About Rishikesh

Rishikesh is a city in India's northern state of Uttarakhand, in the Himalayan foothills beside the Ganges River. The river is considered holy, and the city is renowned as a center for studying yoga and meditation. Temples and ashrams (centers for spiritual studies) line the eastern bank around Swarg Ashram, a traffic-free, alcohol-free and vegetarian enclave upstream from Rishikesh town.

Rishikesh has been a part of the legendary "Kedarkhand". Legends state that Lord Rama did penance here for killing Ravana, the asura king of Lanka; and Lakshmana, his younger brother, crossed the river Ganges, using two jute ropes at the point where the present 'Lakshman Jhula' stands today. The 'Kedarkhand' of Skanda Purana, also mentions the existence of Indrakund at this very point. The jute-rope bridge was replaced by a 248-foot long iron-rope suspension bridge in 1889. After it was washed away in the 1924 floods, it was replaced in 1927 by the present stronger bridge built by the United Provinces Public Works Department. This bridge connects the two districts of Tapovan, Tehri and Jonk, Pauri Garhwal. Another similar suspension bridge Ram Jhula was built in 1986 at nearby Sivananda Nagar.

The historical records mention that some pilgrims used to stay at Rishikesh as a resting place before moving onwards to the higher mountains for the pilgrimage while a larger number used to visit Rishikesh as the original destination and visited various sites between Rishikesh and Lakshman Jhula before returning. However, Rishikesh has in recent decades shifted from a pilgrim to a tourist town. The International Yoga Festival introduced in 2000 has brought new influx of tourists. Local markets have evolved from commercializing goods such as "local and religious handicrafts" to a more service-oriented tourist industry with "provision stores, cafes, hotels and yoga and meditation" as well as rafting.

Holy River Ganga The Ganges, one of the most sacred rivers to Hindus, flows through Rishikesh. Here the river leaves the Shivalik Hills in the Himalayas and flows into the plains of northern India. Several temples, ancient and new, are along the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. Shatrughna Mandir, Bharat Mandir (Lord Vishnu's avatar), Lakshman Mandir are the ancient temples established by Adi Shankaracharya. Shatrughna Temple is near Ram Jhula and Lakshman Mandir is near Lakshman Jhula.
Ganga or the river Ganges is the holy river of India for Hindus. She is truly a Divine mother and source of inspiration. She irrigates not only farmer's fields, but also hearts, mind and souls of millions of devotees. Every evening, as the suns last rays touches the holy Ganga, people gather near Paramarth Niketan's Ganga Ghat and Thriveni Ghat to experience the holy Ganga Arthi (Fire offering to the river). It is a top attraction at Rishikesh and is an important religious ceremony. This Divine ceremony is filled with prayers, and arthi where, people provide fire offerings to the river in the form of floating lamp and flowers. It is a spectacular view, where thousands of lamps float on the river and looks like stars

Rishikesh is a delightful place to explore on foot. Cross the suspension bridges (Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula) and you experience the spectacular view of the town and river Ganga. It's an amazing experience to relax near the Ghats. The place is considered to be holy city and is vegetarian. There are places to visit like, Ram Jhula, Laxman Jhula, Paramarth Niketan, Thera manzil temple, and Thriveni ghat. The place is much more than religious as it's famous for adventure sports. Town is excellent for river rafting and trekking.