Rishikesh

Availability Period : Mar, Apr,15 Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov,15 Dec.

Rishikesh is one of the most popular tourist hotspots among the young Indian population. Tranquilising beauty, architectural marvels, grand temples and a never ending list of adventure sports — Rishikesh is a platterful of two opposite worlds. Be it a rejuvenating session of meditation and an over-crowded yet glorious Ganga aarti or an adventurous river rafting – this city has got something for everyone.

Rishikesh, also known as Hrishikesh is a city, municipal corporation 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' and 'Yoga Capital of the World. It lies approximately 25 km (16 mi) north of the city Haridwar and 43 km (27 mi) southeast of the state capital Dehradun. According to Census of India, 2011 Rishikesh had a population of 102,138 making it the seventh most populated city in the state of Uttarakhand. It is known as the pilgrimage town and regarded as one of the holiest places to Hindus. Hindu sages and saints have visited Rishikesh since ancient times to meditate in search of higher knowledge

In September 2015, the Union tourism minister Mahesh Sharma announced that Rishikesh and Haridwar will be the first in India to be given the title of "twin national heritage cities". Due to the religious significance of the place, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are strictly prohibited in Rishikesh. The city hosts the annual International Yoga Festival.

History


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 'Kedarkhand' of Skanda Purana, also mentions the existence of Indrakund at this very point. The jute-rope bridge was replaced by iron-rope suspension bridge in 1889. After it was washed away in the 1924 floods, it was replaced by the present stronger bridge. Another similar suspension bridge Ram Jhula was built in 1986 at nearby Sivananda Nagar.

Rafting camps


According to environmental activists, "These camps are not only in violation of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 but also the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 as well as the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 as it is leading to pollution of Ganga by discharging effluent, throwing of solid waste directly and adversely affecting the ecological integrity of the river system."

Environmental activists alleged that these camps, which are established as temporary sites, do not have adequate sewage and sanitation facilities, disturb the habitat of wild animals and "affect the peace, tranquility and serenity of the forest area."

"At the camp sites, the camp owners permit employees and the visitors to have food and alcohol. They leave empty bottles, cans, unconsumed food and waste including bones and filth in and around the camp site."

Effect on spiritual environment


It has been reported that large numbers of tourists visiting Rishikesh from India and the world have been consuming drugs and alcohol and appearing partially naked at beaches, leading to complaints that the spiritual environment of the area has been affected

According to many Hindu yogis and sadhus, the riverside stretch is of spiritual and religious importance, as it is where the Ganges takes its form after the confluence of the rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda at Devprayag in the Garhwal Himalayas. Saints and yogis have been meditating on the banks of Ganges since antiquity. However, these banks have been polluted with liquor bottles at camps as well as obscene activities and behavior at the beaches


state Uttarakhand
Country India
Area 11.5 km2 (4.4 sq mi)
Languages Hindi, Garhwali
Currency Ruppee