RISHIKESH-The name Rishikesh is loosely applied to an association of five distinct sections encompassing not only the town but also hamlets and settlements on both sides of the river Ganges. These include Rishikesh itself, the commercial and communication hub; the sprawling suburban Muni-ki-Reti or the "sands of the sages"; Shivananda Nagar, north of Rishikesh; the temple section of Lakshman Jhulla, a little further north; and the assorted Ashrams around Swarg Ashram on the East bank.
The Uttaranchal region of North India is speckled with some of the holiest of Hindu pilgrimage sites and Rishikesh is one such major attractions. Rishikesh, the birth place of yoga is now the Hatha Yoga Capital of the World, and a totally vegetarian town.
Located in the laps of lower Himalayas, and is surrounded by scenic beauty of the hills on three sides with Holy Ganga flowing through it, Rishikesh is about a 6 hours ride from Delhi.
As major gateway to the Himalayas and the start off point for journeys to important religious places like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri, Rishikesh attracts thousands of tourists every year, who come to seek mental peace in the midst of the humdrum of modern life. The various ghats and temples assist the human spirit in its endeavour to be one with the ultimate source of all creations.
About 26 Kms from Haridwar, Rishikesh is also acquiring greater significance as a centre for white water rafting, other riverine sports, a base for treks and hikes in the beautiful Garhwal Himalayas.
The pace in Rishikesh is much more mellow than Delhi, and you will enjoy walking about town undisturbed by touts and hawkers The whole place is considered to be sacred as it is believed that meditation at this place leads to attainment of salvation. There are many temples some ancient, some new along the river Ganges. Rishikesh is important not only as pilgrimage centre closely associated with the Ramayana, but also as home for many important centres of Hindu religious thought and spirituality, and Great Yoga Centres.