| By : Ajit Hari Sahu||Previous | Next|
| Posted on : 15 Dec, 2005 ||Total Views : 2118|
Rishikesh is located in the northern part of Uttar Pradesh. It is 238 km northeast of Delhi and 24 km north of Haridwar and spreads on the right banks of the Ganges, at its confluence with the Chandrabhanga stream. It is surrounded by hills on three sides and is perched at an altitude of 356 meters above sea level. The name Rishikesh is loosely applied to an association of five distinct sections encompassing not only the town but also hamlets and settlements on both sides of the river.
These include Rishikesh itself, the commercial and communication hub; the sprawling suburban Muni-ki-Reti or the "sands of the sages"; Shivananda Nagar, north of Rishikesh; the temple section of Lakshmanjhula, a little further north; and the assorted ashrams around Swarg Ashram on the east bank. In Rishikesh, the winters last from November to March, when temperatures fall below 0 C. The monsoons are generally experienced in the months of July and August.
Legend has it that the sage Raibhya Rishi did severe penance and, as a reward, God appeared to him in the form of Hrishikesh. Rishikesh also represents the site where Lord Vishnu vanquished the demon Madhu. The place is known as the Tapo Bhumi or the place for meditation of the Gods. Tapovan, on the other bank of the Ganges, houses a temple to Lakshmana. It is believed that Lakshmana, the younger brother of Lord Rama, carried out penance here. The Neelkanth Mahadev temple is believed to be the site where Lord Shiva had drunk the venom that came out during the churning of the ocean. In the 1960s, the place came into limelight as the place where the pop group Beatles met their guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
How to get there
Air: The nearest airport is Dehradun (Jolly Grant), 25 kms. Vayudoot services operates from Delhi to Dehradun (Jolly Grant).
Rail: Rishikesh is connected by rail via Haridwar (24 kms), to Howrah, Bombay, Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Dehradun and other cities.
Road: By road Rishikesh to Haridwar 24 kms, Dehradun 47 kms, Mussoorie 77 kms, Badrinath 301 kms (Son Prayag), Kedarnath 228 kms, Gangotri 258 kms, Yamunotri 288 kms (Hanuman Chatti), Srinagar 105 kms, Joshimath 252 kms.
Pilgrimage Attractions of Rishikesh
Lakshmanan Jhula: This suspended Iron bridge was build in 1939 and has been a major attraction among the tourists to Rishikesh. It is said that Lakshman crossed Ganga on jute ropes between the places where this bridge is built. The Ganges appears very panoramic from the bridge. One can enjoy the picturesque surroundings and the cool breeze from the River while standing on the bridge. If you feel like feeding the fish in the Ganges, take a boat and cross the river. The boat ride makes the bridge appear more gorgeous. Close to LakshmanJuhla is the Ram Jhula - This suspended bridge was recently built between Shivanand Ashram and Sawarg Ashram. It is similar to the Lakshman Jhula. Ram Juhla is also known as Shivanand Jhula.
Bharat Mandir: Built by Adiguru Shankra Chrya around 12th century, Bharat Mandir is situated in the heart of the old town on the Banks of the Ganges. Detailed accounts of this oldest temple of Rishikesh are available in ancient record of Kearkhand. The Inner sanctum of the temple has the idol of lord Vishnu, carved out of a single Saligram. In the inner canopy above the idol is shree yantra installed by Adi Sankraya Charya. The original temple was destroyed by Taimur lane in 1398 A.D. Lot of old statues, coins, pots and other things of historical importance were found in recent excavations in the premises of the temple.
Parmarth Niketan: One of the most renowned temple complex and ashram in the area. Known for its substantial work on Hinduism, three is a school run on traditional Indian Patterns. The ashram organises excellent Ganga Arti and Hawan on the Parmarth Ghat every evening.
Transcendental Centre of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Situated on the extreme end of Geeta Bhawan area , Marishi's TM centre is situated in the peaceful forest area. Once the most active branch has nothing much to offer to the visitors today.
Kunjapuri Temple: Drive to Kunja Puri, one of the thirteen most important Goddesses of Shivalik range, the lower Himalayas.One can witness excellent sunrise or sunset on the Greater Hiamalayan Peaks and the vast Indo Gangetic plains. One can see almost all the peaks of Garhwal Himalayas from here eg Banderpunch (6316 Mts), Swarga Rohini (6252 Mts), Gangotri (6672 mts), Chaukhamba (7138 mts) etc.
Vasishtha Goofa: One hour drive from Rishikesh up river is situated Vasishtha Goofa, where famous saint Vasishtha meditated on the banks of the Ganges. The cave is very peaceful and is a perfect place for meditation.
Rishikund: Close to Trivenighat is the most ancient place, the Rishikund. Anciant records relate this to Kubz Saint, who was blessed by the Goddess Yamuna by saturating this pond by its water.The pond reflects the temple of Ragunath , deidicated to lord Rama and his wife.
Nilkanth Mahadeo: Mythology says that in the ancient times when the ocean was being churned for 'amrit' (Potion for immortality), first venom oozed out. Lord Shiva drank the venom at a place, which is now called Nilkanth Mahadeo. It is 12 kms from Rishikesh and is surrounded by peaceful forests.
Ashrams and other Spiritual Centres in Rishikesh
Yoga Study Centre: One of the best and most dedicated ashram to Hatha Yoga. Yoga classes are held in the morning and in the evening every day under the supervision of Shree Rudra Dev, one of the most dedicated yoga teethed in the area.
RamJhula Area: Shiva Nanda Ashram (Divine Life Society): One of the oldest and most active ashrams in the area. Spiritual as well as activities related with Hinduism are the practiced here every day. The ashram runs the best and biggest charitable hospital from which hundreds of local people get free medical services every day.Ashram also runs yoga and meditation courses very often.
Parmarth Niketan: One of the most active ashrams in the area. Ashram runs traditional Indian School, Guesthouse and Ganga Arti every evening.
Ved Niketan: Ashram runs yoga and Mediatation classes regularly. Govt is planning to have its First Yoga Acedemy in India, in the ashram. Transcendental Meditation Centre of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Once the most active ashrams in sixties has very few activities rarely. The ashram is best located in the forests on the banks Ganga and is ideal for meditation
Sacha Vedic Sansthan: One of the most active ashram in tapovan area. Ashram has its own guesthouse on the river and organises spiritual and Hindu religious activities very often.
Written By : Ajit Hari Sahu