For the soul that seeks spirituality, who seeks food in adventure, for the soul who has a love for yoga and meditation, for everyone, the place that serves all is the place known as Rishikesh. A small yet beautiful town situated in the district of Dehradun of state of Uttarakhand of India surrounded by the Shivalik Range is the most prominent tourist destination of India. Situated in the foothills of Garhwal Himalayan Range at a level of 409 meters, Rishikesh is located at the banks of River Ganga. With the dazzling views of jungle-clad Hills, Rishikesh has its best attraction as the River Ganga that flows throughout the city. With the ancient times, as plenty of Yogis, Rishis, Sages and Sannyasis came down to Rishikesh to practice yoga and do meditation, this peaceful place was thus also named as the Adobe of Sages. Being the Yoga Capital of the World, it is famous for its yoga teachings and the International Yoga Festival that it host every year in the month of March for a week. Being the Holy Town, Rishikesh is also a gateway to the famous Char Dhams of India that includes the Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Being a gateway to these Char Dham, Rishikesh itself is the pilgrimage town that attracts the devotees from all over the world in uncountable numbers in search of peace, spirituality, relief from the stress of the life and to attain salvation. Rishikesh is also the ultimate destination for the people whose souls are filled with adventure. Offering many adventurous activities like the River Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Camping, Trekking and plenty of them, Rishikesh is the whole soul most crucial place for adventure lovers and fascinates travelers and adventure enthusiasts from worldwide places. So the Ultimate food provider for Spirituals, Adventurous, Yoga and Peace Enthusiasts.
The establishment of Rishikesh has its own story which is far away from the eyes of the local people. Yet the legends the natives and the rishi – muni of this place are very well versed with the history.
Earlier, the area was known as the Garhwal and was popular with the name of Kedarkand. As mentioned in the Puran of Skanda Purana, there was a muni named Raibhya Rishi, who sat under the mango tree and performed a supreme tapasya in the name of Lord Vishnu. As he selected this peaceful place for his long penance, Lord Vishnu was impressed by his act and he presented himself to the Rishi appreciating his tapasya and appeared to the sage as a Hrishikesh. Initially the two different words, Hrishik and esh, that means senses and god or master respectively. As Lord Vishnu appeared to the sage himself, he therefore gave him a divine message that states that while he has been performing the supreme tapasya by controlling his senses, the place therefore shall be named as the Hrishikesha after the Lord Hrishikesh, the God of all senses.
As mentioned in the puranas, it is the place where Lord Vishnu defeated the demon Madhu and also as per the Ramayana states, the brother of Lord Rama, Lord Lakshmana crossed the river via a jute bridge. Later the bridge was rebuilt with iron in 1889. The bridge known as the Lakshman Jhula was again damaged in the floods of 1924 and thus it was replaced with a new bridge.
With the ancient temple, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple that stands tall in the area, the legends says that Lord Agni, who is the god of fire once made penance for Lord Shiva. As Lord Shiva has consumed poison that was obtained during sea churning along with nectar is the place where now the ancient temple stands tall.
Later, the first ruler of the place was considered to be the Kunind and post his rule, the city was ruled by the Shak Kings ad Naga Kings. Vatsraj started ruling this area in 1398 and Ajaypal was known to be the king of the area during the tenure of 1493 and 1500.
As the Gorkha King started ruling this area in 1804 to 1815, East India Company captured the town and as India got its independence in 1947, the area was considered to be in Uttar Pradesh. Uttaranchal became independent from Uttarpradesh in November 2000 and from January 2007 Uttaranchal was renamed to Uttarakhand. The Kailash Ashram was acknowledged by Swami Danaraj Giri in 1880 and the founder of “The Divine Life Society”, Swami Sivananda (1887-1963) made Muni ki Reti as his home for three continues decades. Parmarth Niketan was built by Swami Shukevanandji and later as Beatles arrived to Rishikesh in early 1960’s to gain the education of yoga, the City was then styled as the “Yoga Capital of the World”.
The Yoga capital of the world is extremely appealing and imposing; one can pay their visit to this spot of relaxation and adventure any time of the year except for monsoons. The settings get even prettier in monsoon months but it’s not regarded as the perfect time to try your hands in the water sports.
Rishikesh is home to several kinds of places of stay; basic hotels, luxury resorts, Yoga camps, rafting camps etc. It totally depends on you; pick whichever suits your mood the best.
If you are planning to enroll yourself in any sort of yoga or meditation camps then the amount of days required will be predefined otherwise two days are sufficient for one to explore the major attractions of Rishikesh. Here are the names of some prime attractions – Ram Jhula| Parmarth Niketan| Gita Bhawan| Rishikesh River rafting| Beatles Ashram etc.
The city of Rishikesh not only attracts a specific age-group; it’s a likeable destination for people of any age and hobbies. It’s the spot of Yoga, River Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Cliff Jumping, Mountain Biking, festivals, shopping and many more. Being a house of so many elements makes it a multi-talented spot [no less in offering various shopping choices].
Here are the names of some chief shopping destinations –
1- Ram Jhula Market 2- Rishikesh Main Market 3- Gole Market 4- Shyampur Haat Bazaar 5- Music for Soul 6- Garhwal wool and Craft Shop 7- Adventure Axis 8- Laxman Jhula Market
Shopping requires much of the heartily attention in comparison to mind – here is a list suggesting what to buy from Rishikesh: Classic Ornaments, religious items, spices, Ayurvedic Medicines, sports accessories, flavoured oils, Blankets, precious gems and stones, religious music CDs etc.
What’s best to eat, to buy or do are some of the questions that occupy most of the traveller's mind if she or he is travelling to any place for the first time. Rishikesh is dotted with the best options of every element – Here are the names of some well-known restaurants, which serve the best food: Ira’s Kitchen and Tea Room| Ramana’s organic Café| Amrit Ganga Café| Holywater –Dining by the Ganges| A Tavola Con Te etc.
What to eat – Wood Fired Oven Pizza| Chole Bhature| Dosa etc; do taste the Masala Chai and flavoured Lassi.
The prime fairs and festivals of Rishikesh include – the International Yoga Festival| Maha Shivratri| Kartik Purnima| Dussehra| Basant Panchami etc. Hindi and Garhwali are the two resourceful medium of communication.
Hindi is the official language of Rishikesh; a language that can be heard often is Garhwali.
Fairs and Festivals of Rishikesh – Rishikesh in itself is a well-known pilgrimage town; it’s regarded as one of the holiest spots to Hindus. Rishikesh is closely situated to another sacred city named as Haridwar [a significant Hindu Pilgrimage site].
Here are the names of some major festivals that are celebrated on a greater scale in Rishikesh –
1- The International Yoga Festival 2- Makar Sankranti 3- Maha Shivratri 4- Dussehra 5- Basant Panchami 6- Holi 7- Diwali
The most magnificent location of Rishikesh is the Triveni Ghat which is situated on the banks of Holy River Ganga. This ghat is considered to be the pious and crucial ghat amongst all the other that Rishikesh houses as this ghat is the exact place where the confluence of the three most sacred rivers in the Hinduism, The Holy river Ganga, river Yamuna and river Saraswati is held.
It is believed that one dip in the water of this ghat can revive the sins of one and purifies the person providing him and his soul ultimate peace. This is also the ghat where the auspicious Maha Aarti is offered to holy river Ganga every morning and evening.
This Ashram is named by the group of Beatles who came down to Rishikesh to meet the saint named Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and attain the education of yoga and advance meditation. As the visit of Beatles was considered to be the historic yet phenomenal visit, the stories of the ashram was spread and heard to far way places, thus making this ashram the very much crucial place of Rishikesh. Being one of the hard to find places in Rishikesh, the ashram stands tall on the foothills of Himalayas.
The ancient city does not houses much of the architectural marvels and structures yet amongst the ones that it is home to is the Laxman Jhula. With the historic significance, it is believed that the brother of Lord Rama, Lord Lakshmans (Laxman) crossed the holy river Ganga with the help of a jute bridge which was later reconstructed with iron on the same place. Situated at a height of 284ft, this hanging bridge was spotted by Rai Bahadur Saurjmal Jhunjhunwala.
Another architectural marvel that can found in Rishikesh is the Ram Jhula that was constructed by the regional government in the late 1980’s in order to give a tribute to the contribution of the Shivananda Ashram Divine Life Society. Same as the Laxman Jhula, this Ram Jhula was also a jute bridge which was later reconstructed with iron.
Being the most prominent tourist destination of Rishikesh, Ram Jhula stands at a distance of 450ft from the level of the ground, providing one the the opportunities to get an amazing and a mesmerizing views of the surroundings of River Ganga.
Located in the laps of Himalayas and along the banks of holy river Ganga, the Parmath Niketan Ashram is the largest ashram of Rishikesh. Known for its serene, salubrious, calm and tranquil ambience, this ashram houses about 1,000 rooms that also offers some of the modern day facilities to the devotees that come down to Rishikesh from across the globe.
Offering a stay at the Ashram will bring one close to their inner self and awakens the senses while uplifting the present state of mind, body and soul. The preaching’s of the spirituality via the spiritual classes, satsangs, kirtans, Ganga Aarti and Spiritual Lectures make one purify oneself to a deep extent.
The most crucial attraction of Rishikesh is the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple situated at the height of 1,330 meters above the sea level in Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple holds prominent places amongst the hearts of the devotees. With thousands of devotees visit this temple every year from all over the world; this magnificent temple is tucked between the pictorial valleys of Manikot, Brahmakot and Vishnukot. With the adorned sculptures of the Lord Shiva and the Asuras, this temple holds a great historic yet pilgrim importance.
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