The river Ganges, which flows out of the lap of the Himalayas, leaves the mountains and flows on to the plains at this point. The Ganges in its untamed and turbulent form gushes over the craggy mountain sides and in Rishikesh, it changes into a serene, calm river.
Flowing beneath the shadows of thick green forests, the beauty of Ganges never fails to attract the tourists who come here. In spite of being a very small town Rishikesh is still very well known as an important pilgrim center. That’s why when you go strolling down the banks of this river towards the various ashrams you find not only Indians but also Americans, Japanese, French, Germans and other Europeans in meditation. Rishikesh is called a town of sages and temples.
Today, this town is a combination of the ancient tradition and modern progress. This has enhanced its glory. In spite of progress its natural beauty is still untouched. That is why Rishikesh is very popular with tourists. Close by water sports like river rafting, etc are conducted. Boating has its own charm.
1160 feet above sea level, Rishikesh is 25 kms from Haridwar. According to the ancient holy books, its earlier name was Kubjamrak. The four famous pilgrim centers of Garhwal-Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamnotri all share Rishikesh as their common gateway. In the old days, these pilgrim centers were very difficult to cover. But now there are roads from Rishikesh to these points making traveling easy. So, not only do the pilgrims go to these places but also tourists.
Rishikesh is popular with the foreigners. The various Yoga asanas taught on the banks of the river Ganges draw them to this place. Many yoga centers are found here.
A person visiting Haridwar invariably visits Rishikesh. Since the distance is not too much, one can take a bus, train, taxi or even a three-wheeler.