Rishikesh is a city in the northern state of Uttarakhand in India, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas. Known as the “Yoga Capital of the World,” Rishikesh is a popular destination for spiritual seekers, adventure enthusiasts, and nature lovers. It is also a popular destination for adventure sports such as white water rafting, bungee jumping, and hiking.
The city has a rich spiritual and cultural heritage and is considered to be one of the holiest places in India. It is also known as the gateway to the Himalayas and is surrounded by majestic mountain ranges.
Rishikesh is home to many famous temples and ashrams such as the Parmarth Niketan, Sivananda Ashram, and the Beatles Ashram. The city also hosts the annual International Yoga Festival, which attracts thousands of yoga enthusiasts from all over the world.
Here are the top 10 places to visit in Rishikesh:
1. Parmarth Niketan Ashram – Parmarth Niketan Ashram is a spiritual haven situated on the banks of the holy Ganges river in Rishikesh, India. It was founded in 1942 by Pujya Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj. Today, it is under the guidance of Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj, who is also the president of the ashram.
The ashram also hosts various programs and events throughout the year, including yoga and meditation retreats, spiritual discourses, and cultural programs.
2. Triveni Ghat – Triveni Ghat is a famous bathing ghat located in the holy city of Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, India. It is situated at the confluence of three sacred rivers: the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the Saraswati. According to Hindu mythology, taking a dip in the waters of Triveni Ghat is believed to wash away all sins and purify the soul. A popular bathing spot where three rivers, the Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati, merge.
It is not only a spiritual and religious center but also a cultural hub. It is home to several ancient temples and ashrams, and many cultural events and festivals are held here throughout the year.
3. Laxman Jhula – A suspension bridge over the Ganges River that offers a spectacular view of the river and the surrounding hills. It is a popular tourist attraction and is named after Lord Rama’s younger brother Laxman, who is believed to have crossed the river Ganges on jute ropes at the same spot where the bridge stands today.
The bridge is 450 feet long and is suspended at a height of 70 feet above the river. It connects the two banks of the river Ganges and is used as a means of transportation by locals and tourists alike. The bridge offers a panoramic view of the river and the surrounding hills and is a popular spot for photography.
4. Neer Garh Waterfall – Neer Garh Waterfall is a beautiful natural waterfall located in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India. The waterfall is situated in the midst of lush green forests and can be accessed by trekking for about 2-3 km from the Neer Garh Waterfall Road.
Visitors can enjoy a refreshing dip in the natural pool at the bottom of the waterfall or simply relax and take in the scenic beauty. There are also a few small shops selling snacks and refreshments near the waterfall.
5. Beatles Ashram – The Beatles Ashram, also known as the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram, is a spiritual retreat located in Rishikesh, India. It was here that the Beatles, along with other celebrities and musicians, spent time in 1968 studying Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
The ashram was established in the early 1960s as a place for followers of the Maharishi to study and practice his teachings. The Beatles arrived in February 1968 and spent several weeks at the ashram, during which time they wrote many songs that later appeared on their iconic “White Album.”
6. Rajaji National Park – Rajaji National Park is a national park located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The park was established in 1983 and covers an area of 820 square kilometers. It is named after C. Rajagopalachari, who was the first Indian Governor-General of India.
Rajaji National Park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including over 315 species of birds, 50 species of mammals, and 25 species of reptiles. The park is particularly well-known for its population of elephants, which are one of the major attractions for visitors to the park.
7. Gita Bhawan – A spiritual center that offers free accommodation and meals to pilgrims and visitors. The ashram has a large collection of books, which includes the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, and Mahabharata, among others. These books are available for purchase at the ashram.
The Gita Bhawan ashram also has a charitable hospital and a Gaushala, which is a cow shelter. The hospital provides free medical services to the needy and the Gaushala takes care of cows, which are considered sacred in Hinduism.
8. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple – The temple is believed to have been built in the 17th century and is one of the most revered shrines in the region. The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a Hindu temple located in the state of Uttarakhand in India. It is situated at a height of 1330 meters above sea level, in the town of Rishikesh, and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is situated at the confluence of the Pankaja and Madhumati rivers and is surrounded by dense forests and mountains.
Visitors to the temple have to undertake a steep trek of about 14 km from Rishikesh, through dense forests and hills, to reach the shrine. The trek is considered to be a pilgrimage by many devotees and is believed to be a test of their faith and devotion.
9. Shivpuri – Shivpuri is a small town located approximately 16 kilometers from Rishikesh, in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. Shivpuri is situated on the banks of the Ganges River and is known for its natural beauty, adventure sports, and spiritual significance.
It is a great place to visit if you are looking for adventure sports or a peaceful spiritual retreat, and it is conveniently located close to Rishikesh, one of the most famous spiritual and adventure tourism destinations in India.
10. Swarg Ashram – Swarg Ashram is a spiritual community located in the holy town of Rishikesh in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is situated on the eastern bank of the Ganges River, opposite the famous Parmarth Niketan Ashram. The ashram is known for its serene and peaceful atmosphere and is a popular destination for spiritual seekers and yoga enthusiasts from all over the world.
It is known for its many temples and yoga centers, which offer a variety of spiritual and wellness activities. Some of the most popular activities include yoga and meditation classes, Ayurvedic treatments, and spiritual discourses by renowned spiritual leaders and gurus.