The divine city of Rishikesh is an ascetic’s heaven, sage’s abode and an adventure lover’s hub. Located on the bank of sacred river Ganges in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas in north India, it is known as the "Yoga Capital of the World". It is a famous pilgrimage town and regarded as one of the holiest places to Hindus. Hindu sages and saints have visited Rishikesh since ancient times to meditate in search of tranquillity and higher knowledge.
The word Rishikesh literally suggests the ‘locks or hairs of a sage’. In Sanskrit, Rishikesh is the name of Lord 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, Rishikesh area is known as 'Kubjamrak' as Lord Vishnu appeared under a mango tree.Rishikesh has been a part of the legendary "Kedarkhand".Legends state that Lord Rama did penance here for killing Ravana, the demon king of Lanka; Lakshmana, his younger brother, crossed the river Ganges, using two jute ropes at the point where the present 'Lakshman jhula' stands today. Another similar suspension bridge Ram Jhula was built in 1986 at nearby Sivananda Nagar.
Here the river Ganges leaves the Shivalik hills in the Himalayas and flows into the plains of north India. Several temples, ancient and new, are along the bank of the Ganges in Rishikesh.The Ganga Arti performed at dusk at the Triveni Ghat is popular with visitors. Rishikesh is known for its spirituality and is a centre of faith for the Hindus. Rishikesh is also known for its adventure sports in India. It’s a blend of Spirituality and adventure. It is a popular destination for Rafting, Kayaking, Camping, Rock Climbing, Rappelling and Bungee jumping.
In February 1968, the Beatles visited the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh, attracted by his Transcendental Meditation. The Beatles composed numerous songs during their time at the ashram. Many westerners followed, increasing participation in yoga, to the extent that Rishikesh has been nicknamed "Yoga Capital of the World"; it has numerous yoga centres that attract tourists. Yoga students come to learn and to become qualified yoga teachers.