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Rishikesh, Rapid Ride To Nirvana

by on July 10, 2007

Rapid Ride To Nirvana

RishikeshRishikesh is all about the river, the Himalayas, the divine mornings, the starry evenings, the faint strains of shastriya sangeet in the air, sadhus bathing in the river, foreigners in saffron ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ kurtas and the constant chime of the temple bells. It is the unique package for the mind and body.

As we drive from Haridwar to Rishikesh you will first pass by the famous Ram jhula, a bridge swaying above the Ganga waters. People enjoy the experience of it by standing in the centre of Ram jhula and look down at the river to view fishes. Ram jhula connects Shivanand Ashram on the east bank with Swargashram on the west by getting its most popular name Shivanand jhula.

rishikesh-laxman-jhula.jpgYou can also find Laxman jhula, which is easier to cross where Laxman, Lord Ram’s brother crossed the Ganga on the rope. It is the centre of bazaars and crowded cafes. People not wanting just a spiritual break can book the room in this area, which is the most happening part of the town. Across the jhula you will find people feeding the fish through small dough breads. On crossing the bridge, you will find two 13- storey temples Swarg Niwas and Shri Tryambakeswar.You can also view the Bharat Mandir near Triveni ghat, south of the road from Haridwar between Laxman and Ram jhulas. Going further to 17km trek up the east bank of the Ganga you will find the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. It is believed that Lord Shiva saved the world by holding poison churned from the sea by the gods and the demons in his throat. And the poison remains there forever, which is why Shiva’s throat is blue. Every March there is a celebration of Mahashivratri here.

RishikeshRishikesh has gained popularity, especially between foreign tourist and the NRI as a centre of learning yoga, Hindu philosophy and ayurveda. There are plenty of ashrams offering yoga courses and the lectures on Hindu philosophy. You can go around the east bank of Laxman jhula to Swargashram to check out the various ashrams.At the northern end of Laxman jhula you can view the stalls selling the religious audio and video cassettes, kullu topis, kurtas, salwar kameez and jewellery line the narrow streets.

There are many budget hotels in Rishikesh and other famous hotels like Glasshouse on the Ganges, Hotel Ganga Kinare, Hotel Natrajand many more. Rishikesh is strickly vegetarian and we cannot carry meat or alcohol into the town. You will find many cafes overlooking the Laxman jhula serving continental and Chinese vegetarian dishes.

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