Rishikesh - Gateway to the Himalayas
The name Rishikesh is loosely applied
to an association of five distinct sections encompassing not only the town but
also hamlets and settlements on both sides of the river Ganges. These include
Rishikesh itself, the commercial and communication hub; the sprawling suburban
Muni-ki-Reti or the "sands of the sages"; Shivananda Nagar, north of Rishikesh;
the temple section of Lakshman Jhulla, a little further north; and the assorted
Ashrams around Swarg Ashram on the East bank.
Rishikesh is one the holy cities of India, the hatha yoga capital of the world, a totally vegetarian town. It's about a 6 hours ride from Delhi, and Rishikesh is also a major gateway to the Himalayas. About 26 Kms from Haridwar. Located in the laps of lower Himalayas, and is surrounded by scenic beauty of the hills on three sides with Holy Ganga flowing through it.The pace in Rishikesh is much more melllow than Delhi, and you will enjoy walking about town undisturbed by touts and hawkers The whole place is considered to be sacred as it is believed that meditation at this place leads to attainment of salvation. There are many temples-some ancient, some new along the river Ganges. Rishikesh is important not only as pilgrimage centre closely associated with the Ramayana, but also as home for many important centres of Hindu religious thought and spirituality, and Great Yoga Centres. There are a great many ashrams and Yoga institutes here. Rishikesh is also the gateway and the start-off point for journeys to important religious places like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Rishikesh is also acquiring greater significance as a centre for white water rafting, other riverine sports, a base for treks and hikes in the beautiful Garhwal Himalayas.
Rishikesh represents the Gateway to the Himalayas in the Tehri-Garhwal region of Uttar Pradesh. It abounds in natural splendour. The spectacle of the Ganga rushing through the Himalayan foothills is an awesome sight. Several temples dot the banks of the Ganga at Rishikesh.
Rishikesh is located at a height of about 1360 feet above sea level. It is believed that several yogis and sages lived and practised penance here. Rishikesh represents the site where Vishnu vanquished the demon Madhu.
Tapovan on the other bank of the Ganges houses a temple to Lakshmana. It is believed that Lakshmana carried out penances here. It is also believed that his brother Bharata meditated here, and there is a temple to Bharata here. Also seen here are the Swargashram and the Geeta Bhavan temples.
The Lakshman Jhula, a 450 feet long suspension bridge was built in 1939. A newer bridge the Ram Jhula has been added recently. The Ganga abounds in fish. Offerings of puffed rice are made to these creatures. The freshness of the air, and sound of flowing water, the scenic beauty of the region and the distant sound of bell chimes create an unforgettable experience for those that visit this ancient pilgrimage town.
12 km away from Rishikesh is located the Nilkanth Mahadeo temple at a height of about 5000 feet, commanding spectacular views of the region.
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