It is associated with Ram. According to legend, hare he came on the advice of sage Vasishtha to do penance for killing Ravana. the king of Lanka. There are scores of ancient temples and ashrams affording spiritual solace to pilgrims, the important among them being temple of Bharata Pushkar temple, Shatrughan temple, Lahkhsmana temple, Geeta Bhawan and the Punjab Kshetra. Rishikesh, also known as the “place of sagas” is a spiritual town situated 24 kms upstream from Haridwar, at the confluence of the Chandrabhaga and Ganga. It is believed that God by the name of “Hrishikesh” had appeared as an answer to the hard penances by Rabhiya Rishi and henceforth the place derived its name. It is the starting point for the Char Dham pilgrimage and an ideal destination not only for pilgrims but also for the people who are interested in medtation, yoga and other aspects of Hinduism. For the adventure seekers, Rishikesh is the suggested place for starting their trekking expeditions to the Himalayan peaks and for rafting. Also, International Yoga week which attracts participation from across the world, is held here, every year, in February on the banks of the Ganga.
A bathing Ghat which resounds with the ‘Arti’ performed every evening to river Ganga
A suspension bridge across river Ganga, on the old route to the shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath is worth visiting spot.
How to Reach :
Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun is the nearest airport to Rishikesh which is approximately 35 kilometres away. Popular carriers like Air India, Spice Jet and Jet Airways often have daily flights from New Delhi. Apart from Delhi, there is a flight from Lucknow to Dehradun as well. Once you reach at the airport, you can opt for regular taxi or bus service which is easily available from Dehradun to Rishikesh. The second nearest international airport for Rishikesh is in New Delhi which is well-connected with different cities across the globe.
The nearest railhead to Rishikesh is in Haridwar which is approximately 25 kilometres away. Haridwar, in turn, is linked to major Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Varanasi. Some of the popular trains are Shatabadi Express, Jan Shatabdi, AC Special Express and Mussoorie Express. For those making the journey to Rishikesh, it is advisable to take the train till Haridwar and then either take a bus or hire a taxi to Rishikesh. While the bus would take about 45 minutes, the taxi will take you to Rishikesh in about half an hour.
Driving up to Rishikesh is worth considering, as it is connected to other cities via the National Highway 58, which is in a good condition for most of the year. The short stretch of hilly terrain may be a little rutted, but tourists prefer to take a taxi or drive up to Rishikesh. The drive from Delhi to Rishikesh would take approximately 6 to 7 hours.