About RishikeshRishikesh is a small, serene, picturesque town situated in the foothills of Himalaya mountains. Being one of the ancient core places for spiritual healing and religious activities, this town is surrounded by hills and located on Ganga River’s bank. This hub of yoga is located in North of Uttarakhand, India. The term “Hrishikesh" is derived from the word Hrishik meaning Vishnu that is 'lord of the sense' therefore the word Hrishikesh refers to Lord Vishnu or Lord of Sense. Being the gateway for Hindu pilgrimage, Rishikesh is also famous for its rich culture and heritage as well as exotic range of food that is offered here.
A Brief History of Rishikesh
Several myths are associated with this place. A common believe is that a saint namely Raibhya Rishi came here and performed penance on the Ganges River bank. Being contented with his gestures, Lord Vishnu appeared to him in shape of this beautiful city Hrishikesh which is now known as Rishikesh. This place gained popularity after the Adi Shankaracharya visited it in the 9th century. He was regarded as popular religious chief of modern era. It is also stated that Lord Rama came here to seek repentance for killing Ravana who was the demon. His younger brother crossed this River Ganges at the spot where the bridge made from jute is standing today. By law this city is considered a vegetarian place and a holy city too.
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Geography of Rishikesh
Rishikesh is situated at 78.294754°E 30.103368°N. It has a standard elevation of 1,745 feets (372 meters). The Tehri Dam is just 80 km rising on the way to Gangotri. Rishikesh is the starting point for travelling to Char Dham pilgrimages: Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri. Rishikesh is also well-known for ayurvedic treatment. Many ayurveda centres are here where ayurvedic classes are provided by expert doctors.
Climate of Rishikesh
Located on foothill of Himalaya mountains, it presents a fresh and cool flee during summers. March-April and also September-October is an ideal visiting time. From second quarter the weather gets hotter and in July-August, heavy showers are experienced making the place muddy and mushy. In the monsoon season the climate is humid with roads and pavements being more slippery because of the steepness this hilly area has. Right after the rainy season the surroundings are fresh, moist, greener and soothing so that time is preferable too. In the month of July a festival called Saavan is celebrated, for which many people visit this place so Rishikesh is crowded during this time of the year.
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The vicinity is surrounded by many sacred temples and other than these religious attractions, historical orphanages as well as national parks are looking forward to welcome you. Triveni Ghat, Bharat Temple, Laxman Jhula, Ram Jhula, Neelkanth Mahadev, Kailash Niketan Temple, Kunjapuri Temple and exclusive Vashisht Cave are few of the temples that are a must-visit. Triveni Ghat is named after the three mountainous streams that flowed here in the old times.
Rajaji National Park, Swarga Ashram and Gita Bhavan are some delightful spots to wander across and discover. The best and hassle free way to visit these allures is to wear comfortable joggers and walk around the city. People who love experiencing adventures can come here for rafting and trekking as well. They can also go camping, rappelling, rock climbing, cliff jumping, kayaking, and bungee jumping and enjoy astrology services.
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Shopping in Rishikesh
Rishikesh is always known for its miniatures and Shikhawati paintings that can be a best souvenir for friends and family back home. One can also shop for books related to religion, clothes, and locally manufactured handicrafts.
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Food in Rishikesh
As Rishikesh is a sacred town so one may not expect to find meat related food items. For a change tasty and healthy herbal food is exciting enough to fill your stomach. The ayurvedic teas are a must drink item because the refreshed feeling it gives is unmatched to ordinary sodas and juices. Chotiwala restaurant offers the most exotic Indian cuisine in town. Other than formal eateries, road side cafes and stall are always there to greet you to get pleasure from some authentic Indian entrees on low and reasonable prices.
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Festivals in Rishikesh
In the month of July a festival called Saavan is celebrated, for which many people visit this place so Rishikesh is crowded during this time of the year. Other than this, many yoga festivals are held in this place, which are attended by a lot of individuals and yoga aficionados.
How to Reach Rishikesh
Fortunately its popularity has gained so much that tourism industry has provided almost all means of travelling to this place ranging from bus to plane. Rishikesh is nearer to Dehradun where a small airport is located facilitating two flights from Delhi but initiatives are planned to stretch the runway so that more and more flights are operated not just locally but internationally also. If one is not in a hurry and has ample time to travel so an option of travelling by road is perfect. Especially if an individual is visiting to calm themselves so going by road is quite amusing. Traveling by train is more suitable in the peak time when buses are diverted to Haridwar and trains often are empty offering low fares. Bus is a cheaper option but then takes 5-7 hours to reach from Delhi.
Quick Facts about Rishikesh
Government: Government of Uttarakhand enterprise
Area: Metropolis – 11.5 km2, Elevation – 372 m (1,220 ft)
Population as per the 2011 Census: Metropolis – 102,138
Rank – 7th
Density – 8,851/ km2 (22,920/sq mi)
Metro – 1,201,815
Time zone – IST (UTC+5.30)
Postal Index Number - 249201
Rishikesh STD Code - 0135
Official languages – Hindi and Sanskrit
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