Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as the 'Gateway to the ‘Gahrwal Himalayas' and 'Yoga Capital of the World'. It lies southeast of the state capital Dehradun and 20 kms away from Haridwar. According to Census of India, 2011 Rishikesh is the seventh most populated city in the state of Uttarakhand. It is known as the pilgrimage town and regarded as one of the holiest places in the world. Hindu sages and saints have visited Rishikesh since ancient times to meditate in search of higher knowledge.
Rishikesh has been a part of the legendary 'Kedarkhand'. Legends state that Lord Rama did penance here for killing Ravana the Asura King of Lanka; and Lakshmana, his younger brother, crossed the river Ganges at a point, where the present ‘Lakshman Jhula' bridge stands today, using a jute rope bridge. The 'Kedarkhand' of Skanda Purana, also mentions the existence of Indrakund at this very point. The jute-rope bridge was replaced by iron-rope Suspention Bridge in 1889. After it was washed away in the 1924 floods, it was replaced by the present stronger bridge. Another similar suspension bridge Ram Jhula was built in 1986 at nearby Sivananda Nagar.
Rishikesh is the starting point for travelling to the four Chhota Char Dham pilgrimage places—Badrinath, kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Rishikesh, sometimes nicknamed "Yoga Capital of the World", has numerous yoga centres that attract tourists. From all over the globe, millions come to learn asanas and kriyas. The Ganga Arti performed at dusk at the Triveni Ghat is popular with visitors.
A small diya (a lit lamp) with a candle and flowers are floated down the river. The offering is made to Goddess Ganga, also affectionately referred to as Maa Ganga, goddess of the holiest river in India. The aarti has special significance on the auspicious occasion of Ganga Dussehra when Maa Ganga is believed to have descended to earth from heaven. The Haridwar Ganga Aarti is held at Hari-ki-Pauri ghat. The name literally means "Feet of the Lord". The ceremony is a must spectacle for any tourist.
Rafting & Adventure Sports
The land of soaring mountains, high-altitude passes and pristine lakes, Rishikesh is an ideal adventure sports destination in the country. Rishikesh is the hub of numerous thrilling activities like mountaineering, trekking, wildlife safari and paragliding. During the winter season, skiing opportunities also arise. Two other activities that can be enjoyed here are camping and river rafting. Hordes of people from all corners of the world travel to scenic Rishikesh to indulge in these activities.The Rishikesh camping and rafting tour begins from Shivpuri bridge, from where you start hiking.
The campsite also features a common thatched roof hut where guests can enjoy their meals or relax while reading a book. Camping is the best way to spend time in Rishikesh as it will bring you a lot closer to nature. Embark on a journey to Rishikesh wherever you are across the world to see why this city has become one of the most sought-after getaways.
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