Located in the northern Indian State of Uttar Pradesh, at the base of the Himalayas and where the river Ganges comes down into the plains from the hills is the small town of Rishikesh.
A place of breathtaking beauty where the wild mountainside merges with placid plains, Rishikesh’s tranquil ambience and peaceful landscape has long been the favorite of monks and sages for meditation.
The Pilgrimage season starts in end April/ Early may and lasts until the day of Deepawali (festival of light) end of October/early November.
Constructed by the Queen Dhankaur in AD1810, this ancient shrine may be found south of Kankhal town. While going around Kankhal, visitors may also find several other temples and ashrams.
Also known as Sapt Sarovar, the ashram is situated just along the Haridwar-Rishikesh road. Visitors here also see the river Ganges flowing in seven streams in front of the ashram.
Close to Trivenighat is the most ancient place, the Rishikund. Stories relate this to Kubz Saint , who was blessed by the Goddess Yamuna by filling this pond with its water. The pond reflects the temple of Ragunath , dedicated to lord Rama and his wife.
Part of the Rajaji National Park, the sanctuary covers an area of around 240 square kilometers. Twenty-three species of various mammals and over 315 different plant species may be found occupying the sanctuary grounds. Tourists can catch glimpses of elephants, tigers, leopards, Himalayan yellow-throated martens, barking deer, king cobras and all other sorts of fauna. Fishing in the river may be allowed with the necessary permits.
Built by Adiguru Shankra Chrya arround 12th centuray, Bharat mandir is situated in the heart of the old town on the Banks of the Ganges. Detailed accounts of this Rishikesh’s oldest temple are available in ancient record of Kearkhand. The Inner sanctum of the temple has the idol of lord Vishnu, carved out of a single Saligram. In the inner canopy above the idol is shree yantra installed by Adi Sankraya Charya.
A lovely place to be at especially at dawn, tourists may observe the local Hindus make offerings of milk to the river and feed the fish. After sunset, priests set floating lamps on the water during the Aarti ceremony.
One hour drive from Rishikesh up river is situated Vasishtha Goofa , where famous saint Vasishtha meditated on the banks of the Ganges. The cave is very peaceful and is a perfect place for meditation.
A 4-hour walk from the town center of Rishikesh, the temple of Neelkanth Mahadev is often associated with the Lord Shiva.