The Gateway to the Himalayas, the Char Dham Yatra i.e. The Four Sacred Journey of Hindus ideally begins from Rishikesh. Rishikesh is a small pilgrimage town, 1745 ft above the sea level, in North India in state of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh has eternal beauty, imperial and divine and enhancing this place are temples, ashrams and saints where they do “Tapasya” and meditate which gives celestial aura to this small town. The place is mesmerized and blessed by the sacred river Ganges; it is where it comes down and then enters the northern plains. The place of natural splendor and spectacle of the River Ganges rushing through the Himalayan foothills is breathtaking and awesome sight.
The temples dotting the bank and sacred rituals are being carried out on banks, its divine site. The place is mentioned in Veda’s, the name Rishikesh is another name of Lord Vishnu, according to mythology of Hindus, Lord Vishnu vanquished demon Madhu here. The great saints and yogis are believed to practice penance and have done austerities here. There is a scared Lakshman Jhula which is a bridge built on River Ganges for crossing, but it has mythology story attached of Lakshmana crossing it with jute rope and has carried out penance here. Also Ram Jhula another bridge has been made for crossing purpose by Rishikesh people.
For you to visit Rishikesh there are number of bus and train services offered. And in Rishikesh you can take Auto-Rickshaws for traveling around. Rishikesh timeless enigma could be felt in number of places that you must visit in your journey of divine abode:
- Lakshmana Jhula
- Gita Bhavan
- Lakshman mandir and Bharata Mandir
- Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir
- Trimbakeshwar Temple
- Triveni Ghat (for ritual Bathing)
- Parmarth Niketan- Ashram where you can get knowledge or Gyaan of Vedas Education and see the spectacular Aarti/Pooja
The name means Heavenly Abode, and justifying the name, it is a beautiful place in the picturesque location at the foot of Himalayas with River Ganges in west bestowing it, “ground zero” or the Spiritual domicile of Rishikesh which is concentration of ashrams and temples. The life here is simple, healthy and divine, a satwik environment. Rishikesh is the holy city blessed by many holy sages. The place has reverberating with the chants of Hare Rama Hare Krishna.
The Ganga allures the people for its healing bath, and Rishikesh is said to be place where the austerities will get you closer to salvation than any other place. The river is abounds in fish because of offerings of puffed rice are made to these creatures by the people in going good deeds and also eating of other creature is banned and no where you will find non-vegetarian food. There is freshness in the air, and rhythm of flowing water, the charming beauty of the region and the distant sound of bell chimes create an extraordinary memorable experience for those visiting this ancient pilgrimage town.
The place is known as World Capital of Yoga, with such serene, tranquil, calm and peaceful environment and all satwik food, it is an idyllic place to practice the Yoga a key to good health and long life and also the best stress buster. India has got tremendous amount of traditional Knowledge of Yoga and Pranayam and Ayurvedic along with its Vedic knowledge. All this clubbed together with give you a wholesome spiritual, mental and physical growth. Though the stress is unavoidable in this materialistic life that we humans lead, it has caused damaged to out wellbeing in physical and mental health. We sustain chronic and incurable disease, stressful life, restlessness, anxiety, fatigue, fast ageing and frustrations in our day to day life. We experience burnout and thus we have an extreme need to practice these yoga and meditation which will add discipline and balance to our chaotic lives. Yoga gives us the power to heal, and live life in optimism and dynamism. Rishikesh is best place in world for it has the perfect setting to do yoga and the experts of this practice are found here in numbers which teach you the skills, practice and art of yoga. Doing yoga in fresh air of mountains will detoxify you and set your nerves calm and meditating on the bank of Ganges will give your mind, body and spirit the peace and tranquility. There are numerous practices of yoga and all forms and styles are represented here. Major yoga centers are:
- Braham Yoga centre
- Yoga Iyengar Courses
- Yogi Prakash Dabhekar
- Tattvaa Yogashala
- The Yoga Study Centre
- Yoga Niketan Ashram
Rishikesh hosts an International Yoga Festival, which is held every year in the first week of February. All the Beatles fans must know about the eternal beauty of Rishikesh. In February 1968, The Beatles had come to India to visit the now-closed Maharishi Mahesh Yogis ashram which is now over taken by weeds and forest. The place inspired the Beatles to compose nearly 48 songs during their time of stay at the Maharishis ashram, amongst those composed songs many of them appear on their White Album. John Lennon has also recorded a song here, titled, The Happy Rishikesh Song. Many other artists, including Mike Love of The Beach Boys, Gyp Mills and Donovan have visited the Rishikesh to contemplate and meditate.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ayurvedic Centre in the Niketan Ashram sells Ayurvedic health products. Here they also organise classes in learning of basic Ayurveda medicine, herbs, potions and practises if there are number of students.
Rishikesh valley is an eco health resort, with a service of naturopath and Ayurveda health consultant with rejuvenating therapies which is blend of Ayurveda and natural care with healthy Food. Also calming and relaxing therapies of yoga and passive meditation.
In Rishikesh you can also buy an overabundance of religious paraphernalia, bronze Shiva statues and of other deities.
Rishikesh is the holy land and with the grandeur of scenic beauties of mountains and river Ganges. The place is ideal for getting yourself to learn yoga and medicinal practice of Ayurveda. The blessings of the sages and vibes of saints practicing austerities penance and tapasya the place will leave the visitors heart with calm and fulfilling experience of peace.