Rishikesh, a sacred place of Hindus, is equally popular for its yoga, holy expedition and adventure sports. It is situated in the himalayas of Shivalik range on the banks of river Ganga in Uttarakhand. This place is famous world-over as the birthplace of yoga, meditation, ayurveda and spirituality and people from all around the world come here to learn and practice the ayurveda, yoga and the meditation. Rishikesh always comes to my mind when I feel the urge to re-energize my body, mind and soul. This place holds a special place in my heart, the reason being is I used to visit Rishikesh every six months with my family. It was our go to place. In all those years, it had made a deep connection with my heart and soul.
The city is a perfect blend of spirituality and adventure. It is widely known as the “Yoga Capital Of The World”. It offers a plethora of adventurous activities: bungee jumping, cliff jumping, kayaking, rock climbing, zip lining, rafting, flying fox, mountain biking and body surfing.
If you want some time off from your busy life and nurture yourself through meditation and yoga then this place is the answer. Sometimes disconnecting from the outer world for a while and looking within yourself is all you need for your mental health. This place will rejuvenate your body and soul and will help you to find your inner peace and tranquility.
I went to Rishikesh in January. It was a short weekend trip. I wanted to stay at some place where I could connect with myself and enjoy nature at its best. So I found “Rishikesh Valley Resort” which was surrounded by the natural waterfalls and an undisturbed tranquility that allows you to be engulfed by nature. It is located on a hill, 6 kms from Rishikesh. You need to park your car down the hill and walk around 1 km to reach the resort. It’s a perfect off-beat place if you want to experience living in the midst of nature.
The best part is- they have a pool with a natural waterfall where you can easily meditate and sit with yourself. The food was so homely that I didn’t feel I was away from home even for a second.
I loved staying there. I would totally recommend you to stay there if you’re in Rishikesh.
Places to see in Rishikesh:
- Laksham jhula: Laksham Jhula, a famous bridge over the river Ganga, is situated at the height of 70 ft. from the river and is 450 ft. long. It is believed that Lord Laksham crossed the river Ganga by using just two ropes. In honour of Lord Laksham, a 284 ft. long hanging rope bridge was built at the same place and named as Laksham Jhula.
- Ganga Aarti: Ganga Aarti is the sacred spiritual ritual performed on the ghats in rishikesh in the evening. The view of floating diyas lit up, the smoke of the hawans floating in the skies, the floating flowers, the tinkling bells, the chanting of mantras, everything adds up to a lifetime experience.
- The Beatles Ashram: The Beatles Ashram also known as Chaurasi Kutia, became popular when the Beatles came to stay there in 1986, they wrote a number of songs and practiced meditation in this place. The ashram has beautiful graffiti walls, amazing dome shaped construction, and the beautiful picture of the Beatles band on the walls. This place will fill you up with positivity and will recharge your body and mind. You can literally feel the positive vibes of the place when you are there.
- Neer Garh Waterfall: Neer Garh Waterfall is the hidden gem in the forest of Rishikesh. It is an absolute beauty to be witnessed by your eyes, the pictures don’t do the justice to the place. Reaching this waterfall requires trekking of about 15 minutes through the woods and down the cliff. This trek is exciting and thrilling and will give you some amazing views to be captured. If you are in Rishikesh, you must visit this place for an exceptional experience.
- Trevini Ghat: Trevini Ghat is the most sacred and the biggest ghat situated on the riverbank of Ganges in Rishikesh. It is said that when a person takes a dip in the holy water of triveni ghat, his/her all sins are washed away making the soul and the mind pure. Maha Aarti happens here everyday in the morning and the evening and devotees offer milk here. According to the hindu mythology, it is believed that Lord Krishan came to this ghat when he was shot by an arrow by a hunter. It is also considered to be the cremation ground of Lord Krishna. The Chattri of Lord Krishna was also constructed here. This ghat is also mentioned in the great tales of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
- Rishikund: Rishikund is a natural hot water spring pond. It is believed that the pond was filled with water only after a sage was blessed by Goddess Yamuna. There are many stories behind this place but the most popularly believed is that in the ancient times, when a few devotees had performed havan at this place, as the river Ganga was not flowing nearby, at their request, Goddess Yamuna appeared and stayed there forever. It is also said to be the place where Lord Rama had bathed once during his exile.
- Neelkanth Mahadev Temple: Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, one of the most popular and sacred temples for all the devotees of Lord Shiva is located at 32 km from Rishikesh. According to hindu mythology, it is believed that this temple was built where Lord Shiva drank the poison that originated from the ocean which turned his throat blue and earned him the name ‘Neelkanth’. It has a very beautiful and colorful architecture. Also, It has a natural spring where devotees take a holy dip.
- Trimbakeshwar Temple: Trimbakeshwar Temple is the thirteen storey temple located just right opposite the Lakshman Jhula on the riverbanks. This temple is popular for its architecture and the beautiful scenic view of the surroundings from the top. It is one of the most pious temples which offers you to worship multiple deities.
Below are a few pictures: