Explore Tourist Spots Galore for the Twin City of Haridwar and Rishikesh
Haridwar and Rishikesh are holy cities in the Uttarakhand district of North India and are thronged by people from all over the world. Since they are the best choice to soak in spirituality, the cities are also meat and alcohol free. They are also known as the twin cities of national heritage. Haridwar literally means “Abode of Lord Vishnu”. Both these cities are important Hindu pilgrimage places. The world famous Kumbh Mela takes place in Haridwar once every twelve years.The cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh have many pilgrimage spots and a trip to Haridwar Rishikesh is incomplete without visiting them.
Read on to find out some of the most important pilgrimage spots you need to explore on a tour to Haridwar and Rishikesh.
• Har Ki Pauri(Ghat)
The literal meaning of Har Ki Pauri is “The footsteps of God.” The Har Ki Pauri is the bank of the River Ganga which as per Hindu religion is the most auspicious river. Many pilgrims come to the river bank to take a dip in the holy waters. The evening Ganga Aarti at sunset is a magical sight with the lamps swaying to the sounds of the holy chants and bells. The light of the lamp being reflected in the holy waters of the mighty Ganga gushing down is a lovely sight to behold.
This is a suspension bridge built in 1939 in Rishikesh. The Lakshman Jhula is about 450 feet in length and is at a height of about 70 feet from the river that rushes past under the bridge. Mythology has it that this was the exact place where Lord Lakshmana crossed the River Ganges on a jute rope.
There are many Ashrams in Haridwar and Rishikesh. The largest ashram in Rishikesh is the Parmarth Niketan.Parmarth Niketan literally means “House for helping others”. The Parmarth Niketan is an ashram builtby Pujya Swami Sukhdevji Maharaj in the year 1942. As the name suggests, the Parmarth Niketan helps the thousands of pilgrims who throng to Rishikesh, by providing a clean and sacred atmosphere through its 1000 rooms and beautiful green gardens.
Apart from this ashram, there are other ashrams like the Patanjali Yogpeeth, which is a haven for the Yoga enthusiasts. Another very popular ashram that is visited by tourists is the Shanti Kunj or the “Peaceful garden”. The stay at Shanti Kunj is reasonable, clean and spiritual.
Situated at a distance of about 19 kilometers from Rishikesh is the temple of Shivapuri dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is located on the banks of the River Ganges and is an important pilgrim spot. The Mansa Devi temple at the top of a hill is also an important pilgrim spot. There are two ways to reach the temple. A walk up the hill may prove to be on the lines of a short trek. However, if you are not feeling too energetic and would like to expend your energy just soaking in the sights, smells and sounds around the temple periphery then take the cable car to the hilltop temple of Mansa Devi.
The Maya Devi temple on the banks of the river and the Chanda Devi temple on the Neel Parvat are the other important temples in Haridwar.
• Swarg Ashram:
This ashram deserves special mention as it is popular for the solitude that visitors feel here unlike many pilgrim spots which are bustling with people. A quiet evening looking at the waters of the Ganges when the sun rays play on the glistening water as the sun goes dipping down into the horizon is a magical and serene feeling. You can try your hand at scenic photography as it is a splendid sight. Spend hours meditating in the green gardens of the Ashram and enjoy the spiritual vibes that the city exudes.
The twin city is plush with yoga centres, ashrams, temples and offers and unparalleled spiritual experience. At Haridwar, the river and ghat coming alive with huge gathering of people and dancing flames of diyas floating over the river makes the Haridwar Rishikesh tour, a memory of the lifetime.