Rishikesh is a small town situated 532 metres above sea level in the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh gets its name from the Sanskrit word 'hrishik, meaning senses and ish' meaning master, after the Sage Raibhya who did penance to Lord Vishnu, believed to be the conqueror of the senses.
The holy city of Rishikesh is visited by many people who are on a serious soul-searching mission.
Since Satyug, Rishikesh is known to be the abode of the sages and is considered to be the gateway to the Char Dham and Panch Kedar Yatras. This place has no dearth of temples, ashrams and spa resorts, and is also known as the yoga capital and adventure sports hub of Uttarakhand. This three-fold importance attached.
Lakshman Jhula at Rishikesh to Rishikesh has made it the most desirable tourist destination and pilgrimage centre.
The best way to explore the town of Rishikesh is on foot as the town is hilly and has narrow lanes. To cross the River Ganga, one can take a motor ferry from the narrow suspension iron bridge known as the Ram Jhula which is near Swargashram. The Lakshman Jhula is a famous hanging bridge across the Ganga and is about 3 kilometres from Rishikesh. It is a 450-foot suspension bridge and was built in 1939. It is said that Lord Ram's brother Lakshman crossed the Ganga on a jute rope from here. The Lakshman Jhula is a bridge across the Ganga
along the old route to the holy shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath.
The other suspension bridge or Ram Jhula is surrounded by a cluster of ashrams on both sides. The ancient Hindu saint Adiguru Shankaracharya is said to have constructed the Bharat Mandir in the 12th century on the bank of the River Ganga in the heart of Rishikesh. The 108 parikramas of the Bharat Mandir are believed to be equivalent to the Badrinath Yatra. It is the oldest temple in Rishikesh and is also regarded as one of the most ancient shrines in India. Bharat Mandir is approximately half a kilometre away from Triveni Ghat It is believed that the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the Saraswati took place at the Triveni Ghat. It is a most revered, sacred bathing spot in Rishikesh and is situated on the hanks of the River Gangis. Thousands of people come to take a holy dip in the sacred river and to observe the Crossing the Ganga via the Ram Jhula spiritual gatherings called 'aarti. The Rishikund or Sages Pond is nearby, where holy men performed fire rituals in ancient times. On request of the sages for a place to bathe, the water of the Yamuna magically appeared in the kund and has stayed there ever since. The Raghunath Temple dedicated to Lord Ram and Sita is situated here.
Rishikesh is in the Garhwal region at the confluence of the Ganga and Chandrabhaga rivers,
marking the beginning of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas and surrounded by the Shivalik range on three sides. Rishikesh is 25 kilometres to the north of Haridwar, and the journey time by road is 6-1/2 hours from Delhi. The route from Delhi is NH58 to Rishikesh via Modinagar, Meerut, Khatauli, Muzaffarnagar, Manglaur, Roorkee and Haridwar.