Evening Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Niketan
Just as the sun's rising is marked by prayer, so is its setting. Each evening as the sun's last rays reflect off the boundless waters of Mother Ganga, we gather for the Ganga Āarti. This divine light ceremony is filled with devotional song, prayer, ritual and a palpable sense of the divinity of Mother Ganga. The aarti, an ornate oil lamp, lined with dozens of flames burning in pure ghee is offered to God. We give thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us that day, as well as symbolically offering light back to Ganga Āarti is a time when we break free from the normal stresses and strains of every-day life, and gather together in joy, reverence and peace.
Kunjapuri is positioned at a height of 1645 meters and lends a panoramic sight of the Himalayan peaks to the North and Rishikesh, Haridwar and the Doon valley to the South. Travelling towards Gangotri, about 6 kilometers from Narendra Nagar the road bifurcates at Hindola Khal, leading to the shrine, which is 5 kilometers further.
Being a main religious place, 1000s of visitors come throughout the year especially throughout 'Navratras'
(April and October). Grand Celebrations are held during
the Dasshera festival.
One can witness excellent sunrise or sun set on the Greater Himalayan Peaks and the vast Indo Gangetic plains .
At a height of approximately 5500 feet is the famous temple of Neelkanth Mahadeo. It is situated at a hill top above Swarg ashram. Legend goes that this was the placewhere lord Shiva had drank venom which had come out from churning the sea. After drinking it, his neck had turned blue with the poison and hence he was called 'Neelkanth', the one with blue neck. To visit this most revered temple of Rishikesh, jeeps are available from Lakshman Jhula. Every year in the months of monsoon - mid July to August - fairs are held here. There is also a fresh water spring within temple complex where people take bath before paying a visit to the temple.
Just south of Swarg Ashram, slowly being consumed by the forest undergrowth, is what's left of the original Maharishi Mahesh YogiAshram. It was abandoned in 1997 and is now back under the control of the forest department, but the shells of many buildings, meditation cells and lecture halls can still be seen, including Maharishi own house and the guesthouse where the Beatles stayed.
Indeed, in February 1968 Rishikesh hit world headlines when the four Beatles and their partners stayed, following an interest and earlier visit by George Harrison. Ringo and his wife didn't like the vegetarian food, missed their children and left after a couple of weeks, but the others stayed for a month or two.
Laxman Jhula / Ram Jhula
This suspended bridge running from one bank of Ganga to other is the landmark of the city. It was built in 1939. The legend behind it states that Lakshman crossed a bridge made of jute ropes here on river Ganga. The view from the bridge itself is panoramic. The mountains covered in green belt, the waters flowing below, a cool breeze, all these together make Lakshman Jhula a great place to visit. You can also feed the fish in the river below from the bridge itself, the fish gather at the place where people drop food for them. To take a better view of the Jhula, one can take a boat ride in the river below, the scene with Lakshman Jhula in the foreground and green mountains in the background make a picturesque view and you can also feed the fish while you are in the boat. Ram Jhula, a similar structure to Lakshman Jhula is a more recent addition to the city. Also known as Shivanand Jhula, it connects Shivanand ashram with Swarg ashram.