Rishikesh Knowledge Guide
If you wish to travel by flight, the nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun which is just about 35 kms away from Rishikesh. Or you can alo hire cabs or buses to take you from Delhi.
This is one place that can be visited any time of the year. The weather is pleasant throughout. Although summers might get a little ho and the temperature may rise up tp 35 degree Celsius, Yoga festival takes place in March, which is a major crowd puller. Water activities can also be done only during summers.
Rishikesh has been a part of the legendary "Kedarkhand". Legends state that Lord Rama did penance here for killing Ravana, the asura king of Lanka; and Lakshmana, his younger brother, crossed the river Ganges, at a point, where the present 'Lakshman Jhula' (लक्ष्मण झूला) bridge stands today, using using two jute ropes at the point where the present 'Lakshman Jhula' (लक्ष्मण झूला) bridge stands today. The 'Kedarkhand' of Skanda Purana, also mentions the existence of Indrakund at this very point. The jute-rope bridge was replaced by a 248 foot long iron-rope suspension bridge in 1889. After it was washed away in the 1924 floods, it was replaced in 1927 by the present stronger bridge built by the United Provinces Public Works Department. This bridge connects the two districts of Tapovan, Tehri and Jonk, Pauri Garhwal. Another similar suspension bridge Ram Jhula was built in 1986 at nearby Sivananda Nagar. The Ganges, one of the most sacred rivers to Hindus, flows through Rishikesh. Here the river leaves the Shivalik Hills in the Himalayas and flows into the plains of northern India. Several temples, ancient and new, are along the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. Shatrughna Mandir, Bharat Mandir (lord Vishnu's avatar), Lakshman Mandir are the ancient temples established by Adi Shankaracharya. Shatrughna Temple is near Ram Jhula and Lakshman Mandir is near Lakshman Jhula. Rishikesh has in recent decades shifted from a pilgrim to a tourist town. The International Yoga Festival introduced in 2000 has brought new influx of tourists. Local markets have evolved from commercialising goods such as "local and religious handicrafts" to a more service-oriented tourist industry with "provision stores, cafes, hotels and yoga and meditation" as well as rafting.
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 of which appear on the band's self-titled double album, also known as the "White Album". 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. Serious yoga students come to learn and to become qualified as yoga teachers.The city includes the district of Sivananda Nagar, the home of Sivananda Ashram and the Divine Life Society founded by Swami Sivananda, north of the town centre; the temple sections of Ram Jhula and Lakshman Jhula, a little further north; and assorted ashrams around Swargashram on the eastern bank. The Ganga Arti performed at dusk at the Triveni Ghat is popular with visitors. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, amidst forest 28 km (17 mi) from Rishikesh, is a popular local pilgrimage, along with Vashishtha Guha (Cave of Sage Vashishtha), 21 km (13 mi) up from the town by the Ganges.
According to environmental activists, "These camps are not only in violation of Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, but also the Environment (Protection) Act 1986, as well as the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974, as it is leading to pollution of Ganga by discharging effluent, throwing of solid waste directly and adversely affecting the ecological integrity of the river system." Environmental activists alleged that these camps, which are established as temporary sites, do not have adequate sewage and sanitation facilities, disturb the habitat of wild animals and "affect the peace, tranquility, and serenity of the forest area." "At the campsites, the camp owners permit employees and the visitors to have food and alcohol. They leave empty bottles, cans, unconsumed food and waste including bones and filth in and around the campsite." In a 2008 study on the beach camps between Kaudiyala and Rishikesh, experts from the Govind Ballabh Pant Himalayan Environment and Development Institute—R. K. Maikhuri, Nihal Farukhi and Tarun Budhal—found that wildlife conservation standards and norms, particularly for waste management, were routinely disregarded. A bench headed by the National Green Tribunal chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar on 1 April 2015 heard a plea filed by the non-governmental organisation Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE). The National Green Tribunal has sought explanations from the Government of India and the Government of Uttarakhand on the "unregulated" operation of rafting camps on the banks of Ganga between Shivpuri and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. The state government has assured the tribunal that it would not grant permission to any new camp till the next hearing in May.As the seriousness of issue "The National Green Tribunal," a bench headed by Justice U. D. Salve has rejected permission to rafting camps operating in Rishikesh and slammed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the Government of Uttarakhand for not filing their replies in the case and directed them to file their response.
Effect on spiritual environment
It has been reported that large numbers of tourists visiting Rishikesh from India and the world have been consuming drugs and alcohol and appearing partially naked at beaches, leading to complaints that the spiritual environment of the area has been affected.According to many Hindu yogis and sadhus, the riverside stretch is of spiritual and religious importance, as it is where the Ganges takes its form after the confluence of the rivers Bhagirathi and Alaknanda at Devprayag in the Garhwal Himalayas. Saints and yogis have been meditating on the banks of Ganges since antiquity. However, these banks have been polluted with liquor bottles at camps as well as obscene activities and behavior at the beaches.
The company "Jumpin Heights", follows Australian & New Zealand Standards Authority Guidelines. Bungee jumping in Rishikesh is conducted by this company. The staff have a significant experience in exercising bungee jump and other adventure activities in New Zealand.
The biggest concern for the authorities is the safety. Hence, the drill takes place on regular basis.