Rishikesh is a city in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand, India. This city is also called “Gateway to the Ganga”, as river Ganges flows through the city. Pilgrims from across India come here to visit some of the major Hindu pilgrimages. Spiritual seekers from across the globe visit Rishikesh to learn Yoga and other spiritual practices. The Beatles in the late ’60s visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and since then Rishikesh has become a popular tourist spot. Here you can indulge yourself in diverse activities like Yoga, Meditation, Trekking, Camping, Rafting, Rock climbing, learn sitar or tabla, etc. This place is blessed with the beauty of serene nature.
Now, let’s look at some of the best places to visit in Rishikesh:
1) Laxman Jhula – The Laxman Jhula is a suspension bridge which is a popular pilgrimage site as Hindus believe that Lord Laxman crossed the river Ganga at the same place from a jute rope. You can visit Tera Manzil Temple near Laxman Jhula. You can also sit near the river and feed fishes or meditate for hours. There are many restaurants nearby where you can relish Indian Cuisine.
2) The Beatles Ashram – The Beatles visited this place in 1968 to attend a session of transcendental meditation which changed the world’s perception towards Indian Spirituality. This ashram is now connected to Rajaji National Park which adds on to its beauty. History lovers will find this places fascinating and adventure seekers can take a jeep safari here.
3) Jumpin Heights – The diversity of this place makes it unique as you will not only find pilgrimage, yoga centre or ashrams here but you will also get to taste the thrill of adventure sports. Adventure enthusiasts must visit Jumpin Heights centre to do bunjee jumping, giant swing, flying fox, etc.
4) Swarg Ashram – It is the epicentre of meditation and yoga centres. You will find many yogis around this place. This ashram is the oldest one. Gurus here teach the ways to tune your mind, body and soul into one divine rhythm. Religious activities like chanting, meditation, yoga, etc can be seen throughout the day and you can participate in it as well.
5) Neelkanth Mahadev Temple – This temple is one of the most important shrines of Lord Shiva. According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Shiva drank the venom(halahala) at the same spot where the temple is situated. This place is near to both Jumpin heights and Swarg Ashram.
Rishikesh is the true example of Hindu Spirituality and it welcomes people from all over the world to be a part of it.