Overview of Rishikesh: The Yoga Capital
Rishikesh actually means “locks or hairs of a guru,” according to the dictionary. The city is well-known for being both the “Yoga Capital of the World” and the “Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas”. The historic town of Rishikesh is one of the main tourist and pilgrimage destinations in northern India, drawing visitors from all over the world who are looking for calm. It is surrounded by the majestic Himalayas and has the pristine Ganga flowing through it. Rishikesh is frequently referred to be the “capital of yoga” and for good reason. Visitors that come to the location to practice yoga and meditation are everywhere. There are several ashrams in Rishikesh, some of which are renowned globally as centers for philosophical research, yoga, and other traditional Indian health practices. The annual International Yog Festival (IYF), which is hosted here by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, draws tens of thousands of yoga devotees. Rishikesh is linked to a number of tales.
The relationship between Rishikesh and The Beatles is also well recognised. Members of the renowned English rock band travelled to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram, also known as the Beatles Ashram, in February 1968 to study transcendental meditation. Nearly 48 songs were written by the band when they were staying at the Maharishi’s ashram, and many of them are included on the White Album (and a few from Abbey Road).
History of Rishikesh
The famed “Kedarkhand” included Rishikesh. According to legend, Lord Rama performed penance here after defeating Ravana, the asura ruler of Lanka, and his younger brother Lakshmana used two jute ropes to cross the Ganges at the location where the current “Lakshman Jhula” now stands. At this very moment, Indrakund is also mentioned in the Skanda Purana’s “Kedarkhand”. A 248-feet-long iron-rope suspension bridge was built in 1889 to replace the jute-rope bridge. The current, stronger bridge was erected by the United Provinces Public Works Department in 1927 to replace the one that had been destroyed in the floods of 1924. The Tapovan, Tehri, and Jonk, Pauri Garhwal districts are linked by this bridge. At adjacent Sivananda Nagar, the Ram Jhula suspension bridge was constructed in 1986.
One of Hinduism’s most revered rivers, the Ganges, passes in Rishikesh. The river exits the Shivalik Hills in the Himalayas at this location and empties into the northern Indian plains. Along the Ganges River banks in Rishikesh, there are several temples, both old and contemporary. The ancient temples built by Adi Shankaracharya include Shatrughna Mandir, Bharat Mandir (Lord Vishnu’s avatar), and Lakshman Mandir. Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula are both close to Shatrughna Temple and Lakshman Mandir, respectively.
Geography of Rishikesh
It is 340 metres above sea level on average (1,120 feet). The town is situated in the Uttarakhand state in northern India’s Tehri Garhwal area. The Ganges emerges from the mountains at Rishikesh and surfaces into the Gangetic Plain at the pilgrimage town of Haridwar after meandering 249 kilometres (Km) through its constrained Himalayan ravine. Due to the fact that the main pollution sources are located downstream in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh, the water at Rishikesh is mostly undisturbed by the Ganges’ pollution.
Adventure activities in Rishikesh
“Adventure Capital of India”- Rishikesh won’t let you down if you’re an adrenaline junkie. River rafting, cliff jumping, camping, rappelling, kayaking, bungee jumping, flying fox, mountain biking, giant swing, waterfall trekking, rock climbing, valley crossing, hot air ballooning, trekking, and many more enjoyable sports are available as adventure activities in Rishikesh.
Healthcare Centre / Yoga Ashramas
One of the six premier healthcare institutions being built by the Indian government’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as part of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) is the AIIMS Rishikesh. The PMSSY aims to eliminate regional disparities in the quality of tertiary level healthcare provided in the nation and achieve self-sufficiency in graduate and postgraduate medical education and training.
On June 4, 2015, Shripad Yasso Naik, Minister for Yoga and Traditional Medicine, officially launched the First Ayush Centre (The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homoeopathy of India) in Rishikesh. In Rishikesh, he predicts, studies would be conducted on Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine), yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha, homoeopathy, and other alternative medical systems.
Climate and weather in Rishikesh
Many of the months of the year are pleasant in Rishikesh. Due to its position in a steep area, the climate never changes to an excessive level. Rishikesh is one such tourist destination that is open all year round.
Summer (April to June)
In the months of March through June, Rishikesh experiences its summer season. The highest temperature you may anticipate throughout the summer is between 20 and 35 degrees Celsius.
Mansoon (July to September)
Most activities are put on hold during the monsoon season, which lasts from July to September owing to the intense downpours. August is the month with the most rainfall. The weather is nice and mild throughout the months of October and November.
Winter (October to March)
The town’s winter months may be chilly, with temperatures often hovering around 8°C. During the winter, the barometer may soar as high as 20°C. During this time, woollen gear is needed.
How to reach
By Air: Jolly Grant Airport, located 21 Km from Rishikesh, is the closest airport. From Jolly Grant Airport, taxis are easily accessible to Rishikesh. With frequent flights, Jolly Grant Airport has good access to Delhi. Jolly Grant Airport and Rishikesh are well connected by motorable highways.
By Train: There are several trains that stop at the station in Rishikesh. Buses and taxis may be easily found from Rishikesh to Swargashram and Muni-ki-Reti.
By Road: Rishikesh is well connected to the main cities in Uttarakhand and the northern Indian states via motorable highways. Buses to Rishikesh are easily accessible from Meerut and the Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate. From popular locations in Uttarakhand including Dehradun, Haridwar, Srinagar, Tehri, Uttarkashi, etc., buses and taxis are available to take you to Rishikesh. On the National Highway 58 connecting Badrinath, Rishikesh is located.
Swami samarpan ashram, Sivananda ashram, Parmarth niketan ashram, blue jay smart hotel, Shaantam resort and spa
Some other key points about Rishikesh
Which deity is Rishikesh?
According to a mythology, the name of the city was derived from the Hindu god Vishnu’s name Hrishikesh, which means “Lord of the Senses”.
Is alcohol available in Rishikesh?
Rishikesh is a sacred city, thus alcohol is prohibited and improper. However, you may purchase beer (8 percent alcohol) to go with your dinner in some of the more upscale hotels.
How long is enough time in Rishikesh?
To see Haridwar, Rishikesh, and the surrounding area, 3N/4D are sufficient. If you’re pressed for time, you may also experience the main sights in 2N/3D. Laxman Jhula and Triveni Ghat are two of the must-see attractions in Rishikesh, where you may go rafting.
In which areas of Rishikesh do sadhus reside?
A remarkable sight in Rishikesh are the sadhus. A Sadhu holy man holding his offering container. A sadhu who performs Bakhti flow daily at the same location. They come out of shacks on the banks of the powerful Ganges River, street corners, or neighbouring Ashrams.
Is Rishikesh a vegetarian city?
Yes, Since Rishikesh is a holy place and the home of vegetarian sanyasis, it only offers a wide range of traditional vegetarian meals; hence, neither cafés nor hotels provide non-vegetarian food.
Why is Rishikesh India’s centre of yoga?
The oldest pilgrimage site in India is at Rishikesh. The location where the Gods do yoga and meditate is called as Tapo Bhumi. The Ganges River runs clean and brimming with spiritual vitality through the tranquil temple town of Rishikesh.
Places to visit around/nearby Rishikesh
Haridwar: 20 Km from Rishikesh
Dehradun: 46 Km from Rishikesh
Kanatal: 81 Km from Rishikesh
Dhanaulti: 103 Km from Rishikesh
Mussoorie: 77 Km from Rishikesh
Chamba: 65 Km from Rishikesh
Devprayag: 75 Km from Rishikesh
Byasi: 30 Km from Rishikesh
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