Rishikesh is also known as "Teerth Nagri" or "Yog Nagri" or "Yoga City", that is City of Temples, Yoga and Meditation. It is also known as the gateway to the Himalayas and is located around 25 kilometres north of another holy city, Haridwar.
Rishikesh, also spelled Hrishikesh, Rushikesh, or Hrushikesh, is a city and a municipal board in Dehradun district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.It is surrounded by two other districts namely Tehri Garhwal and Pauri Garhwal. It is located in the foothills of the Himalaya in northern India and attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists each year, from within India, as well as from other countries. Rishikesh is a vegetarian city by law, as well as an alcohol-free city.
"Hrushikesh" is a name of Vishnu that means 'lord of the senses'. The place gets its name after Lord Vishnu who appeared to 'Raibhya Rishi', as a result of his tapasya (austerities), as Lord Hrishikesh. In Skanda Purana, this area is known as 'Kubjamrak' as Lord Vishnu appeared, under a mango tree. The name Rishikesh is loosely applied to an association of five distinct sections encompassing not only the town but also hamlets and settlements on both sides of the river Ganges. These include Rishikesh itself, the commercial and communication hub; the sprawling suburb Muni-ki-Reti or the "sands of the sages"; Shivananda Nagar the home of Sivananda Ashram and the Divine Life Society founded by Swami Sivananda, north of Rishikesh; the temple section of Lakshman Jhula, a little further north; and the assorted Ashrams around Swarg Ashram on the east bank. One can reach the famous Neelakanta Maha Deva Temple from here. The Ganga Arati performed at dusk at the Triveni Ghat is popular with visitors. 'Neelkanth Mahadev Temple', situated 12 km from Rishikesh, amidst forest is also a popular local pilgrimage, along with 'Vasishtha Gufa', (Cave of sage Vasishtha), 21 km up from the town by the Ganges.
Rishikesh, sometimes nicknamed "the world capital of Yoga", has numerous yoga centres that also attract tourists. It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it. Rishikesh is world famous for Rafting and Adventure. Rafting season starts from the month of March and ends in July.
The Tehri dam is just 80 km uphill on the way to Gangotri. Rishikesh is the starting point for traveling to the sites that form the Char Dham pilgrimage - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.
Map of Uttarakhand