Quick Bytes :
Location : Near Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Altitude : 356 meters
Languages : Garhwali, Hindi
Famous for : Lakshman Jhula
Best Time to Visit : February, March, and months between August and October
Forming the base of lofty peaks of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is not only a hot tourist attraction but also a place of great religious significance. It is considered the gateway to four important pilgrimage places viz Badrinath, Gangers, Yamunotri, and Kedarnath. Meditation at this revered place is believed to help a person attain "moksha" or salvation.
This place of sages has been named after Lord Vishnu; it is said that the deity appeared in the form of Lord Hrishikesh after being pleased from the prayers of Raibhya Rishi. The word Rishikesh is applied to the region comprising of five different sections and numerous hamlets that are present on the banks of River Ganges.
Yoga Capital : This famous tourist destination is popular among masses for a plethora of yoga centers that are scattered here and there. You will notice that the place is inhabited by a number of yogis and saints who aim at attaining Nirvana or moksha. If you are interested in knowing more about the concepts like spirituality and salvation, Rishikesh is the perfect place. Another significant feature of this place is that the fierce flow of Ganga becomes relatively slow here.
Lakshman Jhula : Renowned for its religious significance and sanctity, Lakshman Jhula is among the most visited sites of the state. This 70 feet high structure is built in the form of a hanging bridge. A number of myths are related to this place. You will see that a multitude of temples have been constructed near it, giving a mystic look to the place.
Gita Bhavan : Known for sculptures and paintings drawn from Hindu mythology, this building is relatively new to the area. Resting near Ganges, the building has a number of halls meant for discourse. Special rooms are also there that are reserved for the devotees who arrive here for offering prayers at Ganga.
Swarga Ashram : Going five kilometers upstream from the destination. It was built as a commemoration of Vishudhanand. Commonly called as Kali Kamli, this place is surrounded by a number of hills, orchards, and a number of ashrams.
Triveni Ghat : Located at the confluence of the rivers like Saraswati, Ganga and Yamuna, the place is meant for religious ceremonies. As you visit the place, you will notice the grandeur presented by the spectacular sunrises and sunsets. As the sun begins to set, devotees offer prayers by holding plates of ghee before the Sun God; this is accompanied by chanting of hymns, and several musical instruments.
Nilkanth Mahadeo : Perched at the top of a hill with a glorious height of about 1675 meters, the temple of Nilkanth Mahadeo is devoted to Lord Shiva. The place is linked to Hindu mythology; according to a belief, it is the place where snake venom was spitted out while churning of the immortal potion called "amrit".
Adventurous sports : You can spend time in enjoying several sports, like trekking, river rafting, mountaineering, rock climbing. You can start trekking from different points depending upon your choice. The trek connecting Kedranath to Vasukital is the famous one. You can also engage yourself in water sports like river rafting. Visiting Rishikesh between the months of September and October will give you ample opportunity to enjoy rafting as the flow of water is maximum during this time.
Under the instruction of trained instructors, you can let yourself engage in more adventurous activities like mountaineering and rock climbing. The facilities like camping, transport are provided by the authorities.
Dehradun : This capital city is among the most calm and serene places of the state. Like other Hill stations, this place is famous for its breathtaking backdrop of ice-covered peaks and picturesque valleys.
Mussoorie : Visit to this queen of all hill stations can be a hilarious experience. The enchanting landscapes and lush green valleys are the most remarkable features of this exquisitely beautiful place.
Valley of flowers : As you reach here, you will be overwhelmed by the fragrances of thousand of flowers that bloom here between the months of June and October. Here, you can find more than 500 species of flowers. You cannot stay at the park premises; as there is no accommodation facility provided here.
Haridwar : This place of extreme sacred importance is a famous pilgrimage place. Being the gateway to a number of other pilgrimage places, its importance has increased manifold. If you want to pursue journeys to Gangotri and Yamunotri, Haridwar is the starting point.
Devprayag : Another excursion from Rishikesh is to Devprayag. It is the place where rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda meet and from that point onwards are commonly called Ganga.
Auli : This exclusive place gives you a chance to enjoy ski-touring on its wide spaces. Its slopes, some of which are about 9000 feet in height remain covered with dense vegetation of oak and deodar forests. Considered as a paradise for a skier, Auli is surrounded by lofty mountain peaks.
Narendra Nagar : This town is famous for its archeological importance. Named after Narendra Singh who constructed it, this place will marvel you by its royal grandeur.
Kunjapuri : From this spot near Rishikesh, you can have a picturesque view of the peaks and enchanting valleys.
Chila : Yet another place of scenic beauty is Chila; it lies at a short distance from Rishikesh. Its salubrious climate attracts the tourists in a big way. The place has been declared a sanctuary keeping in view of the flora as well as fauna that are found here.
Accommodation Options :
Though Rishikesh lacks any luxurious hotels, you can book hotels that ensure a comfortable stay. Affordable guest houses, dharmshalas, and ashrams are the convenient options. GMVN provides a dormitory and several rooms meant for the tourists.
Eating Options : If you are expecting some non-vegetarian delicacies at Rishikesh, then forget it; only vegetarian food is available here. You can relish healthy food that is served at most of the restaurants here. Being a holy city, alcohol consumption is also prohibited here.
Rishikesh is a perfect holiday destination that will make your trip one if the most cherishable experiences.