Rishikesh is a city located in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand and is one of the hottest spots for both Indian as well as foreign tourists. It is considered an extremely holy place as it established in the foothills of the Himalayas alongside the Ganges river.
Rishikesh is known for being a yoga and meditation destination. The Ganges river is considered holy in the Hindu religion. Other than that, many places in Rishikesh are of religious importance according to Hindu mythology. One can find a lot of ashrams and ghats here, where people from all over the world, especially Hindus, come to perform rituals and poojas.
A tourist who wants to learn about the religion or yoga and get a piece of peace on these ghats can find a lot of things to do here- from washing their sins in the sacred river to white water rafting in the river.
Here some things you can do in Rishikesh-
1. Rajaji National park
Wilder ones can go and visit this national park spread over a whooping 820 kms square area which is home to a variety of wildlife including elephants and tigers. A jungle safari in this national park is highly recommended if you want to feel a little closer to mother nature. You can even stay overnight in this park but make sure you make your booking beforehand as there is a lot of footfall throughout the year.
2. Meditate in the ashrams
Being a holy city, there are a number of ashrams across Rishikesh which you can visit and practice yoga there or just meditate. The ashrams you must visit are the Sivananda Ashram, Phool chatti ashram and Beatles ashram which as the name suggests is a place in which the band itself stayed during their visit to India in the 60’s and now features their art and graffiti.
3. Get closer to God
There are a lot of temples in Rishikes, each having its own significance in the Hindu mythology which you can visit and learn more about. The most significant temples are the Neelkanth Mahadev temple where the Hindu deity Lord Shiva consumed poison from the sea, Lakshman temple which is known for its wall engravings and Shatrughna temple.
4. Explore the city
There is a lot more to the city of Rishikesh besides it temples, ashrams and all the adventure it has to offer. The places to check out for sure are Lakshman Jhula which is built on the place where Lord Lakshmana crossed the Ganges on jute ropes, the Ram Jhula, the Gita Bhavan, which is an ashram alongside the river and includes a temple as well as a large banyan tree. Also, don’t forget to visit the Kunjapuri Devi Mandir.
5. Witness the evening aarti at one of the ghats
An evening aarti is a daily pooja done by the pandits of Rishikesh every evening at the ghats of the city and is a highly recommended event to experience. You can indulge in the aarti at Triveni ghat where you will also witness elaborate structures alongside the Ganges river.
6. Get yourself adrenaline rush
Rishikesh offers a variety of adventure sports and activities for all the adventure junkies. These include white water rafting, cliff jumping, para gliding, trekking to various hidden waterfalls in the jungle, hiking and also the country’s highest bungee jumping. There are a number of camping sites established on the outskirts of the city where you can book a package and have a go at the all adventure activities.
Edited by Mrinaal Datt
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