We are off to visit Northern India. One of our stops will be in Rishikesh. So as we take our modern day pilgramage to discover what the beautiful India has instore for us, here are 10 of the “Must Do/ See” activities.
1. Laxman Jhula – Built in 1939, Laxman or Lakshman Jhula is a suspension bridge in Rishikesh With a length of 450 feet and at a height of around 70 feet from the river. According to Hinduism, this bridge is built in the same place, where Lakshmana once crossed the river Ganges on a jute rope, thus making this another important pilgrim attraction.
2. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple – Situated at a height of 1675 meters, on a hill 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.
3. 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.
4. Swarg Ashram – On the left bank of the river Ganges, is located one of the oldest Yoga ashrams in India. The Swarg ashramcovers the whole area between the ram and the Laxman Jhula and was built in the memory of Saint Swami Vishudhanand. It’s a perfect place for people who seek solitude in this holy city. You can sit and meditate for hours near the private river banks which are totally devoid of any rituals found at the rest of the banks or just sit watching the sun rise from the Shivaliks, setting fire to the cold, glistening waters of Ganga.
5. Parmarth Niketan – Founded in 1942 by Pujya Swami Shukdevanand Ji Maharaj, Parmarth Niketan is an ashram located in Rishikesh. It’s the largest ashram in rishikesh with over a thousand rooms. Parmarth Niketan provides its thousands of pilgrims – who come from all corners of the Earth – with a clean, pure and sacred atmosphere as well as abundant, beautiful gardens.
6. Rajaji National Park – Located between the Shivalik ranges and the Indo-Gangetic Plains, Rajaji National Park represents one of India’s oldest ecosystem. It is Uttarakhand’s second tiger reserve and its unique location makes it an ideal location for some breathtaking flora too.The dense forests house a plethora of animals ranging from Bengal Tigers to Sloth bears.
7. Kaudiyala – Kaudiyala is considered to be one of the most visited viewpoints in Rishikesh. Located at around 36 kilometres from rishikesh towards Devprayag and 380 meters above sea level, Kaudiyala is famous for offering its visitors the adventure sport of whitewater rafting.
8. Shivpuri – Located at a distance of 19 kilometres from Rishikesh, The town of Shivpuri is situated on the banks of the river Ganges and is named after a temple here dedicated to Lord Shiva. In the recent years, this place has become famous for water adventure sports-especially white water rafting.
9. Jumpin heights – Rishikesh is one place which does not only provide the visitors with a dose of spirituality but also a taste of the thrill of adventure sports. The best example of such an offering is the Jumpin heights centre, which is a must visit for adventure enthusiasts.
10. Narendra Nagar – Located at a distance of 20 kilometres from rishikesh, Narendra Nagar lies in the Tehri Garhawl district of Uttrakhand and is situated at a height of 1,326 meters above sea level. The town came into existence 1919, when the Tehri Garhawl ruler Maharaja Narendra shah moved his capital to the picturesque location of Odathali or Narendra nagar.
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