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Delhi Excursions- Rishikesh, India
The river Ganges, which flows out of the lap of the Himalayas, leaves the mountains and flows on to the plains at this point. The Ganges in its untamed and turbulent form gushes over the craggy mountain sides and in Rishikesh, it changes into a serene, calm river.
1160 feet above sea level, Rishikesh is 25 kms from Haridwar. According to the ancient holy books, its earlier name was Kubjamrak. The four famous pilgrim centers of Garhwal-Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri all share Rishikesh as their common gateway. In the old days, these pilgrim centers were very difficult to cover. But now there are roads from Rishikesh to these points making traveling easy. So, not only do the pilgrims go to these places but also tourists.
Rishikesh is popular with the foreigners. The various Yoga asanas taught on the banks of the river Ganges draw them to this place. Many yoga centers are found here.
A person visiting Haridwar invariably visits Rishikesh. Since the distance is not too much, one can take a bus, train, taxi or even a three-wheeler.
Tourist spots :
Lakshman Jhula: This is a bridge made out of steel wires made in 1939, over the river Ganges. This bridge swings from side to side. This bridge is 150 meters above sea level. Once you cross this bridge, you reach Swarg Ashram.
Ram Jhula: Near Swarg Ashram this is another swinging bridge which was made a few years back. This is also called Shivanand Jhula.
Triveni Ghat: This is where people come to bathe in the river. Many sit on the steps and gaze at the beauty of the Ganges before them. Surrounding it are many temples.
Temple of Bharat: The oldest and most talked about spot of Rishikesh is the temple of Bharat.
Swarg Ashram: This place is full of Ashrams and temples. The spiritual atmosphere here calms many souls. Plenty of stores and restaurants are found around here.
Neelkanth Mahadev: 12 kms from Rishikesh is this temple at a height of 1700 metres where there is a peaceful and calm forest.
Narendra Nagar: 15 kms away on the Tehri-Chamba Road, is a small town known for its historical memories. The ruler of Tehri Kingdom Narendra Shah founded it. The palace is exotic.
Kunjapuri: Close to Narendra Nagar, 7000 feet above sea level, this pilgrim center is surrounded by the jungles of Banj Burans. Its peaks and valleys are worth a view.
Dev Prayag: Situated on the Rishikesh -Badrinath road, this mountainous spot is the place where the rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi meet. When they flow out of here, they are together called the Ganga. An old temple of Ram here is well known.
Travel Plans :
Air: The closest airport is the Jolly Grant which is 18 kms away. One can get there from Delhi.
Road: The Government operates regular bus services from Delhi, Agra, Dehra Dun, Mussoorie, Haridwar, Chandigarh, Shimla, etc.
Shopping : Handicrafts made with shells, pearls, etc and also colourful semi precious stones. Close to Ram Jhula is a place called Gita Bhavan where one can buy bedsheets, sarees and various other clothes. The asafetida of Rishikesh is very famous.