Lakshman Jhula Rishikesh, Uttaranchal
All About Rishikesh Travel
One of the holiest cities in India, Rishikesh is not just known for its religious connection but also for its beautiful landscape and also the Rishikesh rafting. Surrounded by hills (the Lesser Himalayas) on three sides and holy Ganga river flowing through it, Rishikesh is an ethereal experience. Rishikesh is the gateway to famous Chardham which are Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. In fact Rishikesh is a favourite of those coming to meditate and seek salvation. It is believed that meditation on the land of this holy place leads to salvation. Every year many people come here in the ashrams to meditate and gain peace of mind. The place is also very famous with foreigners who come to India in search of spiritual quest. Rishikesh is famous for its ashrams on the banks of Ganga, at many such ashrams yoga is practiced and taught regularly. Such is the feeling of Rishikesh that even Beatles could not escape from the magical experience. They had visited India in 1960 to pay visit to their Guru in Rishikesh.
The Romantic Weather In RishikeshThe pleasant and romantic weather of the city can make anyone fall in love with it. That is why more and more travelers come here to seek solace and also to feel their adrenalin rush. What else works here is Rishikesh altitude (1360 metres). It is higher than other holy cities of Haridwar and Varanasi, the water in Ganga here is cooler and cleaner. The flow of the river is stronger here and the city is less populated than others. Rishikesh temperature is more calmer and peaceful here. It is such a beauty, the water gushing from the Himalayas, the banks dotted with ashrams and temples (both ancient and recent) and a hilly landscape in the background of all this, Rishikesh is truly amazing.
Famous Places In Rishikesh
Rishikesh Tour - Highlights
Every inch of place is sacred here in Rishikesh. The banks of Ganga in Rishikesh are dotted with ancient temples and ashrams for which Rishikesh is famous for.
This suspended bridge running from one bank of Ganga to other is the landmark of the city. It was built in 1939. The legend behind it states that Lakshman crossed a bridge made of jute ropes here on river Ganga. The view from the bridge itself is panoramic. The mountains covered in green belt, the waters flowing below, a cool breeze, all these together make Lakshman Jhula a great place to visit. You can also feed the fish in the river below from the bridge itself, the fish gather at the place where people drop food for them. To take a better view of the Jhula, one can take a boat ride in the river below, the scene with Lakshman Jhula in the foreground and green mountains in the background make a picturesque view and you can also feed the fish while you are in the boat. Ram Jhula Rishikesh, a similar structure to Lakshman Jhula is a more recent addition to the city. Also known as Shivanand Jhula, it connects Shivanand ashram with Swarg ashram.
It is the main bathing ghat in Rishikesh where every morning several devotees take a dip in the holy waters of Ganga. The Ghat is so named because it is believed that this is the place of confluence of three holiest Hindu rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Sarswati. This is the place where River Ganga takes a complete right angle turn. The most enchanting experience here is that of the evening aarti. Scores of devotees stand on the steps of the ghat at this time. The priests perform the rituals, the golden flames come out of large pure ghee lamps (being rotated in set circular motions), vedic chants fill the air in praise of goddess of River Ganga and the conchs in the temples on the Ghat fill the air with their sound. The spiritualness in the air mesmerises one beyond expression and no matter what religion the people on the ghat belong to, their soul cannot remain untouched by this. What follows is even more spectacular. Turning the waters into golden, people float leaf boats into the river with flowers and lamps burning in them. Eyes follow these lamps as they go with the flow of the river. This small ceremony of ownership symbolizes hope, remembrance and wishes for future.
Nilkanth Mahadeo Temple
At a height of approximately 5500 feet is the famous temple of Nilkanth Mahdeo. It is situated at a hill top above Swarg ashram. Legend goes that this was the place where lord Shiva had drank venom which had come out from churning the sea. After drinking it, his neck had turned blue with the poison and hence he was called 'Neelkanth', the one with blue neck. To visit this most revered temple of Rishikesh, jeeps are available from Lakshman Jhula. Every year in the months of monsoon - mid July to August - fairs are held here. There is also a fresh water spring within temple complex where people take bath before paying a visit to the temple.
This is the oldest temple in Rishikesh built by Adiguru Shankaracharya in 12th century. Dedicated to Bharat, younger brother of Lord Ram, it is situated in the old town near Triveni Ghat. Details about temple are available in ancient records of Kearkhand. The original temple was destroyed by Tamur during his invasion in 1398. However, many important things are well preserved till date here. In the inner sanctum there is an idol of Lord Vishnu carved out of a single Saligram (the divine stone of Mahavishnu). There is also a Shriyantra placed on the canopy above that was places here by Adi Shankaracharya. Recent excavations have revealed more about the rich history of the temple. Old statues, coins, pots and other things have been discovered from the premises of the temple.
Kailash Niketan Temple
Crossing Lakshman Jhula, the main temple you will see is Kailash Niketan Temple. It is a 13 storey structure slightly different from regular temples. The temple has sculptures of all the gods and goddesses.
Crossing Lakshman Jhula is the famous Gita Ashram that was set up in 1950's. It is famous for its depicted walls. Paintings, statues, scenes from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana adorn the ashram walls. A free ayurvedic dispensary is run here, and a branch of Gita press Gorakhpur is also here. You can also buy bedsheets, cotton sarees from here. Pravachans, keertans are a regular affair in the ashram, one can enjoy bhakti sangeet here in the evenings. The complex also has some hundred rooms for accommodation for pilgrims.
The place is bustling with activity all the time. Ashrams, temples, shops, restaurants, eating joints, all these ensure that the place is always active. Many statues adorn this one of the oldest ashrams in Rishikesh founded by Swami Vishuddhananda popularly known as 'Kali kamli wale'. The spiritual air of the soul pacifies one and all.
Shivanand Ashram : The Divine Life Society
A doctor by profession, Swami Shivanand renounced his life in Delhi and came to Rishikesh in 1924. He set up Divine Life Society in 1936 here. He wrote some 200 books on yoga, health and spiritual life before he died in 1963. The ashram organises regular yoga classes, one can pursue from here studies in texts like Upanishads and Gita. The place has many other ashrams where pilgrims can stay and participate in the activities like yoga, pravachans, bhakti sangeet and other ashram activities. Parmarth Ashram near Ram jhoola runs a traditional Indian school. Ved Niketan runs yoga and meditation classes regularly. Located in the forests near the banks of Ganga, this ashram has the best location. Another ashram in Tapovan area is Sacha Vedic Sansthan. This ashram is also high on religious and spiritual activity chart.
Rishikesh In India - Excursions
Twenty kilometres from Rishikesh is Chila, covered by thick forests. A reservoir here is fed by River Ganga near which one can see many animals. Chila has been declared as a wildlife sanctuary by government.
It is a historical town15 kilometres from Rishikesh which was set up by King of Tehri, Narendra Singh. It has a sfew archaeological structures, the most notable being the Royal Palace.
Rishikesh is sometimes called the yoga capital of the world. A considerable number of tourists come here every year for yoga, meditation, spiritual growth. Its ashrams are famous for their calm and conducive environment for yoga, the spiritualness in the air further evokes one. There are many ashrams here, some more famous than others. Though the basics of yoga remain the same but the difference lies with the teachers here, their teaching styles and the facilities in the ashrams like accommodation, library etc. The 'Yoga Study Centre' on the Haridwar road has a senior Iyengar teacher as its 'coach'. Brahmcharya Rudradev conducts yoga classes here and the routine is rather stern. Many foreigner and Indian students come to study Yoga here. Classes are organised three times a year for twenty days. 'Yoga Niketan Ashram' near Shivanand ashram and 'Sri Ved Niketan Ashram' are also quite popular for yoga. Rishikesh also has an International Yoga festival here in the first week of February every year.
Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam organises river rafting courses near Rishikesh in Kaudilya. Set among the thick forests, the place is ideal for river rafting, as the water gushes down from an altitude of 480 metres. Besides there are also trained professionals here and river rafting courses are conducted. Many river rafters come to Rishikesh every year for river rafting. One can also indulge in gentle canoeing here in Rishikesh. Trekking trips are organised from Rishikesh to Binsar and Rishikesh to Gopeshwar. Otherwise also people take small treks from Rishikesh to upper ranges of Himalayas. A perfect destination to click lots of Rishikesh photos to carry as a sweet memory with you.
There are no big markets or souvenir shops or gift centres here in Rishikesh since it is essentially a pilgrimage destination. But there are many shops selling handicrafts here. You will see scores of shops in rows displaying handicrafts made of beads, sea shells, pearls etc. There are also some reputed shops selling sarees, bed covers, handloom fabric and cotton fabric. There is a government approved handloom shop, khadi bhandar, Garhwal wool and craft shop where you can shop to ensure reliability of quality.
The nearest Rishikesh airport is Jolly Grant airport on route to Dehradun, 18 kilometres from here. Indian airlines connect Dehradun to Delhi, some chartered planes also operate from here.
Rishikesh is well connected with other major cities through railways. There are trains for Delhi, Kolkatta, Lucknow, Varanasi, Dehradun, Haridwar and other cities.
To commute within Rishikesh there are tongas, taxis and rickshaws available. Whereas from other cities and states buses are operated by state transport corporations and private operators (deluxe, semi deluxe coaches) are available for Rishikesh. Apart from that one can also hire private vehicles to get there. For more info Rishikesh map will help you.
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