A busy little town on the banks of the holy Ganges at the foot of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is the gateway to the Garhwal in the Himalayas. In the district of Dehradun, Rishikesh is situated at an altitude of 1360 ft above sea level. Rishikesh is located precisely on the part in Uttaranchal known as Tehri-Garhwal region. A tour to Rishikesh is usually undertaken as part of a visit to Hardwar, Mussoorie and Dehradun. Rishikesh is revered as the site where Lord Vishnu vanquished the demon Madhu. A tour to Rishikesh is therefore as important to the religiously inclined, for its mythological importance; so it is for the nature lovers, who would simply love to be at green, quiet the banks of Ganges flowing by at Rishikesh.
Laxman Jhula :- one of the biggest tourist attractions in Rishikesh, Laxman Jhula is a suspended bridge on the Ganges. Legend has it that Laxman had crossed the river Ganges at this spot on a bridge of ropes. Now a suspended iron bridge 450 ft long, built in 1939 exists here. The Laxman Jhula is something you cannot simply miss on a tour to Rishikesh.
Ram Jhula :- another suspended bridge between Shivanand Ashram and Sawarg Ashram, Ram Jhula has been named after Laxman's elder brother Ram.
Bharat Mandir :- built by Adiguru Shankracharya, the Hindu saint in 12th century, this is the oldest temple in Rishikesh. It is located on the bank of river Ganges in the old town and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, whose idol carved out of a single 'Salagram' stands here.
Rishikund :- Legend has it that, the river Goddess Yamuna was so pleased with the saint Kubz that she filled this tank with water.
Nilkanth Mahadeo :- according to Hindu mythology when the ocean was being churned out for "amrit" by the gods and the demons, it was venom that first oozed out. This venom was swallowed by Lord Shiva at this spot and the place got its name from that event.
How to Reach Rishikesh:
The nearest railhead from Rishikesh is hardwar. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun. Rishikesh is also connected by an extensive network of roads to other cities in Uttaranchal and outside. Buses and taxis on hire are available to and from Dehradun, Hardwar, Mussoorie, Nainital, Delhi.
Weekend Excursions from Rishikesh:
Tour packages to Rishikesh are quite popular, and hence there is no dearth of Hotels in Rishikesh either. Luxury resorts to cheap hotels- all are available in Rishikesh. So are restaurants in Rishikesh. However, the dominant cuisine is Indian vegetarian.Shopping in Rishikesh is real fun. Semi-precious stones, ayurvedic medicines, woolens are the most sought after things in Rishikesh.