Rishikesh view across Lakshman Jhula
|Named for||Hrishikesha (An avatar of Vishnu)|
|• Body||Rishikesh Municipal Board|
|• Chairman||Deep Sharma (Independent)|
|• Total||11.5 km2 (4.4 sq mi)|
|Elevation||372 m (1,220 ft)|
|• Density||8,851/km2 (22,920/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||UK 07|
|Sex ratio||875 ♂/♀|
Rishikesh (Hindi: ऋषिकेश, Sanskrit: हृषीकेश) is a city, municipal board and a tehsil in Dehradun district of the Indian state, Uttarakhand. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, it is known as The Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas. Rishikesh is surrounded by three other districts namely Tehri Garhwal, Pauri Garhwal and Haridwar. It is located approximately 25 km north of the city Haridwar and 43 km south west of the state capital Dehradun. According to Census of India, 2011 Rishikesh had a population of 102,138 making it the 7th largest city also being largest municipal board in the state of Uttarkhand.
IAST: "Hṛṣīkeśa" (Sanskrit: हृषीकेश) is a name of Vishnu that means 'lord of the senses'. The root words Hrishika and Isha join together to make Hrishikesha. Hrishika means Senses and "Isha" means Master or Lord. Hence the word means Lord of Senses or Lord Vishnu. The place gets its name after Lord Vishnu who appeared to 'Raibhya Rishi', as a result of his tapasya (austerities), as Lord Hrishikesha. In Skanda Purana, this area is known as 'Kubjamraka' (कुब्जाम्रक) as Lord Vishnu appeared, under a mango tree. Another legend says that fierce fire broke out here. Lord Shiva was angry with Lord Agni and cursed him. Then Lord Agni prayed here for the expiation of his sins. Hence it is also known as 'Agni Tirtha' (अग्नि तीर्थ) - The holy place to penance of Lord Agni or Fire God.
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 suburb Muni ki-Reti or the "sands of the sages"; Shivananda Nagar the home of Sivananda Ashram and the Divine Life Society founded by Swami Sivananda, north of Rishikesh; the temple sections of Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, a little further north; and the assorted Ashrams around Swargashram on the eastern bank. The Ganga Arti performed at dusk at the Triveni Ghat is popular with visitors. Nilakanth Mahadev Temple, situated 28 km from Rishikesh, amidst forest is also a popular local pilgrimage, along with 'Vashishtha Guha', (Cave of sage Vashishtha), 21 km up from the town by the Ganges.
Rishikesh has been a part of the legendary 'Kedarkhand' (the present day Garhwal). Legends state that Lord Rama did penance here for killing Ravana, the demon king of Lanka; and Lakshmana, his younger brother, crossed the river Ganges, at a point, where the present 'Lakshman Jhula' (लक्ष्मण झूला) bridge stands today, using a jute rope bridge. The 'Kedar Khand' of Skanda Purana, also mentions the existence of Indrakund at this very point. The jute-rope bridge was replaced by iron-rope suspension bridge in 1889, and after it was washed away in the 1924 floods, it was replaced by the present stronger bridge. Another similar suspension bridge Ram Jhula was built in 1986 at nearby Shivanand Nagar.
The sacred river Ganges flows through Rishikesh. It is here that the river leaves the Shivalik mountains in the Himalayas and flows out into the plains of northern India. Several temples, ancient as well as new, can be found along the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. Shatrughan Temple, Bharat Mandir, Laxman Temple are the ancient temples established by Adi Sancharacharya. Shatrughan Temple is located near Ram Jhula and Laxman Mandir is near to Laxman Jhula (Laxman Bridge).
Rishikesh, sometimes nicknamed "the world capital of Yoga", has numerous yoga centres that also attract tourists. It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it. Rafting season starts from the month of March and ends in September.
Rishikesh is also home to the 133 year old Kailash Ashram Brahmavidyapeetham, an institution dedicated to preserve and promote the traditional Vedantic Studies. Prominent personalities such as Swami Vivekananda, Swami Rama Tirtha and Swami Shivananda have studied in this institution.
In February 1968, The Beatles visited the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram in Rishikesh. John Lennon recorded a song titled, "The Happy Hrishikesh Song". The Beatles composed nearly 48 songs during their time at the Maharishi's ashram, many of which appear on the White Album. Several other artists, including Mike Love, The Beach Boys, Donovan and Gyp Mills visited the site to contemplate and meditate. Former royal palace of the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal at near by Narendra Nagar, now houses the Ananda–In the Himalayas destination spa and yoga retreat, estb. 2000.
The Tehri Dam is just 80 km uphill on the way to Gangotri. Rishikesh is the starting point for travelling to the four Chota Char Dham pilgrimage places — Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. Rishikesh is also famous for ayurvedic treatments. Many ayurveda centre are run where ayurvedic classes are given by ayurvedic doctors.
|Climate data for Rishikesh|
|Average high °C (°F)||20
|Average low °C (°F)||7
|Precipitation mm (inches)||51
|Avg. rainy days||3||2||3||1||2||7||15||16||8||2||0||1||60|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||6||7||8||9||9||7||6||6||7||8||8||7||7.3|
Shri Yogendra Public School
DRS Edify Kids
Omkarananda Saraswati Nilayam
Rishikesh Public School
Saraswati Vidya Mandir Inter College
Shri Guru Ram Rai Public School
Shri Bharat Mandir Inter College
Shemford Futuristic School
Maa Anandmayi Memorial Public School
Shri Bharat Mandir Public School
Nirmal Ashram Deepmala Pagarani Public School
Shri Bharat Mandir Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya
Shri Dev Swaroop Brahmachari Public School
Ved Sanskrit Mahvidyalya
Jairam Ashram Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya
Darshan Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya
Parmarth Niketan Sanskrit Mahavidyalya
As per provisional data of 2011 census Rishikesh had a population of 102,138, out of which males were 54,466 and females were 47,672. The literacy rate was 86.86 per cent compared to national average of 74.04%.
Rishikesh is becoming a popular spot for white water rafting enthusiasts, both from India and abroad, as the Ganges offers medium to rough rapids rated class 3 and class 4. It is also a center for hiking and backpacking. In previous years bungee jumping was also introduced in Rishikesh.
Sunset at Lakshman Jhula, Rishikesh.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rishikesh.|
- "Rishikesh: Abode of the Gods". The Bangalore Mirror. 10 June 2010.
- Monier-Williams: "lord of the senses".
- Rishikesh History
- Glossary of terms in Hinduism#R
- Rishikesh Official website Dehradun district.
- Rishikesh History
- District Profile Official website of Uttarakhand Govt.
- "Places of Tourist Interest in Rishikesh".
- Beatles in Rishikesh at Paul Saltzman web site
- The Happy Hrishikesh Song
- Rendleman, Linda (2012). Women Like Us: Illuminating the World. Bloomington: AuthorHouse. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-4685-5580-6.
- SPOTLIGHT: Nancy Veitch Cooke de Herrera, ’43 TM Believer ’78 Stanford Magazine, May/June 2010
- Himalayan Spa for Sybarites By CELIA W. DUGGER. New york Times. July 30, 2000.
- "Rishikesh Climate and Weather Averages, India". Weather2Travel. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
- "Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above". Provisional Population Totals, Census of India 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
- Ratnam, Dhamini (August 3, 2009). "Up your ante". Hindustan Times.
- Bungee Jumping: Rishikesh beckons