Rishikesh, the tranquil place for spirituality, is believed to be home to several yogis and sages who lived and practiced penance here. It abounds in natural splendor with the holy river Ganga rushing through the Himalayan foothills providing a breathtaking sight. Several temples dot the banks of the Ganga at Rishikesh.
Rishikesh is located at a height of about 1360 feet above sea level. Tapovan on the other bank of the Ganges houses a temple to Lakshmana and Bharata, both of whom are believed to have meditated here.
12 km away from Rishikesh is located the Nilkanth Mahadeo temple at a height of about 5000 feet, commanding spectacular views of the region.
Located in the laps of lower Himalayas, this place is considered to be the access point of three other pilgrim places of Badrinath - Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri the four great places which combine to make Chardham. The holy city of Haridwar is located 24kms from here.
The places has also been the of interest to celebrities including the Beatles in the 60s and more recently Hollywood star, Kate Winslet. It is also a favorite among adventure seekers who love rafting come here to conquer the rapids of Ganga. Rishikesh is also an ideal base camp for trekking in the nearby Himalayas. Main attractions include:
This suspended iron bridge was built in 1939 and has been a major attraction among the tourists.
This newly constructed building is famous for its attractive paintings and statues from the Hindu mythology and is situated just across the Lakshman Jhula.
Mythology says that in the ancient times when the ocean was being churned for 'amrit' (Potion for immortality), first venom oozed out. Lord Shiva drank the venom at a place which is now called Nilkanth Mahadeo. It is 12kms from Rishikesh and is surrounded by peaceful forests.
This is a bathing ghat. Daily in the morning and evening there are thousands who take bath here and enjoy the Maha Aarti being performed. It is soothing to sit on the banks of the river and enjoy its cool breeze.
White Water Rafting
The challenge of violent rivers is no less than that of the rugged mountains. The icy heights of the Himalayas are the source of some of India's mighty rivers. Fed by innumerable streams, they race along tortuous boulder-strewn beds, cutting deep gorges and breaking into silvery-white rapids.
Just 20kms from Rishikesh, Chila sanctuary is covered with forests and provides very pleasant environment. A canal from Ganga feeds the reservoir where one can spot many animals.