Rishikesh, a most tranquil place in northern Uttar Pradesh, surrounded
by hills and bisected by the wide and sluggish Ganges, is often claimed
as the `Yoga Capital of the World'. Back in the 1960s Rishikesh gained
instant fame as the site where The Beatles came to stay with their guru,
the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It is an excellent place to meditate and
Rishikesh is also a good starting point for treks to Himalayan
pilgrimage centres such as Badrinath, Kedarnath , Gangotri, Yamnotri.It
is rightly called the gateway to the Himalayan Shrines of Badrinath,
Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Situated 24 km upstream from
Haridwar, at the confluence of the Chandrabhaga and Ganga, Rishikesh has
long been a spiritual centre. It is said that the sage Raibhya Rishi did
severe penance here and as a reward, God appeared to him in the form of
Hrishikesh, hence the name.
Rishikesh has numerous ashrams, some of which are internationally
recognized as centers of philosophical studies, yoga and meditation. An
international yoga week is organized here every year by U.P. Tourism
between 2nd and 7th of February. For the adventurous, there are
opportunities for white water rafting on the Ganga. The climate here is
continental type but its location in the foot hills gives it a pleasant
weather throughout the year. One can visit Rishikesh any time of the
town of Rishikesh lies in the foothills of the Garhwal region. It is the
gateway to the upper Garhwal region and the starting point for pilgrim
routes to the four dhams of Uttarakhand-Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri
and Yamunotri. The Ganga flows through the town and is worshipped here.
After this it descends to the plains at Haridwar.The whole place is
considered to be sacred as it is believed that meditation at this place
leads to attainment of salvation. There are many temples-some ancient,
some new along the river Ganges. The River side is dotted by the ashrams
of Sadhus and sages.
SHOPPING: Being a pilgrimage place, the glamour of big shop bargains are
absent but Rishikesh offers you handicraft items made of Shells, beads
and pearls. Sarees, Kurtas, sheets and rugs can be purchased from here.
You can buy these items from the government approved U.P handloom shop,
Khadi Bhandar, Garhwal wool and craft shop etc.
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION
Air : The nearest airport is Dehradun (Jolly Grant), 25 kms. Vayudoot
services operates from Delhi to Dehradun (Jolly Grant).
Rail: Rishikesh is connected by rail via Haridwar (24 kms), to Howrah,
Bombay, Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Dehradun and other cities.
Road: By road Rishikesh to Haridwar 24 kms, Dehradun 47 kms, Mussoorie
77 kms, Badrinath 301 kms (Son Prayag), Kedarnath 228 kms, Gangotri 258
kms, Yamunotri 288 kms (Hanuman Chatti), Srinagar 105 kms, Joshimath 252
Bus Services: Haridwar is connected by bus with Agra, Chandigarh,
Dehradun, Kullu, Manli, Shimla, Rishikesh etc.