Rishikesh is one of the most spiritual places in the world. It is the birthplace of yoga and located at the foothills of the Himalayas. The very sacred and spiritually important Ganges river runs alongside the city as well. If you’re looking to have a sacred experience, you’ll find it in Rishikesh. It is a holy city that doesn’t allow you to do drugs or drink alcohol. There is no in-between here. If you come to Rishikesh, you’ve taken a different kind of trip.
Many pilgrims come through on their way to sacred temples in the area. For young Indians, it is a popular place to come thanks to its beauty, architecture, and temples. For international travelers, Rishikesh is usually a draw for the spiritual aspects. There are many yoga teacher training places here. You can do many deep practices with yoga and meditation. Here are the main attractions you’ll want to see if you’re coming to experience sacred Rishikesh.
Laxman and Ram Jhula
Laxman and Ram Jhula are 450-foot-long suspension bridges. It is the central part of the tourist hub and many walks across it. From the Rishikesh railway station, the bridges are 4 km away and a way for pilgrims to get the city. The scenery is stunning, and the bridges are incredibly designed and built. The bridges are a famous pilgrimage destination. Where the bridges are, there are also the famous Tayambakeshwar Temple which is 13 stories tall. There is also the Ram Temple and Laxman Temple that you can visit.
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The Beatles Ashram
The Beatles Ashram is also called the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ashram. When the Beatles came to hang out here in the ’60s, it naturally became world-renowned. Some might say it’s a bit broken down at this point, but it still offers a sense of tranquility. You can do a peaceful meditation session here and feel the vibe of spirituality in the air. It is tranquil here. A beautiful place to come and just be. Don’t expect a lot of information or a tourist setting. It is very unassuming. Kind of the way you’d expect a truly sacred place to be.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple: A Sacred Abode of Lord Shiva
Lord Shiva is very sacred and essential to many. The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is considered the most sacred of the Shiva shrines in India. It is also on the top of the best religious places to see if you’re visiting Rishikesh. There is a tomb that depicts the saga of Samudra Manthan. A remarkable story in religion. You can witness devotees plunging into the freshwater spring, known for it’s spiritually cleansing properties.
It is prevalent at the Triveni Ghat and gets quite crowded. Many pilgrims bathe here and known as the main point of interest in the city. It is beautiful to watch the evening aarti here. People that have watched it say there are an indescribable aura and energy here. It is one of the most sacred ghats in Rishikesh because three rivers come together here. You’ll see floating lamps released into the river, and there is a market close by where you can buy precious stones.
Swarg Ashram: The oldest ashram of India
Imagine that the Swarg Ashram is the oldest ashram in India. It is between the Ram and Laxman bridges. It was built in memorial of Swami Vishudhanand. It’s located on an isolated river bank. You can just sit in the area and do some self-meditation. It’s also a beautiful place to watch the sunset. There are yoga and meditation sessions you can take part in here.
Rishi Kund: Hot water springs for sages
Rishi Kund is known as the Pond of Sages. It’s a hot spring that has many mythological, historical references to it. Many pilgrims will come here to bathe in the pond where so many spiritual people have in the past. It is associated with the Raghunath Temple and is also near Shani and Triveni Sangam. It’s easy to get here from Rishikesh and shouldn’t be missed. You too can plunge into the hot spring.
A short drive away from Rishikesh is the Kunjapuri Temple which sits at 1700 m. It is considered one of the best places to visit as a tourist if you’re spending time in the area. You have to trek a little to get to the top of the temple, but it’s considered an easy walk. It is well worth the view, especially at sunrise.
It’s important to remember that within you is a sacred space. Rishikesh will help you find that space within you. Many activities help bring you to the center. This includes yoga classes, meditation, and traditional spiritual events. You may find that the most sacred spot is the one where you find a place in nature to meditate on your own. You’ll be surprised at the impression Rishikesh leaves you with. You might come just to observe spiritually historical attractions, but the energy is something we can’t explain. You have to experience it for yourself.