Rishikesh – Spiritual Hub of India
On the foothills of the Himalayas, situated beside the River Ganges, Rishikesh is an abode of yoga and meditation. Rishikesh is also known as Hrishikesh is lined with temples and ashrams has a vibe of its own. Where you find people from all nations and creed in quest of spirituality.
Surrounded by the mighty Himalaya’s, Ashrams, temples Rishikesh is the hub for spiritual education. One could catch the glimpse of the snow-capped Himalayas and the sacred river the Ganges, which set the scene for yoga, hikes, and rafting here is a must.
Rishikesh has been an abode of spiritual pilgrimage and yoga capital for many who come to visit the ashrams and the temples.
One can Say the Highlight’s of the Rishikesh trip are 1) The Ganga Aarti 2) River Ganges 3) Yoga 4) Ashram Visits 5) Adventure Sports like Rafting, Hiking.
We were put up in Ganga Resort a GMVN run property, really one can say it was a surprise package it was really impeccable and very clean, given all the amenities promised. Please click here for the review of Ganga Resort on TripAdvisor.
We spent a day at Rishikesh, there are no places one could visit and a ton of activities if one wants to do, below are the some of the places we visited:
Lakshman Jhula: Its Suspension Bridge which connects two villages one on the east bank and the other in the west bank. As the mythology goes it said that Lakshman (Hindu Deity) crossed the River Ganges on jute ropes where the bridge is built now. This bridge is motorable and fun to cross. The present was open to the public in 1930 which was built to replace the old one which was washed away in the floods in 1924. Even though the bridge is pretty busy, the view of the river Ganges is breathtaking and worth watching the water flow below the bridge. The bridge is pretty shaky at sometimes and can be scary for faint-hearted 😊. If One is lucky, you can catch a glimpse of some rafters going down the river, which is spectacular.
Ram Jhula: is bigger than Lakshman Jhula and situated from 2kms from Lakshman Jhula, the bridge connects Sivananda Nagar area of Muni Ki Reti to Swargashram in Pauri Garhwal district, we caught jeep from Lakshman Jhula area charges Rs 10 per seat or entire vehicle for Rs 100/- to cross over to reach Ram Jhula area. As mentioned, it is bigger than Lakshman Jhula it spans around 750 Ft. This bridge is pretty shaky and when we crossed the bridge we had a pretty strong gust of winds blowing across making it even harder to cross the bridge 😊..but it was fun, this bridge is also a motorable bridge.
Tera Manzil Temple: Tera Manzil Temple houses several Hindu Gods and Goddesses, which has 13 stories and each floor has several Gods. Tera Manzil Temple is a famous tourist location in Rishikesh and a holy multi-story temple located on the banks of river Ganga next to Lakshman Jhula. Which is also called as Trimbakeshwar Temple and Kailash Niketan Temple in Rishikesh. We did not climb up as it was too many floors to climb by with my knee issues, so we excused ourselves and just prayed from below 😊.
Parmarth Niketan Temple: Parmarth Niketan is an ashram, which has a temple on the banks of Ganges it is known for a couple of things i.e. for first the world-renowned Ganga Aarti during the evening @ 6.30 pm on the banks of Ganges, which is one of the sought out among the people coming to visit Rishikesh can also be witnessed from the other side of the river Ganges, the centre provides nature and Ayurveda cure and also many other spiritual programs. This ashram has nearly around 1000 rooms one of the largest ashrams in Rishikesh.
Image Source (Google)
The Beatles Ashram: Its one of the famous sites to be visited, it’s quite a walk to the ashram, one would get surprised the entry does not mention of Beatles ashram, there they mention Rajaji Tiger Reserve which spans behind the Ashram having around 2 male and three female tigers. The ashram is in ruins, the government has taken up some restoration work under the name of “The Beatles Ashram”, we could see a small café and a photo exhibit of the Beatles stay in the Ashram. The whole ashram was all designed by Maharishi, which houses over around 100 buildings. Its real trip down the memory lane, worth the time spent. The place is quite a huge one can see post office also among the ruins 😊 ….! God is strange in his ways 😊
Just for Information: an entrance fee is charged: 600 Rs for foreigners, 150 Rs for Indians but it’s worth it. The meditation pods (one can call them 😊) are unique by itself, never seen anything like that anywhere.
Swaminarayan Ashram/Ghat: This ashram and ghat are at a walking distance from Ganga Resort on the banks of River Ganges, e. Ganga Kinare, Muni-Ki-Reti, Chandreshwar Nagar, Rishikesh. It has a very nice approach to the River Ganges and as it was very next our resort, we ended up going a couple of times to the ghat, they also perform the Aarti to the River Ganges every evening @ 6.30 pm, it’s fairly a low-key affair compared to the Aarti Performed at Triveni Ghat and Parmarth Niketan Temple, but this also as beautiful as performed anywhere and one can get a chance to do the Aarti themselves. That’s the beauty. 😊
Video of the Ganga Aarti (Could not record the whole aarti ran out of battery 🙂
Triveni Ghat: the world-renowned Triveni Ghat is very popular among its pilgrims for its Ganga Aarti, and for taking a dip in the River Ganges. The Ganga Aarti is performed and managed by Ganga Seva Samiti @ 6.30 pm every day. Its visual treat to see the aarti performed and hear the melodious hymns being recited. Pilgrims can participate in the Ganga aarti by getting touch with the Seva Samiti at very nominal charges. Free Entry! 😊
Triveni Ghat is situated @ Mayakund, Rishikesh. Major temples near Triveni Ghat are Geeta Temple and Laxmi Narayana Temple.
Video of Ganga Aarti @ Triveni Ghat
One can visit many other places @ Rishikesh i.e. Vahsistha Guha, Kunjapuri Devi Temple, Sivananda Ashram, Gita Bhavan, Bharat Mandir, and Swarg Ashram.
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