Rishikesh is a city, municipal council and a tehsil in Dehradun district of the Indian state, Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as the ‘Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas. Rishikesh has been a magnet for spiritual seekers. Today it styles itself as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, with masses of ashrams and all kinds of yoga and meditation classes. It is approximately 25 km north of the city Haridwar and 43 km southeast of the state capital Dehradun. The sacred river Ganga is truly astonishing and breathtaking which enhances the elegance of the area. The town is a famous tourist spot and also a major pilgrimage spot for the Hindus.
Rishikesh has been a part of the legendary ‘Kedarkhand’. Legends state that Lord Rama did penance here for killing Ravana, the asura king of Lanka; and Lakshmana, his younger brother, crossed the river Ganges, at a point, where the present ‘Lakshman Jhula’ bridge stands today, using a jute rope bridge. The glorious attraction of Rishikesh is none other than the great river Ganges herself, running rapidly throughout the city. In the ancient time and still so many yogis, rishis, sages and sannyasis attracted to Rishikesh to practice yoga in this peaceful location. Since then, Rishikesh has known as an abode of sages. Rishikesh is a holy town with so many Ashrams and it is famous for the yoga world wide. Rishikesh is now world famous as a Yoga Capital of the world. Every year during the March month one week long International yoga festival is hosted by Rishikesh.
For all tourists heading to northern India, River Rafting in Rishikesh or White Water Rafting in Rishikesh is a major attraction. Since, rafting is a sport which can be enjoyed by the whole family, tourists arrive in Rishikesh in huge number. It doesn’t matter whether you are a newbie in the field or a skilled rafter, Rishikesh offers rafting opportunities for all. With the assistance of professional rafters and trainers, Rafting in Rishikesh can be a lot of fun. While rafting along the Ganges River, you can also feast your eyes upon the scenic sights that welcome you on the either side of the river.
Rishikesh Attraction :
Triveni Ghat :
Triveni Ghat is biggest bathing ghat in Rishikesh. Situated near the main market this ghat has mesmerizing view of mountain and river. It is the place where tourists can witness Hindu pilgrims in hordes. Pilgrims from all across the country arrive here to observe a holy dip in the Ganges. The scene however becomes surreal as hundreds of pilgrims flock to the ghat in the evening to attend the Ganga Aarti, an important ritual to worship the Ganga. Hundreds of diyas afloat the River Ganges add much to the sight. a ceremony accompanied by lights, drums and chanting, with the entire ghat lit with lamps glowing from a distance. This is beautiful place to sit right on the bank of the river and view the mountain and river with the company of cool river breeze
Ashrams in Rishikesh :
In rishikesh there are many ashram with different facilities. The prime tourist attractions in Rishikesh are the ashrams. world renowned centres for spiritual studies and lessons on meditation. Some of the most popular and much visited ashrams in Rishikesh include Paremarth Niketan, Sivanand Ashram, Yoga Niketan, Omkaranand Ashram, Vanprastha Ashram, Shankaracharya Nagar Transcendental Meditation Centre, Vithal Ashram and Yoga Study Centre.
Paremarth Niketan is one of the top Yoga center in India, And the biggest ashram in the area. Sivananda Ashram is also known as Divine Life Society. There are several activities performed by the Ashram such as Yoga Meditation and hospital. Sivananda Ashram is one of the most popular ashrams in Rishikesh. Omkaranand Ashram Lyengar yoga is the soeciality of this ashram. It has its own ghat where daily aarti is performed. Vanprastha Ashram Baba kali kamli wale is the founder of Vanprastha Ashram, and it is located at swarg ashram.
Lakshman Jhula & Ram Jhula :
Big iron suspension bridge on the river Ganges which is 4.5 kms far from Rishikesh. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Rishikesh. Built back in the year 1929, the Lakshman Jhula is actually a suspended bridge. As per the Hindu traditions, it is believed that Lakshmana crossed the river here with the help of a jute rope, thus making this another important pilgrim attraction. Lakshman temple and Tera Manzil Temple is also situated here. From the bridge you can have spectacular view of river and the city.
Another similar suspension bridge Ram Jhula was built in 1986 at nearby Sivananda Nagar. The bridge serves as the connection between the Shivanand Ashram and Swarg Ashram. ananda Ashram, Yog Niketan Ashram and Omkarnanda Ashram is located at one end of the brindge and the other end has Swarg Ashram, Gita Bhawan and Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Ram Jhula is pedestrian bridge but it is also used for bikes
19 km from Rishikesh, lies this town of Shivpuri which is pure heaven. Shivpuri is situated on the banks of the river Ganges and is famous for its Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This town offers a wide variety of adventure options and is one of the best places to visit in Rishikesh. However, it is also renowned for its Various Beach camps that are near the banks of the river Ganges, The main attraction of Shivpuri are the camps by the river bank. most of the beach camps located here offers the visitors a trilling adventure sport called white water rafting for about 16 kilometres in the river. The place is not only trilling but often provides a soothing and picturesque view of the Ganges valley, with its lush green and serene environment.
The Beatles Ashram :
In February 1968 the Beatles travelled to the Indian town of rishikesh to attend a session of transcendental Meditation at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It was this visit that changed the world’s outlook of Indian spirituality. The calmness and tranquility of this place will leave you spell-bound and explain why this ashram is one of the best tourist places in Rishikesh. The most important event that took place during the Beatles’ visit to this facility was their rehabilitation from LSD abuse, which in turn inspired them to write a huge number of songs. In 2009, McCartney commented that Transcendental Meditation was a gift the Beatles had received from the Maharishi at a time when they were looking for something to stabilise them. A quiet session of meditation here will make you fall in love with its spiritual beauty. Though it lacks maintenance and information, this quiet getaway is worth visiting.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple :
To be found at a distance of 12 km from Rishikesh, Situated at 1670 m, amidst the sylvan forest above Swarg Ashram the Neelkantha Mahadev Temple is one of the most important shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva in the Republic of India. In Hindu mythology, the temple stands at the exact spot where lord Shiva drank the Venom ‘halahala’ that originated after the churning of the ocean by the Devas and Asuras in order to obtain the Amrita or the elixir of life. Lord Shiva’s throat became blue colored due to the poison so he is known as a NeelKanth (Blue throated) here. Thousand of tourist visit this temple during Shivratri and Kanwar Mela. The inside tomb depicting the saga of Samudramanthan is one of the key attractions here. The temple also has a freshwater spring which attracts many devotees for a bath.
Kaudiyala is considered to be one of the most visited view-points in Rishikesh. Located at around 36 kilometres from Rishikesh towards Dev prayag and 380 meters above sea level, Kaudiyala is famous for offering its visitors the adventure sport of white water rafting and is one of the premier locations in the country for this sport. The stretch from Dev prayag and Rishikesh has been on the rafting and adventure tourism map of the country for decades now! There is nothing quite like the ‘pure energy high’ one gets from riding foaming white water rapids. The rafting stretch between Kaudiyala and Rishikesh, offers some of the fast action white water rapids. With opportunities for plenty of bodysurfing and bird watching, the rafting stretch offers an opportunity to enjoy the natural surroundings. Starting from Daniel’s Dip at Kaudiyala to begin with and then the biggest rapid on the Ganga.
Bharat Mandir :
Bharat Mandir, situated at the bank of River Ganga, is one of the oldest temples of Rishikesh. Located in the centre of the old town, this temple is just half a kilometre away from Triveni Ghat. The ancient records of ‘Kedarkhand’, this temple was built by Adi Guru Shankaracharya. This temple is said to be devastated in 1398 AD by Tamur Lane. The Bharat Mandir is one of the major reasons behind the success of Rishikesh as a holy town in India. The temple is famous among visitors as it comprises an idol of Lord Vishnu, which is placed in the inner sanctum of this temple. This idol was carved out of Saligram, a single black stone and has Himalayan cast of features. Several tourists throng this temple at the time of the famous spring festival, know as Basant Panchami. The temple is also famous for old statues, pots, coins and various artefacts that are housed inside.
Rishikesh is also known as one of the best spots for rafting and bungee jumping with professional bungee jumping courses from New Zealand. Rishikesh is also a great place if you want to enjoy camping near the shores. Trekking, rock climbing, rappelling, cliff jumping are the other adventure sports that are offered in Rishikesh.
Best time to visit :
The only season Rishikesh should be avoided is during the monsoons. The place is full with a lot of scenic beauty during the rainy season but landslides and flooding of the river is common and visitors should be extremely careful during this season. The best season to visit Rishikesh is late September till February. Unlike other hill stations which are visited by tourists during the summers, Rishikesh is best visited during the winters when the climate is the most pleasant and the scenery can be enjoyed without the scorching sun or the fear of heavy rainfall.
How to Reach :
By Air : Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airport to the Rishikesh situated at a distance of 21 kms. Jolly Grant Airport is well connected to the Delhi with daily flights.
By Train : The nearest railway station to Rishikesh is Haridwar, which is approximately 25 kilometres away. Haridwar is connected to major cities and can be reached easily from Rishikesh too. There are buses, cabs and private taxis available outside the station that can be used to reach Rishikesh from Haridwar.
By Road : Rishikesh is well connected to all the major roads and national highways and can be easily reached from all the parts of the country.
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Dwarka is a municipality of Devbhoomi Dwarka district in the state of Gujarat. Dwarka is one of the foremost Chardhams, four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites and is also known as the kingdom of Lord Krishna. And is one of the Sapta Puri, the seven most ancient religious cities in the country.The Dwarkadhish temple, also known as the Jagat Mandir. Dwarka is often identified with the Dwarka Kingdom, the ancient kingdom of Krishna, and is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat. The city of Dwarka is regarded as the ‘Gateway to Moksha (Salvation)’. The term ‘Dwarkadish’ refers to Lord Krishna, who is regarded as the “Lord of Dwarka”. The city’s Dwarkadhish Temple dedicated to Krishna was originally built around 2,500 years ago.
Dwarka is well connected to the rest of India by air, rail, and road transport. It is 131 kilometres by State Highway 947 from Jamnagar, where there is a domestic airport. The Dwarka railway station is on the broad gauge railway line that runs from Ahmedabad to Okha at a distance of about 137 kilometres from Jamnagar. Dwarka is 217 kilometres away from Rajkot and 378 kilometres from Ahmedabad.
Besides the ruling place of Shree Krishna, Dwarka is the place where Lord Vishnu killed the demon named Shankhasura. Besides this historic event, the Puranas one of the 12 JyotirLingas (columns of lights) specifically manifesting Lord Shiva named Nageshwar Mahadev is in the sanctified place of Dwarka. Original temple dwarkadheesh was built by Lord Krishna’s grand son Vajaranabhji in 400 BC after the end of Historical city Dwarka, but current temple was built in 16th century. Dwarkadheesh temple is built in Chalukyan style of architecture. This beautiful temple has 51.8 meters height, Covers area of 27 metre by 21 metre with east-west length of 29 metre and north-south width of 23 metres, with a 24 m long multi-colored flag, with symbols of sun and moon.
In the temple, worship or puja is conducted by Aboti Brahmins Every day, Arti is performed at regular intervals and ‘abhishek’ is done. The Lord is decked in new clothes, jewels and flowers. Janmashtami is the major festival that is celebrated at Dwarkadhish Temple. At the time of festival, the entire temple is festooned with lights. Every year, the temple witness millions of devotees and pilgrims, who come to seek salvation, with the blessings of the Lord. The importance of Shri Krishna’s life and teachings was not limited to his contemporary period but is equally so to the posterity. That is why his birthday is remembered and celebrated today even after five thousand years.
Dwarkadheesh Tempe has two entrance one from north and one from south.Entrance from north is also known as Moksha Dwaar and Entrance from south is also known as Swarg dwaar. If you step down from south entrance then you will reach at bank of river gomti.
In 1241, Mohammad Shah invaded Dwarka and damaged the temple. During this battle, five Brahmins fought against him, died, and were honoured as martyrs. A shrine was built near the temple in their honor and is known as “Panch Peer“, which is a name of Muslim origin. In the year 1473, Sultan of Gujarat, Mahmud Begada ransacked Dwarka and damaged the temple which was again rebuilt. In the year 1551 when Dwarka was invaded by Turk Aziz, the idol of Lord Krishna was moved to Bet Dwarka Island in an attempt to protect it.The Okhamandal area plus Dwarka used to be ruled by Gaekwad of Baroda at the time of the time of the revolt of 1857. In the year 1858 a warfare took place between British forces and the Vaghers natives. The Vaghers emerged victorious and ruled the region until the year 1859. In 1859, Vaghers were overthrown by the joint forces of Gaekwads, British and many other troops of adjoining princely states. During that time too the temple of Dwarka as well as Bet Dwarka underwent damage. Later on the locals of the region reported about the atrocities hurled by the Britishers and that eventually led to the temples’ restoration. Later, Baroda’s king Maharaja Gaekwad offered the temple Shikhara with a charming golden pinnacle around 1958. Since the year 1960, the responsibility of the temple’s maintenance is being shouldered by the Indian government.
Dwarka had always been the fond hub for archaeologists due to its close association with the great epic Mahabharata and the mythical claims about the sunken city. Numerous explorations and excavations have been carried out off shore as well as on shore in the mighty Arabian Sea. The first excavations were undertaken around the year 1963 and it brought to the fore, many ancient artifacts. Archaeological excavations that were conducted on Dwarka’s seaward side at two places un-earthed many interesting things such stone jetty, few submerged settlements, triangular three-holed stone anchors etc. The settlements that were discovered consisted in shapes similar to fort bastions, outer and inner walls etc. Typographical analyses of the anchors of the unearthed anchors tell that Dwarka had been a flourishing port city during India’s middle kingdom era. Archaeologists opine that coastal erosion could have resulted in the destruction of this busy, rich port.
Between 1983 to 1990, the well-fortified township of Dwaraka was discovered, extending more than half mile from the shore. The township was built in six sectors along the banks of a river. The foundation of boulders on which the city’s walls were erected proves that the land was reclaimed from the sea. The general layout of the city of Dwaraka described in ancient texts agrees with that of the submerged city discovered by the Marine Archaeology Unit
There is a lighthouse at the Dwarka Point on the Dwarka peninsula, which provides a panoramic view of the city. It is a fixed light situated 70 feet (21 m) above the sea level, and the light is visible over a distance of 10 miles (16 km). The lighthouse tower is 40 feet (12 m) in height and is 117 yards (107 m) away from the high water level in the sea. The radio beacon provided on this lighthouse tower is powered by a solar photovoltaic module
The underwater ancient city off the coast of Bet Dwarka has been proposed to be developed as a scuba diving site. This project is a joint initiative of Adventure Sports Ltd (ASL) and the Government of Gujarat, with investment of ₹13 crore. This is believed to be the first effort anywhere in the world to exploit a submerged city for tourism. Water and beach sports are also being promoted by the state government, and there are proposals to further promote aero and submarine sports
The temple is open from 6.00 am to 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm to 9.30 pm.
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