother.

Triveni Ghat, Rishikesh

Triveni Ghat is popular bathing Ghat, where three streams of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati are believed to be flowing together underground. This is a sacred place where 'Pinda Shradha' is performed or food is offered to the departed soul. This is also the place where the famous evening aarti at Rishikesh takes place.

Bharat Mandir another must visit attraction in Rishikesh was established by Adiguru Shankaracharya. The temple is located in the center of the old town on the banks of the Ganga. According to the ancient records, it is one of the oldest temples in Rishikesh. Rishikund is located adjacent to Triveni Ghat and is one of the most significant among the tourist attractions in Rishikesh. There are a number of temples in Rishikesh and some of the popular ones include Raghunath Temple, Pushkar Temple, Bhagirath Temple and Shatrughan Temple.

Places Nearby

Neelkanth Mahadev, 12 km away, is a Shiva temple situated at atop a hill at 1700 meters. According to the legend Lord Shiva drank all the effluent venom here (that came out of the Sagar Manthan), which turned his throat (kanth) blue (neel). The temple offers a picturesque view of the Himalayas. Haridwar or Hardwar is a popular pilgrimage site located 24 km from Rishikesh. It is a popular pilgrimage, where pilgrims come to take a dip in the Ganga and wash away their sins. Read more on Haridwar.

Narendra Nagar

Narendra Nagar another popular place nearby is 15 km from Rishikesh and is on the way to the holy shrines of Gangotri and Yamunotri. Narendra Nagar was the capital of former Tehri State and the palaces of the former Maharaja Narendra Shah are located here. Chamba, 62 km from Rishikesh is a popular getaway. Chamba provides an impressive view of the Himalayan peak Bandarpoochh on a clear day. Devprayag, 70 km from Rishikesh is the confluence point of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi. Dehradun (43 km) and Mussoorie (Read Mussoorie as a monsoon getaway) 77 km away are two other popular places of tourist interest near Rishikesh.

Ashrams and Yoga Centers in Rishikesh
There are a number of yoga centers and ashrams in Rishikesh that offer courses on Yoga and Meditation. Many of them offer stay options as well, where you can stay and practice yoga and meditation. Some of the popular ashrams in Rishikesh include Parmarth Niketan Ashram (0135- 2440088, 2440077), The Divine Life Society (0135-2430040, 2431190) Yoga Niketan at Munni- Ke-Reti (0135-2430227), Omkaranand Ashram at Munni- Ke-Reti (135-2430713), Shankaracharya Nagar Transcendental Meditation Centre, and Vithal Ashram and Yoga Study Centre.

Places to Stay

Besides hotels and regular accommodation available in Rishikesh, there are a number of ashrams and dharmshalas in Rishikesh, which provide fine stay option to travellers. Hotels in Rishikesh range from luxury hotels to mid range and budget hotels. One of the recommended stay options is the Glasshouse on the Ganges, a Neemrana Hotel. Check hotels in Rishikesh

How to reach

By Air: The nearest airport to Rishikesh is Jolly Grant (near Dehradun).

By Rail: The convenient rail head is at Haridwar, 25 km away. Rishikesh has a railway station too.

By Road: Rishikesh is 230 km north of Delhi and is well connected by Road from nearby cities. Regular state transport buses are available from Delhi's Kashmere Gate ISBT.
Check driving direction from Delhi to Rishikesh

Best Time to Go: All year round except monsoons

About Rishikesh: Rishikesh Information & Fact File
Altitude 360 meters
Summer 38 (Max) & 20 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Winter 26 (Max) & 4 (Min) Degrees Celsius
Best time to Go October to March
Monsoon July - September
Summer All year round except monsoons
Winter November-February
Clothes Cottons in summer & woolens in winter
Nearest Airport Jolly Grant (Dehradun), 41 km
Nearest Railway Station Rishikesh
Bus Station Rishikesh – Direct buses from Delhi
Hospital & Doctor

Govt. and Pvt. Hospitals are fully equipped to handle medical emergencies.

Places to see Laxman Jhula, Triveni Ghat, Bharat Mandir, Rishikund, Raghunath Temple… more
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