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Rishikesh, one of the highly revered and primeval Hindu shrines in India. A place of worship, sages and saints, Vedas, Yoga, Hindu deities and adrenaline rushing adventure spots. This place has got long and ancient history connotations. Few even linking back to Ramayan and Sagara madanam.
The Ganga, Saints and the history linking the Gods is what makes this place truly one of the most pious pilgrimages on Earth.
Rishikesh’s historical connotations don't only link to Ramayana but also refers to be the home to many cardinal Hindu spiritual philosophies and religious thoughts. Also, a great Yoga hub.
Hrishikesh (Lord of Senses), is made up of Sanskrit words Hrishik meaning senses and Ish meaning lord. Hrishikesh is a name of Lord Vishnu. According to the scriptures, Vishnu pleased with great sage Raibhya’s tapasya, granted the sage’s wish of dwelling this pilgrim for ever.
This is also said to be the place where Lord Shiva drank the venom from Sagara madanam. Some of the holy places for those looking for gods and also for those looking for attaining the Yog (self) are Triveni Ghat, assorted ashrams around Swarg ashram, temple section of Lakshman Jhula, Neelakantan Maha Deva temple.
Co-incidentally, Rishikesh is bequeathed to captivating natural beauty. Rishikesh has the wide range of countless temples, some small, some big, some ancient and some new ones. Let’s jot down, must visit spiritual places in Rishikesh:
Neelkanth Mahadev shrine is the abode of lord Shiva, which is said to be built after the mythological episode of Lord Shiva drinking the Halahal, from the Samudra Manthan the churning of the ocean by the Asuras and Gods for obtaining Amrita (immortal elixir of life). This venom has made his throat blue in appearance due to the toxicity, hence the name Neelkanth. This ancient temple is located at a height of 1675 meters (5500 ft). This is built on a hill above the Swarg ashram overlooking the Nar Narayan mountain ranges. This holy shrine is now visited by the tourists throughout the year.
Shri Trimbakeshwar Temple:
Trimbakeshwar, Tri + ambak + ishwar meaning ‘three eyed lord’, i.e., Lord Shiva is the deity in this ancient temple. This is also known as, Tera manzil temple. This is a unique 13 storied temple with each story have different Hindu gods and goddesses. This temple is nearby by another famous landmark called Laxman Jhula which is set to be the bridge on which Laxman had crossed Ganga.
Rishikund and Raghunath Temple:
Raghunath temple is for the staunch believers of Vishnu. The incarnation of Lord Ram and Sita are the deities worshipped in this temple. Rishikund is said to be placed where Lord Ram used to bathe while he was in exile. This is also believed to be the place where Ganga joined the Yamuna and the Saraswati rivers. Apart from the spiritual influences, the scenic views from Rishikund tank are simply mesmerizing.
Bharat Mandir is a popular temple just a 0.5 KM from Triveni Ghat in the heart of the city. The deity worshipped here is Lord Vishnu. This temple was constructed by
the prominent saint Adi Shankaracharya in the 12th century. This ancient temple is visited by many devotees to receive the blessings each year. The name is derived from Bharata, younger brother of Rama, to whom this temple is devoted to.
Apart from these temples, the tourists may visit Triveni Ghat and Swarg Ashram in Rishikesh.
Triveni Ghat is a bathing place about 1.5 KM from Rishikesh. This is the place of confluence of three perennial streams giving it the sacredness. Pilgrims come here from all over the world to wash away their sins by taking a dip in the holy waters. Maa Ganga Aarti ritual performed at the dusk is popular with the pilgrims.
Apart from the Goddess Ganga, the Rishikund and Raghunath temple nearby are also considered sacred.
One of the oldest Yoga ashrams in India, located on the left bank of river Ganga is Swarg Ashram. This ashram built in the memory of Saint
Swami Vishubanand, covers the whole area between Laxman Jhula and Ram Jhula. With scenic beauties and quiescence surroundings away from the crowds and temple bells, sermons lie this place. For anyone looking a way to connect to their higher self through meditation, this is a perfect place.
Apart from the mentioned spiritual places, you must also visit Ram jhula, Kunjapuri temple, Geeta Bhawan, Paramath Niketan temple which has epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata was written on the walls. And finally, hope you find whatever you are looking for at these places. Have fun.