Rishikesh is yet another centre of pilgrimage and tourist attraction for Indians as well as foreigners. Rishikesh is popularly known as the Yoga Capital of the World. Rishikesh is 28 kms from Haridwar on way to Badrinath and is situated at the foothills on either side of holy river Ganga and is surrounded by Shivalik ranges from three sides. Rishikesh complex consists of three distinct areas, known as Rishikesh, Muni-ki-Reti and Swargashram.
The town is well known for modem and ancient Ashrams. In addition, it has temples and other places which are in one way or other connected with Puranic legends. It is said that when Raibhya Rishi did rigorous penances, the God appeared and the place was named ‘Hrishikesh’ and subsequently the place came to be known as Rishikesh. Bharat, brother of Lord Rama, also subjected himself to severe penances here and in his memory Bharat Temple was constructed. Temples are also dedicated to Lord Ram, Lakshman and Shatrughan. The other temples are Pushkar temple, Bharat temple, Rishikund and Raghunath temple.
There are many spiritual Yoga and meditation centre located here which are regularly visited by large number of tourists from all over the world.
Places to visit
Laxman Jhoola :
It is a beautiful sight about 7 km north of Rishikesh. There was a hanging just rope bridge across river Ganga (without pillar) till 1889 which was rebuilt with iron ropes in 1939. The suspension bridge has a span of 140. Raghunathji’s temple is the main attraction at Laxman Jhoola. Laxman is said to have visited this place and is believed to have done penance to wash his sins for having killed a Brahmin. The suspension bridge connects Rishikesh with Tapovan across river Ganga where a temple is dedicated to Laxman.
1.6 km. A bathing Ghat, where three streams of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati are believed to be flowing together underground. This is a sacred place where ‘Pinda Shradha’ is performed or food is offered to the departed soul. Evening Aarti (prayer) of goddess Ganga is also performed here
8 km. It is a quiet place on the left bank of the Ganges opposite to Shri Shivananda Ashram. Swarg Ashram can be reached either by crossing Ganga by boat or by another Ram/Shivanand suspension bridge since built across river Ganga. An idol of Shri Badrinath Ji is enshrined in the temple which is surrounded by forest. Pilgrims visiting Badrinath temple also pay their visit to Swarga Ashram. The temple and Dharamshala is maintained by Kali Kamliwala Kshetra enroute. In fact Swarga Ashram is a self-contained township with restaurants, shopping centre along with temple, parks, libraries, meditation centre and Ay.urvedic dispensaries.
Ashram and Yoga Centre:
Yoga Niketan Laxman Thoola, Yoga Sadan Ashram Rishikesh, Shri Vit
hala Ashram and Transcendental Meditation Centres of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Shankaracharya Nagar, Ved Niketan and Yoga study centre.
Raghunath temple, Bharat temple, Pushkar temple, Shatrughan temple, Laxman temple, Sheshdhara, Rishikund and Bhagirath temple.