Ensconced amidst the most serene places in the northern part of India, the state of Uttarakhand is witness to the most heavenly paradise on earth in this part of the world. With the hills forming the major background here the hills and the flow of the River Ganges renders this a very beautiful region and it is thus rightly called the “Yoga Capital of the World”. Sometime back in the 1960s, Rishikesh became very popular as the place where the great band The Beatles came to spend time with their guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. A great place to meditate and the ideal yoga destination in India, Rishikesh has the Laxman Jhula as its major attraction.
The region of Rishikesh is also the point where treks start and where the Himalayan pilgrim spots such as Gangotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath and Yamunotri, are located. This is in fact, regarded as the gateway to all the shines in this part of Himalayas. Located some 24 km from the city of Haridwar, Rishikesh is situated in the region where the Rivers Ganga and Chandrabhaga merge and meet. In fact, Sage Raibhya Rishi penanced here and God came before him, thus the place began to be so known.
With great centers for philosophical studies, Rishikesh is a perfect spot for meditation. It has an international yoga week every year and this is organized by the Department of Uttar Pradesh tourism. With the continental type of climate, the pleasant weather here is a reason people like to come here.
Overlooking the Garhwal region, Rishikesh is considered sacred as the Ganga flows through this region. With the ashrams of the sages dotting the entire landscape, the place is surely a great pilgrim hub and a perfect travel spot. Pilgrims coming here also like to shop here as you have a lot of handloom stuff available here. Also you get some good crafts and woolen stuff here.
One reaches Rishikesh by air, rail or road. Dehradun is the nearest airport and Haridwar is the nearest railway station. Also the National Highway is a good connection by road.
The Lakshman Jhula is a famous bridge hanging across the Ganga, and is about 3 kms from the main city of Rishikesh. With a length of 450 feet and at a height of around 70 feet from the river, this is a perfect attraction, for all who come here. Legend has it that Lakshman the brother of the Indian God Lord Rama, crossed the River Ganga here and the bridge came to be known as the Lakshman Jhula. Today the earlier jute bridge got eroded and now we find an iron bridge on the same path in the year 1939.
This is basically a bridge across the River Ganga, and is over the old route of the Kedarnath and Badrinath. Today this is a greatly visited spot here and is popular for its religious sanctity and absolutely ancientness. With the magnificent temples and the interesting market around, today the Lakshman Jhula is a wonderful sightseeing attraction for all those who come to this part of the world.
Then you have the Lakshman temple which has a Risha Kund. It is believed that Lakshman and Ram had bath in this Kund after the demon king Ravana was killed. They had bath in this Kund to get rid of their sins. The serene, tranquil and unique ambience to this place is an enchanting sight. So the shlokas and mantras that are recited in these temples exude an air of serenity and calm. There is a market here around this Laxman Jhula which is very famous for the wooden goods. Here you can find books of Gods and Goddesses local jewelries, and the most delicious cuisine ever on the streets. The Rudraksha mala here is very famous.
There are mango orchards in and around this place and there is lot of greenery surrounding the entire place making it look like a complete paradise. You have the Swargashram is an area, which lies ahead of the Laxman Jhula which is again a greatly tranquil place.
The Laxman Jhula is a suspended iron bridge that was constructed sometime in the year 1939 and is a major sight for all the tourists who come here to Rishikesh. The picturesque surroundings here and the cool breeze that come from the river here make it a perfect travel spot. Tourists often like to feed the fish in the river Ganga and they take a boat and enjoy the ride across the river. This boat ride makes the experience at the Lakshman Jhula even more interesting. Today there is another bridge here – The Ram Jhula. This is another suspended bridge that has been built in between the Shiva and Ashram and the Swarg Ashram.
So Rishikesh the land of the Supreme where there are innumerable pilgrims visiting every day. This is the region of religion, pilgrimage and devotion. There are many other places in and around Rishikesh which are worth visiting. Chilla the national park is around 17 kms from Rishikesh. Also enjoy the skiing pleasures here in this part of the world and make your travel pleasures to Rishikesh a memorable affair.
The next time you want to experience travel ecstasies head towards Rishikesh, and feel the magnificence of the Laxman Jhula.