Ranikhet & KausaniJanuary 23, 2016
CHAR DHAM YATRAJanuary 23, 2016
Rishikesh Holds Spirtual & Yoga Capital In World (Hindi: ऋषिकेश; Sanskrit: हृषीकेश)
Rishikesh is a city in Uttarakhand State of India. Rishikesh has approx 75000 population. Rishikesh is located on the bank of River Ganga at the height of 370 meters from the sea level. Rishikesh is surrounded by Rajaji National Park and Foothills of Himalayas. The Rajaji National Park and Himalaya provides amazing background to city. The most important part of Rishikesh is Holy River Ganga. River Ganga is considered as most holy river in India. Rishikesh is the name of the Lord Vishnu. It is said that Rishi Raibhya had done meditation here to get belssing from Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu sppeared here so the place is name Rishikesh
Lakshman Jhula is one of the most famous touristic areas in Rishikesh. Lakshman Jhula is iron suspension bridge on the River Ganga in Rishikesh. Lakshman Jhula is located in Tapovan area. The bridge is total 140 meters long. Lakshman Jhula bridge is often considered as heart of the touristic activities. According to Ramayana Lord Ram and Lord Lakshman (brother of Lord Ram) visited here. Lord Ram was incarnation of Lord Vishnu to kill the devil Ravan. Ravan was born in Brahmin (priest) family so after killing the Ravan Lord Ram and Lakshman came to this region to get rid of sin brahm hatya (killing of priest). To cross the river Ganga Lord Lakshman made bridge by using divine bow and arrow. That’s why the bridge is known as Lakshman Jhula.
The current bridge was built in 1927 – 1929 when the old bridge was damaged in flood in 1924. The cost to built this bridge was paid by Rai Bahadur Shewpershad Tulshan. Lakshman Jhula was opened on 11 April 1930. Now the Lakshman Jhula is very famous touristic place in Rishikesh. It is surrounded by the shops, restaurants, hotels, yoga retreats and ashrams. From the bridge you will see the beautiful river ganga and the foothills of the himalayas. Both side there is small market which contains shops for jewelries, cloths and other stuff.
Bharat Mandir is one of the oldest temple in Rishikesh. Bharat Mandir is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is located near Triveni Ghat and Chandrabhaga Bridge. Bharat Mandir is temple from where the city get its name. Rishikesh is name of Lord Vishnu (which means Lord of Senses). Inside the temple there is full size idol of Lord Vishnu made from Shaligram. Shaligram is considered auspicious stone to make Lord Vishnu Idols. The idol of Lord Vishnu is holding four things Shankha (Conch shell), Gada (mace), Chakra (Spinning disk like weapon) and the lotus. Some people get confused by the name “Bharat” Bharat Mandir is not related to Bharat (Lord Ram’s brother). Bharat is another name of Lord Vishnu for Kalyuga. In ancient time Sage Raibhya meditated here for Lord Vishnu. Due to his intense devotion Lord Vishnu appeared here in the form of Rishikesh (God of senses). Adi Shankaracharya reinstalled the deity at temple in about 789 A.D. on the Basant Panchami Festival day. Every year on Basant Panchami there is reinstalling ceremony organized in which the Idol of Lord Vishnu is taken to the Mayakund near Triveni Ghat for holy bath. On the wall of temple you will see the incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
Bharat Mandir Timings: The Temple is open from 05 AM to 11 AM and 01 PM to 09 PM.
Important Information: Shoes are not allowed inside the main temple. Photography is also not allowed in main alter.
Ram Jhula is iron suspension bridge on the river Ganga in Rishikesh. Ram Jhula connects Muni Ki Reti with Swargashram. The bridge is pedestrian bridge but people also drive bikes on it. There are two similar bridges in Rishikesh. The old one is known as Lakshman Jhula. Ram Jhula is new one so it is named after Lakshman’s brother Lord Ram. Ram Jhula is total 230 meters long. Ram Jhula was built in 1986.
Ram Jhula is one of two most famous tourist areas in Rishikesh (another is Lakshman Jhula). Most of the famous ashrams are located very close to the Ram Jhula. Sivananda Ashram, Parmarth Niketan, Gita Bhawan, Swargashram, Omkarnanda, Yog Niketan and many others are located near the Ram Jhula. Both end of the bridge has small market with multiple type of shops. You can also do boat ride near ram jhula. Here boat ride is on sharing basis.
Triveni Ghat is famous ghat in Rishikesh. Ghat means simply a steps where people can access the river. There are multiple ghats in Rishikesh. Triveni Ghat is located on the bank of the River Ganga near local market. There is daily evening Ganga Aarti is organized here. Ganga Aarti means prayer for the River Ganga. Apart from the Ganga Aarti people come here to take holy dip in the river ganga. In morning and evening you can see many local people walking on the ghat. It is certainly a good place to walk around. There is market near Triveni Ghat where you will get multiple type of things such as cloths, food, jewelry and other items.
Daily in the morning and evening there are thousands who take bath at Triveni Ghat and enjoy the Maha Aarti being performed.It very soothing to sit on the banks of the river and enjoy the cool breeze from the river.
The evening Aarti, also known as the ‘Maha Aarti’, which takes place at this ghat, is the major attraction among the tourists. This aarti is accompanied by chantings of bhajan, beating drums, bells and diyas glowing all over the place. The devotees release small oil lamps placed on leaf boats in the water. These lamps floats down the river and provide a beautiful view. Ceremonies like ‘Pindha Shraddha’ in the name of ancestors are also done at Triveni Ghat.
Vashistha Cave Rishikesh
Vashistha Cave is popular place in Rishikesh for meditation lovers. Vashistha cave is located 28 kms far from Rishikesh on Rishikesh Badrinath Highway. It is located on the bank of the River Ganga. According to legends Sage Vashistha Meditated here.
Vashistha: Vashistha is one of the Seven Sages (Saptrishi) in Hindu culture. Vashistha is considered as Brahmrishi. Brahmrishi is highest kind of sage who has achieved highest divine knowledge. Vashistha is also considered as one of the contributors to Vedas. Arundhati was his wife. He was priest of prestigious royal families such as Surya Dynasty. Lord Ram was also born is same dynasty. Lord Ram was incarnation of Vishnu.
Legend behind the Vashistha Cave: According to ancient hindu scripts Vashistha has divine cow “Nandini”. Nandini cow has powers that she can fulfill all the wishes of here owner. Once King Kaushik (Later became famous as Vishvamitra) came to know about this cow and tried to capture this cow forcefully. When he failed to do that he killed sons of Vashistha. Sage Vashistha tried to end his life in the River Ganga. River Ganga refused him and send him back. Arundhati (wife of Vashistha) liked the place and decided to stay there. It is believed that this is the same cave which was used by Vashistha in ancient time. No wonder many people feel amazing while meditating in this cave. There is also small Shivlinga inside the cave.
Parmarth Niketan Ashram
Parmarth Niketan Ashram is famous ashram in Rishikesh. Parmarth Niketan Ashram is located in the Swargashram area of Rishikesh. Swami Sukdevanand founded this ashram in 1942. Currently Swami Chidanand Saraswati is a president of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Ashram has many rooms which they provide to guests on donation basis. Ashram is busy through out the year with multiple activities. Yoga, Meditation, Spiritual discourses, Kirtan and evening Ganga Aarti Aarti is some of the daily activities here. Ashram is also hosting the International Yoga Festival each year.
Parmarth Niketan Ashram is also associated in activities for the cleaning of Ganga. Parmarth Niketan Ashram also has Gurukul which provides education to orphan kids of near by villages. Parmarth Niketan is good option if you want to stay at Ashram. Most of the ashram prefer people who are serious into spirituality. For the accommodation they have rooms starting from INR 500 to 1500 per night (Non AC and AC Rooms). Food and yoga is available on donation basis. Inside the Ashram you can see small garden with some statues of gods. Every evening they also organizing Ganga Aarti. Ganga Aarti is very popular in Rishikesh.
How to Reach: There are two ways to reach ashram. From Ram Jhula car parking you can reach Parmarth Niketan by walk of 2.2 kms or you can take boat ride. Sharing basis boat is available in day time (From morning 8 AM to 6 AM).
Rishikesh holds spirtual, cultural and adventrous significance. Sacred River Ganga and the magnificent himalayas are part of the attractions. Many famous spiritual leaders selected this place for their ashrams. Currently there are more than 50 ashrams are located in Rishikesh. Each ashram is associated with some perticular spiritual leader. The followers of these spiritual leaders keeps the city busy throughout the year. Apart from this spiritual side many ashrams are strongly associated themselves in practicing yoga and meditation. In 1960 the famous music band group beatles visited here in Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram. This initiated attracting large number of international travelers to learn yoga and meditation here. Every year large number of yoga and meditation lovers come here to learn yoga and meditation. Later when rafting was introduced in Rishikesh at it gave India a new adventure destination. Now Rishikesh is also unooficial adventure capital of India. The area near by the two iron rope suspension bridge is main attraction to all the tourist. The old one is name after the brother of Lord Ram, Lakshman Jhula. The new bridge is named after Lord Ram, Ram Jhula. Most of the ashrams and hotels are located near by these two bridges