Rishikesh is a city, municipal board and a tehsil in Dehradun district of the Indian state, Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as The Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas.Rishikesh is surrounded by three other districts namely Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal and Haridwar. It is located approximately 25 km north of the city Haridwar and 43 km south west of the state capital Dehradun. According to Census of India, 2011 Rishikesh had a population of 102,138 making it the 7th largest city also being largest municipal board in the state of Uttarkhand.
HOW TO REACH
Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport to Rishikesh which is approximately 35 kilometres away. Popular carriers like Air India, Spice Jet and Jet Airways often have daily flights from New Delhi. Apart from Delhi, there is a flight from Lucknow to Dehradun as well. Once you reach at the airport, you can opt for regular taxi or bus service which is easily available from Dehradun to Rishikesh. The second nearest international airport for Rishikesh is in New Delhi which is well-connected with different cities across the globe.
The nearest railhead to Rishikesh is in Haridwar which is approximately 25 kilometres away. Haridwar, in turn, is linked to major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Varanasi. Some of the popular trains are Shatabadi Express, Jan Shatabdi, AC Special Express and Mussoorie Express. For those making the journey to Rishikesh, it is advisable to take the train till Haridwar and then either take a bus or hire a taxi to Rishikesh. While the bus would take about 45 minutes, the taxi will take you to Rishikesh in about half an hour.
Being a popular tourist destination, Rishikesh has a good network of buses connecting it with important places such as Haridwar, Dehradun and New Delhi. Buses depart in the morning and late evening from the Kashmere Gate ISBT, New Delhi for Rishikesh every day. You can choose from a regular, deluxe or a luxurious coach.
WHAT TO SEE
Shivpuri is situated 19 km away from Rishikesh, on the National Highway between Rishikesh and Patisira. As the name suggests, Shivpuri is the abode of Lord Shiva and is renowned for its temple. Apart from this, Shivpuri offers various opportunities for indulging in sports like river rafting. Equipments, excellent safety standards and trained guides are available for the convenience of the visitors.
Lakshman Jhula, which was built in 1939, is a suspension bridge, which is 450 ft long. In early 1889, this jhula was a hanging jute bridge, which was later rebuilt into suspended iron bridge. The jhula was named after Shri Ram’s younger brother Lakshman because it is believed that Lakshman used the jute bridge at the same site to cross the Ganga River. Situated 2 km away from Swarg Ashram, this jhula provides a beautiful view of famous temples, ashrams and River Ganga. The Lakshman Jhula is used by the people as a path for visiting Swarg Ashram and Gita Bhavan. On the either side of the jhula, there are famous temples like Lakshman Temple and Tapovan that are also frequented by the tourists.
Narendra Nagar, situated at a distance of 15 km from Rishikesh, is a town built by Maharaja Narendra Shah of Tehri Garhwal in 1919. This town is famous among the visitors for its archaeological and historical importance.Royal palace and a Nandi bull are the main attractions of this destination. Odathali, which has a mythological and historical importance, is another notable attraction in this town. From this town, a clear view of various places like Rishikesh, River Ganga and Haridwar can be enjoyed.
Parmarth Niketan, which is situated in Rishikesh, is one of the oldest ashrams. The ashram is located on the banks of sacred Ganga River. It is famous for its Hawan on the ghat of Parmarth and Ganga Aarti that takes place daily in the morning and evening.The ashram also runs a school, which follows the traditional Indian Patterns. Parmarth Niketan is visited by a number of visitors at the time of the International Yoga Festival that is held every year.
Kaudiyala is a small village, which is situated a few kilometres away from Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. The Village is located 380 km above the sea level and is surrounded by dense forests. Visitors can come across different types of wild animals, who live in their natural habitat. Kaudiyala is also known as the white water river rafting capital of India and is well known among the various tourists for its adventure sports. There are river rafting arrangements for the visitors with safety standards and improved equipments.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple:-
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a popular temple of Lord Shiva, which is situated at the height of 1330 m. The temple lies amidst the valleys of Manikoot, Brahmakoot and Vishnukoot. Located at the confluence of the rivers Pankaja and Madhumati, this temple is bound by dense forests and mountain ranges of Nar-Narayan.The temple is named after Lord Shiva, who is also known as Neelkanth, as he drank the poison churned from the oceans. He stopped the poison in throat, due to which his neck turned blue. The temple was built on the same place where this event took place.
Lakshman Temple, which is situated 5 km north of Rishikesh on the right bank of River Ganga, is an ancient temple. It is believed that Lakshman performed Tapa at the site of this temple. It is believed that Lord Rama along with his brother Lakshman made a twing bridge near this temple on their way to Himalayas.The main attraction in this temple is the Rishi Kund, where Lord Ram and Lakshman bathed in order to get rid of their sins of killing the demon Ravana. Apart from this, the temple is visited by various tourists for famous scenes that are engraved on the walls of the temple. These painting comprise of scenes that depict the otherworldly and spiritual life.
Rishikesh is one of the most important pilgrimage centers for Hindus in India; the city is located in the state of Uttarakhand. A gateway for the Himalayas, the best time to visit this holy city is from April to August. Other than sightseeing, shopping forms an integral part of the itinerary of Rishikesh. The array of variety of shops makes shopping in Rishikesh a memorable experience. No matter what the tourists are looking for from wall paintings to garments, accessories and many more, there is something for everyone in the markets of Rishikesh.
North and south Indian food is widely available, and there’s no shortage of multi-cuisine backpacker cafes, especially in Lakshman Jhula. What excites many foreigners is the delicious Ayurvedic and health food restaurants, perfect for an after-yoga meal. Many of the main lanes are lined with wooden push carts selling in-season fruit, veggies, Popcorn, nuts, warm cookies and lots else, and you’ll usually be quoted a fair price. The papayas here are particularly delicious. Try the famous Chotiwali Special / Janata or Delux Thali . Once upon a time it used to be an unlimited affair but now due to practical constraints the quantity is limited and extra helpings are charged. There are several eateries offering jalebis, imartis, samosas, and other Indian snacks.