Rishikesh is a beautiful city in India, known as the “Yoga Capital of the World.” It’s situated in the northern state of Uttarakhand, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas along the banks of the Ganges River. Rishikesh is revered for its spiritual significance, attracting yoga enthusiasts, spiritual seekers, and tourists from around the globe.
Mythology About Rishikesh
Rishikesh known as the “Yoga Capital of the World” and has numerous stories associated with it:
Lord Rama’s Meditation: According to the Ramayana, Rishikesh is where Lord Rama did penance after defeating the demon king Ravana. He meditated here to absolve himself of any sin associated with killing Ravana, who was a Brahmin.
Lakshmana Jhula and Ram Jhula: These iconic suspension bridges in Rishikesh are named after Lord Rama’s brother, Lakshmana, and are believed to be where Lakshmana crossed the Ganges on jute ropes. It’s said that Lord Rama performed penance here after the battle of Lanka.
Sage Raibhya’s Tapasya (Meditation): The Skanda Purana mentions that sage Raibhya Rishi did severe penance on the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh, seeking the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Impressed by his devotion, Lord Vishnu appeared before him.
Yoga Capital: It’s believed that sages and saints from ancient times used Rishikesh as a spot for meditation due to its serene and spiritual ambiance. It’s here that yoga and meditation techniques were believed to have been developed and passed down through generations.
Rishikesh’s spiritual significance and tranquil surroundings have attracted seekers and spiritual enthusiasts for centuries, making it not only a hub for mythology but also a living embodiment of spirituality and yoga practices.
Activities In Rishikesh
Here are some popular things to do in Rishikesh:
River Rafting: The Ganges River offers thrilling white-water rafting experiences with various rapids suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters.
Yoga and Meditation: Rishikesh is often referred to as the “Yoga Capital of the World.” Numerous ashrams and yoga centers offer classes, retreats, and courses for all levels of practitioners.
Visit Ashrams and Temples: Explore the spiritual side of Rishikesh by visiting ashrams like the Beatles Ashram (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram), Parmarth Niketan, and Triveni Ghat. Also, visit famous temples like the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.
Bungee Jumping and Adventure Sports: Try adrenaline-pumping activities like bungee jumping, flying fox, giant swing, and rock climbing offered by adventure camps near Rishikesh.
Attend Ganga Aarti: Witness the mesmerizing Ganga Aarti ceremony performed at the banks of the Ganges River in the evenings, a beautiful ritual of light and sound.
Trekking: Explore the Himalayan foothills with various trekking trails around Rishikesh, like the Neer Garh Waterfall trek, Patna Waterfall trek, or the trek to the Kunjapuri Devi Temple.
Ayurvedic Massages and Spa: Relax and rejuvenate with traditional Ayurvedic massages and spa treatments available in many wellness centers.
Camping: Experience the serenity of nature by camping along the banks of the Ganges or in the nearby hills. There are several campsites offering various amenities and activities.
How To Reach
By Air:The nearest airport to Rishikesh is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, located around 21 kilometers away. From there, you can hire a taxi or use public transportation to reach Rishikesh.
By Train:Rishikesh has its own railway station, but it’s a small one with limited connectivity. The nearest major railway station is Haridwar Junction, about 25 kilometers away. From Haridwar, you can take a taxi, bus, or even a shared auto-rickshaw to Rishikesh.
From Delhi: Rishikesh is approximately 240 kilometers from Delhi, and the journey takes around 6-7 hours by road. You can take a bus from the Kashmiri Gate ISBT or hire a taxi/private car.
From Haridwar: Rishikesh is around 25 kilometers from Haridwar. You can take a bus, taxi, or even an auto-rickshaw from Haridwar to reach Rishikesh.
Once in Rishikesh, you can use auto-rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, taxis, or rented motorcycles/scooters to move around within the city.