Get a taste of the great outdoors on this two-day trip to Rishikesh. Enjoy the pristine and unspoiled natural surroundings. Go on adventures which will remain with you for a lifetime, with rafting, climbing and surfing all being on the itinerary here. Make friends and share stories around a great bonfire. Immerse yourself in the music of the swiftly flowing waters, and take in the fresh air of this quiet retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of cities.
One of the holiest cities for Hindus, Rishikesh is located in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. It is around 25 km away from the other holy city of Haridwar. Visitors will notice the Ganga gurgling down the Shivalik ranges of the Garhwal Himalayas here, as it finally makes its way to the plains of north India. Surrounded by hills and bisected by the Ganges, the two banks of the Rishikesh town are linked by the famous Lakshman Jhula, a suspension bridge whose origins according to Hindu belief lie in a rope bridge that was built to enable Lakshmana to cross the river. In fact folklore has it that Lord Rama did penance here for killing Ravana. Three of its most important temples Shatrughna Mandir, Bharat Mandir, Lakshman Mandir are believed to have been set up by Adi Shankara in 8th century CE. Rishikesh shot into international prominence in February of 1968, when a group of greatest rock musicians in the world at that time led by the Beatles, including the likes of Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Donovan and Paul Horn arrived here to learn Transcendental Meditation (TM) training session at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In all about 60 people landed here including several newspaper reporters which gave this small town the kind of international prominence whose benefits it is still reaping. Its fame as one of India’ s biggest yoga centers was established at that time. The Beatles were reported to have written most of the songs that appeared on their classic The White Album here, as well as some of the songs on the their next album Abbey Road. Besides being a major pilgrimage centre itself, these days Rishikesh is a starting point for a visit to the four important shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri. It is also famous as a centre for the study of yoga and Hindu philosophy. For adventure enthusiast Rishikesh is a place for both river rafting and trekking.