Located 24 km from Haridwar, there is a place where the clear river Ganga leaves the Himalayan mountains. In the foothills of the Himalaya, Rishikesh is a world’s famous yoga centre where many yoga and meditation ashrams are situated. It is quite peaceful place, not crowded like Haridwar.
Rishikesh is another name of God Vishnu (Hrishikesh) who appeared here to give blessings to Raibhya rishi who performed austerities in Rishikesh.
Bharata, the borther of Lord Rama, did severe penances here. A temple of Bharata (with the presiding Deity of Lord Narayana) was constructed at this site, and the town grew up around it. At the spot where he crossed the Ganga river today stands a Lakshman jhula bridge. It is also said that Lord Rama did penance here after killing Ravana.
The main ghat is the Triveni Ghat where the three rivers- the Ganges, the subterranean Yamuna and Sarasvati are said to flow together. Every evening a Ganga puja is held here.
With it’s many yoga centres and beautiful and peaceful atmosphere it attracts tourists from all over the world. Swami Vivekananda, Swami Shivananda and many others have established their yoga ashrams here.