Clamped with magnificent temples and peaceful ashrams, Rishikesh occupies a unique place in the tourist map of India. Being the gateway to many sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites, this place acts as a starting point to the spectacular journey of Char Dham, the four major pilgrimage centers namely Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Crowded with sages and devotees from around the world, Rishikesh is the birthplace of yoga, which attracts thousands of people every year who come to seek mental peace, far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Adding to the mystical and yogic power of this place are wonders like lush green landscape, beautiful mountains, gushing rivers and age-old temples. The ghats and the rock-strewn mountains lead you to some of the spectacular temples that will help you to discover the adventurous side of landscape. Thus, with its traditional, cultural and exotic background, a visit to Rishikesh makes for a wonderful experience. To know more on the tourist attractions in Rishikesh, go through the write-up below.
Tourist Attractions In Rishikesh
The famous hanging bridge, Lakshman Jhula across the Ganges, serves a major landmark in the city. According to a legend, Lakshman, the brother of Lord Rama crossed river Ganga with the help of a jute bridge. After this incident, the bridge became famous as 'Lakshman Jhula', which means the 'swing of Lakshman'. With time, this suspension bridge was replaced by an iron bridge. The present day bridge established in 1939 provides visitors with a panoramic view of the lush landscape, gushing waters and calm and serene surroundings. Apart from its picturesque beauty, you can enjoy a boat ride amidst the green mountains. Another noted attraction of the place is a thirteen-storey temple called 'Terah Manzil', which provides a spectacular view of the surroundings.
Nilkanth Mahadeo Temple
Nilkanth Mahadeo Temple, situated atop a hill above the 'Swarg Ashram', is the most revered temple in Rishikesh. According to the legend, it is in this place that Lord Shiva drank the poison that surface after 'samudra manthan'. To explore this mystical land, thousands of devotees visit the temple from July to August when fairs are held. If you get a chance to visit this sacred place, do take a holy bath in the fresh water spring within the temple area.
Bharat Temple, the oldest shrine in Rishikesh, was commissioned by Adiguru Shankaracharya in 12th century. Situated near the Triveni Ghat, the details of the temple can be found in the ancient records of Kearkhand. The inner chamber of the shrine holds the idol of Lord Vishnu carved out of single saligram, a stone associated with Lord Mahavishnu. In the inner canopy above the main idol is the Shri Yantra installed by Shankaracharya himself. A recent excavation around the temple unearthed several ancient coins, statues, pots and other relics.
Triveni Ghat is one of the most visited attractions in Rishikesh. Being the confluence of three holy rivers namely, the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati, the place is considered sacred. A holy dip in this river is believed to purge one of all sins. Thus, every person visiting this place should take the opportunity to make a holy dip here.
The famous 'Gita Bhavan', situated on the banks of holy river Ganga, was set up in 1950's. The structure of the complex depicts scenes from the great epics of India such as the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The paintings and statues at the bhavan speak volumes about harmony, peace and Hindu culture, which are admired around the world. An Ayurvedic dispensary situated in the bhavan has cured people of many diseases. The pravachans and keertans held regularly within the premises add a mystical touch to the place. On your visit to this place, you can stay at the complex, which has nearly hundred rooms for pilgrims.
Rishikund, located near the Triveni Ghat, is one of the major attractions in Rishikesh. According to a legend, Goddess Yamuna, pleased by the humbleness of Saint Kubz, filled this pond with water, which reflects the image of the Ragunath temple dedicated to Lord Rama and his consort Sita.
Dotted with a number of ashrams, Rishikesh bustles with religious activity all throughout the year. Among the cluster of ashrams, many impart spiritual studies and lessons on meditations and yoga. Some of the noted ashrams of the place are Swarg Ashram, Paremarth Niketan, Yoga Niketan, Vanprastha Ashram, Omkaranand Ashram, Vithal Ashram and Shivanand Ashram.