|Triveni Ghat||At the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathy rivers at Rishikesh|
|Lakshman Jhula||Located close to the famous Swarga Ashram|
|Gita Bhavan||Positioned close to the famous Lakshman Jhula|
|Bharat Mandir||Located on the banks of the river Ganga|
|Trayambakeshwar Temple||Located on the banks of the river Ganga|
|Neelkanth Mahadev Temple||Located at the west bank of Ganges|
|Lakshman Temple||Located at the west bank of Ganges|
|Kunjapuri Devi Temple||Situated approximately 15 kilometers from the downtown Rishikesh|
|Tera Manzil Temple||Located near Lakshman Jhula|
|Vashishta Gufa||Located at the bank of River Ganga|
|Parmarth Niketan||Located in front of Ganges river|
|Swarg Ashram||Located opposite the Shri Shivananda Ashram about 5 km upstream from Rishikesh on the eastern banks of River Ganga|
|Omkarananda Ashram||Located on the banks of the river Ganges at Muni-Ke-Reti in Rishikesh|
|Kailas Ashram Brahmavidyapeetham||Located on the banks of the Ganges|
|Shivananda Ashram||Located at the foothills of the Himalayas on the banks of the holy river Ganga|
|Rishi Kund||Located near the Triveni Ghat|
|Muni ki Reti||Located at Tehri Garhwal district situated close to Rishikesh|
|Shivpuri||Located 14 kms from Rishikesh|
|Kali Kambliwale||Located close to pilgrimage town of Rishikesh|
|Rajaji National Park||Nested at the foothills of the Himalayas|
The term ‘Triveni’ itself explains the demeanor of this Bathing Ghat very much exalted and venerated in Rishikesh. Triveni means the confluence of three rivers. Three holy rivers of India namely Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathy converge at the Triveni Ghat of Rishikesh. Taking a dip into the sacred waters of the Triveni Ghat is considered to be extremely fortunate and propitious. It is also believed that all your sins are washed away and your soul is purified as you immerse yourself into this confluence of three blessed rivers. Thousands of pilgrims arrive here to bathe in the much apotheosized waters of the Triveni Ghat before visiting the revered temples of Rishikesh. The evening Ganga Aarti, popularly known as the ‘Maha Aarti’, is the chief attraction amongst the tourists. The illuminated riverfront highly embellished with the thousands of glittering lamps floating on the leaf boats offered by the devotees to the Goddess River renders a captivating vista. The Aarti escorted by the chanting of Bhajanas, beating of drums and jingling of bells yields an enthralling contour. Triveni Ghat is also famous as a venue to perform the ‘Shraddha’ rituals in the honor of our departed ancestors.
Lakshman Jhula is basically a 450 feet long iron suspension bridge constructed over the holy river Ganga in the pious city Rishikesh. Acknowledged as a prominent landmark of Rishikesh, Lakshman Jhula was constructed in the year 1939. This legendary bridge located close to the famous Swarga Ashram bears an interesting mythological background. It is believed that this is the very place where Lakshman, the brother of Lord Ram had crossed the river Ganga over some jute ropes. A temple dedicated to Lakshman situated on the west bank of the Ganges adjacent the Lakshman Jhula further testifies this myth. It is also said that Lakshman had performed several penances in the woods after crossing the river here. A number of Ashrams and Hindu temples are scattered around the Lakshman Jhula. One more suspension bridge widely known as Ram Jhula is constructed quite recently in the proximity with the Lakshman Jhula. Another Lakshman Jhula fashioned after the one in Rishikesh is built in Patiala of Punjab across the small lake set up in front of Sheesh Mahal in the Qila Androon.
In olden days Gita Bhavan served as an abode of a great thinker of Rishikesh, Guru Shri Ram Sukh Daas Ji who was particularly revered a lot amongst the Hindu Brahmin Community of Rishikesh. The devotees of Lord Ram and the followers of Guru Ram Sukh Daas assembled at Gita Bhavan and recited the great Indian epic ‘the Ramayana’ together twice a year. Today Gita Bhavan positioned close to the famous Lakshman Jhula is converted to a museum aiming at spreading the awareness amongst the general public about the Puranik, Mythological and cultural background of India. A number of beautiful paintings and statues depicting the Indian mythological characters and Hindu Gods and Goddesses are exhibited in Gita Bhavan. The paintings displayed here include the very well known episode of Gita Sandesh preached by Lord Krishna to Arjuna on the Kurukshetra Warfield at the time of the great battle of Mahabharata. Other stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana are also illustrated by the paintings demonstrated in Gita Bhavan.
Bharat Mandir located on the banks of the river Ganga about half a kilometer away from the Triveni Ghat in the heart of the city is one of the oldest temples existing in the consecrated civic of Rishikesh. Believed to be set up by the Adi Shankaracharya of Hinduism in 12th century AD, this temple finds references in the ancient records of Kedarkhanda. The temple was demolished by the assaults of Timur Lame in 1398 AD and the present shrine of Bharat Mandir is an impressive structure reconstructed on the ruins of the older one after its devastation. Lord Vishnu is the presiding deity of this temple whose idol is placed in the inner sanctorum. This idol of the deity is chiseled out of one single Shaligram stone in the typical Himalayan style of carving. Moreover, this temple also houses a beautiful Shree Yantram in its internal sanctum. The recent excavations undertaken by the archaeological department have laid hands on several old statues, archaic coins, antiquated pots and a number of other obsolete artifacts. The Bharat Temple of Rishikesh basking in the glory of its historical, architectural and religious significance happens to be one of the preeminent attractions of this holy city. The temple is thronged by the tourists at the time of famous ‘Basant Panchami’ festival.
The term ‘Trayambakeshwar’ denotes the three eyed Hindu God; Lord Shiva. The Trayambakeshwar Temple of Rishikesh set up against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayan cordillera on the banks of the river Ganga is one of the most venerated religious destinations of Rishikesh. This ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is believed to have been established by Adi Shankaracharya in 12th century AD. One of the most important festivals celebrated at the Trayambakeshwar Temple is Mahashivratri when the temple premises are crammed with the deluge of devotees trying to get a glimpse of the Lord. Some people even believe this temple to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple as clearly suggested by the name is dedicated to the blue necked Lord Shiva. Rishikesh is believed to be the vicinity where after the legendary event of the churning of the ocean i.e. the ‘Samudra Manthan’, Lord Shiva drank the venom obtained from the sea. As the Lord didn’t swallow the venom but held it in his throat, his neck turned blue. This is how the title ‘Neelkanth’ was bestowed upon the Lord Shiva. The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple of Rishikesh is perched at the altitude of about 1330 meters in the midst of the magnificent valleys of Brahmakoot, Vishnukoot and Manikoot along the confluence of two rivers Pankaja and Madhumati. Bounded by the lofty mountain ranges of Nar-Narayan and surrounded by the dense Himalayan forests, this temple of Neelkanth Mahadev bears tremendous religious significance. It is believed to have been erected at the very place where the inconceivable phenomenon of drinking the poison took place. This temple of Lord Shiva is flocked by the pilgrims particularly at the times of Mahashivratri Festival and in the sacred Hindu month of Shravan.
Lakshman Temple, an ancient shrine dedicated to the younger brother of Lord Ram is parked on the right banks of the Ganges about 5 km from Rishikesh. Set up in the honor of Lakshman who devotedly accompanied his elder brother Ram in his exile, this temple commemorates the Tapasya (penance) performed by him at this very location. It is said that Lakshman crossed the river Ganga on jute ropes at the place where the famous Lakshman Jhula today stands, and then sat for the penance at the site of present Lakshman Temple. The chief attraction of this temple is the Rishi Kund where both Ram and Lakshman are believed to have bathed after killing the demon king Ravan to cleanse them off the sin of Brahma Hatya. Other than its religious and mythological connotations, this temple of Lakshman is renowned for the beautiful paintings and murals put up on the walls. These paintings mainly depict the scenes of afterlife and spiritual well being.
Kunjapuri Devi Temple
Kunjapuri Devi Temple also known as Kuchcha Devi Mandir by the locals is one of the most important places of worship around Rishikesh. Nestled at the elevation of about 1676 meters on one of the hills of Himalayan Ranges, Kunjapuri Devi Temple is situated approximately 15 kilometers from the downtown Rishikesh. Dedicated to one of the 13 most vital Goddesses of Shivalik Mountain Ranges, Kunjapuri Devi Temple set up by Adi Shankaracharya is considered to be one of the 51 Siddhapeethas of India. It is believed that after the self immolation of Sati at Daksha Yagna when Lord Shiva was carrying her body to Kailasa, the breast of Sati had fallen here. Breast is called ‘Kuchcha’ in Sanskrit language and that’s why the Goddess enshrined here is also worshipped as the Kuchcha Devi by the natives. The location of this temple of Kunjapuri Devi or Kuchcha Devi is especially acclaimed for offering the spectacular views of surrounding snow capped mountain ranges and the snow crowned peaks of Garhwal Himalayas including Gangotri, Banderpunch, Chaukhamba and Swarga Rohini. Watching the arresting parade of colors in the azure sky at the time of sunset and sunrise is a real buffet to the eyes.
Tera Manzil Temple
Tera Manzil Temple which means a temple built in 13 stories is one of the foremost religious destinations of Rishikesh. This temple in its 13 floors houses several idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. From the 13th Manzil of this temple you can enjoy the astonishing vista of the surrounding terrains and the flabbergasting panorama of rising and setting sun.
Vashishta Gufa named after one of the Saptarishis (Seven Great Sages); Sage Vashishta is nested along the riversides of the Ganges about 16 kilometers from Rishikesh. Reaching the Vashishta Gufa via Rishikesh Badrinath Highway calls for a half an hour of drive from Rishikesh. This sanctified cave predominantly exalted for meditation is positioned in the midst of a Gular (Ficus) trees grove and the slopes originating at the cave directly lead us to the River Ganga. Very famous for the Shiva Lingam enshrined here, the Vashishta Gufa is believed to have been visited by Sri Swami Purushottamananda Ji in the year 1928 and 1961. At present, the Ashram of Swami Purushottamananda Ji is established close to the Vashishta Gufa which is widely reckoned as a Yoga and meditation center. Apart from the religious and spiritual quotient of the place, this is also an ideal locale for the adventure lovers who come and camp in the vicinity around the Vashishta Gufa.
Parmarth Niketan is an Ashram perched in the ethereal laps of the Himalayas in the holy city of Rishikesh. Established in the year 1942 by the hands of Pujya Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj, this ashram today flourishes as the largest amongst all the ashrams in Rishikesh. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj has been serving as the President and the Spiritual Head of the ashram since 1986. The daily routine at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram includes morning universal prayers, Yoga and meditation classes, Nature Cure, Ayurvedic treatment and training, Satsang and lecture programs, kirtan and the famous Ganga Aarti at dusk. Every once in a while the Ashram organizes various spiritual and cultural events such as lectures delivered by visiting saints, spiritual and social leaders, musical concerts, Yoga camps that would train you in Yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, pranayam, Reiki, acupressure, music therapy, stress management, and so on and so forth.
Parmarth Niketan also furnishes as the headquarters of the Swami Shukdevanand Trust which is a non-profit religious organization working in the field of religion, spirituality and culture. This trust was founded by Pujya Swami Shukdevanandji Maharaj in the year 1942 and it got registered under the Societies Registration Act in the year 1962. The doors of Parmarth Niketan are open for everybody with no bar of religion, race, nationality, caste or creed. The tranquil and pure ambience of the Ashram augmented by the beautiful garden laid down in its premises draws thousands of tourists and pilgrims in the search of inner peace and also physical fitness. Very good accommodation facilities are also provided in the ashram to the visitors on request.
Swarg Ashram, located opposite the Shri Shivananda Ashram about 5 km upstream from Rishikesh on the eastern banks of River Ganga is a famous Ashram Complex of Rishikesh and a must visit destination of this region. Established in the fond memory of Saint Swami Vishudhanand, also known as Kali Kamli Wala amongst the natives, Swarg Ashram accommodates various ashrams in its premises. Moreover, it also encompasses different shopping complexes, stores, Ayurvedic dispensaries, meditation centers, cafés, parks, libraries, hotels, restaurants and so on set up for the service of its visitors. Scores of religious rituals, processions, chanting, birth and death ceremonies constantly go on in the Swarg Ashram. Tourists also get an extraordinary opportunity of studying Ayurvedic medicines and taking yoga tours here. To reach Swarg Ashram one can either cross the Ganga River by boat from Rishikesh or walk through the Ram Jhula suspended across the Ganges. The Swarg Ashram Complex houses various temples, caves, ashrams populated by the sages, priests, residential quarters of students, pilgrims and the rooms for travelers.
Omkarananda Ashram located on the banks of the river Ganges at Muni-Ke-Reti in Rishikesh is a hermitage run by a group of Sanyasis. Established in the year 1967 under the guidance of Shri.Omkarananda, this ashram mainly focuses on the activities in the social, cultural, religious and educational fields. The Ashram runs a kindergarten and a school where the lessons in classical Indian music and dance are also imparted. Additionally, Omkarananda Ashram also organizes yoga classes for the advantage of general public.
Kailas Ashram Brahmavidyapeetham
Kailas Ashram Brahmavidyapeetham, a 120 years old ashram of Rishikesh is a spiritual institution dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the traditional Vedic Studies. Noteworthy personalities of India including Swami Vivekananda, Swami Shivananda and Swami Rama Tirtha studied in this Ashram.
Established by a great Indian hermit Swami Shivananda in the year 1932, Shivananda Ashram of Rishikesh is located at the foothills of the Himalayas on the banks of the holy river Ganga. The fundamental aim of Shivananda Ashram is to promote spiritualism and provide practices in spirituality and theology to the devotees. The ashram runs institutes such as Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy, Shivananda Ayurvedic Pharmacy, and Shivananda Eye Hospital etc. Daily Yoga classes are also conducted by the experts here.
Rishi Kund located near the Triveni Ghat at Rishikesh is the very water tank where Lord Ram and his brother Lakshman bathed after killing the demon king Ravan in order to wash their sin of Brahma Hatya away. As per the prevalent lore, once River Yamuna very much pleased with Kubz had filled this Kund with her water. The waters of Rishi Kund reflect the image of the Raghunath Temple located nearby. This temple is dedicated to Lord Ram and Devi Sita. Devotees believe the waters of the Rishi Kund to be very sacred and sin cleansing and they make it a point to take a dip into the Rishi Kund and get rid of all the evil deeds.
Muni ki Reti
The term ‘Muni Ki Reti’ literally means ‘the sand of the sage’. As the sandy banks of the Ganges were used by the countless sages to perform Tapasya at, this place got christened to commemorate the severe penances performed by incalculable Munis here. Muni Ki Reti is a town of Tehri Garhwal district situated close to Rishikesh particularly celebrated for the innumerable ashrams it hosts. Some of the noteworthy ashrams situated on the sanctified lands of Muni Ki Reti are: Kailash Ashram, Shivananda Ashram, Parmarth Niketan, Vanprastha Ashram, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Ashram etc. It was here that ‘The Beatles’ visited and composed ‘The Happy Hrishikesh Song’.
Shivpuri, a tiny little hamlet renowned for its multitudinous ancient temples falls on the National Highway that links Rishikesh and Patisira. The word ‘Shivpuri’ literally means the abode of Lord Shiva. The tranquil town housing a number of Shiva Temples is a center of a lot of ritualistic religious activities. This peaceful village endowed with boundless pristine natural beauty beckons myriads of tourists every year to come and rejuvenate in the cradle of Mother Nature.
Kali Kambliwale Panchayati Kshetra, an ashram established by Shri Baba Vishuddha Nandaji is one of the most ancient institutions of Rishikesh. Earlier run by the Baba and his followers this ashram is now under the management of a trust. The main office of Kali Kambliwale Panchayati Kshetra is placed at Rishikesh and the sub branches of the ashram are scattered over all the pilgrim destinations of Garhwal region. The main purpose of this ashram is to offer lodging and boarding to the pilgrims that pay a visit to the holy cities of the state.
Rajaji National Park
Rajaji National Park, nested at the foothills of the Himalayas encompassing the Shivalik Mountain Ranges was established in the year 1983 by merging the three wildlife sanctuaries namely Chilla, Motichur and Rajaji. Spread over a far reaching area of 820 sq km, this National Park covers three districts of the state of Uttarakhand viz. Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal. Rajaji National Park is christened in the honor of C. Rajagopalachari, a prominent Freedom Fighter, the last Governor-General of independent India and one of the initial recipients of Bharat Ratna. This park, a symbol of a well balanced ecosystem comprises tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, especially the Upper Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests eco region. The vegetation of the National Park can be divided into six types: Sal forest, Mixed forest, Riverine forest, Scrub forest, Grassland and Sub-tropical pine forest. The imperial Ganga River flows through the Rajaji National Park for 24 kilometers. Moreover, a number of rivulets and brooks render the geography of the park rich and diverse.
The fauna of the Rajaji National Park is affluent with 23 species of mammals and 315 species of birds. The park is acclaimed as having the largest population of Elephants in the state of Uttarakhand. The animals and birds found in Rajaji National Park include Asian Elephants, Bengal Tigers, leopards, jungle cat, wild boar, sloth bear, Striped Hyena, Jackal, Himalayan yellow throated marten, Himalayan Black Bear, deer, Sambhar, Barking Deer, Goral, Rhesus macaque, Indian langur, Monitor lizard, Indian Porcupine, Indian Hare, King Cobra, Python, kingfishers woodpeckers, pea fowl, Great Pied Hornbill, pheasants, barbets, fire tailed sunbird, and a number of migratory birds. Rajaji National Park is located about 50 kilometers from Rishikesh.