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RISHIKESH
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Rishikesh Tourist Attractions

Located in the state of Uttarakhand in Tehri-Garhwal region, Rishikesh is perfect destination for those who have a spiritual inclination and have a keen interest in yoga and meditation. Being an iconic Hindu pilgrimage centre and the river rafting capital of India, the Himalayan town attracts lakhs of tourists every year. The sacred journey to Chardham also begins from this town. From one corner of the town to another, Rishikesh is dispersed with ashrams, yoga centers, meditation centers, temples and holy lakes among others. Some of the most visited tourist attractions in the picturesque Himalayan town are listed below.

TRIVENI GHAT
It is a popular bathing spot for the Hindus. The ghat is located at a distance of just one and a half kilometers from the town. According to the Hindu mythology, it is the place where three mountain streams flowing from the Himalayas coalesce. Both in the morning and the evening, the Triveni Ghat offers a spectacular site. Located close to this ghat is Rishikund, the spot where sages performed ablutions during the ancient times.

LAKSHMAN JHULA (ALSO LAXMAN JHOOLA)
Covering a distance of just 5 km from the town, you can reach the world popular suspension bridge named after Lakshman, the brother of Hindu epic Ramayana's hero Rama. Initially, there was a rope bridge here. The bridge is dedicated to the event when Lakshman crossed the Ganges from here via a jute rope. Besides being a mythological site, the iron bridge also affords heart stirring views of River Ganges and the surrounding areas.

RAM JHULA
Lying close to the Lakshmana Jhula, the Ram Jhula is named after Sri Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana. The iron bridge also is a connector between the Shivanand Ashram and Swarg Ashram. Owing to its closeness from the Shivanand Ashram, the suspension iron bridge is also sometimes referred to as the Shivananda Jhula. Geeta Bhawan (an ancient temple complex) and Parmarth Niketan (another famous temple complex) are located close by.

GEETA BHAWAN
One of the most ancient temple complexes in Rishikesh, it occupies a position on the banks of River Ganges. The temple museum features an array of paintings and statues belonging to the Hindu mythology. Those who have an interest in Hindu culture and want to know more about Hindu gods will find the spot worth visiting. The temple complex is taken care of and maintained by a board of trustees, affiliated with the Gita Press (Gorakpur).

SWARG ASHRAM
It is not just an ashram but represents a entire spiritual community. Tourists can reach the place by taking a walk of just 2 km south of Lakshmana Jhoola. The entire place turns into a spectacle both at sunrise and sunset. The place offers a wonderful mix of local traditional charm and foreign accents. Baba Kali Kambliwale, the Parmarth Niketan Ashrma and the Shivananda Ashram are other attractions to visit here.

SHIVANAND ASHRAM (THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY)
One of the most visited ashrams in Rishikesh, the Shivananda Ashram is named after Swami Shivananda, who traveled to Rishikesh from Delhi 1924. In the year 1936, Swami Shivananda founded the Divine Life Society. Today, the ashram is a major attraction for yoga and meditation enthusiasts and tourists. The ashram complex stands on the riverbanks of Ganges in the midst of forests. Studies in Upnishads and Geeta are also offered at the ashram.

BHARAT MANDIR
Erected by Adiguru Shankaracharya, the temple is both the most ancient and the most visited in the town of Rishikesh. The temple stands close to the Jhanda Chowk, on the riverbanks of the sacred Ganges. The present structure of the temple is the reconstruction of the original version. During the Basant Panchmi (Spring Festival), the temple becomes a spectacle.

KAILASH NIKETAN TEMPLE
Another major attraction for tourists coming to Rishikesh is the Kailash Niketan Temple. You will catch sight of the temple building while crossing the Lakshman Jhula. In terms of structure, the temple has a different look from other Hindu temple, as it is built in 13 storeys. An array of statues and sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses are kept inside the temple.

RISHIKUND
One of the most visited tourist attractions in Rishikesh, Rishikund has its unique mythological significance. According to Hindu tradition, the sacred pond was saturated by goddess Yamuna, a manifestation of River Yamuna.

HANUMAN MANDIR
Dedicated to Hanuman (the Monkey God, an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana), the temple was constructed by Swami Ramdas. The temple stands at Maya Kund. Every Tuesday, hordes of worshippers of Hanuman god gather at the Hanuman Mandir to perform rituals and receive blessings from the god.

NILKANTH MAHADEO TEMPLE
The temple is built upon a hilltop, at an elevation of around 5,500 ft. According to the Hindu mythology, it is at this place that Lord Shiva had taken the venom, obtained from churning the sea. After venom entered the body of Shiva, the poison turned his blue. Hence, the temple was named 'Nilkanth or Neelkanth' (blue-necked). Jeeps can be hired from Lakshman Jhula to reach the temple. Taking a holy bath in the fresh water spring, situated inside the temple complex, is considered sacred before making a visit to the temple.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS
Temples and mythological sites abound in Rishikesh. A sightseeing tour to Rishikesh provides you with a living lesson on Hinduism. There are numerous other tourist attractions in this Himalayan town of Uttarakhand. Some other temples that are worth visiting include Raghunath Temple, Venkateshwara Temple, Chandra Mauleshwaran Temple and Trayambkeshwar Temple among others.

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