One of the most popular tourist destinations is Rishikesh. People from different parts of the world visit this place for adventure, yoga, meditation, relaxation, nature, mountains, and for many other reasons. This is the Yoga Capital of the world, which is the prime reason of tourist visit apart from river rafting. People come here to relax, practice yoga, and indulge in some adventure. So, you can plan your trip to Rishikesh if you want to experience all of these things and make some memorable memories.
Where Is Rishikesh Located?
Rishikesh is located in the northern part of India and in the foothills of the Himalayas. It comes under the district of Dehradun and Uttarakhand state of India. Also, this city is recognized as the “Yoga Capital of the World” and “Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas”.
History of Rishikesh
Rishikesh is referred to as “The Abode of the Gods” and thus, a very old pilgrimage centre. There is a huge history behind this amazing city. It is rich in diverse legends and mythical stories. As per the Skanda Purana, this city was previously known as Kubark. It is termed so because Lord Vishnu once appeared to Rabhya Rishi under a tree of mango. The surrounding area was then known as Kedarkhand (now Garhwal).
Which this city got its name as Rishikesh?
As per a legend, the city got its name from Hrishikesh, which means the Lord of the senses (a name referred to Hindu God Vishnu). The great Hindu Saint Raibhya Rishi completed prolonged austerity on the banks of the river Ganges in Satya Yuga. In the Skanda Purana, it is mentioned that as a reward of this practice of the saint, Lord Vishnu appeared in the front of the saint in the personification of Lord Hrishikesh and blessed the Rishi by giving him this divine message “As long as you have performed Supreme Tapasya (austerity) by controlling your senses, let the place be recognized by Hrishikesh.”
Many people says that the name of the city is originated from the word Rishi (prophets, sages, holy hermits) and Kesh (dreadlocks). Many hermits walk through this place while going to Char Dham and they usually wash their long hair in the water of holy Ganga. Thus, the name of the place became Rishikesh.
Popular Ashrams and Temples of Rishikesh
From ancient times, Rishikesh is known to be an essential pilgrimage site for saints and Hindu devotees. This place gained popularity in the early medieval period. During 8th century, many temples and ashrams were built by Adi Shankaracharya in this region. But, many of them got destroyed due to several natural calamities like earthquake and flood. Many temples are still there like Shatrugna Mandir and Lakshman Mandir recalling the cultural heritage of the city.
One of the most well-known legends in the history of Rishikesh is Lakshman Jhula and Ram Jhula. According to a legend, Lord Rama took a bath in the Ganga River after the death of Ravana. And, Lakshman (brother of Rama) crossed the river on the bridge that he made using the jute ropes. So, Lakshman Jhula is named in the honour of Lord Lakshman.
So, these popular ashrams and iconic sites are a must visit when you are in Rishikesh. An immense contribution has been made by Swami Sivananda in Rishikesh. He has opened many pharmacies, temples, ashrams, and many organizations.
Another popular event in the history of Rishikesh is the arrival of the popular rock band the Beatles in the year 1968. They stayed in the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram, which is now known as the Beatles Ashram. They have studied transcendental meditation there from the guru to understand the in-depth meaning of the human existence. Also, they have composed many songs here for their popular album “The White Album”. So, this place has become one of the most visited places in Rishikesh since then.
Some Travel Tips
This lively city has a lot to offer to its tourists. Right from adventure to spirituality, you will find everything at one place. If you are planning your trip to Rishikesh then keep these things in your mind:
- Do not miss the adventurous sports including river rafting, hiking, camping, rock climbing, bungee jumping, and more.
- Cover all the popular destinations including all ashrams, yoga centres, and temples.
- Do try the famous drinks and cuisines in the popular café of Rishikesh.
- Do visit Triveni Ghat for Ganga Aarti.
- Do remember that alcohol, meat, and eggs are forbidden at this scared place.
This must have provided you a glimpse of the history of Rishikesh. Plan your trip to this amazing city and enjoy to the fullest. To know more you can also contact us to get more information about this legendry place.