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Rishikesh, a most tranquil place in northern Uttar Pradesh,
surrounded by hills and bisected by the wide and sluggish Ganges, is
often claimed as the `Yoga Capital of the World'. Back in the 1960s
Rishikesh gained instant fame as the site where The Beatles came to stay
with their guru, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It is an excellent place to
meditate and study yoga. Rishikesh is also a good starting Laxman Jhula
point for treks to Himalayan pilgrimage centres such as Badrinath,
Kedarnath , Gangotri, Yamnotri.It is rightly called the gateway to the
Himalayan Shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. 7
Story Temple Situated 24 km upstream from Haridwar, at the confluence of
the Chandrabhaga and Ganga,
PLACES TO VISIT IN RISHIKESH
To be found in the heart of town, is the most famous bathing ghat, where most pilgrims take a holy dip earlier than they visit the various temples. This is done generally in the early mornings, with the pilgrims offering prayers and milk at the Ghat and feeding the fish in the water. An amazing sight here is the evening arati, a ceremony accompanied by lights, drums and chanting, with the entire ghat lit with lamps glowing from a distance.
Near the Ghat, is the temple known as Bharat Mandir said to be the oldest temple here built by the Adi Shankaracharya. This 9th century temple has the deity of Lord Vishnu carved out of a single black stone popular as Saligram, and is placed in the inner chambers of the temple. The original temple was said to have been destroyed in 1398 AD. If you are lucky, catch the spring festival also called Basant Panchami celebrated here.
Close to the Triveni Ghat is the very old place of Rishikund
where the Saint Kubz is said to have been blessed by the Goddess
Yamuna, who filled the pond with her water. The temple of
Raghunath dedicated to Lord Rama and his wife Sita is sited
Is situated 3Km north of Rishikesh. It's a very popular place
amongst people coming for religious purposes because it has very
known Ashrams. Most known is Geeta Bhavan & Swarg Ashram and
these temples are very important in Hindu society and you will
see much more commotion here then in Lakshmanjhula.
There is a cluster of ashrams on the eastern bank of the Ganges, and the place is popularly known as 'Swarga Ashram'. Most of these ashrams provide courses on yoga and spiritual studies, and are well-known among the tourists. Some ancient temples with beautifully carved statues are also located in the place. There are a few vegetarian food joints that serve various Ayurvedic food and refreshments. A few shops are also found, that sell various trinkets and souvenirs in the form of religious tapes, books, beads, beaded garlands, shells and clothes
Near the Lakshaman Jhula, is the newly constructed building of Gita Bhavan. It runs a free Ayurvedic dispensary and also has a branch of the Gita Press, Gorakhpur. There are more than a hundred rooms for visitors and this edifice houses various striking paintings and statues of ancient mythological characters. The stories of the ancient epics- the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are beautifully illustrated on its walls. The place is also popular among the tourists.