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Rishikesh


RishikeshThe holy town of Rishikesh has the eminence of being the International capital of Yoga and meditation. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas on the banks of the River Ganges, Rishikesh is dotted with a number of ancient temples, ashrams and world renowned yoga and meditation centres. Not only devotees, but travellers from all parts of the world flock to the sacred town for a deeper understanding of meditation. At the ashrams in Rishikesh, visitors can attend lectures and courses offered by celebrated yoga and meditation experts. Apart from Hindu shrines, the town of Rishikesh also invites adventure lovers from all around. It is also the ideal gateway for a pilgrim chardham yatra, that includes travelling to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath.

Rishikesh Ganga Aarti

Rishikesh Ganga Aarti. Evening in Rishikesh are for sitting by the Ganges and while away your time. Later in the evening, you headed towards Parmarth Niketan Ashram to witness the daily evening ritual of Ganga Aarti.

The aarti is a pleasant ritual of worshipping the Ganga. Around 50-100 people visit the aarti on any day. You have witnessed Ganga Aarati in other places like Haridwar and Varanasi too, but they are a crowded noisy ritual with loud screaming speakers, people troubling you to make donations or hawkers trying to sell something highly overpriced. The Aarti at Rishikesh is a contrast to it, held in a small place with a few people and is a relatively quite affair. You can sit quietly in a corner and witness the ritual or join the crowds singing Bhajans with them.

The Aarati happens at a very picturesque place on the banks of Ganga, in front of a Shiva statue built on the river. You see some activity beginning at the riverbank around 5pm. People start cleaning up the area, lay carpets in preparation for the aarati.

A few people are seen selling deep or diya - a flower bowl with a wick lamp to be floated down the river during the Aarti after prayers.Terivani Ghat Ganga Aarti. It starts at 5.30pm, with children studying Veda, the Bhajan singers and the performers walking into the ghat in front of Parmarth Niketan. It begins with Bhajans and prayers for Gangaji and Shiva.

It is interesting to watch the children as the ritual progresses. They look bright and alive in their saffron robes. Some of them appear oblivious of the whole thing and drift into their own world. A few start a conversation within themselves. Some continue singing the Bhajans with an uninterested face and a few are motionless, just sitting there or staring blankly. There are some who are completely immersed in the Bhajans and join everyone with full enthusiasm, singing and clapping loudly with the rhythm.

As the sun sets and it gets slightly darker, the Shiva statue is lighted up and it looks beautiful. The Aarti continues with lamps in various shapes and sizes lighted up, and passed on from people to people.

Lakshman Jhula

one of the most visited, the Lakshmana Jhula is a suspended bridge, extending from one bank of the Ganges to the other. The bridge is mythological significant because it is where Lakshman crossed the Ganga through on jute-rope-made bridge. Visitors can enjoy some impressive views of the Himalayan ranges from upon the bridge. Today, the Lakshmana Jhula connects two popular ashrams - Shivanand Ashram and Swarg Ashram.

Bharat Mandir

Established back in the 12th century, the Bharat Temple happens to be the oldest in Rishikesh. The temple stands in dedication to Bharat, the younger brother of Rama (hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana). Though the original temple structure was destroyed in an invasion by Temur in 1398, the temple still preserves a number of Hindu relics. The inner sanctum of the Bharat Mandir enshrines the idol of Lord Vishnu. The temple stands close to the Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh.

Triveni Ghat

The most popular bathing ghat in Rishikesh, the Triveni Ghat is the point where River Ganges takes a complete right angle turn. Hindus also believe that it is here that the three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati converge. Every morning, scores of pilgrims and devotees can be seen here taking a holy dip in the divine waters of the Ganga. In the evening, the sight at the ghat is simply heart stirring. Vedic chants, to the accompaniment of drums and bells, can be heard all around and a spiritual aura surrounds the whole place. Tiny oil lamps on bedecked leaf boats floating on the Ganges add much charm to the whole atmosphere.

Ram Jhula

The place (or the bridge) is equally popular with devotees and tourists. It remains suspended 3 km north of Rishikesh town. It attracts most visitors due to the fact that it lies just close to the popular ashrams - Geeta Bhawan and Swarg Ashram. Visitors cannot afford to miss the enchanting evening prayer (which lasts for 30 minutes) at the Geeta Bhawan ghat. Food lovers can head straight to the 50-year-old and the very famous Chotiwala Restaurant, located in Ram Jhula.

Geeta Bhawan

Geeta Bhawan is one of the oldest temple complexes situated by the side of Laxman Jhula on the banks of sacred Ganges in Rishikesh. Gita Bhavan is dedicated as a Museum for puranic and mythological awareness for the common public. Building consists of a very large complex comprising discourse halls and over 1000 rooms available free of charge for the stay of devotees. For the convenience of the devotees, simple vegetarian food, kitchen and grocery items and Indian sweets are available at very moderate price.

Neelkanth Mahadev

Thousands of devotees visit Neelkanth Mahadev every month throughout the year. It is situated on the summit of the mountain across the sacred Ganga River. According to mythology this is the place where Lord Shiva drank the venom produced during agar Manthan which turned his throat blue and was thus the place was named as Neelkanth. Neelkanth and Mahadev are names of Lord Shiva.

Parmarth Niketan

Across the Ramjhoola Bridge stands the mammoth Parmarth Niketan Ashram. The ashram has hundreds of rooms. It conducts many religious programmes. Foreigners can stay only with special permission.

Swargashram

One of the oldest ashrams in Rishikesh, its founder Swami Vishudhanand was also known as the 'Kali Kamli Wala' (One with The Black Blanket). Today the Kali Kamliwala Kshetra is a mammoth organization embracing many activities.

Vashishta Gufa

Vashishta Gufa is a famous attraction for meditation, located at the bank of River Ganga, this gufa is situated at a distance of 16 km from Rishikesh. It takes about an hours drive on the Rishikesh Badrinath Highway to reach Vashishta Gufa. For the adventure seeker, this place provides with camping facility.

Kunjapuri Devi Temple

Kunjapuri Devi Temple is located on a hillock around 15 km away from Rishikesh. This temple is dedicated to one of the thirteen most important goddesses of Shivalik range. The temple is well-known among the travellers as it gives a beautiful view of the sunrise and the sunset from the greater Himalayan peaks.

By Flight
Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest Airport to Rishikesh situated at a distance of 21kms. Taxis are easily available from Jolly Grant Airport to Rishikesh. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to Delhi with daily flights. Rishikesh is well connected by motorable roads with Jolly Grant Airport.

By Train
Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations of India. Trains to Rishikesh Railway station are frequent. Taxis and buses are easily available from Rishikesh to Muni-ki-reti and Swargashram.
By Road
Rishikesh is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand and northern states of India. Luxury and normal Buses to Rishikesh are easily available from Delhi ISBT Kashmiri Gate and Meerut.

Buses and Taxis to Rishikesh are available from major destinations of Uttarakhand like Dehradun, Haridwar, Srinagar, Tehri, Uttarkashi etc. Rishikesh is situated on National Highway 58 which connects Badrinath.

Month

Climate

Details

Jan


Very Cold
 

January is the coldest month of the year. The days are pleasing and nights are cold. Suitable for pilgrimage visits.

Feb


Pleasant

February is pleasant with temperate climate. Days are pleasing but can be a bit cold.Sightseeing and adventure activities like trekking can be enjoyed. Temperatures starts to warm up from the end of the month and is dominated by lot of blue skies.

Mar


Moderately Hot

March is moderately hot all through the days and nights. The atmosphere becomes moderate with cool breezes making it comfortable for tourist activities. This is the best time for enjoying rafting and other adventure sports. Also, a good time for learningYoga in Rishikesh as the International Yoga Festival also takes place during this month.

Apr


Moderately Hot

April has moderately hot climate. Days are favorable for outdoor activities. Temperatures begin to rise but still ranges within comfort zone and is ideal for tourist activities. The clear skies and plenty of sunshine make it ideal for indulging in water sports, especially white water rafting.

May


Moderately Hot

Climate becomes a bit hot in May and is often referred to as the hottest month of the year. Adventurous sports like rafting and trekking are highly enjoyable during summer days.

Jun


Moderately Hot 

Weather becomes hot during June.

Jul


Moderately Hot 

Monsoon sets in July and gives the required coolness to the atmosphere. 

Aug


Rainy

This is the wettest month of the year in Rishikesh and rain lovers can enjoy their holiday. The days are warm and the evenings are pleasant. 

Sep


Moderately Hot

September is moderate and associated with intermittent showers. The month is idealoutdoor travels. Rainfall almost ceases at the end of the month and tourists can enjoy trekking trips to the nearby located region. The clear sky and sunshine helps in keeping the temperature within the bearable range.

Oct


Pleasant

October offers mild post monsoon showers and the atmosphere becomes humid and cool. One of the best months to visit Rishikesh as the natural beauty is most ethereal. White water rafting, pilgrim tours and Yoga and meditation are a few activities tourists will love during this month.

Nov


Moderately Cold

November is very pleasant and the ambiance is attractive. This month is perfect for enjoying indoor and outdoor tourist activities. Suitable for pilgrimage tours and adventure water sports like water rafting. Winters starts from the end of the month but plenty of sunshine in the regions keeps the climate cozy

Dec


Freezing Cold

The days are pleasing and nights are cool. This month is ideal for outdoor activities as the days are pretty comfortable. Enjoyable time for taking up pilgrimage visits and adventure water sports like water rafting. Woolens might be required during nights. Tourists being accompanied by kids or aged need to exercise little more care.

Route Map



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